In 1979, America was at a tipping point. Disco was pretty much dead, Michael Jackson had just began his solo career and cinema had taken a more mature and darker turn. Just before the Go Go 1980’s, movies had redemption, terror in outer space, and a journey into the heart of darkness.
In Rocky, the Italian Stallion won the battle, but not on the scorecard. With Adrian pregnant, Rocky Balboa knows that fighting is the only way he can support his new family. Apollo Creed, fueled by a mountain of critics who claim Balboa would have beat him if he had one more round demands another fight with Balboa. Proving to be as good as its predecessor, Balboa once again defies the odds, defeats Apollo Creed, and becomes champion.
“CAN YOU DIG IT?!?” rings out across Van Cortlandt Park. All of NYC’s premiere street gangs are in attendance to listen to Cyrus and his grand plan. A plan to unite all the gangs under Cyrus and the Gramercy Riffs to take over the city. One gunshot later, Cyrus is dead, his ambitious plan along with it, and The Warriors, who have journeyed from Coney Island stand accused of his murder. Fighting through the Baseball Furies, the Turnbull ACs, and a host of others to make it home. The Warriors failed commercially but has become a classic to legions of film fans.
Society is collapsing and the world is introduced to Max Rockatansky. Directed by George Miller, Mad Max didn’t invent the post apocalyptic genre, but it damn near perfected it. Banned in New Zealand and Sweden during its initial theatrical run, the movie has built a legacy that endures to this day. Spawning 3 sequels, the most recent being 2015’s critical hit Mad Max: Fury Road.
While not as grand in scope as Star Wars or Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Alien takes a different look at outer space…and it is terrifying. Ridley Scott’s ‘haunted house in outer space’ is a cultural touchstone. Tight spaces inside the Nostromo, H. R. Giger’s creature design, and a great score craft a new type of horror movie while also redefining science fiction.
Coppola’s magnum opus shows not just the darkness of war, but also human nature. Considered one of the definitive films about the Vietnam War, Capt. Ben Willard’s (Martin Sheen) journey to “terminate the command” of Colonel Kurtz is surreal, analytical, and compelling.