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Generation Y - Part 2
Enviado por dream en Julio 30, 2010 - 04:54.
Continues from Part I
Personal computers have been so important to mankind for the last 30 years, changing our lives and almost taking over every field and aspect of society, so unlike other technologies they require a special section all for themselves.
Just like Generation Z (1993-2010) is considered the "Internet Generation" or "Net Generation" because they were born and grew up with Internet, Millennials were born and grew up with personal computers.
Early computers were introduced in the 40s and developed during the next three decades taking advantage of different technological breakthroughs. Back in those days computers were large, expensive and owned by large corporations, universities, government agencies, and similar-sized institutions.
At the beginning they were produced to do hard and multiple advanced scientific calculation and communication tasks during the post WW II cold war; as well as the space race.
During the 40s and first half of the 50s they were huge machines based on vacuum tubes which produced much heat and consumed lot of energy. The most famous computer of this era (1st generation computers) is the ENIAC. It was made up of 17,468 tubes, weighed 27 tons and took up 680 square feet (63 m2); this monster consumed 150 kW of power. Data and orders input and results output was possible through punched cards. However tubes burned out almost every day, leaving it nonfunctional about half the time. Users generally did not directly interact with the machine, they used to prepare tasks for the computer on off-line equipment, such as card punches. Once the job was finished, users collected the results. In some cases it could take hours or days between submitting a job to the computing center and receiving the output.
During the late 50s and throughout the 60s transitors replaced vacuum tubes (2nd generation computers). Transistors could perform more tasks per second, they were more efficient, consumed less energy, gave off less heat and took over less space, the latter leading to development of smaller computers. But they were still large, expensive and hard to use for normal consumers. The only way to communicate with them was through the difficult machine code which used binary numbers; there were not operation systems yet. The input and output was performed by a time-sharing system, multiple computer terminals let many people share the use of one mainframe computer processor. This was common in business applications and in science and engineering.
The model where one user had exclusive use of a processor came in the 60s with the advent of a different type of computer the minicomputer, the predecessor of the personal computer. The first ones to experiment with these computers were scientists or engineering university students with access to some of the first computers; they had access to applications like T-square an ancestor of current CAD programs and even to games like the 1961 Spacewar! created in the MIT. Nevertheless, despite being smaller they were still expensive with prices of tens of thousands of dollars, and large by today's standards, about the size of a refrigerator; so they were only available in scientific, educational or governmental institutions.
But the real change would come in the 70s. Minicomputers used early integrated circuit technology, which reduced their size, but the lack of a microprocessor made them still large for the regular market as well as costly. With the introduction of the microprocessor the integration of hundreds of transistors into a single microchip paved the way for smaller computers.
On November 15, 1971 Intel introduced the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004. It was followed in 1972 by the Intel 8008, the world's first 8-bit microprocessor. The 8008 was the precursor to other successful 8-bit microprocessors like the Intel 8080 and the Zilog Z80 released in 1974 and 1976 respectively.
With the introduction of microprocessors costs started to decline and the attention of electronics enthusiasts increased. So, hobbyist magazines started to publish build-it-yourself microcomputers kits articles. The kits were sold by mail order through advertisements in the magazines.
The first one was the Mark 8 computer, designed by Jonathan Titus and published in Radio Electronics Magazine in July 1974. But the magazine computer kit that would start the era of personal computers was the Altair 8800 published by Popular Electronics in December 1974 (actually it was the January 1975 issue but it was already available on newsstands a week before Christmas). The Altair was the one that changed everything, the main reasons, among others, of the this computer's success instead of the Mark 8 are the fact that it used the more powerful 8-bits Intel 8080, while the Mark's designers chose the Intel 8008 which lacked some internal parts that were thought necessary to a personal computer. Second, the Altair was offered as a complete kit and not a list of components to buy in order to build it; since back in those days it wasn't so easy for anyone outside the Silicon Valley to buy the components that made up the computer.
In 1970, electronic calculators were used only on laboratories, but by 1974 they were a common household item. Calculators and video games like Pong introduced computer power to the general public. There were Intel 8008 based computer systems available in 1974 but they were not powerful enough to run a high level language like BASIC. The Altair had enough power to be actually useful, and was designed as an expandable system that opened it up to all sorts of applications.
Since the Altair 8800 was a complete success it was also released in a assembled version.
At the beginning users should input the orders and data into the computer's memory as well as receive the output using a front panel of toggle switches, pushbuttons and LED displays. After a very short time I/O through a terminal was the preferred human/machine interface, and front panels became extinct. Soon a new company named Microsoft was founded to supply a BASIC interpreter for the systems. They had not operating system, so to start them up it was required to enter a machine language program by hand via front-panel switches.
It was the beginning, though difficult, after some years all these tasks would become easy to perform by anyone.
The Intel 8080 microprocessor, was followed by other microprocessors like the Zilog z80, Intel 8085, the successful 16-bits Motorola 68000 and the 8-bits MOS 6502 which was the least expensive full-featured microprocessor on the market but still comparable to the Motorola 68000 in functionality thus becoming one of the most popular 8-bits microprocessors.
Since then different companies started releasing the first commercial personal computers based on these new microprocessors.
In 1976 Steve Wozniak designed the hand-built Apple I. His friend Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer. Thus the first Apple computer was released. Unlike other hobbyist personal computers, which were sold as kits, the Apple I was a fully assembled circuit board. However, users still had to add a case, power supply transformers, power switch, ASCII keyboard, and a video display. An optional board providing a cassette interface for storage was later released. All in all 200 units were sold. It used a MOS 6502 processor at 1Mhz.
In 1977 the first successful commercial personal computers were released; the Apple II, PET 2001 and TRS-80.
First the Commodore PET (short for Personal Electronic Transactor) was released in June 1977 when it was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show. Based on a MOS 6502 processor, it came with either a 4KB or 8KB memory and a built-in green monochrome video monitor with 40×25 character graphics controlled by a MOS 6545 display chip. The keyboard was like a calculator instead of a typewriter keyboard. Programs were saved in a built-in cassette recorder. The initial price was $795. However at the beginning it had many technical problems, a terrible reputation for lack of support of both users and dealers and lots of complains. Nevertheless in overseas markets like the United Kingdom it was a complete success, howver we cannot say the same for the United States, where it did well in the educational market thanks to the promotion of giving a free computer for every two that a school bought. This bargain made it harder for the much more expensive Apples and Radio Shack TRS-80s to get into that market, although the teachers much preferred them. So it success was based mainly on the overseas success.
The Apple II was factory built, in-expensive and easy to learn and use. The first ones went on sale on June 5, 1977 with a MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor running at 1 MHz, 4 kB of RAM, an audio cassette interface and the Integer BASIC programming language built into the ROMs. The Apple II was also the first personal computer capable of color graphics. It included internal slots for expansion, which were mounted in a streamlined plastic case. However, the monitor and I/O devices were sold separately. Apple DOS was added to support the diskette drive; the last version was "Apple DOS 3.3". At the beginning it didn't sell well, but after 1979 it caught up with other computers. Its lifetime was about eight years longer than other machines of the time, and so achieved the highest total sales. By 1985 2.1 million had been sold and more than 4 million Apple II by the end of its production in 1993.
The Radio Shack's TRS-80 selling for about $500 complete with video monitor and BASIC took the personal computer market immediately. It used a fast Z-80 processor, a cassette recorder for program and data storage, the basic model originally came with 4 kB of RAM, and later 16 kB. Later models incorporated disk drives and more memory. the Model III, housed in one case became the most popular personal computer in schools and homes rivaling the Apple II. Radio Shack also built other types of personal computers including the first practical laptop, the Model 100. Its cost was $599 US Dollars with everything, about $600 less that the Apple II if the latter included the monitor and I/O devices.
But the 70s meant just the introduction of personal computers, the real installation of them in society happened in the 80s. Component prices continued to fall, and many new companies entered the computer business. This led to a wave of low-cost machines, that sold millions of units before the market collapsed in a price struggle in the early 1980s. Atari, Commodore, IBM and Texas Instrument would launch each their personal computer models, entering the hard competition but at the same time that commercial contest turned computers into an accessible tool for everyone, losing the "luxury" nature.
The Atari Models 400 and 800 were considered among the best personal computers for games and color graphics. They had a very large family of game software, but not much business software. They were based on the MOS6502 microprocessor, 8 KB but as memory prices continued to fall Atari eventually supplied the 800 fully expanded to 48 KB, using up all the slots. But the lack of good disk and peripheral support and the hard prices competion left Atari in a bad position. They were unable to compete effectively with Commodore, and only about 2 million machines were produced by the time the 800 was discontinued.
The Texas Instruments 99-4A used a TI 16-bit processor and was an excellent graphics computer. It lacked easy expansion capabilities and required proprietary software. After entering in the prices struggle with Commodore, TI stopped production and sold out below $100 per computer. A total of 2.8 million units were shipped before the TI-99/4A was discontinued in March 1984.
In August 1981 IBM responded with the release of the IBM PC. Like the Apple II it was based on an open, card-based architecture, which allowed third parties to develop for it. It came with a Intel 8088 processor 4.77 MHz. Initially it came with an audio cassette for external storage, but it had an expensive floppy disk option. In 1983 the PC XT model was released. It added a 10MB hard drive in place of one of the two floppy disks, increased the number of expansion slots from 5 to 8 and discarded the use of cassette for storage. While the original PC design could accommodate only up to 64k on the main board, the architecture was able to accommodate up to 640KB of RAM, by means of expansion cards. Later designs increased the limit to 256K on the main board. It came with a rebranded version of MS-DOS, the PC-DOS.
One of the main features that made this model the most popular to our days is its modularity and expansion capabilities. The impact caused in society by the Apple II and the IBM PC, made Time Magazine in its January 3, 1983 issue, name the home computer the Machine of the Year instead of the Person of the Year; being the first time in the history of the magazine that an object was given this award.
In 1984, IBM released the IBM PC/AT built around the Intel 80286 microprocessor. This chip was much faster, and could address up to 16MB of RAM but only in a mode that largely broke compatibility with the earlier 8086 and 8088.
Another feature that made the PC the most successful computer model so far and still is the most used is its compatibility. When the 32-bit Intel 80386 microprocessor was released in 1986 other companies started making PC compatible systems, the Compaq Deskpro 386 being the first one; the era of IBM PC clones had begun, becoming the leading computer of the market since the 90s. Nowadays the term IBM PC compatible is not used for current systems because almost all the mainstream computers are based on the PC architecture. Today the only main competitor to PC is Mac.
But before the PCs took over the market in the 90s, other computer models would dominate the market during the 80s; the Commodore 64, the Spectrum (UK), Amiga, Macintosh and Atari ST.
The Commodore 64 was released in 1982 and it is the best-selling single personal computer of all times (The PC actually is a modular computer made up of an array of various compatible computers produced by different companies); during its lifetime, C64 sales totaled 30 million units. In the1983–1986 period, the C64 dominated the market with between 30% and 40% share and 2 million units sold per year, outselling all the other competitors. It is also considered as the computer that brought computers technology to middle-class households via creative mass-production, low prices and great functionality. It was also the favorite computer for gaming, about 10,000 commercial software titles were made for the Commodore 64 including games, development tools and office applications.
