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March 29, 2009: "1983" 
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Post March 29, 2009: "1983"
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Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:24 pm
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Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
Out of curiosity, were snow-blowers available yet?


Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:40 pm
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
1983 may not have been such a stellar year in cinema, but I feel there were some good movies to come out during the time.

Some examples (at least for me):

Return of the Jedi
Trading Places
The Big Chill
A Christmas Story
The King of Comedy
National Lampoon's Vacation
Octopussy
Scarface
Silkwood
Risky Business

Some of these movies may not be everyone's cup of tea. But hey, I liked them enough to consider them memorable for 1983.


Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:47 pm
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
Indeed, it certainly was an empty year.

ROTJ was an event, although perhaps a disappointing one. I'm not sure I'd ever consider it the worst of the six live action movies, but it's definitely the weakest of that particular trilogy.


Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:14 pm
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
derek wrote:
ROTJ was an event, although perhaps a disappointing one. I'm not sure I'd ever consider it the worst of the six live action movies, but it's definitely the weakest of that particular trilogy.

I disagree with James on that too.

That seems to be a bit of an overcompensation for the negative feelings towards the prequel trilogy. However, those feelings were entirely merited. No need to go the other way. ROTJ, despite the ewoks, still maintained the same sense of wonder and adventure that the prequels lost.
In order from best to worst:
5
4
6
3
2
1


Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:21 pm
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
It could be debated endlessly, and indeed I've wasted many an hour discussing this exact topic.

It's probably fair to say that most folks would rank Empire as the best and Phantom Menace as the worst, what comes between, and more specifically what order, changes every time I think about it.


Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:27 pm
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
derek wrote:
It could be debated endlessly, and indeed I've wasted many an hour discussing this exact topic.

It's probably fair to say that most folks would rank Empire as the best and Phantom Menace as the worst, what comes between, and more specifically what order, changes every time I think about it.

That's probably true.
And personal feelings come into the ordering a lot too.
I'm sure I would feel differently about Jedi had I seen it upon its release.


Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:43 pm
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
Quote:
Related reviews: Sudden Impact, Scarface, War Games, Risky Business, Flashdance

What about The Right Stuff or Fanny and Alexander?


Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:57 pm
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
applejaxx wrote:
Quote:
Related reviews: Sudden Impact, Scarface, War Games, Risky Business, Flashdance

What about The Right Stuff or Fanny and Alexander?


Who has time for that when he can see Jessica Beals take off her bra without taking off her shirt while Michael Sembello's "Maniac" runs in the background so it can be the second-best montage song(Of course #1 is all of Survivor's songs).


Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:29 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:25 pm
Posts: 79
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
I'm no expert of cinema but I tend to agree with James on this--Return of the Jedi is the worst or 2nd worst of them behind Attack of the Clones. Phantom Menace has really grown on me with several viewings now. ROTJ and AOC just seem to be the most wooden, plodding movies, esp considering the effect and action that went into them. The lone caveat is the emperor's throne room scene which was very very well done.

The Great
1. Empire Stikes Back
2. A New Hope
The Good
3. Revenge of the Sith
4. Phantom Menace
The Bad and the Ugly
5. Return of the Jedi
6. Attack of the Clones


Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:11 pm
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Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
Patrick wrote:
Out of curiosity, were snow-blowers available yet?


Yes - my neighbor across the street had one. He let me use it to clean off his driveway and sidewalk and my driveway and sidewalk, but not anyone else's.


Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:18 pm
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Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
derek wrote:
It's probably fair to say that most folks would rank Empire as the best and Phantom Menace as the worst, what comes between, and more specifically what order, changes every time I think about it.


Actually, the "consensus" order has Empire first at Attack of the Clones last by a pretty wide margin. Star Wars usually is in second place (although some put it in first), with Revenge of the Sith, Return of the Jedi, and The Phantom Menace variously mixed in for places three, four, and five. My personal order, for what little it's worth, is ESB, SW, RotS, TPM, AotC, RotJ. I don't think any of them are "bad" films (all at least ***), but some are more disappointing than others. In 1983, RotJ was an absolute disaster, especially coming in the wake of ESB (and only a year after Star Trek II).


Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:25 pm
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Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
I'm so glad that James is finally in 1983 since that was when I was born. Strangely, I can't think of too many movies I've seen from this year except for Return of the Jedi, which I also believe to be amongst the weaker of the Star Wars sextet, but still a good movie (in my mind, it was better than all three prequels, which were uniformly underwhelming to me). I think Max Dugan Returns also came out this year but I saw that a loooooooooooong time ago, too long ago for me to even remember what the movie was about. I have seen most of Christmas Story and I pretty much agree with James on that one. Good stuff.


Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:43 pm
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
I'm in agreement with you on the status of Return of the Jedi, a potentially great film experience rendered lame by the presence of so many darn Ewoks. I have never seen Terms of Endearment and, truth be told, don't really intend to... but I would be interested to read your review of it, Jim, since I think it's important for intelligent critics to get their contrary opinions out there to at least challenge the "tyranny of the masses" (if you'll pardon the use of that melodramatic expression).


Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:53 pm
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
One of my favourite 80s films was made in 1983, THE KING OF COMEDY. Scorsese's most underrated masterpiece. Are there any plans to review that?


Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:11 am
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
Hey James,

Looking ahead, I have a question. Will you be reviewing The Killing Fields? You stated at the end of the 1983 retrospective that 1984 was a better year for film and this was a huge film that year from my understanding. Just wondering. Have a nice night!


Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:38 am
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
"Return of the Jedi" was the first film I saw theatrically and I can still recall the sense of wonder I felt when I watched those hover-bikes speed through the forests of Endor. I actually liked the Ewoks then - what could be cooler than the Empire's dastardly machinery being brought down by cuddly teddybears?

I remember watching another film in 1983 or so, to which our school received free promotional tickets. Unfortunately, I have forgotten the name, so maybe somebody can help me out? The film was basically about a family living in some sort of tropical (possibly African) refuge for big cats, who, of course, went berserk. Even as an unsophisticated 10 year-old, I thought there wasn't much to the film, but it was advertised as the film containing the most lions, tigers, leopards etc. ever in a single movie. Anybody seen this film?


Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:29 am
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
James Berardinelli wrote:
derek wrote:
It's probably fair to say that most folks would rank Empire as the best and Phantom Menace as the worst, what comes between, and more specifically what order, changes every time I think about it.


Actually, the "consensus" order has Empire first at Attack of the Clones last by a pretty wide margin. Star Wars usually is in second place (although some put it in first), with Revenge of the Sith, Return of the Jedi, and The Phantom Menace variously mixed in for places three, four, and five. My personal order, for what little it's worth, is ESB, SW, RotS, TPM, AotC, RotJ. I don't think any of them are "bad" films (all at least ***), but some are more disappointing than others. In 1983, RotJ was an absolute disaster, especially coming in the wake of ESB (and only a year after Star Trek II).


Consensus in inverted commas, indeed. I could really only relate my personal experiences, ergo Phantom Menace being the worst. I certainly enjoyed Attack of the Clones more than it, although that's maybe indicative of my bad taste more than anything.


Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:38 am
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
Woot! I've been looking forward to James getting to this year for awhile. (I was born in 1983).

Since everyone else is talking about it let me weight in on my preferred order of Star Wars Movies:

Star Wars: A New Hope/Empire Strikes Back. Hard for me to pick which one I think is better.
Revenge of the Sith.
Attack of the Clones.
The Phantom Menace/Return of the Jedi. As for these last two, it's hard to pick which one is worse/better. On one hand, it can come down to which is more annoying: Jar Jar or Ewoks, but that's almost cheating, and they both annoy the hell out of me. So as far as strengths, I think The Phantom Menace has a better over all story, but Return of the Jedi has some much stronger scenes (The Emperors Throne Room and Luke Vs. The Rancor), so it's a coin toss for me really.


Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:08 pm
Post Re: March 29, 2009: "1983"
wow, I had no idea there was such hate for Return of the Jedi.
It was the first Star Wars film I saw, so maybe that plays into it for me. I loved it and had no problem with the ewoks. I grew up with it and never had a moment where I looked back and thought, wow those ewoks were actually really stupid. Even now, I have no problem with it.

I also didn't know that the critical "consensus" had swung towards Phantom Menace, since at the time most people were saying that Attack of the Clones was a slight improvement. There are still stronger negative feelings towards Ep1 than towards any other one, I'm sure that won't be disputed.


Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:10 pm
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