Saturday, February 6, 2016

1986 Capsule Reviews

rating: ****
review: Oliver Stone in his first major film, tackling major issues right from the start, beginning the Serious Film renaissance he'd continue to lead for the next decade.  Also, this is where you realize how odd it is that James Woods ended up lost in the acting shuffle later. 

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

rating: ****
review: Star Trek travels to the 20th century for a message- and comedy-heavy film, plus kind of wraps up the trilogy begun in Wrath of Khan.  This was the most popular film of the franchise for years, but it begins to show its age.

Stand by Me
rating: ****
review: The first great Stephen King movie, and the clearest indication of how special River Phoenix could have been, but in hindsight also perhaps about how far you can push child actors and get away with it.

An American Tail
rating: ****
review: Doesn't get near enough credit for helping spur the animated renaissance Disney would officially launch a few years later.

Top Gun
rating: ****
review: The moment Hollywood figure out it could do event movies without aping Star Wars.

rating: ****
review: Oliver Stone again, full of acclaimed war weariness, but not to the level of Apocalypse Now.  More like Terrence Malick's Thin Red Line.

rating: ****
review: Because these films have never breached cult status, they don't get enough credit.  The first is the best, in which Sean Connery finds unexpected new life as a colorful wingman.

The Name of the Rose
rating: ***
review: Speaking of Connery, this is a wonderful sendoff to his leading man career.

Three Amigos
rating: ***
review: Kind of ahead of its time as a comedy, in our era where it's far harder to be a single headliner and instead being lumped in groups.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
rating: ***
review: It's tough to imagine that such a simple concept achieved iconic status, kind of new school fans adopting old school flavor without even realizing it.

rating: So many filmmakers have tried to elevate this franchise to Star Wars status, and so many have failed.  Here it's James Cameron.

rating: ***
review: This original cinematic incarnation of Hannibal Lecter has its partisans.  But it doesn't have Anthony Hopkins. 

rating: ***
review: There are a lot of big names attached to this movie.  But its achievement is still nowhere near, say, Princess Bride.

The Karate Kid Part II
rating: **
review: Honestly, all I remember is that Daniel continues what he was doing last time.

Crocodile Dundee
rating: **
review: Australia enters the pop culture.

Space Camp
rating: **
review: Space for kids!

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