The Commodore 64 had a 1.023 MHz MOS 6510 microprocessor (a close derivative to the MOS 6502), a video chip VIC-II with a resolution of 320 × 200, 16 colors and a 40-column screen. It had a music synthesizer chip (SID chip). It had 64KB of RAM at a time when Apple had a maximum of 48KB. It also featured a 5 1/4'' floppy drive, the 1541 drive.
Then, in the summer of 1982 the home computer prices struggle started between Texas Instruments and Commodore, with Texas Instruments issuing a $100 rebate on the TI 99/4A, bringing the price down to $200. C-64's initial price was $595 but soon it was moved from the computer stores to mass merchants such as K-mart for $400, meanwhile Atari joined the competition with a $55 rebate on the Atari 400 and dropped the price on the Atari 800 to under $500. Commodore moved the C-64 from the computer stores to mass merchants such as K-mart for $400.
In 1983, Texas Instruments again cut the dealer's price of the TI 99/4A by $48 making the retail price $150. Commodore responded with a massive "trade-in" offer. They would give a $100 trade-in on any video game, or computer, against the purchase of a Commodore 64. Thus, people changed their old computers and turned them in on Commodore 64's for $100. So the retail price with a "trade-in" was $300.
Things were difficult for some companies; Texas Instruments was losing millions of dollars due to the high costs of production and low retail prices while Commodore's costs were so low that even at the depressed prices they actually made money on their computers. So Texas Instruments quit the home computer business after the big losses caused by the prices competition. By 1983 Commodore hit one billion dollars in sales and became the most popular computer of the 80s.
However, while in the American continent the Commodore 64 was the leading computer of the market and no computer could achieve same levels of sales; in the UK despite the popularity of the aforementioned computer, the Spectrum ZX was its main competitor. It was an 8-bit personal home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research Ltd. It had eight different models, ranging from the entry level model with 16 KB RAM released in 1982 to the ZX Spectrum +3 with 128 KB RAM and built in floppy disk drive in 1987. It came with a Z80 3.5 MHz microprocessor and 16 KB, 48 KB or 128 KB according to the model. It had a palette of 15 colors, seven colours at two levels of brightness each plus black, and an image resolution of 256×192. Sound output is through a beeper on the machine itself with the capacity of producing one channel with 10 octaves. The Spectrum is considered as the computer that introduced United Kingdom's IT industry.
Most early millennials remember having played with either the Commodore 64 or Spectrum thanks to the huge number of game titles released for both. A whole market related to them grew during the decade with over 10,000 game titles, game magazines and even entertainment books dedicated to both computers.
In 1983 Apple launched the first GUI-driven (Graphic User Interface) computer, the Lisa, then in 1984 it launched the Macintosh, the first successful mouse-driven computer with a GUI. It came with a Motorola 68000 microprocessor and it was initially introduced with 128 KB of RAM and later that year a 512 kb RAM model became available. It had no internal hard drive, and a single 3.5" floppy drive. Its initial retail price was US$ 2,495. The Mac was not an immediate success and would have to wait until the 90s to get popular and become by the 2000s one of the two leading computer models of the market, the PC and the Mac. During the 80s it was used by artists for its high quality graphics.
During the rest of the decade other computers would be released but no one achieved the levels of popularity of the Commodore 64.
The Commodore 128 released in 1985 was the last 8-bit machine commercially released by that company. It had a two-microprocessors design, including a 2 Mhz MOS 8502 and a 4 Mhz Z-80A. The Z80A was used to run a CP/M operation system instead of BASIC, as well as to initiate operating mode selection at boot time and run the computer as a Commodore 64. Like the C-64 it also featured a 5 1/4'' floppy disk drive, the 1571. However it did not achieve the commercial success of the C-64; and since the C128 would run virtually all C64 software, and because the next-generation, 32/16-bit home computers, primarily the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST, were gaining ground, relatively little software for the C128's native mode appeared (around 100–200 commercial titles were released for this computer). A total of 4 million C-128 were sold.
In late 80s two more computers would occupy a significant share of the market before the PC took over in the 90s; the Atari ST and the Commodore Amiga.
The Amiga was released in 1987 with the Amiga 500 model, it was considered as a spiritual succesor of the C-64 and was available in mass retail outlets. It came with a 7.15909 MHz Motorolla 68000 microprocessor, 512 KB of Chip RAM and a maximum capacity of 9.5KB, One double-density 3.5'' floppy drive which could read 720 KB IBM-PC disks and 880 kB standard Amiga disks. But what made this computer especial was its graphics capabilities; with a maximum of 640 × 256 and 4096 colors. It had its keyboard integrated with the CPU unit just like the C-64 and C-128, but unlike its predecessors the floppy disk drive was also integrated. Despite the Motorola 68000 was 32-bit internally the computer had a 16-bit data bus and 24-bit address bus. The Amiga 500 was mostly used for gaming and graphic edition.
The Atari ST was released in 1985 and was the biggest competitor of the Amiga and Macintosh. Just like the other two it came with a Motorola 68000 microprocessor, with 512 KB of RAM and a maximum of 4MB, 3 1/2" double-sided double-density floppy disks as storage (nominally 720 KB). It also featured a GUI.
So the Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Spectrum, Commodore Amiga and Atari ST were the most popular computers used by early Millennial children, mostly for gaming; but during their adolescence in the 90s they would move to the PC. With the mass introduction of Internet to the general public in the 90s and the big production of titles for PC, late Millennials would enter the computers world during their childhood using PCs, which by that time became the most popular system model up to our days. By the time early Millennials became young adults and entered the labor market and late Millennials entered the adolescence in the 2000s, Internet was a widespread technology and almost 50% of all the households in developed economies had at least one personal computer.
Today video games are part of our lives and we take them for granted; there are games almost for everyone; action games, adventures, fps, strategy games, RPGs, arcades, platform-games, maze games, simulators, classic ones and state-of-the-art based on super engines, freewares and softwares and the list goes on. But there was a time when playing games was considered something for kids or immature adolescents; the time when games were created by one person or two, or a handful of programmers at the most. Game development companies were small and the word "industry" could not be used with anything related to games. However since the 80s and mostly the 90s things started to change, to the point where today the game industry surpasses even the filmmaking industry at the level of billions of dollars of revenues.
Actually games are one of the main reasons of the evolution of computers during the last two decades. Since the mid 90s, with the advent of 3D games, better graphics capabilities were required and that led to the development of better graphic cards, faster microprocessors and memories among other peripherials almost designed exclusively for gaming and later adapted to other uses.
But if you wonder when games took really off and when they were installed in society and the market, again as in the case of other technologies you have to look for the answer in the 80s. Just like in other cases millennials are the first ones who enjoyed of video games since childhood, grew up with them and took them for granted from the beginning, unlike previous generations who had to get adapted to this new technology; of course Generation X adolescents and young adults got hooked easier and faster than baby-boomers, as a matter of fact most of the game developers belonged to Generation X.
Actually the first games were produced as experimental entertainment forms in laboratories. In 1958, William Higinbotham made an interactive computer game named Tennis for Two for the Brookhaven National Laboratory's annual visitor's day. This display, was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to promote atomic power. It used an oscilloscope as a screen and it was based on an analog computer. It featured a simplified tennis court from the side, with a gravity-controlled ball that needed to be played over a line that emulated a "net. "Tennis for Two was exhibited for two seasons before its dismantlement in 1959.
After that, during the 60s more experimental games were developed in universities, most of them on mainframe computers in the United States and were developed by individuals as a hobby or experiment. However only technology professionals, science students or engineers had access to them. In 1961 Steve Russell and a group of fellow students at MIT, programmed a game titled Spacewar! based on a DEC PDP-1 computer. The game had to be played by two players against each other, each controlling a spacecraft capable of firing missiles, while a star in the center of the screen created a large hazard for the crafts. It is credited as the first Shoot 'em up game.
In the 70s, video arcade game technology had evolved enough to offer good-quality graphics and sounds, but it was still fairly basic and the main success of games had to rely on gameplay. Also in that decade games development split to many areas, including arcarde machines, university computers, consoles and home computers.
In 1970 Nolan Bushnell saw Spacewar! for the first time at the University of Utah. Seeing its commercial potential in an arcade version, he hand-wired a custom computer capable of playing it on a black and white television and in November 1971 Bushnell and Ted Dabney released a coin-operated arcade version of Spacewar! named Computer Space. Nutting Associates bought the game and manufactured 1,500 Computer Space machines. This was the first mass-produced video game and the first offered for commercial sale. However it was unsuccessful due to its steep learning curve. Then, in 1972 Bushnell and Dabney founded Atari, Inc. and released Pong, the first arcade video game with widespread success. The game is loosely based on table tennis: a ball is "served" from the center of the screen and as the ball moves towards their side of the court each player must maneuver their paddle (actually a vertical line) to hit the ball back to their opponent. They sold 19,000 Pong machines, creating many imitators.
By 1978 the arcade game industry entered a Golden Age with the release of Space Invaders by Taito, that inspired dozens of manufacturers to enter the market. One year later Atari released Asteroids. Then Color arcade games became more popular in 1979 and 1980 with titles that made history like Pac-Man or Donkey Kong. Back in those days you could find arcade machines in shopping malls, convenience stores, traditional storefronts, restaurants, bars and hotels.
Meanwhile the first games consoles were developed. Ralph Baer conceived the idea of an interactive television Baer approached various U.S. Television manufacturers and an agreement was eventually signed with Magnavox in late 1969; and finally in May 1972 the Magnavox Odyssey was released, being the first game console for home entertainment. However it was not a large success due to restrictive marketing.
In 1971 Nolan Bushnell saw a demonstration of the Magnavox Odyssey, and hired Al Alcorn to produce an arcade version of the Odyssey's ping-pong game (using Transistor-transistor logic), it was the aforementioned Pong. Due to the popularity achieved by Pong a home version of the game was released in the Christmas of 1975 as the Atari Pong, becoming the first successful home games console. It was retailed exclusively through Sears stores. Its success made hundreds of clone-versions of Pong to be produced by other new companies. One of those was the successful Coleco Telstar, released in 1976.
Also in the 70s, a number of games were developed by students in universities mainframes (mostly DEC -Digital Equipment Corporation- computers). Many of these games were programmed illicitly making questionable use of very expensive computing resources so they did not achieve big popularity and did not reach commercial status. Some of the most popular mainframe games worth of mention are the 1971 Baseball, the 1971 text-game Star Trek, Adventure (originally called Advent and later Colossal Cave) was the first modern text adventure game released in 1975. By 1975, many universities had discarded terminals for CRT screens, which could display thirty lines of text in a few seconds instead of the minute or more that printing on paper required. Since then a series of games that drew "graphics" on the screen were developed, replacing the teletype or printers as an output device. In 1975 Dungeon was released, it was an unlicensed implementation of the new role playing board game Dungeons & Dragons. Zork was written between 1977 and 1979, giving birth to the text-adventures company Infocom. Later, with the popularization of personal computers in the 80s many of these games were adapted to commercial versions available for the new home computers.
