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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Walk Like a Man

Walk Like A Man. Metro Goldwyn Mayer 1987.

Before watching the movie:

The closer I look at this movie, the lower my expectations sink. Howie Mandel playing a dog-man, Christopher Lloyd playing his slimy brother… I was never clear on when Howie Mandel was a big deal. He had something going for him that let him make Bobby’s World (which I watched as a kid and enjoyed), then disappeared for a long time and resurfaced as the “remember him?” host of Deal or No Deal. Additionally, while I’ve seen Christopher Lloyd play villains before, I don’t expect to enjoy this particular kind of role on him.

Since I only heard about it through an automatically-generated recommendation, it must not be terribly memorable.

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Paramount Pictures 1987.

Before watching the movie:

I saw a little of this movie over a year ago, but I mainly remember a rant Steve Martin delivers. I certainly don’t remember as much in general as a DVD blurb could tell me, but essentially Steve Martin has to cross the country with planes snowed out, and faces a million irritations, many from John Candy, a traveler going the same way.

Maybe I do know as much as the blurb after all.

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RoboCop

RoboCop. Orion Pictures Corporation 1987.

Before watching the movie:

Robocop probably isn’t in the Canon, but it’s big enough that it at least gets a “How Did You Miss It?”

What I understand of this film before seeing it is that there’s a policeman who gets the nightmare version of the Lee Majors/Inspector Gadget treatment. From what I understand, when he gets blown up and put back together with bionics, he’s more machine than human, and dishes out harsh justice unstoppably. Also the future looks like 1982.

From what I can tell, the appeal is violence and explosions, which aren’t my thing. Then again, I probably don’t have that great a grasp on the story, so we’ll see.

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Adventures in Babysitting

Adventures in Babysitting. Touchstone/Silver Screen Partners III 1987

(Starting this month, Yesterday’s Movies updates on a weekly schedule)

Before watching the movie:

This is one of those movies that always looked interesting, but I just never committed to before. I’ve seen it around here and there, but it never really called out to me before I started looking for films to blog about.

The blurb on the back doesn’t tell me much more about what to expect than the title and cover do, so I don’t know what I’m getting into, other than a wacky, implausible adventure starring young protagonists. Let’s see how this goes. Continue reading