Category Archives: 1987 Movie reviews

Broadcast News-1987

Broadcast News-1987

Director-James L. Brooks

Starring-William Hurt, Holly Hunter

Reviewed January 21, 2009

Grade: B

Broadcast News is a 1987 feature film that admittedly is an intelligently written romantic comedy. It was rewarded with several Academy Awards nominations, in what has been known to be a bleak year for the film industry. That being said, I found the overall result of the film to be a decent experience, but certainly nothing fantastic. I was left with the feeling that it was “okay”.  I definitely do not think it was good enough to warrant Oscar nominations, but it was enjoyable all the same.

The principle characters are interesting enough, albeit safe. The film centers around three television news people- a neurotic news producer (Holly Hunter), a reporter (Albert Brooks), and his rival (William Hurt). All of them are ambitious, and determined to climb the ladder of success in their Washington D.C. base. The film explores the relationships between the the characters.

As stated, there is nothing really wrong with the film. I would have expected a bit more- perhaps deeper or darker story- instead, despite some witty dialogue, the film is largely a safe, predictable journey.

The Believers-1987

The Believers-1987

Director-John Schlesinger

Starring-Martin Sheen

Reviewed December 24, 2010

Grade: B

The Believers is a very obscure film that I had never heard of before viewing it. Combined with the fact that it was made in 1987 (not a great time for movies) I was skeptical about this one, but was pleasantly surprised. it has some edge to it, is mysterious, and is set in New York City- always a plus for me.

Martin Sheen- merely a youngster when this was made-plays a police psychologist, Cal Jamison, involved in a voodoo serial killer cult. He moves from Minnesota  to New York City following the death of his wife by electrocution, when her coffeemaker malfunctions. Is this key to the case or a red-herring?

The plot is a bit convoluted as when Cal’s son is targeted by the serial killer and  when frazzled police officer, Tom Lopez (Jimmy Smits),  takes center stage. I did not find Smits all too believable in this role, and the film has a striking 1980’s feel to it.

The locales, since it was actually shot in New York, are fantastic, and the plot contain some scares, surprises, and spooky effects along the way. I also was very impressed by the satisfying ending. The Believers isvery good thriller/horror film.

Wall Street-1987

Wall Street-1987

Director-Oliver Stone

Starring-Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen

60003330

Reviewed February 15, 2011

Grade: B+

Rather late in the game, but 2011 was my first time seeing the film Wall Street and it was a very good film. Douglas and Sheen have great on-screen chemistry and the numerous scenes of New York City are pleasing- pre 9/11 they capture a haunting feeling.

Despite being made in 1987 (not a great year for film), it does not feel dated except for the soundtrack. In fact, unfortunately, circumstances in this movie still ring true today. There is a lot of dishonesty and greed in the financial world (check out the documentary Inside Job for proof of this). The financial collapse of 2008 is a great indicator of this.

Michael Douglas is excellent in the role of Gordon Gekko, a power hungry, greedy financial mogul. He encompasses the role in every way and deservedly won the Best Actor statuette for this year.

Fatal Attraction-1987

Fatal Attraction-1987

Director-Adrian Lyne

Starring-Michael Douglas, Glenn Close

Top 100 Films-#45

60010341

Reviewed January 17, 2017

Grade: A

Fatal Attraction is a film that was a monster smash hit at its time of release (1987), and has all the makings of a trashy, forgettable, slick Hollywood film from a disastrous time in film, but guess what?- it is actually a fantastic, gripping, thriller that still holds up well after all of these years. Say what you will about Anne Archer, who is very good, but this film truly belongs to Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, who made it the believable thrill ride that Fatal Attraction is. The subject matter is adultery, which made it the water-cooler topic of its day.

The plot is quite simple- Douglas plays Dan Gallagher, a successful New York City attorney, happily married to Beth (Archer), and raising a cute young daughter, Ellen. When Beth and Ellen are away looking at new houses one rainy weekend, Dan embarks on a torrid affair with sexy, successful businesswoman, Alex (Close), not realizing that she is an unbalanced, needy woman, who is not about to let Dan out of her life.

I adore this film in large part because it is a film that can be debated. Many seem to blame either (mostly) Dan or Alex, but the question of monogamy can always be a topic of conversation after viewing this film, so in that regard it is multi-faceted, rather than solely a well-acted Hollywood potboiler. Was it okay for Dan to cheat? Does Beth overreact or does she forgive too easily? Do we sympathize with Alex? Is she a victim? The film is unique in that many folks actually were rooting for Dan and Alex, despite her being the other woman.

So many memorable lines or scenes contribute to this film- who can forget the infamous “boiling pet rabbit” scene or the wonderful line that Alex utters to Dan, “I will not be ignored, Dan”. They are so ingrained in pop culture that it brings a smile to think of these aspects of Fatal Attraction.