Before 1976 games consoles had the computer code for one or more games hardcoded into microchips and did not support additional games. Since that year with the release of the Fairchild 'Video Entertainment System or VES, games were burned onto ROM chips that were mounted inside plastic cartridge casings that could be plugged into slots on the console. Once the cartridge was plugged in, the general-purpose microprocessor in the console could read the cartridge memory and execute whatever program was stored there. Since then, consumers could buy different game-cartridges and choose among a list of games to play. This was the beginning of game-consoles second generation
By the time the first millennials of Generation Y were born in 1976, video games were already available in all its forms; arcade machines, consoles and computers. So, during the second half of the 70s numerous game-consoles were launched, however the market was dominated by three of them; the Atari 2600, the Intellivision and the Coleco Vision.
The Atari 2600 was released in October 1977 and popularized the use of microprocessor-based and cartdridge consoles. Its original name was Atari VCS, for Video Computer System, later renamed 2600 in 1982. Soon it became the most successful of the second generation of consoles. It came with two joysticks and used an 8-bit 1.19 MHz MOS 6507 microprocessor, a maximum of 4KB of memory and the possibility of showing up to 16 colors images out of a palette of 128 colors.
When the public realized it was possible to play video games other than Pong, and programmers learned how to make use of the new console's hardware capabilities, the VCS gained popularity. By 1979 other companies gave up and the Atari VCS was the best-selling Christmas gift and console, selling 1 million units that year.
When Atari licensed the popular arcade-game Space Invaders by Taito, the 2600 doubled its sales in 1980 to 2 million units. Thanks to the variety of games due to the cartridge system, sales doubled again first in 1981 and then again in 1982 with almost 8 million units sold that year.
During its lifetime over 500 games were produced for the 2600. Atari Inc and Atari Corp. published many titles, including Adventure (credited as the first action-adventure game genre), Breakout, and Yars' Revenge. Thanks to the Atari's popularity many third-party developers, created popular titles such as Activision's Pitfall!, Imagic's Atlantis, Imagic's Demon Attack or Activision's River Raid. However, two Atari published titles, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Pac-Man, which resulted in a big failure in sales are frequently blamed for contributing to the video game crash of 1983.
In 1980 another leading console of the second generation entered the market, the Intellivision by Mattel. Its was advertised on TV as "the closest thing to the real thing". It came with a General Instrument CP1610 16-bit 894.9 kHz microprocessor, 16 colors palette, 159x96 screen resolution and a 12-button numeric keypad (0–9, Clear, and Enter). Over 3 million units were sold and a total of 125 games were released for the Intellivision.
The other big games-console of the time was the ColecoVision; released in August 1982 featuring arcade-quality graphics and gaming style of higher quality than its competitors. It came with a 3.58 MHz Zilog Z80A microprocessor, 16 colors 256x192 graphics capabilities, 3 tone sound generators and 1 noise generator.
The Coleco Vision also offered an add-on Expansion Module which made the it compatible with the industry-leading Atari 2600. This feature giving the ColecoVision the largest software library of any console of its day.
In total over 2 million units were sold and about 125 games were produced for this console. Coleco licensed games of companies such as Sega, Konami, and Universal. Given its capability of producing near arcade-quality ports, industry magazines like Electronic Games praised the Coleco over other consoles of the time. Some of the most popular games for the ColecoVision included the arcade adaptations of Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Carnival, Lady Bug, Mouse Trap, Zaxxon, Subroc, Time Pilot and Frenzy as well as less known arcade games like Venture, Cosmic Avenger and Mr. Do!. Some of the most popular games produced exclusively for the Coleco are Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle, War Room, Illusions and Fortune Builder.
But in 1983 the game-consoles industry suffered its first drawback after the North American video game crash, which led to bankruptcy of several companies producing video game consoles in North America. It lasted about two years and made many business analysts of the time doubt about the long-term future of video games consoles in the market.
Some of the causes of the crash include:
- The big number of consoles available in the market offering poor games from hastily financed startup companies.
- Tthe disappointment of the public from high-profile Atari 2600 games, such as the video game version of the hit movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and the low quality port of the popular arcade game Pac-Man, seriously damaging the reputation of the industry. In the case of Pac-Man, critics and gamers qualified the game as being "nothing like the lively, colorful original arcarde game." While ET is widely considered to be one of the worst video games ever. Atari wanted to make the holiday season, and rushed the game to market after a mere six weeks of development time. It also manufactured millions of console units in anticipation of the expected major hit but were left unsold due to the big failure finally leading Atari to the burying of the unsold copies in a landfill in New Mexico. Moreover the high costs for the ET movie license, caused a big financial disaster for Atari.
- The popularization of personal computers in the early 80s like the Commodore 64; featuring more memory available, and better graphic and sound capabilities than a console, allowing more sophisticated games as well as other tasks like as word processing and home accounting. For example Commodore targeted video game players in its advertising by offering trade-ins upon the purchase of C-64 and suggesting that college-bound children would need to own computers instead of video consoles.
Meanwhile in the UK, computers such as Commodore 64 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum were selling extremely well, dominating the games market and growing in 1983 and 1984. Also the significantly lower price of computer games due to being stored on inexpensive cassette tapes or floppy disks rather than the ROM chips contained in the plastic cartridges of consoles helped create a big computer games market. By the time of the 1983 North American crash, in the UK video games were mostly computer-based.
By the time the video game market recovered in 1985, the leading console would be Nintendo's NES, while Atari and Sega would compete for the second place.
By 1984 computer games took over the market. The Commodore 64 was released in August 1982. Thanks to its BASIC programming environment, advanced graphics and sound capabilities similar to the ColecoVision console as well as the fact it used the same game controller ports popularized by the Atari 2600, allowing gamers to use their old joysticks with the system, it became the most popular home computer of its day in the United States and other parts of the American continent.
In the UK, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum was released and quickly became the most popular home computer there.
Over 10,000 titles were created for both computers, including arcade and console ports; but most of them were original computer games produced by independent companies dedicated exclusively to the computers market as well as taking advantage of the consoles crash of 1983-1985 thus replacing them and taking over the games market immediately.
Until late 80s the PCs were still expensive and their low graphics capabilities until 1984 less apealing to gamers. Then with the release of PC/AT and the EGA graphics card, they could display up to 16 allowing its graphics to approach the quality of the Commodore 64, but the sounds were still poor limited to the PC speaker, and the prices did not come down yet. The arrival of the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga was the beginning of a new era of 16-bit machines and the arrival of technically excellent games with higher graphics and sounds quality, comparable to arcade machines. They dominated the market from 1989 to 1992.
But the advent of dedicated sound cards in 1987 started to address the poor sound issues of PC compatible machines. First the Ad Lib based on the Yamaha YM3812 sound chip and then in 1989 the new Sound Blaster. Moreover the new VGA standard developed for IBM’s new PS/2 line in 1987 gave the PC the capability of 256-color graphics. So the PC would take over the market in the early 90s, replacing all the other computers and becoming the most popular computer for gamers. All the games during the 90s would be developed for the PC before any other platform, finally the PC with its new technical capabilities and lower costs became the king of games.
Some of these small game development companies, mostly made up of 1-5 persons; would become in the future the leading billion-dollars companies of the 21st century, like EA Games. Other companies disappeared during the 90s or were acquired by those which made it to our days. Many of the games were produced and published by young students who gave them to bigger distribution companies with some renown by the mid-80s. The fever of computer games was born and they were installed in our society to evolve technologically and become years later in a billion-dollars industry even with larger revenues than the film industry.
New game genres appeared one after the other, taking the attention of new gamers who eventually would join the video games world becoming fans of each of these specific genres.
Some of the computer games that made history during the 80s and today are considered classics:
: This genre evolved during the 80s and the 90s, it introduced the concept of interactive story to the gaming world. Progress in these games is based on problems and puzzle-solving instead of physical challenge. Some of the games that today are considered milestones of the genre include: Sierra's King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown
(1984), King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne
(1985), King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human
(1986), King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella
(1988), King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!
(1990), King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
(1992), King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride
(1994), Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist
(1993) Space Quest 1-6
(1986-1995), Police Quest 1-4
(1987-1993); Lucasarts' Maniac Mansion
(1987), The Secret of Monkey Island
(1990), Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
(1991), Monkey Island 3: The Curse of Monkey Island
(1997), Monkey Island 4: Escape from Monkey Island
(2000), Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle
(1993), Sam & Max
(1993), Full Throttle
(1995), The Dig
(1995), Grim Fandango
(1998); Cyan Worlds' Myst
(1993); Westwood Studio's The Legend of Kyrandia 1-3
(1992-1994); Adventure Soft's: Simon the Sorcerer 1 and 2
(1993 and 1994 respectively); Cyberdreams' Dark Seed 1 and 2
(1992 and 1996 respectively); EA's The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel
(1992), The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Rose Tattoo
(1996), Infogrames' Alone in the Dark 1-3
(1992, 1994), Shadow of the Comet
Beat 'em up Games: They featured combats between the player and a large number of enemies. They usually take place in scrolling, two-dimensional (2D) levels located in urban settings and feature crime-fighting and revenge or rescue based plots, however some games take place in historical or fantasy settings. The Beat'em up genre had its golden era from 1987-1993. Some of the games that today are considered milestones of the genre include: Kung-Fu Master (1984), Karateka (1984), Renegade (1986), Double Dragon (1987), Golden Axe (1989), Final Fight (1989), Turrican (1990), The Simpsons: arcade game (1991), Turrican II: The Final Fight (1991), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1992).
Fighting Games: In this genre players usually control an on-screen character who must fight in one-on-one close combat with an opponent. They can fight either against a computer-controlled opponent or a character controlled by another player in a 2 players type of fight. The characters tend to be of equal power, and skill dependant; matches consist of several rounds. Some of the games that today are considered milestones of the genre include: Karate Champ (1985), Yie Ar Kung Fu (1985), The Way of the Exploding Fist (1985), Street Fighter (1987), Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior (1987), Barbarian II: The Dungeon of Drax (1988), International Karate (1985), International Karate (1987), Street Fighter II (1992).
Platform Games: They are characterized by jumping to and from suspended platforms or over screen obstacles. Usually players control characters who must walk and jump through multiple screens per level or just or scrolling screens. The most common element of platform games is precision jumping. They are thematically diverse; including cartoon, science fiction, fantasy as well as real world based stories. This kind of games are mostly based on gameplay rather than the story itself, though most of them feature some kind of background fictional story as a reason to achieve the main goals of the game. At the beginning most platform games features single-screen levels with colorful platforms and black backgrounds, later the genre evolved to scrolling screen levels. All throughout the 80s platform games were the dominating genre of computer games and most of the Commodore 64 and Spectrum ZX games developed belonged to this genre. No genre before or since has been able to achieve a similar market share, however nowadays they represent only 2% of the games. Some of the games that today are considered milestones of the genre include: Donkey Kong (1981), Donkey Kong Jr. (1982), Pitfall! (1982), Popeye (1982), Mario Bros. (1983), Lode Runner (1983), Jumpman (1983), Henry's House (1983), Pitfall II (1984), Impossible Mission (1984), Manic Miner (1983), Jet Set Willy (1984), Pac-Land (1984), H.E.R.O. (1984), Jet Set Willy II (1985), Ghosts 'n Goblins (1985), The Goonies (1985), Rupert and the Toymaker's Party (1985), Rupert and the Ice Castle (1986), Bubble Bobble (1986), Wonder Boy (1987), The Great Giana Sisters (1987), Wonder Boy in Monster Land (1988).
