1989 isn’t just a terrible Taylor Swift album (@ me). It was the year Michael Jackson was named the “King Of Pop.” Tiny Tim ran an unsuccessful New York City mayoral campaign. It was the year that Jason Voorhees took Manhattan and Freddy Krueger had a “dream child.” The Berlin Wall fell in 1989, and George H.W. Bush became the 41st U.S. President. It was also the year I was born into a family of movie buffs. Here are my 5 favorite films from the year I was born.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
I don’t know where I would be in life without my unmatched “talent” for air guitar. My abilities with the phantom-ax are all thanks to Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted “Theodore” Logan. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a science fiction comedy that gives two slackers a time machine. With this technology, they travel through time collecting historical figures to help pass a high school presentation. It’s one of those movies I’ve seen countless times, but rarely pass on another viewing when it’s on cable. Few films have tapped into the sci-fi genre this heavily and delivered a more enjoyable experience.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
The second most important trilogy in my personal film history (after Star Wars, duh). Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas’ third installment of Indiana Jones is my favorite. Harrison Ford returns as the heroic archaeologist, with Sean Connery as his father. Mysteries, history, and Nazi-punching action; there’s no better movie for father-son bonding. Last Crusade was a step away from the dark tone in Temple Of Doom. resulting in a lighter, but still heavy hitting, period piece about keeping treasure away from Germany.
Back To The Future II
There was an explosion of sequels in 1989, however none were more important than Back To The Future II. If I had a dollar for every Saturday I’ve gotten sucked into a Back To The Future marathon, I could probably afford the box set. No other science fiction film captures the energy and heart of the 80’s better than this time-traveling sequel. I can’t tell if this flick got so much right about the future (other than fax machines), or we all watched it so much it shaped the future. Being born in 1989 definitely played a part in my affection for sequels, Part II is my favorite installment.
Nicolas Cage is a mad man, I have an unhealthy obsession with him. This is the only movie in my list that I didn’t grow up watching. I only discovered this psychotic trip about six years ago. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t quoted it at least once. Most famous for providing the best Cage memes, Vampire’s Kiss is the best bad movie ever made. There’s not a single moment where viewers know for certain if it’s meant to be taken seriously or a total joke. It doesn’t matter though, it’s a thoroughly entertaining mess the entire time. I still regularly watch this movie and discover something insane or hilarious every time. I cannot fully express with words how insane Vampire’s Kiss is, watch it over beers with a group of friends.
Tim Burton’s first trip to Gotham is one of the most important pieces of cinema I’ve ever laid eyes on. This picture made me who I am today. I’m aware of its flaws; time hasn’t been the kindest to Batman, but I love it to my core. Michael Keaton will always be my Bruce Wayne of choice. Jack Nicholson’s Joker will never be surpassed (sorry Heath). I’ve been practicing his laugh for over 20 years. This was the start of it all for me, once I absorbed this masterpiece of nostalgia I never turned back; I was a nerd for life. No other film version of Gotham City has felt like home with Burton’s vision engraved in my brain. An amazing soundtrack by Prince to top it all off, and you have all the ingredients that make up Brandon J. Griffin.
I most certainly left out some crucial movies, what are your favorites from 1989?