Critical Condition

Critical Condition. Paramount Pictures 1987.
Critical Condition. Paramount Pictures 1987.

Before watching the movie:

I honestly didn’t know this movie existed five minutes before selecting it. It’s a Richard Pryor vehicle in which he apparently gets mistaken for a doctor while trying to escape the psych ward he faked a plea of insanity to get into.

It’s exciting going into a movie blind. I have generally a good impression of Richard Pryor, though I can only come up with two or three movies I’ve seen him in, and one was Superman III. I can’t think of another one that I’ve seen that didn’t show up here.

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The Monster Squad

The Monster Squad. Home Box Office 1987.
The Monster Squad. Home Box Office 1987.

Before watching the movie:

I’ve often said I wanted to try watching a movie completely cold, without knowing a thing about it. I’m not sure I knew this movie existed before yesterday. Apparently it has something of a cult following.

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Ishtar

Ishtar. Columbia Pictures 1987.
Ishtar. Columbia Pictures 1987.

Before watching the movie:

Finally, one of my most sought-after movies. I’ve been looking for this since before I started writing this blog. Widely regarded as perhaps the worst movie ever, I heard of it as a hilarious movie everyone else was wrong about. I’ve been looking for a chance to find out for myself for the better part of a decade, but due to its extreme unpopularity, it’s been hard to find until now.

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Broadcast News

Broadcast News. Amercent Films/Gracie Films/20th Century Fox 1987.
Broadcast News. Amercent Films/Gracie Films/20th Century Fox 1987.

Before watching the movie:

This doesn’t have any real reason to, but something about it reminds me of Radioland Murders, Stay Tuned, and Night Court. I doubt it will actually have anything in common with any of them. I keep thinking this has Jeff Daniels, but I think that’s mainly because I’m conflating it with The Newsroom.

Aside from those spurious associations, what draws me to this movie? I don’t remember why it was recommended. The television industry of course interests me, and this looks like a typical workplace comedy in that field, otherwise not too remarkable.

Additionally, this might be the first time I’ve seen Albert Brooks on screen, though I’ve heard him in Finding Nemo and several times on The Simpsons. Oh. And a few appearances in the early days of Saturday Night Live, I guess.

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Fatal Attraction

Fatal Attraction. Paramount Pictures 1987.
Fatal Attraction. Paramount Pictures 1987.

Before watching the movie:

I’ve gotten the idea that this movie is kind of horror-drama about a stalker. Glenn Close’s character is obsessed with Michael Douglas and ruining his life in the name of “love”. The greatest insight I’ve seen into it is an episode of Family Matters where a character sees that Steve Urkel’s girlfriend’s bedroom is wallpapered with pictures of Steve and comments “You should rent Fatal Attraction. It’s about you.”

My description makes it sound more like Misery, but that’s all about a fan keeping an author captive, while I don’t think there’s captivity here, except maybe using the man’s family as hostages or something. This might have an element of action, which Misery wouldn’t.

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Project X

Project X. Parkes-Lasker Productions 1987.
Project X. Parkes-Lasker Productions 1987.

Before watching the movie:

I’m trying not to think of this movie as The Barefoot Executive meets Short Circuit with a bit of War Games. Although a military experiment is trying to escape from the military, not every story about chimps with uncanny abilities and a young friend is going to be the farce “Executive” was. This is listed as a drama. So I think I know much more about this movie than I really do.

I wish I’d found this one before the more recent Project X of no relation came out. I similarly know everything and nothing about that one too, but I’m pretty sure they intended it that way.

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Dragnet

Dragnet. Applied Action 1987.

Before watching the movie:

I was kind of expecting this to be funnier than the show (which I’ve never seen, but am familiar with through homage), but I didn’t know when I first selected Dragnet that it’s intended to be a parody. Maybe if I was a fan of the original show I’d be worried, but Dragnet plays to parody so well I see a lot of potential to be the definitive parody (displacing the Stan Freberg audio sketches).

This movie seems to afford an increasingly rare opportunity to see Tom Hanks do comedy.

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