Sports and Racing Games: Sports and racing had a special place in video games since theearly 80s with the popularization of arcades, consoles and computer games. This genre evolved to the point of being nowadays mostly based on real-world leagues and teams including the presence of professional players and racers. Some of the games that today are considered milestones of the genre include: RACING GAMES: Pole Position (1982), Revs (1984), Formula One (1983), Out Run (1987), Chase HQ (1987), Road Blasters (1987), Test Drive (1987), Test Drive II: The Duel (1989), Grand Prix Circuit (1988), Hard Drivin' (1988), Test Drive III: The Passion (1989), Formula One Grand Prix (1992), Daytona USA (1994), The Need for Speed (1994), Grand Prix 2 (1995), Test Drive 4 (1997), Test Drive 5 (1998), Test Drive 6 (1999). SPORTS GAMES: One on One: Dr. J vs. Larry Bird (1983), The Activision Decathlon (1983), Summer Games (1984), Summer Games II (1985), Winter Games (1985), Leaderboard (1986), BMX Simulator (1986), World Games (1986), California Games (1987), Skate or Die! (1987), Hardball! (1987), The Games: Summer Edition (1988), The Games: Winter Edition (1988), Street Sports Basketball (1988), Hardball II (1989), California Games 2 (1990), Ski or Die (1990), Hardball III (1992), FIFA International Soccer (1993), FIFA Soccer 96 (1996), FIFA Soccer 97 (1997), FIFA: Road to World Cup 98 (1998), FIFA Soccer 99 (1999).
Strategy Games: Strategy games are based on the player's ability to out-think their opponent, involving skillful thinking and planning to achieve victory. Some of the main elements of this type of games include strategic, tactical, logistical challenges and sometimes economic challenges and exploration. The genre is subdivided into four subtypes depending on its real-time or turn-based nature as well as on its focus on strategy or tactics. Some of the games that today are considered milestones of the genre include: Computer Bismarck (1980), Defender of the Crown (1987), Civilization (1991), Dune II (1992), Master of Orion (1993), Sid Meier's Colonization (1994), Master of Magic (1994), Heroes of Might and Magic: A Strategic Quest (1995), Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (1994), Command & Conquer (1995), Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (1995),Civilization II (1996), Close Combat (1996), Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars (1996), Total Annihilation (1997), Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far (1997), Age of Empires (1997), StarCraft (1998), Close Combat III: The Russian Front (1998), Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (1999), Close Combat IV: The Battle of the Bulge (1999), Heroes of Might and Magic III (1999).
Scrolling or Behicle Shooters: Since the early days there were games in which the basic idea was to beat the opponents shooting them up while traveling usually in a vehicle through a scrolling screen. Some of the games that today are considered milestones of the genre include: Scramble (1981), Moon Patrol (1982), Zaxxon (1982), Spy Hunter (1983), Paperboy (1984), Space Harrier (1986), R-Type (1987), Roadblasters (1987), Quarantine (1994), S.C.A.R.S. (1998), Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War (1999).
In 1985 the video games consoles market in North America was revived with the arrival of the Nintendo Entertainment System NES
. It was a cartridge-based 8-bit system with a Ricoh 2A03 microprocessor which included a MOS-6502 processor incorporated and a 1.79 MHz frequency; with 2KB of onboard memory but cartridge could contain expanded RAM to increase this amount; an available color palette of 48 colors and 5 grays, with a capability of showing up to 24 colors on a screen scanline and a standard display resolution of 256x240 pixels; it supported a total of five sound channels. It installed a new type of controllers, the gamepad, replacing the old joysticks controllers, so common on earlier gaming consoles. The cartridges it used were 5.25" (13.3 cm) tall, 4.75" (12 cm) wide and .75" (2 cm) thick. Usually it came with two game controllers, and a Super Mario Bros
When the NES was released, stores used to refuse to sell products related with "video games", due to the bad experience of the video game crash of 1983. However by the time they proved to be a success and by 1988, video gaming had become a multi-billion dollar industry.
In 1986 the Sega Master System was released. Technically superior to the NES it came with a 8-bit Zilog Z80 at 3,58 MHz microprocessor; 8KB of RAM and 16 KB of video RAM; a capability of displaying 32 simultaneous colors from a palette of 64 colors and a standard resolution of 256×224.
However despite the technical superiority of the Sega Master System over the NES, Nintendo had 83% of the North American video game market share, due to the company's policies that its third-party licensees could not release any video game on competing consoles. The lack of third-party support left the Sega Master System deprived of many arcade and NES hit titles. Activision and Parker Brothers were the only two companies publishing for the Sega Master System until 1989; but neither companies had released more than five video game titles for the platform.
Some of the most popular games for NES include, Super Mario Bros (1985), Super Mario Bros 3 (1990), The Legend of Zelda (1987), Mega Man (1987), Mega Man 2 (1989), Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (1990), Metroid (1987), Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (1987), Dragon Warrior (1989), Bionic Commando (1988), Duck Tales (1989), Final Fantasy (1990), Contra (1988), R.C. Pro-Am (1988), Excitebike (1985), River City Ransom (1989).
In the 90s video gaming was finally consolidated into a mature industry and a mainstream form of entertainment; publishers also started to increase the size of production teams; and higher budget games started to be published one after the other; in the 90s we can start talking about a video games era, since they became an important part of our lives to finally reach the point were we are now, in which kids as well as adults play games as much as they watch tv.
The 90s represented a decade of big technological progress and development both for computers and video games.
The increasing computing power, with the development of graphic and sound cards, the CD-ROM and the decreasing cost of microprocessors; caused the rise of 3D graphics, and multimedia capabilities. It was the decade that marked the transition from raster 2D graphics to 3D graphics in games. First, 3D games began with flat non-textured graphics, and then simple forms of texture mapping as in Wolfenstein 3D.
In the early 90s, small publishing companies used a distribution system based on shareware distribution to give consumers the chance of a trial portion of the game, limited to a section of the game, before purchasing the rest of it. This system was a good way of making their games known among gamers, since shareware versions were free and the only cost customers should cover was the price of the 3.5" floppy disks they were distributed through, only costing a few dollars each, and a simple packaging. However by the mid-90s games became larger in size, turning the floppy disks into an impractical distribution medium, so they were replaced by CDs with short game demos, distributed free on CDs with gaming magazines in the beginning and by the late 90s over the Internet.
Adventure games were still the most popular genre in computers games, offering the concept of graphical interactive stories including a "plot" as a basic element of the game. But with the development of 3D graphics and the increasing popularity of a new genre the First Person Shooter or FPS, adventure games started to lay behind in the market share.
In 1996, 3dfx Interactive released the Voodoo chipset, becoming the first affordable 3D accelerator cards for personal computers. These 3D accelerator cards were devoted to the rendering of three-dimensional graphics, resulting in more detailed graphics than would be possible if the microprocessor was required to handle both game logic and all the graphical tasks.
While other game genres would also make use of this new technologies, the FPS would become the chief driving force behind the development of new 3D hardware, as well as the medium by which its performance would be measured, usually measured as the number of frames per second rendered for a particular FPS game-scene.
Wolfenstein 3D, released in 1992 by id Software, is usually credited as the game that popularized the FPS genre. Meanwhile the simultaneous popularization of Internet would also allow network online multiplayer gaming; and Doom was the first FPS to make use of this capability. Since then, multiplayer gaming capabilities became a must for First Person Shooters.
But the possibilities offered by Internet made also possible the spread of Multi-User Dungeon or MUD games; which combined the elements of role-playing games, hack and slash, player versus player, interactive fiction, and online chat. At the beginning they were plain text-games but by the mid-90s they evolved into graphical MUDs and finally by the end of the decade into the first Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games also known as MMORPGs, such as Ultima Online and EverQuest, which brought virtual worlds to the mass market and the possibility of playing, first with thousands and by the 2000s with millions of other players worldwide.
The new 3D capabilites of computers also made possible the development of all kind of interactive simulation games. Microsoft published frequent updated versions of the Flight Simulator franchise, with Flight Simulator 4, FS 5, FS95, FS98 and FS2000, with big improvements with the release of each new version. Maxis began publishing the successful Sim games, beginning with SimCity, and continuing with a variety of titles, such as SimEarth, SimCity 2000, SimAnt, SimTower, and the best-selling PC game in history, The Sims, in early 2000.
These games also generated a new phenomenon in gaming world. Since they had open-source expansion capabilities; fans started to develop third-party commercial and freeware addons, thus giving birth to dozens of online communities dedicated exclusively to each of these games and whereby these addons could be downloaded easily. Thus a multi-million dollars sub-industry was generated with the development and distribution of third-party addons.
With the new 16-bit and 32-bit computers and consoles, home video games reached and later surpassed the level of graphics seen in arcade games; causing a slow process of arcades decline. However they experienced a short resurgence in the early to mid 90s with the release of fighting games such as Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat among others. But the final decline came by the mid-90s and the coin-operated arcade games became part of the video games history or one more of the different retro platforms used nowadays mostly by hobbyists or fans who still play with those old games in their computers by means of emulators.
The 90s also brought new generations of consoles, starting with the fourth generation based on 16-bit machines. In 1989 the Sega Genesis was launched and in 1991 Nintendo responded with the Super NES. With this generation consoles became more powerful, CD-ROM drives were first seen, as add-ons for the Sega Genesis in 1991. Consoles used fast processors such as the Motorola 68000 or Z80. Neo-Geo was the most expensive console by a wide margin when it was released in 1990, and remained so for years. The latter was capable of displaying 320x224 resolution graphics with 4096 on-screen colours out of a palette of 65536; and it had a graphics quality level well ahead of other consoles.
Some of the most popular games for the Super NES included Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Kart, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
The most popuar games for the Sega Genesis included: Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat II, Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition.
By the mid-90s the fifth generation of consoles was slowly taking the place occupied by previous consoles. In 1995, three new consoles were released: the Sega Saturn, the PC-FX, and Sony entered the video game consoles market with the PlayStation. The PlayStation would quickly outsell all the other consoles, with the exception of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, which still was selling well and had the support of major game publishers. Then in 1996 Nintendo released the Nintendo-64.
In the case of the PlayStation, one good choice that helped on its quick popularization was the use of CD-ROMs, while Nintendo kept using cartridges instead of CD-ROMs for the Nintendo 64. Despite cartridges' faster speed and higher resistence to piracy, CDs were cheaper to produce and had more size for data. That caused game companies to turn to the PlayStation. One example was SquareSoft, which had released all previous Final Fantasy games for Nintendo consoles, and now had turned to the PlayStation. The Nintendo 64 was in a second place and the Sega Saturn resulted in a commercial failure; thus by the end of the period in the 2000s PlayStation had become the leading console, reaching to the point where PlayStation is nowadays considered almost a synonym of video games consoles.
In the 21st century; games, computers and video games consoles (with a sixth generation) would continue to evolve technologically; Microsoft would enter the world of video games consoles with the Xbox, Sega would leave the hardware market and Sony would become the leading consoles developer with the release of Playstation 2, becoming the best selling console of all times.
Small publishing companies of the 80s, in the 90s were absorbed by or merged with other larger ones or even grew to the point of becoming billion-dollar companies. By the early 2000s the gaming industry had already surpassed the film industry in revenues and a new concept of gaming was already installed in our society; video games were not considered as a kids thing but a serious business. Most of those Generation Y millennials kids, who grew up playing with humble or simple games in the 80s and more sophisticated ones in the 90s; today are the creators or leaders of huge teams involved in the development of multi-million dollars games.
