My Classics–’80’s Movies Edition

Picking a few favorite flicks is like picking your favorite child. It’s a difficult task, but if someone puts a gun to your head and forces you to make a choice, you always say, “the middle one.” I started out listing all of my classics, and lo and behold, most of them came from the ’80’s. The golden age of cinema? Yes, probably. These movies represent films that I can experience over and over again. My gun-to-the-head classics if you will. ’80’s style. Part II with other decades will need to come later. If anyone cares. P.S. I reserve the right to change this list at any time. Ever.

The Karate Kid

The ultimate battle of good vs. evil. This movie has everything. Geeky Daniel LaRusso from Reseda against the villainous Johnny. (How do you know he’s a villain? He’s a rich kid, has an epic wave of blond hair, a headband and wears a black karate ghi instead of the angelic white one that Daniel dons.) Treachery, revenge, the best Halloween costumes ever, catchphrases galore and Elisabeth Shue at her girl-next-door-hotness-peak. I never understood what she was doing with Daniel in the first place. Any movie that can instill such joy in hearing “Yeah, get him a body bag, Johnny” has got to be a good one.

Rocky III

Not 2, or even 1, and certainly not 4. The best Rocky movie ever was Rocky III. Hands down. You have a wealthy heavyweight champion Rocky being beat down by Mr. T at his muscle rippling finest as Mickey dies (about time! If only Paulie would be next!) Then depression sets in as he looks at his legacy in Philadelphia, and then finally Apollo Creed pulling Rocky up by his bootstraps and training him to beat the snot out of Clubber Lang. And not only does Clubber come on to Rocky’s wife (equals dead man), but he seems to be unbeatable. This movie also introduced the world to “Eye of the Tiger.” Still one of the best songs ever made that can get any person ready for anything. If I’m ever on death row about to be executed, I will request they play this as I walk down the Green Mile. No question.


No one ever saw this movie but me, but this instilled in me the legendary career path of being a bike messenger in New York City. After Kevin Bacon loses all of his mom’s money on the stock market, he becomes a bicycle messenger and enters a life of extreme happiness. He lives in a super cool loft apartment, he can do tricks on his ten speed, he gets really long Kevin Bacon-y hair, and a sweet race scene down the hills of San Francisco against Laurence Fishburne, even bike dancing! A picture does not do this one justice. Also, I purchased the soundtrack to this movie on cassette tape. It was that amazing.

The Untouchables

Brian DePalma. Kevin Costner before he made “Water World.” Sean Connery talking about “the Chicago Way,” Fat DeNiro playing Al Capone all rolled into one immense pool of awesomeness. This was also the first R-rated movie my parents allowed me to see, so I felt as if I was watching my first grown up film. Also, the scene with the baby carriage is one of the best of any film. Ever.

Warning: This clip does contain an F-Dizzle and splattered blood. Still awesome.


Yes, this kind of goes without saying. A small town that has banned dancing. A hip urbanite transplanted from the city with hair like a rooster. One of the best soundtracks since, well…ever. There is a time to dance. This is a movie I could watch forever, especially since it is super cheesy, and if you don’t like it, you’re probably a Communist.

Enemy Mine

My love of scifi probably started around the time this gem came out. You’ve got Dennis Quaid trapped on a strange alien planet. Louis Gosset Jr. playing a strange alien living on that planet in a costume that almost looks real. A sacred book. Dennis Quaid’s fake looking beard. An alien baby. Sadness ensues. I don’t care what you say, this movie is amazing.

Can’t Buy Me Love

Absolutely stupid, but in junior high, this represented everything that high school was going to be. No wonder I was freaking out about it. A dude named Ronald becomes suddenly cool because he gives the head cheerleader $1000 dollars to be his “girlfriend.” Isn’t it a wonder that Ronald becomes cool, ditches his nerd friends and completely changes? There’s some social commentary in there somewhere, but I was too busy wanting to be Ronald to her Cindy Mancini. If you know what I mean. Clearly McDreamy’s best work.

The Last Dragon

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see this movie, well you’re really not missing out on much. Even trying to synopsize what this movie is all about is difficult to do. A kung fu student tries to find his master that can teach him the art of something called the “glow”. Meanwhile you have someone named the Shogun of Harlem (“Sho’ Nuff”) and his minions trying to beat him up. And THEN, he’s got to resuce a beautiful singer from an evil music producer. And oh yeah, Berry Gordy produced the whole thing. Incredibly lame, but I defy anyone who cannot appreciate the cheesy aftertaste this move leaves in your gaping maw.


I still can’t tell you what this movie is about, but I saw it about eleventeen times. I think the lady turns into a hawk or something like that. Epic. Sweeping. Matthew Broderick.

Superman II

Simply put, the best Superman movie ever. Three villains captured in a plate of glass careening through space, escape and land on Earth. Only Superman can beat them. I’m convinced that these movies would have been so much better if Margot Kidder didn’t look so out of place. Let’s see, I’m Superman, I can basically have any woman in the human world that I want, and Margot Kidder is the one that catches my eye? Forget kryptonite, I’m thinking poor taste in women was really Superman’s downfall.

The Abyss

This movie is amazing. With the exception of the last six minutes, it’s fraught with drama, suspense and I dare you to watch it for the first time and not wonder just what is going to happen next. Also the fact that Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio almost died making this, and that it looks like they really breathed water during the scene where they’re trying to breathe oxygenated water, makes it even cooler.

My Bodyguard

Matt Dillon has never been more frightening. Classical tale of a bully FINALLY getting his after picking on the wrong kid. And his newly acquired bodyguard. Because of this movie, I refused to use the bathroom my entire 7th grade year.

Movies are awesome.

4 thoughts on “My Classics–’80’s Movies Edition

  1. What a sweeping post. You have captured the good and the great from my birth decade. You left off Girls Just Want to Have Fun, but since you got Footloose I’ll let it go.

  2. I question the credibility of your list with 2 Kevin Bacon movies, but this was a nice walk down memory lane. Lest not forget Bloodsport, Caddyshack, and Back to the Future.

  3. Hmmmm..pretty esoteric list. 2..TWO Kevin Bacon’s and you snubbed A Fish Called Wanda? I’ll admit that Footloose has one of the best opening credits, evah.. And “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.”

  4. I love this list. You just reminded me of Enemy Mine. Excellent. Here are some movies although not dorky, inspired the dork to not be a dork. If you know what I mean…

    Airplane (Flying High) –
    Evil Dead –
    Blade Runner –
    Fast Times at Ridgemont High –
    The Right Stuff –
    Amadeus –
    The Natural –
    Breakfast Club –
    The Color Purple –
    Weird Science –
    Ferris Buellers Day Off –
    Stand By Me –
    Top Gun –
    Full Metal Jacket –
    Good Morning Vietnam –
    Moonstruck –
    Raising Arizona –
    Big –

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