Movies That Hold Up & Why I wish Corey Feldman and Chunk made another movie1comment
So many movies live in our memories. Our impression of them is clouded by where we saw them, who we were with, and what we were going through at the time. I’ve found that often when I re-watch movies I loved growing up, they don’t hold up to the memory I have of said awesomeness. I remember seeing Legends of the Fall with my sister in the theater. I thought it was epic, romantic, I cried my eyes out and decided to love Brad Pitt forever. I caught it on tv a few years ago and well, it’s stupid. Does Brad really get in a fight with a bear? Seriously, dumbest ending ever. Recently a bunch of friends of mine got together and watched The Goonies. A friend had never seen it. What?! I know. We felt she was missing something wonderful, and well, she was. As I watched this film with a group of 30-something friends, I was amazed. Holy shit, this film holds up. I now feel a bit sad that Corey Feldman (“Mouth”) didn’t have a longer, better career after the age of 18 because he’s hilarious in The Goonies. Corey Feldman and “Chunk” (played by Jeff Cohen) steal scenes like nobody’s business. I found myself wishing there had been a Mouth and Chunk spinoff.
While the group of us laughed and reminisced about how much we LOVED this movie as kids, we realized this movie would probably never be a kid’s movie today (with Mouth’s references to drugs, sexual torture devices and the Fratelli’s threathening to cut a kid’s tongue off and constantly shooting at kids – I doubt Disney would get behind this). There seems to be a distinct line between today’s adult comedies (The Hangover, Bridesmides, Your Highness) and kids’ films (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Spy Kids 4, Mr. Popper’s Penguins). Sadly I have no interest in the latter, but I wish we had more like the treasures of the 80’s. While having coffee with Megan, we discussed the Goonies (and our shared crush on Mikey Walsh – his determination mixed with asthma inhaler really did it for us as kids) and which 80’s kids’ movies still stand up.
So here is my list of 80’s movies that really stand the test of time. I’m not talking about the serious, Academy Award winning films like Out of Africa or Blade Runner or adult themed films like Die Hard and Beverly Hills Cop (two still kickass movies). I’m sure there are some (maybe more male driven) that I’ve left out, but remind me. I’m a movie omnivore – I’ll watch anything.
Back to the Future: There is nothing not awesome about this film. It’s smart, funny, the actors are really great, and the premise still works. I don’t know when we thought kids’ films have to be dumbed down or safe. Marty, Biff and the gang are awesome and always will be.
Ghostbusters: I wasn’t sure if a movie with the line “Is this true? Yes, this man has no dick” would still hold up to my adult sense of humor. Yes, it does. Still funny. Murray, Akroyd and the rest are still brilliant and I still giggle.
Airplane!: The thing I love about Airplane is that while I laughed my ass off as a kid, I get so much more of the humor as an adult. Characters or lines I thought were weird when I was little, I now think are amazing (like Lloyd Bridges’ sidekick) and lines like “I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.”
Some Kind of Wonderful: The less famous of the John Hughes’ movies (he wrote but didn’t direct) still has a kickass soundtrack. While the story of the poorer kid getting a date with the rich, popular girl seems simple enough, it’s the Mary Stuart Masterson boyish/drummer love triangle that gives it a little extra. And can I just say how awesome this 80’s poster is? Leah Thompson in sexy denim? Amazing. Eric Stoltz with a sexy face. Even more amazing.
Stand By Me: This movie not only had an interesting storyline – kids go in search of a dead body – and without any weird, jokey haunted house type laughs, but a weekend of camping to see a bloated, real dead body. I like when movies treat young adolescents with a grain of truth – not today’s Nickelodean funfest of singing and dancing. Stand by Me had dysfunctional families, dead bodies and abuse. I appreciated not being treated like a child in this film. And while I usually hate voice-overs, this one makes me choke up every time. But best of all, Wil Wheaton’s story about Lardass and the barf-o-rama definitely holds up.
The Princess Bride: This movie has so many great lines, hilarious characters and ridiculous moments, that while it’s a kids’ movie, it’s smart and quirky enough for adults. Any movie centered around true love, giants, sword fighting, and the lines “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” and “Inconceivable!” holds up in my book.
I know this is a short list, so tell me which ones I’m missing. Some that can’t make the cut because upon a second viewing, were so much worse than I remembered: Red Dawn, Space Camp, Explorers, Legend, and The Boy Who Could Fly to name a few.