MOVIES OF THE 1980s:
In the decade of the 1980s films were heavily influenced by changes in society; this was also the decade of big changes in the films industry, something like a transition between the somewhat classic way of making movies in the 70s and the new waves already installed of the 90s. New genres were invented as well as new film-making styles. They were the result of a faster paced, materialist and streessed society heavily influenced by big technological breakthroughs and the access of common citizens to technologies that until that moment were limited to scientists and engineers.
In the 80s the teen comedy film genre appeared for the first time; usually featuring high school, party or prom based stories; that clearly reflected the lives and dreams of the then Generation X teenagers also known as the MTV generation.
Many of these comedies released during the 80s featured young actors who in the future would become some of the biggest Hollywood superstars such as Sean Penn, Tom Hanks, John Cusack, Matthew Broderick and Nicolas Cage.
Due to the innovations in film making, from a technical standpoint, partly helped by the incorporation of computers used to generate digital special effects and sounds by synthesizers (something that can be easily noted in the soundtracks and accompanying melodies of many movies of the 80s), the creation of more complex effects was possible. The special effect driven films were developed and perfected in the 80s, influenced by the success of the Star Wars series; creating a large batch of Sci-Fi films. Action movies also experienced a boom, with actors like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger among others playing the roles of taugh guys who could fight against dozens of enemies without the help of anyone else and beat them all.
In the 80s directors like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas produced one blockbuster film after the other.
The 80s became also the decade of the movie sequels. Most major box office hits were made into sequels, like Back to the Future, Die Hard, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Ghostbusters and Lethal Weapon among others.
The distribution system also changed; or at least new elements were added. With the introduction of VHS VCRs, in the early 80s film companies unsuccessfully attempted to stop the sale of VCRs for home use as a violation of copyright; however after some time, home video movie sales and rentals proved to be a huge revenue stream for the studios. Many films which were not major theatre box office successes became very popular home video rentals, giving them even in such a situation the chance to have big revenues.
The 80s saw the development of multiplex cinemas too; so for the first time, movies could be released in a larger number of theatres at once.
Most millennials, both children of the 80s and the 90s have one or more favorite films released in the 80s; films that marked an exclusive style strongly associated with that decade; which nowadays are part of a special kind of "genre" known as movies of the 80s. Classics that made history and touched the hearts of most kids of that time and today are part of the memories of those same kids who now became young adults or late teenagers.
Maybe those memories are one of the main reasons which can explain why since the late 2000s movie studios are releasing remakes of those films one after the other, sequels or even new stories set in the 80s (mostly comedies like Adventureland or The Hot Tub Time Machine among others).
Here is a list with some of the top 80s movies:
The Empire Strikes Back: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away the second installment of the Star Wars trilogy features the evil Darth Vader (David Prowse) who still is trying to pursue the rebels in order to get to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Luke Skywalker goes off to take advance Jedi training from Yoda (voice of Frank Oz) and will soon have to use his learnt skills to save his friends.
George Lucas's 'space opera' had a big influence on an entire generation and was to change many things about the way movies are made, watched and merchandised. The cinemas had been in decline, closing at an alarming rate prior to this new phenomenon. Much was riding on the sequel, not least the fact that, as George Lucas had financed it with his own money, his entire fortune and reputation was at stake, as well as his dreams of his own production company.
In this part of the story the rebels fight an increasingly desperate battle from an outpost on the ice planet of Hoth. While Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke Skywalker travels to the Degobah system in search of Yoda; the old Jedi master who’ll teach him the ways of The Force. Luke says he is not afraid of what is to come.
Whilst there, the others make their way to Bespin and Cloud City, run by Han's old partner and friend Lando Calrissian. They think that they will be safe there, but they were tracked by Boba Fett, the bounty hunter. Soon afterwards, Darth Vader arrives with an offer that Lando can't refuse, and he is forced to hand over the group to the Empire.
Luke senses this, and against Yoda's better judgement, he heads off to Cloud City to rescue them.
He is too late to save Han, who is frozen in a slab of Carbonite and handed to the bounty hunter as his prize. But he manages to help the others escape back to the Millennium Falcon and away to safety, leaving Luke to face Darth Vader.
|Superman 2: This sequel continues with the story of the superhero that came from planet Krypton. At the beginning of the movie, Lois Lane finds herself in the middle of trouble, when a group of terrorists decide to nuke Paris with a stolen atomic bomb.
Superman manages to save the day, throwing the atomic bomb to outer space. However, without even knowing it, the explosion breaks free a trio of villains from Krypton. Now, the main character of Superman II will have to stop them if he wants to save the Earth.
The storyline for Superman II had been set up at the beginning of Superman I, when Jor-El (Marlon Brando), Superman's Dad prosecutes and sentences three Kryptonian rebels: General Zod (Terrence Stamp); Non (Jack O'Halloran), an overgrown mute and Ursa (Sarah Douglas), who Jorel states in Superman I threatened even the children of the planet Krypton. An unanimous verdict of guilty and an unanswered plea by Zod to Jor-El and a threat that both Jor-El and his heirs would bow down before him, condemned the three go into the Phantom Zone.
After the explosion that has freed Zod, Non, and Ursa all kind of havoc ensues, so Superman again will have to save the earth from destruction while he has to face his love troubles with Lois Lane (Margot Kidder).
|Nine to Five (9 to 5): Judy (Jane Fonda), Violet (Lily Tomlin) and Doralee (Dolly Parton) decide to enter the working world, but they had no idea that they would meet up with a chauvinistic boss as Franklin Hart Jr. (Dabney Coleman).
These three women are no Charlie’s Angels, but they would stop at nothing to get the well deserved power and respect at their firm.
Judy is a recently divorced woman whose husband has left for a younger woman, she now finds herself in a small apartment and working as a secretary at the huge Consolodated Corporation.
The problem is, Judy has never worked a day in her life - therefore, simple tasks such as filing, answering telephones and especially using the Xerox machine scare her witless!
But there is the efficient Violet, a widow with four kids, who has been with the company for 12 years. Violet works harder and better than anyone there, but never gets promoted higher because of Franklin Hart (Dabney Coleman), the company's chauvanist boss, who is despised by all his female employees.
Mr. Hart's personal secretary, Doralee, suffers daily constant unwanted sexual harrassment from her boss, who has managed to convince everyone at Consolodated that Doralee is his mistress, something that causes all the other women will barely even speak to Doralee.
Judy, Violet and Doralee become good friends and the three of them even jokingly fantasize together about how they would like to bump off their boss. However, when a simple mistake leads to Hart temporarily ending up in hospital and he threatens to have them all thrown in jail, things go out of control and Hart finds himself a prisoner in his own home, as the three women keep him tied up while they plan to get themselves out of this mess and get back at Hart for good.
This movie also feature one of the most famous title songs from an 80s movie, written and performed by Dolly Parton.
|The Shining: This classic based on the bestselling novel of Stephen King and directed by Stanley Kubrick is among the top movies of all times, the top three of the 80s as well as top three horror movies, according to the critics and the public. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is an alcoholic writer that after being fired, he decides that it is time to recover his life. So he attends an interview for the job of winter caretaker, at the remote Overlook Hotel, located in the rockies of Colorado and built on the grounds of an old Indian burial site.
After the conclusion of his successful interview, before being asked whether he wishes to accept the job, he is told by the manager Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson), about a horrifying incident that occurred at the hotel some years before with a previous caretaker Grady; who affected by the isolation and loneliness, he had murdered his two young daughters with an axe, shot his wife and then took the gun to his own head.
Torrance assures answers that peace and isolation are exactly what he and his family need, especially now that he wants to finish his writing project. So he takes a job. However, Jack doesn’t know that there are strong and occult forces behind the hotel, as well as a power known as “The Shinning” that only a few people posses. Meanwhile, back at the Torrance apartment, his son Danny (Danny Lloyd) visualizes the former caretakers murdered daughters, this startling image is quickly followed by one of hotel elevator doors opening, to unleash a torrent of blood.
The Torrance family arrives at The Overlook when the last remaining guests and staff are leaving the place for the end of the season. While Jack and his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) re being shown around, Danny is left with the hotel chef Halloran (Scatman Crothers) who realises that the child shares his extra sensory perception shining which makes him aware of the hotel's violent past. With this in mind, the chef warns him never to enter Room 237. One month later, as the winter snowstorms isolate the hotel, Jack's metamorphosis from affectionate father to murderous madman begins.
Just like Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey was to other space movies this film is the same to other horror movies, an example to follow. Instead of focusing on complicated special effects Kubrick focused on the horror based on human beings. His purpose was to identify what 'really' frightened people in the 20th Century, and it rather was the idea of horror being a catastrophic incident within the family unit as opposed to any demons and monsters of the traditional horror genre. Hence the film itself diminishes the evil nature of the hotel and focuses instead on the character of Jack Torrance. thus The Shining takes an approach of horror through sensory elements.
|Stir Crazy: Skip Donahue (Gene Wilder) and Harry Monroe (Richard Pryor), are framed as guilty for robbing a bank. Due to the high amount of evidence against them, each one is sentenced to 125 years of prison. But they are not able to adjust to their new life at prison. That is when Skip finds that he has a natural ability for riding broncos. With the prison rodeo coming up, they will now have something useful to do.
Airplane!: Written and directed by Jim Abrahams, Jerry and David Zucker, this is a funny satirical comedy with a high density of gags throughout the film. It is inspired on the classic disaster movies of the 70s and in particular the Airport series.
The passengers of Airplane! will soon find themselves victims of a comical disaster. A strange virus spreads through out the crew, leaving the plane attended by an inflatable doll. Now, their only hope rests on an ex-war pilot.
But, the savior of Airplane! is afraid to fly due to a war trauma. Now, he will need to overcome the stress and the pressure of saving the lives of hundreds of people and the life of the woman that he loves. Despite being an 80s movie, because it was released in 1980 it is almost entirely representative of the 70s.
|Coal Miner's Daughter: Coal Miner's Daughter is the biography of Loretta Lynn, the country and western singer that came out of poverty to become famous. At barely thirteen years of age, Loretta (Sissy Spacek) marries Doolittle "Mooney" Lynn (Tommy Lee Jones) and is soon responsible for a large family. Loretta was destined to the life of a stay-at-home mom.
Her husband Doolittle realizes Loretta's musical talent, and buys her a guitar for their anniversary. This gift sets Loretta Lynn on the long, hard path to country music stardom.
Smokey and the Bandit II: This is the second installment of the crime-comedy drama series of the Bandit (Burt Reynolds). When Bandit takes on a dare to transport beers to another city with his friend Snowman (Jerry Reed), things turn out to be more than they expected. In the new town, Bandit meets and falls for Froggy (Sally Field), a runaway bride who has left her groom Junior (Mike Henry) at the altar. Junior happens to be the son of Bandit’s longstanding enemy, Sheriff Justice (Jackie Gleason), and everything goes downhill from that point on.
|Ordinary People: Death usually brings a family together but this is not the case for the Jarrett family in the movie Ordinary People. Beth (Mary Tyler Moore) and Calvin (Donald Sutherland) lose one of their sons and their surviving son, Conrad (Timothy Hutton), is having a hard time accepting the loss.
