Thursday, May 9, 2013

25 Years Ago This Month: May 1988

We start with what I've seen:

Wow! The Wrong Guys featured five stand-up comedians (Louie Anderson; Richard Lewis; Richard Belzer; Franklyn Ajaye; Tim Thomerson) who are now much less remembered for their stand-up than for other things (if they're remembered at all) who get together in a little Scouts reunion to try climb the mountain they never managed to conquer as kids in a variation the midlife crisis plot.

Of course I already reviewed Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood in last October's "31 Days of Horror Reviews".

To my recollection Willow was one of only two movies from the year I saw in the theater, and also one of only about a half dozen I'd seen in my lifetime to that point. Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer star alongside one another in a fantasy adventure story produced by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard so it's the very definition of childish kitsch.

Crocodile Dundee II moves Paul Hogan into familiar territory, thankfully not simply attempting to repeat the fish-out-of-water plot of the first film. He has to protect his lover Sue from drug dealers who have tracked her to the Australian outback. But here Mick Dundee has the upper hand.

My Best Friend is a Vampire is one I'd basically forgotten, overshadowed as it was in my memory by the Jim Carrey vampire film Once Bitten. Poor Robert Sean Leonard. I guess he had to start somewhere.

Then there's the stuff I have only a tangential awareness of:

Mala Noche was Gus Van Sant's feature directing debut. I haven't seen it, but it is part of the prestigious Criterion Collection.

Dead Heat starred Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo in a buddy cop thriller.

How times and political circumstances have changed. First Blood was about a Vietnam veteran adrift in the Pacific Northwest, unable to come to terms with a normal life, forever scarred by his war experiences. Rambo: First Blood Part 2 had him return to Vietnam to single-handedly win the war by emancipating unjustly held American prisoners of war. Rambo III has him on a mission that began by trying to arm Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. So basically Rambo may have helped rebels who 15 years later would be fighting against Americans.

Then there's what I've never heard of:

Illegally Yours starring Rob Lowe as a guy called in for jury duty on a case where his first and only true love is on trial for murder.

The Moderns looks like it could be a sketch pad of ideas for Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, taking place in 1920s Paris as stars Keith Carradine and Linda Fiorentino hobnob with the great artists living there at the time.

The noirish thriller Stormy Monday was Mike Figgis's directorial debut and starred Tommy Lee Jones (a year before his big breakout in the TV miniseries "Lonesome Dove"), Melanie Griffith, Sean Bean, and Sting.

Births

 5th - pop singer and Skyfall Oscar winner Adele
17th - Nikki Reed, who co-starred in and co-wrote the screenplay for Thirteen when she was just a shade above that age. Oh, she also played Rosalie Hale in the Twilight Saga.









Film debuts (directorial)

Mike Figgis - Stormy Monday
Gus Van Sant - Mala Noche


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