Tuesday, August 6, 2013

25 Years Ago This Month: August 1988

Cheers, Jesus.
The films I've seen

The most significant movie release of the month was The Last Temptation of Christ. Martin Scorsese had been trying for a decade to adapt Kazantzakis' controversial novel and finally got it made with Willem Dafoe in the starring role and Harvey Keitel as a Brooklyn-accented Judas. Of course it was idiotically boycotted by Christian groups, most of whom had probably not even bothered to watch the film to find out exactly what they were objecting to. It has since become one of the more important films in Scorsese's body of work and has been canonized by Criterion into their collection.

The biggest money maker was A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, which I reviewed last year. It made nearly $50M at the box office and finished 19th for the year.

Now I loved Young Guns when I was a kid. I only ever saw it on cable, but it remains to this day a serious guilty pleasure of mine. Emilio Estevez as Billy the Kid and then there's Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Casey Siemaszko, and a young Dermot Mulroney as his friends. Terence Stamp and Jack Palance add a veneer of respectability, but just a little.

Stealing Home is a very understated but generally pretty good little baseball starring Mark Harmon as a minor league baseball player remembering back on his youth after a childhood friend (Jodie Foster) has committed suicide and left her ashes to him.

I'm more than embarrassed to admit I've seen Hot to Trot, a stupid talking horse movie starring Bobcat Goldthwaite of all people. Also John Candy and Dabney Coleman. Jesus!

Those I haven't seen but have some vague familiarity with

Jonathan Demme directed Married to the Mob which starred Michelle Pfeiffer as the wife to Alec Baldwin's mafia boss. Matthew Modine is the FBI agent who falls for her. Or something like that. I'm not really sure.

Francis Coppola tried to revive his career and his production company American Zoetrope with Tucker: The Man and His Dream only to have his film met with poor box office.

I never bothered to watch (even as a kid) the E.T. ripoff Mac and Me about a wheelchair bound boy who befriends an alien that escapes from evil NASA government agents. Even when I was eleven years old I could smell a cheap knockoff.

Those I've either not heard of or have completely forgotten existed

Susan Sandler adapted her own play into the film version of Crossing Delancey about a young Jewish woman whose grandmother is concerned she'll never settle down and so sets her up with a nice Jewish man.

Luc Besson's Le grand bleu with Rosanna Arquette and Jean Reno.

The biggest stars in the remake of the camp horror flick The Blob are Kevin Dillon and Shawnee Smith, neither of whom were known at the time but are recognizable today.

Kevin Dillon also starred in The Rescue, which opened on the same day. I'm sure I've seen bits and pieces of this on cable as a kid. It's about an elite Navy SEAL team that gets captured and when the government won't organize a rescue, their own teenage children take matters into their own hands. Mmm-hmmm.

Poor Jeff Goldlum stooped to starring alongside Cyndi Lauper (who was trying to become a crossover movie/pop star like Madonna) as a pair of psychics in Vibes.

The king of Magical Negroes Morgan Freeman co-starred in Clean and Sober, a drama in which Freeman's character has no ambitions or characterization of his own and serves only to help the white star of the film (Michael Keaton) wake up to his drug addiction.

Debra Winger. Tom Berenger. Directed by Costa-Gavras. Written by Joe Eszterhas. Betrayed. I almost feel like I have to see it now.

Hero and the Terror. Chuck Norris vehicle. Seriously.

Non-movie News

6th - "Yo! MTV Raps" debuted on MTV.

6th-7th - Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan was the site of protests against a recently imposed 1AM curfew on the previously 24 hour park. The result was severe police brutality against the protesters overnight. Videos of police beating protesters with nightsticks and even kicking defenseless victims lying on the ground were displayed all over the media.

8th - N.W.A.'s debut album "Straight Outta Compton" was released.

18th - George H. W. Bush and Dan Quayle are nominated as the GOP candidates for President and Vice President at the Republican National Convention.

20th - End of the Iran-Iraq war.

23rd - Jane's Addiction's first studio album "Nothing's Shocking" was released.

25th - Metallica's "...And Justice for All" was released.

26th - The supposed inspiration for Steven Spielberg's film The Terminal, Mehran Karimi Nasseri, arrives at Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris and remains in Terminal 1 there until 1 August 2006.


24th - Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame.


11th - Anne Ramsey, who played Mama Fratelli in The Goonies and Danny DeVito's mother in Throw Momma from the Train.


4th - Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick

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