Conrad is suicidal and depressed and is in therapy and since his mother had always favored his deceased brother, she cannot console him or give him the emotional support that he craves. We see a concerned father, Calvin, trying to keep his family together.
|The Blues Brothers: This film begins with the release of Jake Blues (John Belushi) from prison. As soon as he steps out into the sunshine, he meets his brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) driving a new car, an Illinois Mount Prospect Police Patrol car.
They decided to go to the orphanage they grew up in, but only to find that the place where they were raised, is going to be sold, unless they can come up with enough money in time. So the only way to stop it is to raise, somehow, $5,000 in 11 days.
Therefore, they decide to put back together their band, The Blues Brothers, in order to make a performance that can raise the money.
Then they stop off at church to hear the Reverend Clepohus James (James Brown) where the brothers are hit with a revelation, their mission is to put the band back together for a benefit gig.
So they travel all across country, to gather the band members together. But unfortunately for them, their mission will face innumerable problems, and enemies, along the way. Firstly the guys all have lives now; jobs, wives, responsibilities; secondly the brothers are pursued by just about everyone they meet and rip off in a big way; and last the entire Illinois State Police Department.
On Golden Pond: The aged couple of Ethel Thayer (Katharine Hepburn) and her husband Norman Thayer Jr (Henry Fonda) are on a retreat at their summer cottage home when their daughter Chelsea (Jane Fonda) shows up with her fiancé. They are going for vacations to Europe and leave Chelsea’s inquisitive and smart-mouth stepson Billy (Doug McKeon) in her parent’s care. During the boy's stay a relationship will be developed and all three will slowly get along during Chelsea's absence.
|Porky's: This film is probably one of the first of the teen-comedy genre invented in the 80s. As you can imagine with this kind of movies, there is a group of high school kids who have just reached puberty and are curious about sex, among other things.
The most fervent wish of Meat (Tony Ganios), Pee Wee (Dan Monahan), Tommy (Wyatt Knight), Brian (Scott Colomby), Mickey (Roger Wilson) and Tim (Cyril O' Reilly) is to find some sexual satisfaction at Porky's, a notorious honky-tonk strip joint located in the Florida Everglades but all get thrown out, humiliated and stolen (with the aid of the local sheriff) in the Porky’s strip club.
With low self esteem and their failure to fit in with society, the boys pull pranks on people and return to the popular strip club to seek revenge.
A legend of the 80s that opened the door of cinematography to a new genre that would make history.
|Arthur: Millionaire Arthur Bach (Dudley Moore) finds himself on the brink of marriage. Although he has lived all his life as a drunk playboy, he is forced to marry Susan Johnson (Jill Eikenberry) if he wants to conserve his money. Resigned, Bach accepts the idea of marrying a woman that he doesn’t love.
Suddenly, the story of Arthur gives a twist with the appearance of a working class girl Linda Marolla (Liza Minnelli). Arthur finds himself deeply in love with this woman. So, now he has to choose between the millions of dollars of his inheritance, or the woman that he loves.
Absence of Malice:This drama film directed by Sydney Pollack is about Michael Gallagher (Paul Newman), the son of a dead Mafia boss who is an honest liquor warehouse owner, and whose life comes apart after a prosecutor in a murder case leaks a false story that Gallagher is a suspect in the case.
Meanwhile Megan Carter (Sally Field), is the Miami reporter who is set up to leak information on a dead-end murder investigation. When Gallagher confronts Carter and gets her facts straight, the pair team together in an attempt to prove his innocence. In another plot twist, the two also become romantically involved.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: This blockbuster classic, considered by many as the defining film of the 80s; marked a big success for Steven Spielberg. This is the story of a bouy, Elliott (Henry Thomas) who befriends an alien who came to earth with his fellow alien botanists and is left behind. Elliott then takes the alien to his home and introduces him to his family as E.T. (after Extra-Terrestrial). But, E.T. wants to return to his planet and young Elliott helps him. But the friendship bond between them is threatened when the army tries to locate and capture the alien.
Despite its Sci-Fi nature, the movie is set far from the stars and faraway galaxies, actually it is set in common places and situations of everyday life, in the suburbs. Elliot, his siblings and friends are regular suburban kids and E.T. becomes almost a regular kid too. One of the funny aspects of the movie are the little hurdles he comes up against trying to adjust to his new life, just like a new kid in class.
According to Steven Spielberg, he didn't pretend that E.T. was anything other than a kids movie, about kids, for kids and of kids.
From the beginning, the film is shot from a kid-height low angle, drawing the audience in to a kids mindset and viewpoint, making it easier for people to identify with E.T. We see E.T. landing in the woods, woods are the perfect hiding places, magical places, the last untamed areas in built up suburbia.
E.T. waddles like an old bear-monkey towards Elliot's house. The alien hides at first in Elliot's garden shed. Elliot is, of course, the first to see him and the first to believe. After the initial shock of seeing an extra-terrestrial creature in the garden shed, Elliot is full of wonder and takes in this strange little creature. He takes E.T. back to the house and tries to hide him in his bedroom, but of course, Gertie (Drew Barrymore) bumps into him and screams, and E.T. screams back. But she soon gets used to E.T. as much as Elliot had.
Slowly the alien stumbles into 80s life, he stays at home while Elliot goes to school, absorbing this modern culture, cable TV and talk shows, he sits on the couch and even gets drunk.
But the magic about E.T. is that he gets connected emotionally with Elliot, getting connected telepathically with him. So when the alien gets drunk so does Elliot at school. When E.T. watches a kiss on TV and all havoc ensues in Elliot's class, a mysterious force is controlling him. In a scene where Elliot is meant to dissect frogs, he sets them all free, and in a funny, strange, cringful moment grabs a little blond girl in class and kisses her, just as in the cheesy film E.T. is watching.
Finally Elliot has no choice but to hand him over to the grown ups. He even lets his mom see E.T.
But problems begin when the kids lose control of the situation and the grown ups take over.
One of the most memorable scenes is the bike chase and definitely the climax of E.T. when the gang of kids is persecuted during a huge chase all over town. These kind of chase is what every kid wanted to do on their precious BMX, definitely a pure 80s moment.
The magic part of the scene comes when the kids whiz towards the woods and E.T. uses his magical powers to send all the bikes zooming up into the air, the silhouette of ET in flying bike pose against the moon is a haunting, whimsical and ultimately magical image that became the emblem of Steven Spielberg's company, Amblin Productions.
This is by far one of the most emblematic films of early 80s.
|Tootsie: Directed by Sydney Pollack, this is a movie about Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman), an unemployed actor who lives in New York and finds himself with no money. After many job interviews, a new idea occurs to him, what if he went after jobs designed for women? That is when Tootsie is born. He decides to make a complete change to his image, transforming himself into a woman. Now, he will have to survive in a world dominated by men.
Michael Dorsey is a method actor whose stubborn opinions on how he should play roles have earned him a reputation as 'difficult'. He is able to give good advices when teaching his fellow actors, but he can't seem to get a job himself. During a hilarious argument with his frustrated agent George Fields (Sydney Pollack), he is told that no-one will hire him. All Michael wants to do is raise enough money to put on a play written by his roomate Jeff (Bill Murray).
As part of his pro-active teaching methods, Michael makes his friend Sandy (Terri Garr) to try out for a part in a soap opera. In fact, he is better at being a confident woman than she is. When she doesn't get the part, Michael decides to take a chance to get that work, so he transforms himself into Dorothy Michaels, a sweet talkin' southern gal.
Dorothy's strong will wins a part in Southwest General, a wonderfully cheesy daytime soap where Dorothy meets co-stars Julie Nichols (Jessica Lange) and John Van Horn (George Gaynes) and where is nicknamed Tootsie by the show's chauvenistic director (Dabney Coleman). But things get complicated when Dorothy starts to spend time with Julie and falls in love with her.
|Rocky III: The movie starts where Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) won the world boxing championship after defeating fellow boxer and friend Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in the previous movie of the franchise, Rocky II.
Rocky takes a break from the world of boxing and is compelled to go back in the ring to take on opponent Clubber Lang (Mr. T). Lang’s win meant that he was the new champion and Rocky was not pleased with this. At the prompting of Apollo, Rocky goes into training for a re-match with Lang.
After years of success Rocky has become rich, advertising cars, watches, clothes and even appearing on The Muppet Show. He and his family have moved into a mansion and seems to have everything he has always wished for. His wife Adrian (Talia Shire) and their young child, Rocky Jr. complete what appears to be a perfect picture. So he thinks it is time to retire.
In Philidelphia, Rocky and family attend a ceremony held by the mayor and the citizens of the city to unveil a large bronze statue in Rocky's honour. Rocky decides that now would be a good time to announce his retirement but his plan goes awry when Clubber Lang appears in the crowd and insults Rocky and his achievements.
So Rocky agrees to fight the challenger, much to the pleasure of the people and a date is set for the fight. But Mickey (Burgess Meredith) tells Rocky that he wants nothing to do with this last fight, explaining that Rocky has no chance of winning a fight with the challenger. After that Rocky gets more determined to beat Clubber, and begs Mickey to train him one last time. Mickey finally agrees. At that point the movie rally takes off.
Another classic film of the 80s that few millennials did not see.
|Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: In this second part of the franchise Admiral James T Kirk (William Shatner) assumes his role as a Starfleet Academy Instructor, but he deeply ponders retirement. Nevertheless his retirement dreams are shattered when he gets word that his arch-enemy Khan (Richard Montalban) had resurfaced with a bigger plan to destroy the earth
Back in the 60s, there was a TV episode called Space Seed, where the Enterprise encounters a ship full of people, all in cryogenic suspension. They turn out to be genetically engineered 'super humans' from the late 20th Century, led by the power-crazed, Khan Noonian Singh.
After a few customary struggles, the Enterprise crew manage to cast them away on the remote planet of Ceti Alpha V.
The starts twenty years later, when with the help of Chekov's new boss Captain Terrell, Khan and his followers escape and are intent on revenge against the now-Admiral Kirk.
They get wind of something called the Genesis Device, designed by Dr Carol Marcus, an ex lover of Kirk and her son, David, who obviously proves to be Kirk's unknown son. Khan wants to steal the device and use it as the ultimate weapon, because it would scour all life from a planet before applying it's own genetic matrix. Kirk commandeers the Enterprise (on a 2-week training cruise) and takes off after Khan.
Using Chekov and Terrell, who are being controlled by eel-like creatures inserted in their heads, they steal the device, cripple the Enterprise and abandon Kirk, Dr Marcus and most of the team deep inside the lifeless moon chosen for the Genesis test firing.
|48 Hrs: In this film, a cop killing criminal, Ganz (James Remar) escapes from a chain gang with the help of his crime partner Billy Bear (Sonny Landham). The two fugitives come in contact with inspector Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) and his two partners and a bloody shoot out takes place. But a negative outcome ensues, which left Cates' two partners dead and a kidnapped girl held hostage in exchange for some missing cash from the gang's last robbery before being imprisoned.
With no leads and not enough help, Cates' last resort is the only imprisoned gang member left. Reggie Hammond (Murphy), a foul-mouthed yet slick convict who has two things on his mind, the cash and some well needed trim. After pulling a few strings, Jack frees Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) from jail to get back at his two former crime partners.
