Let’s set the stage, shall we? The year was 1985. Hulkamania was just beginning to run wild, Tears For Fears ruled the airwaves, and those “Monsters of The Mid-Way” were getting ready to shuffle their way to a trailblazing year for Chicago sports. However, something just as monumental happened in the Windy City that February; Michael Phillip Curalli was born.
You’ll be spared the details, but the following is a list of flicks deemed by the author as amazing LEGENDARY. Keep in mind, Cinephiles, critical acclaim means NOTHING on this list. Just the thoughts and opinions of a borderline psycho… ENJOY!
Honorable Mention: BEVERLY HILLS COP
Released: December 5, 1984
Director: Martin Brest
Full disclosure: The thought crossed my mind to put the “Oscar rule” into effect to sneak this one on the list, because this is in my top 10 favorite movies of all time. (Meaning if the movie comes out at some point in the calendar year it counts). Vintage Eddie Murphy here as he just eats up every scene like Joey Chestnut on July 4th. There is never a dull moment in this picture due to the amazing action scenes combined with the underrated quotability of this blockbuster. Alas, 84 is 84… dammit Billy!
Released: December 13, 1985
Director: Jonathan Lynn
This movie is flat-out fun and campy in the absolute perfect way. Every actor is having the time of their lives playing these off-the-wall characters. Clue does not have a weak link in its cast, but Tim Curry’s Wadsworth takes the taco, for my money. The Butler just seems one step ahead of everyone, and Curry let’s us in on the fun without showing his hand.
Clue‘s alternate endings are probably the most unique finale of all time. Don’t just take my word for it, though.
Shout out to my favorite 80’s director John Landis for helping write the script! Your son is kinda dope too…
4. TEEN WOLF
Released: August 23, 1985
Director: Rod Daniel
Why you ask? Well there is this. And this. Oh and while we are at it…
You get the picture. Let’s clean this up anyway!
Incase you missed it, Michael J. Fox was a pretty big deal in 1985. While we’ll eventually get to his other work, we would be remiss to just skim over this late-summer vehicle. It’s also my opinion that this movie doesn’t get the credit it deserves for attaching the obvious metaphor of high school and wolf transformation. Nobody connected the dots before this, and although one could argue Teen Wolf is absurd; that notion is exactly what makes the film enjoyable! Think about it? Wouldn’t you use your newly found superpowers to win high school basketball games, get laid, and become the most popular kid in school? Thought so..
With that said, there is no defending how terrible the basketball is here. Sure, even Hoosiers doesn’t age well at this point, but the premise of the movie is more believable than these “athletes.” Isn’t Chub like 40 in this flick? (He was 27.) However, Michael J Fox pretends to surf on top of a moving van to the Beach Boys… As a werewolf. Do we even have to talk more about this?
Extra Credit, kiddies: Bill Simmons wrote an amazingly fun comparison of Teen Wolf and Kobe Bryant in his Book of Basketball. Give it a read!
Speaking of good ole’ Chubby…
3. PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE
Released: August 9, 1985
Director: Tim Burton (Wait what? Really?)
Mr T. cereal, bro. MR. T CEREAL!
You want more than that? OK. How about we do an awesome movie check list?
Epic Leading Role: Pee-Wee Herman FTW! [√]
Amazing Soundtrack: Tequila. [√]
Sweet Cameos: Tom Berenger. Phil Hartman. TWISTED SISTER [√]
Timeless Quotes: I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel. [√]
Iconic Director: Tim Burton (in his first feature none the less..) [√]
Breakfast Machine: [√√√]
The defense rests. This opinion is not for sale FRANCIS!
2. BACK TO THE FUTURE
Released: July 3, 1985
Director: Robert Zemeckis
How do you beat out Pee-Wee Herman? Huey Lewis, duh.
Let’s face it. Most of you have this movie at #1, and with good reason. Back to The Future is the perfect summer movie blockbuster. With a perfect mix of action, humor, star power, longevity, and catchy soundtrack this movie is cinematic equivalent of a 5-tool player.
Back to the Future hooks you right from the moment you hear that oh-so-sweet baritone of one Hugh Anthony Cregg III. Marty McFly is the every man underdog protagonist that subsequent films have based their archetypes on, and for good reason. The viewers are instantly reminded that Michael J Fox was the baddest dude in the land! Bro woke up late for school and his hair was perfect.. How on earth did he not bite it riding that skateboard on a truck, too? All of these thoughts, mind you, transpire within in the first 30 seconds of the movie!
Christopher Lloyd is the MVP of this film, though. Fox makes you root for Marty, but Doc Brown makes you care about all of this. From the time those damn Libyans attempt to murder “The Good Doctor” the viewer instantly gravitates to Lloyd. This really is his movie. Sure Michael J gets to invent Rock and Roll, but you leave the movie feeling good for Doc Brown.
EVERYONE LOVES THIS MOVIE!! Too bad it is not number one on my list…
1. ROCKY IV
Released: November 27, 1985
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Was there any doubt? Probably. This doesn’t change the fact that Rocky IV is a misunderstood classic. This movie was so important that Sylvester Stallone could not trust anyone else with the tasks of writing, directing, and starring in it. Rumor has it Sly even hand rolled the meat balls that they served in catering. That is not true at all, but you want to know what is true?
Rocky IV is no Citizen Kane, and nobody seems bothered by that. Not one person complains when Arnold fights an alien-killing machine in Predator, right? Now, imagine if you will, that the alien killing machine was really a 6’8 Russian whose right hand could snuff out a dwarf star with a single blow!
Ivan Drago kills Apollo Creed in the most horribly refereed sporting event of all time after a flashy performance by “The God Father of Soul” himself, JAMES BROWN. Does Rocky morn? You bet he does… In the most amazing way possible! Rocco, in one of the films 37 montages, drives his Lamborghini around town reassessing his existence on this very planet. When Rocky finishes there is only one logical conclusion. “The Italian Stallion” must travel to The Soviet Union to fight “Russian He-Man” on his home turf. A location where we are fairly certain his trainers are allowing Drago to pump himself with the super-soldier serum from Captain America. Balboa will also have to miss Christmas with his family, and receive no money for this fight, because this is the most heroic thing anyone has ever heard of!
Rocky IV does not take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it is undeniable that Rocco is a bigger superhero than all The Avengers combined! HE ENDED THE COLD WAR, FOR PETE’S SAKE!!!
Maybe one could argue that I got carried away here, but what do you want from me? I’ve seen this movie 98 times! Besides, you were all warned.. I am a little psycho.
*Special Thanks to IMDB for all the information used here*