The real selling point, though, is the natural and honest chemistry that Douglas and Close share. Their scenes, mainly the romantic weekend they spend together, flow so nicely that they have real rooting value and I instantly bought them as a couple. Without this undeniable chemistry, Fatal Attraction would be a standard romantic thriller- and not much else. And the smoldering sexuality during their love scenes are erotic and intense.

Surely not suffering from the dreaded “1980’s look”, Fatal Attraction is a gem that holds up very well and is a slick thrill-ride, easily watched and enjoyed time and again. Dozens upon dozens of carbon copy films cropped up in the years to follow, but none were ever as fantastic as Fatal Attraction.

Opera-1987

Opera-1987

Director-Dario Argento

Starring-Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson

60024267

Reviewed July 11, 2014

Grade: B+

Opera is a 1987 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento. The story revolves around a theatrical production of Verdi’s “Macbeth” as the understudy takes of the lead role of Lady Macbeth after the star is hit by a car, and strange and horrific events begin to occur.

The film contains traditional Argento elements- stylistic, extreme close-ups, weird camera angles. Members of the cast are systematically murdered as the killer forces the films heroine to watch- aided by a device which, if she blinks, sharp nails will go through her eyes. The ending is absolutely killer- no pun intended. I love surprise endings in horror films and this one was dynamite. My main criticism of the film is the horrendous dubbing, which distracted a great deal. It has a muffled, hard to hear quality to it and no subtitles. I’d rather it have been available in Italian with English sub-titles. The film needs to be upgraded to Blu-ray ASAP. Another odd aspect of the film is the mixture of operatic music with heavy metal music with each kill. It did not seem to fit the film at all. Not Argento’s best- Suspiria and Deep Red have that honor, but a very good, enjoyable cinematic horror film.

No Way Out-1987

No Way Out-1987

Director-Roger Donaldson

Starring-Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman

810117

Reviewed July 28, 2013

Grade: B+

No Way Out is a slick political thriller from 1987 starring Kevin Costner as a U.S. Naval Officer investigating a Washington D.C. murder.  Gene Hackman and Sean Young co-star. Costner was clearly at the top of his game in the film and is quite charismatic and charming.

The plot has several twists and turns that keeps the viewer guessing and engaged, and is a classic edge of your seat stylistic film. The film is paced very well as it gradually picks up steam with each plot turn until it builds to a frenetic finish. Specifically, the final 45 minutes that take place in the CIA are quite a cat and mouse game. It’s a film of sex, murder, love affairs, politics, and back-stabbing. Hugely successful in the 1980’s, and as much as I still enjoy it, the film unfortunately now appears quite dated as the soundtrack, hair, clothes, all scream late 1980’s and that is not to its credit. It now seems all too similar, though a cut above, to other countless themed films of the same time period. Truly great films are timeless. Kevin Costner was certainly in his prime and Sean Young has a wonderful turn as the mysterious Susan Atwell.

Outrageous Fortune-1987

Outrageous Fortune-1987

Director-Arthur Hiller

Starring-Bette Midler, Shelley Long

836062

Reviewed August 24, 2013

Grade: D

Outrageous Fortune is one of many silly plot driven comedies to come out of the late 1980’s. It stars huge comedic actresses of the time (Bette Midler and Shelley Long) as opposites, Midler-brash, Long-refined, who are acting students and in the love with the same man (Peter Coyote). Of course, they meet and hate each other then become friends. This sets off a series of misunderstandings and standard comedy fare.

It’s a female buddy movie. I must say that I did enjoy the chemistry between Long and Midler as the on-screen chemistry is evident. Besides the chemistry the only other positive is the New York City location scenes and the acting/theater workshop setting. Whose idea was it for Midler to use a horrible, phony New York accent?? It distracted throughout the entire film which is not very good to begin with. Otherwise, this is a dud and is completely plot driven and predictable. It has a pure 1980’s comedy feel to it (by that I mean overdone hairstyles, bad music, and silly plot). Shelley Long is clearly the highlight of this film as she is great at comedic timing, but, unfortunately, her film starring career was short lived.

Maurice-1987

Maurice-1987

Director-James Ivory

Starring-James Wilby, Hugh Grant

60010639

Reviewed April 17, 2014

Grade: A

A brilliant film adaptation of the E.M. Forster novel set at Cambridge University during the turn of the 20th century, it tells the story of oppression and social norms that took place at the time.

It is a gorgeously shot film, beautiful landscape, photography, and costumes. Reminiscent of the British films “A Room with a View”, and “Howard’s End”, it is a male love story during a time when it was absolutely forbidden and lives were ruined because sexuality like this.

The film’s characters make choices: some repressed, others celebrate, with differing results. In the middle of it all is a beautiful love story. This is a timeless, brave treasure.