At the beginning Cates and Hammond don't get along at all. But in a situation where they have to go through a redneck bar, crazy girlfriends, physical disputes and constant chases all over the city, they must straighten up and get Ganz and Billy Bear and the cash within 48 Hrs.
Set in San Francisco and directed by Walter Hill, this is the first film of the action-comedy genre, which later would be represented by films like Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop, Rush Hour, and other films that would fill the list of movies belonging to this genre.
This film is fast, smart and extremely funny. Eddie Murphy got his first hit in this film, and stands out in his role as Reggie Hammond; while Nick Nolte revived his career as Jack Cates. Another must of the 80s.
|Annie: This is a musical adaptation about Annie (Grace Farrell), an orphan who lives at an all-girls orphanage in terrible conditions run by the drunk Miss Hanigan (Carol Burnett).
One day, the secretary of millionare Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney), Grace Farrell (Ann Reinking) goes to the orphange looking for a child to live with him for a week for publicity. Miss Hanigan objects when Grace says she wants Annie, because she knows that Annie is special. Mr Warbucks also objects at first, claiming that he wanted a boy instead.
Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney), became a millionaire by selling munitions. Due to her charming personality, Annie wins the affection of the entire household, including the bitter Mr. Warbucks. The millionaire is so stricken with Annie's condition that he decides to look for his parents. However, there are other forces at hand.
Annie does not really seem an 80s movie when you hear the title, but that is only probably because there is no New Wave synthesizer music in it. Actually it is a true classic, warmhearted family musical.
|The Verdict: A story about Frank Galvin (Paul Newman), a lawyer whose life is in troubles and has become an alcoholic. Thankfully, a friend of his offers him an easy case in order to repair his professional reputation. At the beginning Galvin is more than eager to do things easily, but, after reading the case, he will feel a new energy within him. That’s when the movie takes off.
Blade Runner: This movie is set in the city of Los Angeles in the year 2019. The opening scenes shows us a very chaotic Los Angeles where Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a semi-retired policeman of the Blade Runner department who specializes in the search and destruction of replicates, genetically engineered androids that are prohibited on Earth since their only role in society is one of slaves performing the menial, dangerous or dirty work that humans don't want to do.
In the movie a group of disenchanted replicants have escaped from one of the space colonies, murdered people and come back illegally to earth. The replicants are a mixture of specialized androids. One of them is a military model, a fearsome adversary (Rutger Hauer), another is described as a basic pleasure model (Darryl Hannah), an 'entertainer' (Joanna Cassidy) and a physically powerful menial worker replicant (Brion James).
Deckard is called back from his retirement after a fellow Blade Runner is found dead in the streets. This time, Deckard will find that his four opponents are more than a match for him. But it is his task to find the replicants and retire them.
Return of the Jedi: Darth Vader (David Prowse) is back plotting and planning to conquer Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and his crew by creating an indestructible Death Star.
After freeing the imprisoned Hans Solo (Harrison Ford), Skywalker attempts to take on Vader head of Return of the Jedi.
Terms of Endearment: This is a drama story about a mother Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter Emma (Debra Winger) who have different views on how life should be lived.
Emma is a hot headed woman whose favorite thing and most despised thing are the same: the relationship with her mother, Aurora. Alone with her mother and their devoted housekeeper, Rosie, after her father passes away when she was a young girl -Aurora is both the source of comfort and massive agitation in Emma's life. Patsy, her devoted but somewhat shallow friend, agrees and always pushes Emma to do her own thing. In fact, Emma is so focused on breaking away from her domineering mother, she fails to heed her advice, which in the long run would have made her life much easier.
Aurora is thinks she will lose Emma, she lost her husband and Emma was all she had left. She disapproves of her daughter's choice of husband, a man named Flap, whom Aurora assumes will never bring her daughter true happiness. Emma of course runs from her mother's warnings and gets married anyway. Thus the real story begins with a series of events that come one after the other affecting in different ways the lives of both women.
|Flashdance: Directed by Adrian Lyne, this is an 80s musical about an orphan blue collar young woman named Alex Owens (Jennifer Beals) who worked two jobs as a welder and an exotic dancer. Her real goal is that of becoming a ballet dancer.
When she starts an unlikely romance with the boss of the construction company that she works for, Nick (Michael Nouri), he supports her and gets her secretly an audition with a ballet school.
Producer Simpson was one of the first people to recognise and harness the power of the emerging music channels like MTV to publicise and promote movies. This is a classic MTV style 'chick flick' film.
Trading Places: This is the story of two men, Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), a wealthy man who lives in Philadelphia, and is an investor for a very important firm owned by the Duke Brothers and Billy-Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) a homeless beggar who belongs to the lowest of America’s social structure.
Pretending to be a legless war veteran Billy-Ray is discovered by the Duke Brothers who have a bet - if they reduce Winthorpe to the gutter and elevate Billy-Ray to the heights, will their backgrounds and upbringing still hold firm or will they adapt to their new surroundings and social levels?
So Winthorpe is framed for theft, all his assets are frozen, he is beaten up, arrested, abandoned by his girlfriend and within 24 hours he is out on the streets. There he meets Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis), a hooker with a five-year plan to escape the streets. She takes pity on Winthorpe, allowing him to stay at her place, because he's just not streetwise enough to survive.
Meanwhile, the Dukes take Billy-Ray, dress him up, install him in Winthorpe's house, give him a brief introduction to the world of commodity brokerage, and using his knowledge of real-life people, he nets the brothers something like three million dollars in his first ten minutes.
The plot is strong and really entertaining, a real social experiment that shows how shallow can be things in our society.
|WarGames: This story shows the prevailing cold war paranoia of the time at its best. The US military decides to replace men with a single, all powerful computer.
Meanwhile David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) a computer hacker who despite his intelligence, is not doing too well in school; so to keep his parents off his back, he steals the password to the school computer system so that he can access it from home and change his grades. Also to demonstrate his prowess to his new friend, the beautiful Jennifer Mack (Ally Sheedy) and using all manner of cool early 80's hacking and phreaking (cheating telephone companies) techniques, he accidentally finds a strange LOGON prompt and asks it to list games. But what draws his attention is that the entries in the list range from common games such as Chess and Poker to Theaterwide Biotoxic and Chemical Warfare and Global Thermonuclear War!
David struggles looking for a way to enter into the system to play these games. He spends days at home and at the library researching a legendary computer developer named Stephen Falken (John Wood) whose program Falken's Maze was on the list.
Aided by Jennifer, he eventually finds the password: the name of Falken's deceased son - Joshua.
But what they ignore is that they entered into the US military super computer, NORAD Defense Department War Computer (W.O.P.R) in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex which has complete control over the U.S. nuclear response.
David asks Joshua to play Global Thermonuclear War and back in the War Room at NORAD, the countdown to World War 3 starts. This causes DEFCON 1! He is immediately traced and arrested on charges of espionage by the FBI, David is caught up in a race against time.
This film touched mostly the hearts of computer buffs, Floppy Discs, Commodore PETs, TRS-80s, Sinclair ZX-81s, Apple IIs, Ataris, Odyssey2s, Vic20s, Commodore 64s and ZX Spectrums are brought flooding back by sight of David's bedroom. David's world is a graveyard of classic voice synthesisers, 300 baud acoustic couplers, mass prefix dialers, Galaga arcade machines and Dr Pepper.
|Sudden Impact: This is the fourth installment of the Dirty Harry series (Dirty Harry 1971, Magnum Force 1973, The Enforcer 1976), about Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), better known as Dirty Harry, a ruthless San Francisco cop who always defies the system and hates working with partners, but with his .44 Magnum, he always gets the job done, whatever the cost.
In this story he is suspended again and forced to take a vacation. But when he stumbles upon a series of murders, he decides to take the law into his own hands again and investigate.
The killer is a woman named Jennifer Spencer (Sondra Locke), who is vowing revenge on the bullies who raped her and her sister.
As gang members are being bumped off one by one, the ones who would survive are planning to strike back, putting Jennifer’s life...and freedom...on the line, but old Dirty Harry knows a bad criminal when he sees one, and he will make sure that all criminals will be brought to justice.
|Mr. Mom: Jack Butler (Michael Keaton) loses his employment and his wife Caroline (by Teri Garr) goes out to look for a job. He finds himself at home playing the mother to his kids. Jack is new to housekeeping and babysitting and makes a mess of it all. Meanwhile, his wife is climbing the corporate ladder all under the watchful eyes of her admiring boss Ron (Martin Mull).
Staying Alive: Directed by Stallone, this is the sequel to Saturday Night Fever, taking place five years after Tony Manero (John Travolta) left Brooklyn to make it as a professional dancer on Broadway. Whilst attending hard auditions and being continously rejected by New York Agents, he makes a modest income by waiting tables and teaching a dance class.
Despite his relationship with fellow chorus dancer Jackie, he is easily enticed by wealthy star dancer Laura and wastes no time in diving between her sheets. Soon, things change for Tony and Jackie and they make it into the chorus of a major Broadway show called Satan's Alley.
However, Tony's eager nature pushes the incompetent male lead out of the show and he is headlining opposite Laura. Tony begins to realise that the lusty Laura is no match for the true emotions he has for Jackie. He reveals this in his jealousy of Jackie's musical 'affiliation' with her fellow band member Carl.
|Risky Business: Another classic of the 80s; this is the story of Joel Goodsen (Tom Cruise), a typical upscale teenager worried about his grades and committing minor violations of his parents trust like taking out his father's Porsche when he had been expressly forbidden from doing so and things like that.
But when his parents are away for a few days, Joel is enticed by his friends to throw a party in their absence. That's when enters Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) in the story. Lana has a good business sense and a business preposition for Joel of which he agrees. That is until he sinks his father’s Porche. So he must collect as much money as possible to repair the car before his parents are back home and discover the mess he unwillingly caused.
As the movie goes on though, he is taken through a sequence of events that drag him ever deeper on a whirlwind ride into the underground 'business' of 'personal services' from which the viewer wonders if he will ever recover.
This is the first hit-movie of Cruise and today is considered as one of the symbolic films of that decade which depicts lots of aspects of the 80s.
|Scarface: Written by Oliver Stone and directed by Brian De Palma this movie features Tony 'Scarface' Montana (Al Pacino) a Cuban refugee who arrived in the US from Cuba to reunite with his US family.
Together with his old friend from Havana, Manny Ray (Steven Bauer), Montana builds a strong criminal empire in Miami. On their quest to make it big in America, they do whatever is necessary to own it all. Eventually he bulds a powerful cocaine empire through a ruthless reign of ultra violence and business savvy. He lives under the premise that a man first must get the money, then get the power and then the woman.
This great blockbuster can be used as a psychological analysis of criminals; an example can be found in Tony's sister Gina (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio); with her empathic and realistic characterisation makes this a complex study about corruption and greed. This is an exemplary melodrama about the rise and fall of a real gangster; who, in contradiction to other ones, was an "honest" criminal.
|A Christmas Story: It is 1940 and Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), a 9-year old boy from Hohman a northern Indiana town, only wants one thing this Christmas, an offical Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB rifle with a compass in the stock.
Moreover, between his younger brother Randy and having to handle school bully Scut Farkus, he doesn't know how he'll ever survive long enough to get the BB rifle for Christmas.
