Tuesday, June 4, 2013

25 Years Ago This Month: June 1988

Three of the films that opened in June '88 went on to make the top 5 box office for the year.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was the big tent pole release of the month. Robert Zemeckis expertly fused live action scenes with animated characters in a way that wasn't gimicky. The story is well-crafted and provides the cartoons something to do other than be an annoying distraction.

The Penny Marshall-directed Big was about a boy whose wish to be taller is misinterpreted as a wish to be older, starring Tom Hanks in a role that earned him his first Oscar nomination and helped him transition from sitcom and lowbrow comedy star to serious actor.


John Landis directed Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall in Coming to America, one of my childhood favorites. Murphy is a prince from a fictional African nation who goes to Queens, NY, to find his bride. He makes himself and his valet (Hall) pose as paupers and take jobs at a McDonald's knock-off. This is the movie that has the classic barber shop scenes in which Murphy plays the role of African prince, barber, and old Jewish man in one scene. Call it the precursor to The Nutty Professor. Look for a fabulously Jheri curled Eriq La Salle (of "ER" fame).

As a kid I always enjoyed the stupid Chevy Chase comedy Funny Farm, but now I realize it was kind of garbage. "Cue the deer" is still an amusing line, though.

I used to catch Waxwork on cable occasionally. This is the movie that made David Warner famous to me. He plays the owner of a wax museum that brings evil to life and ensnares victims in its macabre dioramas.

Poltergeist III is almost too awful to even mention. What the hell is Tom Skerritt doing in this? Lara Flynn Boyle can be forgiven. She was just starting out.

Believe it or not I've never actually seen the classic baseball comedy Bull Durham, starring Tim Robbins, Kevin Costner, and Susan Sarandon. One of these days maybe I'll get around to it.

The other two major releases of the month were Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Russian (because hey, why not?) in Red Heat and Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler in Big Business, neither of which I've seen.

Non-movie News

4th - At the Tony Awards, Phantom of the Opera won Best Musical and David Henry Hwang's M Butterfly won Best Play

Births


2nd - Manchester City striker and Argentine international Sergio Agüero
7th - Actor Michael Cera


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