Friday, February 5, 2016

1985 Capsule Reviews

Back to the Future
rating: *****
review: This is one of those classics that achieved its status by combining iconic elements and in the process becoming iconic.  Kind of like Ghostbusters the year before but having nailed everything instead of just kind of establishing it.

rating: ****
review: Terry Gilliam's first real work of cinematic genius fails in only one regard: Jonathan Pryce was perhaps too perfect a lead.  He's just not memorable as a lead, and so everything that happens around him, or to him, becomes less than it could have been.

Return to Oz
rating: ****
review: As perfect a representation of L. Frank Baum's original Oz vision as we've gotten so far.

After Hours
rating: ***
review: Martin Scorsese achieves more or less what Terry Gilliam did in Brazil, only to far less of a point.

Rocky IV
rating: ***
review: The realism of the franchise dissipates in this blockbuster installment that saw Sly Stallone's hero kind of merge with his other big '80s hit, Rambo.

Once Bitten
rating: ***
review: Jim Carrey's journey to stardom would take another decade after years of work like this, in which he's not the star so much as the guy reacting to situations as wacky as he'd eventually become.

rating: **
review: No, you don't need to think of this movie in terms of early Patrick Stewart or naked vampires, but it probably doesn't hurt.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
rating: **
review: I've sometimes thought of this as the most satisfying of the original Mad Max movies, only because it develops the world to a more universal degree, but really, it's the full Hollywood version, a relic of '80s action movies inspired by Star Wars.  And just not up to snuff.

rating: **
review: Notable for being that movie where old people are relevant.

Santa Claus: The Movie
rating: **
review: Notable for that movie that tries to put so much magic into Santa that it actually sucks the magic right out.

The Goonies
rating: **
review: This movie is well-loved by those who grew up with it.  But otherwise seems like a relic when watched by others.  We've all got movies like this in our favorites. 

Teen Wolf
rating: **
review: I remember watching this years ago.  But I don't feel particularly compelled to watch it again.  More or less Michael J. Fox doing a teenage Shaggy Dog.

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