Classic 80s Movie

Ghostbusters II (1989)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Ghostbusters II (1989)

Director:

Ivan Reitman

Writers:

Dan Aykroyd

Harold Ramis

Starring:

Bill Murray

Dan Aykroyd

Sigourney Weaver

Harold Ramis

Rick Moranis

Ernie Hudson

Annie Potts

Peter MacNicol

Blurb:

The discovery of a massive river of ectoplasm and a resurgence of spectral activity allows the staff of Ghostbusters to revive the business.

Thoughts:

I will show just how uncultured I am by saying that I enjoy Ghostbusters II more than the first one. I said it. It’s out there. My husband and the internet have informed me I’m wrong, and I accept that. The thing is, I enjoy Ghostbusters II more. Don’t get me wrong, I love the humor in the first movie. It’s hilarious, and the song is much better, but there’s just something about a giant Statue of Liberty walking through New York with upbeat music playing that hits me in the feels.

The film was a flop because I am in the minority. It so thoroughly killed what could have been a huge franchise that we didn’t get another movie for decades. Which, of course, was hated for entirely different reasons. There’s another movie coming out later this year, but all signs point to it being closer to the original than the sequel. Still, it has Paul Rudd in it, so it can’t be all bad.

Weaver was a much better mother than Alley was in Look Who’s Talking. Anytime something was happening to Oscar, it’s like she sensed it almost immediately, and she reacted. She also didn’t question herself and went to people she knew would help. She’s a great character with sus taste in men. Murray’s character is hilarious, but he’s so self-destructive I’m not sure how I would feel being in a relationship with him.

The Wikipedia article is expansive filled with all kinds of information, but nothing stood out as interesting to me. Murray was a bit of a diva again. The movie apparently has a fatherhood subplot with Murray’s whole relationship with Oscar. Eh, I rarely pick up on things like that and prefer to think of Weaver being a super mom.

I’m almost through the 80s! Just four more movies.

Commando (1985)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Commando (1985)

Director:

Mark L. Lester

Writers:

Jeph Loeb

Matthew Weisman

Steven E. de Souza

Starring:

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Rae Dawn Chong

Dan Hedaya

Vernon Wells

Alyssa Milano

Blurb:

A retired Special Forces colonel tries to save his daughter, who was abducted by his former subordinate.

Thoughts:

Commando wastes exactly zero time getting into things. It starts with bad guys killing people, then moves right into John Matrix, Arnold Schwarzenegger, carrying a tree trunk over his shoulder while also holding a chainsaw. There is no wasted time or bloat, and at a 90 minute running time, it’s the perfect length.

Whether they realize it or not, this is the movie most people think of when they think of 80s action movies. You’ve got the over-the-top hero who has a high body count and is virtually unstoppable. A clear bad guy that is, in this case, more than a little unhinged. Multiple one-liners and a basic plotline. It’s uncomplicated, and when the main goal is completed, the movie stops, no matter what else is up in the air.

One of my favorite parts of Commando is Rae Dawn Chong’s character. I love the way she handles herself around first the scummy henchman and then later Matrix. She doesn’t let either man push her around, well, Matrix to a degree, but when he isn’t around her, she immediately goes to the cops. Then she decides for herself to help him. When he’s bossy, she answers back. She doesn’t come off as a pushover. She’s not forceful and in your face, but she’s a survivor and has a say in what happens to her. I like her.

What is even better than all of that, Matrix and Chong’s character do not kiss. I love it! So many action movies put a couple in constant peril, with the male hero a lot of the time being a total dick to the woman while he’s saving the day, and then it ends with them kissing. I hateeeee that. Good for you for saving the day but after the way you treated her, why the fuck would she kiss you??? It’s such a male power fantasy trip at the woman’s expense, and it always bothers me.

Bennett, Vernon Wells, is wearing a crochet vest that is supposed to look like chainmail, and I will never be able to take him seriously or find him threatening. Every time he appears on the screen, I’m just looking at his vest and wondering if his grandma gave it to him and if he kills people who bring it up. There’s also the clear, nearly orgasmic faces he makes when facing off with Matrix at the end. Dude clearly has some more than homicidal feelings toward Matrix. It explains his hatred of Matrix’s daughter too. She has come between them.

I like Commando. It’s one of my husband’s movies, but I appreciate it for what it is. I like the idea of 80s action movies. There are several elements to them that I enjoy, but then there are several elements that I don’t. I like the action. I like how over the top they can be. I could use a little bit more thought put into the script, just a little bit. I’m not asking for a ton. I just want there to be something there. Even if it’s basic, I want it to make some sense. I also really do not like how they treat women. Commando is tipped more into the positive side of my list than the negative.

The Goonies (1985)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

The Goonies (1985)

Director:

Richard Donner

Writer:

Chris Columbus

Starring:

Sean Astin

Josh Brolin

Jeff Cohen

Corey Feldman

Kerri Green

Martha Plimpton

Ke Huy Quan

John Matuszak

Robert Davi

Joe Pantoliano

Anne Ramsey

Blurb:

A group of young misfits called The Goonies discover an ancient map and set out on an adventure to find a legendary pirate’s long-lost treasure.

Thoughts:

I missed The Goonies when I was making my Best Adventure Movies list. I’ll be correcting that shortly. It fits my definition of an adventure movie to a ‘T.’ A group of underdogs go on a quest to find the lost pirate treasure of One-Eyed Willy. What more could you ask for?

I can’t think of much to say about The Goonies. I have no thoughts.

It’s fun to see all these young actors since most of them went on to have active careers. I like the treasure and booby traps and all the character’s little quirks. The truffle shuffle is a bit fat phobic. There are probably a couple of other less-than-acceptable moments as well, there always seems to be in these older movies, but nothing stands out.

Reading over the Wikipedia entry, there isn’t much there either. They built a full-size replica of a pirate ship for the movie, then had to destroy it when they were done because no one wanted it. In the 120-page script, there was a scene with an octopus that ended up being cut, which explains Data’s comment at the end. A sequel has been discussed more than a few times, and it’s also been denied. Who knows? Does it even need one? No.

That’s all I’ve got. It’s a great movie, but my brain has nothing more to add to that. *shrug*