Sunday, February 7, 2016

1987 Capsule Reviews

Wall Street
rating: *****
review: Michael Douglas's Gordon Gekko became an icon for the so-called Greed Decade, and deservedly got the sequel treatment over Charlie Sheen's character in Money Never Sleeps.  And we haven't really learned anything, alas.

The Princess Bride
rating: *****
review: So beloved by fans but critics are still reluctant to embrace it.  Still, a classic.

rating: ****
review: The point where Mel Brooks became better known for satirizing specific films than genres, and where critics, sadly, deserted him.  But this is still a classic in its own right.

The Untouchables
rating: ****
review: Kevin Costner becomes a leading man thanks to a rousing gangster flick that's actually about dismantling the bad guys for a change.

Lethal Weapon
rating: ****
review: Hollywood originally embraced Mel Gibson as a loose cannon.  So it's kind of ironic that he was eventually dismissed as a loose cannon.  Unlike Bill Murray in Ghostbusters, a lead character who ends up lost in an ensemble concept, this one's clearly about Gibson but remembered as a buddy flick.  Which ends up very well for sequels, actually.

Full Metal Jacket
rating: ***
review: Stanley Kubrick's last fan favorite movie is far less entertaining a study of war than his previous Dr. Strangelove.  If you were to ask what the unifying theme of his films is, it's what he thought audiences expected of him during that particular period.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
rating: ***
review: You can see it in all the films of the period, Hollywood struggling to find a new moral center.  This attempt to make Superman that center kind of backfired spectacularly.

Masters of the Universe
rating: ***
review: History hasn't been kind to it, but I guarantee a kid would still love it today.

La Bamba
rating: ***
review: Poor Lou Diamond Phillips discovers that everyone loves him when they know what the heck he's doing.  But otherwise struggles to remain relevant.  Not as iconic as the earlier Buddy Holly Story, but still worthy of note.

Critical Condition
rating: **
review: Madcap Richard Pryor.  Seemingly specialized in roles where he was required for a bug-eyed performance.

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