ReelThoughts: September 03, 2009

"Wrapping Up the 1980s"

Commentary by James Berardinelli


After spending more than a half-year wading through memories, recollections, and movies from the period of 1980 through 1989, I have had an opportunity to take a new look at an old decade. Personally, it represented my coming of age - I grew up during the '70s but transitioned from childhood to adulthood during the'80s. Politically, it represented a shift from the Cold War to the New Hope. Cinematically, it represented an era of rising blockbusters and summer popcorn movies.

I was never much of a movie-goer during the '80s. I fell into the same category as most teenagers - films were diversions, opportunities for occasional weekend entertainment and socializing. I went primarily to stuff I wanted to see. The VCR changed things for everyone. With the new option of watching movies at home, viewing increased for everyone, from adults who had abandoned multiplexes to kids who couldn't get enough of them. It's a little odd to look back a mere 25 years and see how different things were. Video has been the great game-changer of the last half-century.

Here then is a linked list of all the '80s material written for the series - ReelThoughts and Video Reviews. I have also added links to other reviews of '80s movies that were written before the series began (they are identified by asterisks). This entry will have a permanent place on the Video Views page sidebar so it can be easily located for anyone desirous of re-visiting the decade. Thanks for reading.

1980s Yearly Commentaries:

  Introduction (Feb. 7, 2009)
  1980 (Feb. 10, 2009)
  1981 (Feb. 27, 2009)
  1982 (Mar. 9, 2009)
  1983 (Mar. 29, 2009)
  1984 (May 3, 2009)
  1985 (May 20, 2009)
  1986 (June 9, 2009)
  1987 (July 3, 2009)
  1988 (July 20, 2009)
  1989 (Aug. 12, 2009)

Reviews - 1980s movies

1980:
  Airplane *
  Friday the 13th
  Ordinary People
  Shining, The
  Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back *
  Xanadu *

1981:
  Body Heat
  Clash of the Titans
  Halloween 2 *
  Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior *
  Raiders of the Lost Ark *
  Superman II *
  Time Bandits *

1982:
  Blade Runner *
  Conan the Barbarian *
  E.T. *
  Evil Dead, The *
  Fast Times at Ridgemont High *
  First Blood
  Last American Virgin, The *
  Sophie's Choice
  Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan *
  Tootsie

1983:
  Christmas Story, A *
  Flashdance
  Risky Business
  Scarface
  Star Wars: Return of the Jedi *
  Sudden Impact
  WarGames

1984:
  Amadeus *
  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom *
  Natural, The *
  Nightmare on Elm Street, A *
  Sixteen Candles
  Star Trek III: The Search for Spock *
  Stop Making Sense *
  Terminator, The
  This Is Spinal Tap *

1985:
  Back to the Future
  Black Cauldron, The *
  Kiss of the Spider Woman
  Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome *
  Out of Africa
  Sure Thing, The
  Witness *

1986:
  About Last Night…
  Aliens *
  Blue Velvet *
  Color of Money, The
  Crocodile Dundee *
  Fly, The *
  Hoosiers *
  Jean de Florette *
  Little Shop of Horrors *
  Manon des Sources *
  Mission, The
  Platoon *
  Stand By Me
  Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home *

1987:
  Evil Dead II, The *
  Lethal Weapon
  Planes, Trains and Automobiles *
  Princess Bride, The *
  Robocop
  Untouchables, The *
  Wall Street

1988:
  Big
  Bull Durham
  Dangerous Liaisons
  Gorillas in the Mist
  Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers

1989:
  Abyss, The
  Batman *
  Born on the Fourth of July
  Do the Right Thing *
  Glory *
  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade *
  Little Mermaid, The *
  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation *
  War of the Roses
  When Harry Met Sally *


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