They Live

They Live. Alive Films 1988.

Before watching the movie:

I’ve heard this movie talked up a lot, but I’m not sure exactly how much of it I know. Sometimes it sounds like the most famous development doesn’t have much to do with it, sometimes it sounds like the whole movie.

The theme of glasses or other visual devices showing the true nature of things is a common one in literature, though I can’t think of any notable ones right now, except I think I remember something about a  Seeing Stone in The Spiderwick Chronicles, but I haven’t seen that.

I’m going to pretend I chose this movie this week in honor of Google’s announcement of Project Glass.

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Puss in Boots

Puss In Boots. Golan-Globus Productions 1988.

Before watching the movie:

Welcome to Yesterday’s Movies’ Holiday Gift Guide for Adults Who Always Get The Wrong Thing. There are less than ten shopping days to disappoint a young person close to you this Christmas, and if you’re looking for a movie that’s sure to get a reaction, you could do worse (better?) than the 1988 Puss In Boots.

I have never heard of this film before I found it, but if your kid was expecting Ant0nio Banderas’s feisty CG kitty in some kind of adventure involving Humpty Dumpty before Puss ever met Shrek (I haven’t seen it… yet), this is guaranteed to cause some sort of emotional setback. This movie features Christopher Walken as the voice of the cat in Live Action musical telling of the original Puss in Boots story. There’s potential there, but also so much room to fall short.

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Orion Pictures 1988.

Before watching the movie:

No reputation of this movie has reached me. It was a recommendation based on other films I’ve had interest in, and I picked it up because I thought it was a different movie with George C. Scott.

This sounds like a premise with great potential though. Michael Caine is a scam artist trying to get Steve Martin from horning in on his turf. Since I hadn’t heard of it before, it can’t be as good as I expect, but it sounds like fun.

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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Columbia Pictures 1988.

Before watching the movie:

Terry Gilliam made some movies in the 80s. Specifically, he made three movies about dreamers, which Gilliam has come to call the “Trilogy of Imagination.” Three different movies about protagonists of different ages trying to escape the oppressive world around them. I’ve already seen Time Bandits (the dreamer as a child) and Brazil (the dreamer in middle age). Baron Munchausen is an older man going on fanciful adventures that may not exactly be accurate.

I’m not sure how I expect this film to make me feel. Time Bandits was fun and the end was depressing but hopeful, Brazil was a long downward spiral through madness, and Twelve Monkeys was depressing throughout. “Munchausen” looks like some good fun, but I don’t know how much of that is a misrepresentation for marketing purposes.

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Rain Man

Rain Man. United Artists 1988.

Before watching the movie:

Until just a few minutes ago, all I knew about this film was that Dustin Hoffman (too soon for another Hoffman? Nah.) plays an autistic man in a praiseworthy manner, and it’s about the relationship between him and his brother. I didn’t even realize until now that the brother was played by Tom Cruise.  I was worried that the plot would be too much like Of Mice and Men for me, but it looks more like it’s about Cruise’s character being taught to be a better person and coming to love his brother.

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Die Hard

Die Hard. 20th Century Fox 1988.

Before watching the movie:

I feel like I know so much about this film/franchise, but as I sit down to write, I realize I know hardly anything. I think this is the one with Alan Rickman as the bad guy, there’s a big logical flaw with the bad guys’ plot, and Bruce Willis’s catchphrase is R-rated.

I’ve been told this is a Christmas tradition for some people. Even if it does go down at an office Christmas party, the connection seems tenuous. On the other hand, it’s a better connection than Hoosiers has, and I know certain TV stations would leave that one on loop over Christmas so they could go see their families.

Some surprises even before I begin: I didn’t realize it was this old (I thought it was early-to-mid 90s), and Willis is doing action and not shaving his head. He looks like Nicholas Cage like that.

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Big

Big. Gracie Films/20th Century Fox 1988.

Before watching the movie:

Once again, an 80s classic with an iconic scene.  Another fantasy comedy. Recommended by the Zeitgeist and provided by a browse through the local library.

I expect to like this film, so I’ll probably be slightly disappointed. I’m not sure if I’ve seen any of Tom Hanks’s early comedy roles before, but even knowing about them, I wouldn’t have necessarily picked him for a story about a kid in a grown man’s body. It reminds me a little of Forrest Gump, but without the depth.

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The Naked Gun

The Naked Gun poster
The Naked Gun, Paramount Pictures 1988

Before watching the movie:

In a new blog, it is inevitable there will be firsts. And perhaps this is the first week I’m reviewing a movie you have already seen. It will probably not be the last either. It is my hope that you find my first-time reviews interesting as a look back, and maybe even remind you of the first time you watched it.

I’m a big fan of classic Leslie Nielsen comedy. Airplane! will always be a favorite of mine. After going through some of the Movie Movie series, I’m looking forward to enjoying him at his best again.
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