Earth Girls are Easy

Earth Girls are Easy.
De Laurentiis Entertainment Group 1988.

Before watching the movie

How did I never know, or at least never have it sink in, that Jeff Goldblum is in this? Jim Carrey playing a weird alien, okay. Jeff Goldblum playing a weird alien, the potential to really let him run wild with it has massively piqued my interest.

I stayed away from this movie for a long time because I was expecting a raunchy comedy that hasn’t aged well. But now I find that it was inspired by a song by and co-written by Julie Brown, of songs like “Cause I’m A Blonde” and “The Homecoming Queen’s Got A Gun”, so it has the potential to at least not be tasteless in the way I was expecting. It’s still over 30 years old.

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License to Drive

License to Drive. Davis Entertainment 1988.
License to Drive. Davis Entertainment 1988.

Before watching the movie:

I am aware of the Two Coreys heartthrob duo of the 80s only through discussion of them, as they were just before my time (I was dimly aware that Jonathan Taylor Thomas was a big deal a decade later).

This is looking suspiciously like “Ferris Bueller, but with the Coreys instead of Matthew Broderick”, though I’m still interested. The car wasn’t a very big part of Ferris Bueller, whereas this could potentially be a road trip kind of joyride.

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Working Girl

Working Girl. 20th Century Fox 1986.
Working Girl. 20th Century Fox 1986.

Before watching the movie:

I was vaguely aware of this movie before I saw a mashup parody (with Die Hard, I think?) on Bob’s Burgers. The mashup was so mixed I learned very little, except that it’s more popular than I thought. And I wasn’t sure that it was about office politics.

What it is, or at least what it’s billed as, is a romantic comedy with Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford as the lead couple, as well as a stolen idea and a stolen identity. Continue reading

The Thin Blue Line

yesterdocs

The Thin Blue Line.  Third Floor Productions 1988.
The Thin Blue Line. Third Floor Productions 1988.

Before watching the movie:

I understand that this has reenactments. Originally, I was thinking of the technique of historical documentaries putting actors in appropriate dress and marching across a battlefield, sitting at a desk writing, or talking in a group, basically silent illustrations for a narration to play over. But I’m starting to wonder if it’s more like a traditional dramatization, just mixed in with the documentary.

I find the idea of the latter an interesting mix, but kind of disappointing to think that half of my doc selections are more fabricated than a documentary should be.

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High Spirits

High Spirits. Something 1988.
High Spirits. Palace Pictures 1988.

Before watching the movie:

I’d never heard of this movie when I came across it, and to be honest, I didn’t put a lot of thought into enqueuing it. I searched for a few widely known Peter O’Toole movies and this came up as a similar title. Comedy, ghosts, Irish castle, I’ll take it. He seems to have been in a lot of odd movies later in his career, which are coming to the surface first.

I’ve only recently begun to notice the… charisma(?) of Steve Guttenberg, and I’m reluctant to classify the strengths of Daryl Hannah just yet for fear of putting her in a box.

The flying bed in the poster reminds me far too much of Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

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The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors. Universal Pictures 1988.
The Great Outdoors. Universal Pictures 1988.

Before watching the movie:

The 80s, a camping trip, a family rivalry, two comedy legends. Why didn’t I know about this sooner?

I just found this while looking for something lighter, since I intentionally tried to keep January dark to offset my tendency to hit recent comedies, and it’s time for a short break.

So, Dan Aykroyd smugly one-upping John Candy on their family vacation in some mountainside lake area it is.

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Twins

Twins. Universal Studios 1988.
Twins. Universal Studios 1988.

Before watching the movie:

The intent to depict contrast is very overt here. Separated at birth, a pair of twin babies grow into Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, from completely opposite walks of life. A series of comic misadventures happen when they finally meet that probably has a “not so different” or “family is stronger than upbringing” theme.

I thought this marked my entry into Schwarzenegger’s infamous comedy period, but technically Last Action Hero is infamous and a comedy also, even if I liked it. I’ve also seen Jingle All The Way, which is frequently derided, but doesn’t get lumped in with the infamy surrounding Twins, Kindergarten Cop, and Junior. Hopefully I’ll like this better than the conventional wisdom as well.

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Coming to America

Coming to America. Paramount Pictures 1988.

Before watching the movie:

On the one hand, Eddie Murphy is a fish out of water in the part of his career before he decided playing multiple roles was a good substitute for being funny. On the other, I’m a little worried that this might not have much more to say than Trading Places did, only more one-sided and with uncomfortable stereotypes about native Africans the whole way through.

Also, the last time I saw Eddie Murphy, he wasn’t being very funny. But that was more of a personal project for him, and he was unfunny in a meaningful way.
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A Fish Called Wanda

A Fish Called Wanda. MGM/Prominent Pictures 1988.

Before watching the movie:

Often, one never realizes how little one knows about something until one has to describe it. I know this is a riotously funny movie with John Cleese. Possibly his first big thing after Fawlty Towers. I think I’ve heard something about some character’s fish friends. I did not know until I decided to watch it that it was about three crooks trying to find out where the captured fourth stashed the loot.

I almost called Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline up and comers, but while they’re younger and more current than Cleese and Michael Palin, I think they were actually pretty well established by the late 80s.

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Without a Clue

Without a Clue. ITC Entertainment Group, 1988.

Before watching the movie:

I used to make a point of saying why I chose a movie, but I stopped because it was often just “it was on the shelf/streaming service”. However, this one has a particularly unusual path. Several years ago, I got a CD of Halloween-themed film music. One of the tracks was “Super Sleuth, from Without A Clue”. The name didn’t fit, the music didn’t fit, the source didn’t fit, it seemed an all around poor choice. However, it directed my attention to a movie that had the potential to fit my tastes very well. I don’t think I got around to looking it up on my rental service for another few years, but whenever I added it, it’s taken until now to get to the top of the list.

Frequent readers of this blog should know that I have a particular attraction to variants of Sherlock Holmes stories. I’m intrigued by the halfway application of the literary agent hypothesis, but mostly I just want to see Michael Caine play a bad actor trying to be Holmes. Ben Kingsley seems a terrific choice to play a straight man in a double act, and Michael Caine is terrific in everything.

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