Then, when Mrs. Shields, Ralph's teacher at Harding Elementary School, assigns the class to write a theme about what they want for Christmas, Ralph sees a golden opportunity to express his desire to have a Red Ryder BB gun. Ralph gets a C+ on the theme, and Mrs. Shields has written You'll shoot your eye out on the theme.
Ralph's next plan is to ask Santa Claus in the mall for a Red Ryder BB gun, but as usual the answer from Santa was also "You'll shoot your eye out, kid." By this time, Ralph has had enough of that. So he decides that he will try everything in order to get his dream become true. A classic and popular christmas story of the 80s that most millennials will remember and that must not be missed by anyone.
Ghostbusters: Written by Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis and directed by Ivan Reitman; this is the story of three scientist, Doctors Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), who after being fired from their jobs at Columbia University, started their own business on Ghostbusters, serving possessed apartments throughout New York City, business really begins to pick up as soon as they get their first customer, Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver).
With the coming of Gozer, all hell is breaking loose. There are ghosts all over the city. To make matters worse, Dana and her neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) are possessed by two demons who are the key to bring Gozer into our world. The Ghostbusters are the only thing that stands between Gozer and the end of the world as we know it.
The project originated with a script written by Dan Aykroyd. A card-carrying member of the American Society for Psychical Research, Aykroyd had for years been interested in paranormal activity. Inspired by that lifelong fascination, Aykroyd devised a premise that was packed with comedic possibilities. -What if ghosts were real and a team of scientists formed a company to deal with them, as they might any other household pest?
The film was so successful that two years later, in 1986, it would be resurrected on television as an animated series The Real Ghostbusters¨. In 1988, the series would be reformatted and retitled Slimer & The Real Ghostbusters; in order to appeal to a younger audience. Then in 1989 a sequel film was made. Almost a decade later, in 1997, a new animated series was released -- Extreme Ghostbusters. The series was about Egon and Janine mentoring a new crew of Ghostbusters, this was the same concept Dan Aykroyd had for a third Ghostbusters film. However, Columbia Pictures turned down the idea fearing that it would cost too much money to make.
This film is a perfect blend of comedy, horror, science fiction, and typical big-budget special effects of the 80s.
|Beverly Hills Cop: Starred by Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop begins with an introduction to Axel Foley (Murphy), a detective from the Detroit Police Department who after a long day of work, arrives to his home, only to find that one of his best friends has just arrived to town. Unfortunately, Foley’s friend was escaping from his previous employers, who finally find him and kill him. Although he is prohibited to act, Foley decides to search for the criminals, making the entire trip down to Beverly Hills. There, the Beverly Hills Cop will have to use his experience and wits to find the murderers and bring them to justice.
This film was a big success and made over $15 millions on its opening weekend, an unheard of amount considering it opened on just over 1,500 screens. It is also one of the first movies of the new genre of action-comedies.
Gremlins: The story begins surrounded by a mystical atmosphere, set in the streets of Chinatown. Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) is led by young Chinese boy (John Louie) to his grandfather’s (Keye Luke) secluded basement store to purchase an adorable, small, furry creature, with bat-like ears equipped with rules, called a Mogwai, as a gift for his son’s birthday. Peltzer offers the old man 200 dollars, but is told that Mogwai is not for sale!
Out on the street, the young boy sells Peltzer the Mogwai anyway, but warns him that there are some rules he must follow, like keeping the creature away from bright light, never given water and never, ever fed after midnight.
That evening Peltzer, presents his son Billy (Zach Galligan) with the Mogwai, which he named Gizmo.
The gift is admired by all of the boy’s friends. But, rules are broken one by one and soon there is more of the Mogwai than father and son can imagine. Once the rules are broken, the cute, furry Mogwai turns into hell-raising, green lizard skinned gremlin who get reproduced!
After that the ensuing mayhem during the movie is hilarious, yet dashed with some quite dark and violent scenes. They invade the town, causing chaos, death and all kind of destruction, in a funny way of course.
|The Karate Kid: This is the story of a teenager Daniel (Ralph Macchio), who has moved from New Jersey to California with his mother.
Daniel does not fit in with the typical California boy look and is often picked on and beaten up because. But then Daniel meets Karate master Mr Miyagi (Pat Morita) who shows him that karate goes beyond fighting with the fists, but involving the mind and heart instead.
The relationship between the boy and Mr Miyagi is truly one of the most engaging teacher-student relationships ever comitted to film.
The bad boys group's leader is convincingly Johnny (William "Billy" Zabka) and includes Chad McQueen, son of acting hero Steve McQueen. Daniel's sweet girlfriend is played by former Burger King commercial star Elizabeth Shue.
Once Daniel is trained he will have to confront the bad boys one by one throughout the movie in different ways that not always are limited to fights.
|Police Academy: This is the story of a group of clumsy policemen who just got out of the academy. Ever since the mayor announced that there would no longer be discrimination as to who can join the police academy, there was a big influx of misfits from all walks of life signing on to be cops.
The academy features people with all kind of peculiar personalities. From the tough looking Moses Hightower (Bubba Smith) who likes to tends to his flower garden, gun-obsessed Eugene Tackleberry (David Graf), the virtually mute Laverne Hooks (Marion Ramsey) and dominatrix instructor Sergeant Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook) to Larvell Jones (Michael Winslow whose voice can imitate almost everything that he hears. Carey Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg) leads the group, opting for the academy rather than his jail sentence. And he’s the one they want to get out of the force the most in the movie Police Academy.
Mahoney initially tries everything to get kicked out, but unsurprisingly soon realises, with the help of love interest Karen Thompson (Kim Cattrall), that he can become a decent cop and decides to stay. He then tries everything he can to finish the course, even in the face of the punishment dished out by drill instructor Lieutenant Harris (G.W. Bailey), who has taken an instant disliking to him.
The movie is full of hillarious scenes and situations; Mahoney always gets the girl, Harris is always the victim of some practical joke (mace in the shower, super glue on his megaphone etc.), someone would always accidentally walk into the Blue Oyster Bar (a stereotypical gay bar) and the criminals would always somehow be thwarted in the end.
This movie is one of those few outside the horror genre which had so many sequels becoming a franchise with a total of six movies.
|Footlose: Written by Dean Pitchford and directed by Herbert Ross, this is a story about Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon), who leaves the big city to live in a small town with a lot of restrictions.
One of those restrictions includes dancing, which is totally forbidden in the small town. However the school dance time is coming up and Ren is set on breaking all the rules in order to have some dancing fun. Ironically he dates Reverend Shaw Moore's (John Lithgow) daughter Ariel (Lori Singer) and dramatic tension scenes experienced in Ariel's family come one after the other due to her relationship with rebellious Ren.
Footloose combines a great selection of 80s music and dancing. The soundtrack is still available on the Sony label and a 15 year anniversary edition was produced in 1999 with a couple of extra or extended tracks on it.
This film became years later as one of those classic referencial symbols of the 80's culture, reflecting perfectly the dress, vocabulary, mood and attitude of Generation X teenagers of those times.
|Star Trek 3 The Search for Spock: This is the continuation of the story from the point where the Enterprise is mostly destroyed by the attack made on enemy Khan by Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his men.
Returning from the battle with Khan in Star Trek 2: The Wrath Of Khan, Kirk is confronted by Dr. Spock's (Leonard Nimoy) father, demanding to know why he did not take Spock's body to Vulcan after the battle. Apparently, Spock's body died, but he would have placed his katra, or soul, in another person.
So Kirk is determined to return to the genesis planet and collect Spock's body. Once again breaking almost every rule in the book, he steals the Enterprise and along with the rest of the crew high-tail's it to the now-quarrantined Genesis.
Meanwhile, a Klingon captain named Kruge (Christopher Lloyd) learns of genesis. He views it as a terrible weapon and vows to learn its secrets. He sets course for the planet also. On arrival, they destroy an orbiting Starfleet vessel, leaving Lt Saavik, a vulcan and Dr David Marcus, Kirk's son, stranded on the surface. They beamed down to search for life-signs and found a yound Vulcan boy, who turned out to be formed from Spock's reanimated cells and DNA.
By the time Kirk arrives, the Klingons have taken the three prisoner on the surface. Tricking the Klingons into believing he was surrendering, Kirk sets the auto-destruct sequence and beams off the ship just as the Klingons board.
Back to the Future: A symbol of the 80's movies. The year is 1985, this time travel story is about Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), a teenager who only wants to become a rock star. Despite being an average American teenager, he has something quite odd that makes him different from the rest, a genius inventor as a friend, Dr. Brown (Christopher Lloyd). Doc Brown, shows him the culmination of decades of work, a time machine made of a DeLorean (that's the spirit of the 80s).
Then, Marty accidentally travels back in time to the year 1955 where he has an encounter with his parents (when they were young) followed by a number of small events that could change his future and put in danger his very existence.. During the rest of the movie, Marty will have to solve the problem as well as finding a way to go back to the future, of course with the help of Dr. Brown (the younger one of the 50s).
When talking about the 80s, this may be considered as the quintessential movie of the decade.
|The Goonies: A genuine adventure at its best. It has it all, a treasure map, pirates, robbers, secret caves; the dream of any kid of the 80s.
In the town of Astoria, Oregon there is a group of children from a neighborhood known as the Goon Docks, who refer to themselves as The Goonies who are worried because the local country club is buying out the grounds of the Goon Docks and evicting it's residents. But after a gathering in the house of brothers Brandon (Josh Brolin) and Mikey Walsh (Sean Astin) they found a hidden treasure map that proved to be true a legend about a 1632 a pirate known as One Eye Willie who was trapped in a nearby cave by the English Armada. Willie and his men spent five or six years digging tunnels and making traps for any who dared to search for his treasure.
So the Goonies set out to find the Pirate treasure and save their communnity with the help of One Eye Willie’s treasure map and a key showing them where to start. However things are not so easy for the kids, since during their quest they run across the evil Fratellis who own a restaurant built accidentally just above the entrance of the cave.
So here is where the adventure begins; since their only choice is to find the treasure and in the meantime run away from the Fratellis, there is also one more problem, one of the kids Chunk has been left behind to notify the police, but he erroneously notifies the Fratellis. Now the Goonies must outwit the Fratellis and out-think One Eye Willie's puzzles.
|The Color Purple: Based on the novel written by Alice Walker and directed by Steven Spielberg. The movie is about the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) and it starts in the Winter of 1909 when she is 14 and pregnant after being raped by her step-father. Celie gives birth to a daughter and already has a son, but both of them are taken from her. She also has a younger sister who she worries about. With the death of her mother, Celie is forced to marry a man known as Mister.
But her husband mistreats her, beating and raping her. Curiously, by a strange twist of destiny, she will become very close to her husband's former lover, Avery (Margaret Avery).
Celie spends a big part of her life as the wife, slave, and maid of her husband and his children. Her sister eventually comes to live with her and teaches her to read, because then, when the time comes that they must be separated, her sister can write her. This is the basic plot, years of waiting for her sister to write and the search for her children.
Among the characters Celie meet in her life, one of the most striking is Sofia (Oprah Winfrey), a strong willed black woman at a time when women had less rights than today, brings her into conflict with others, many times.
|Cocoon: This is a film about aliens who came to earth and leave their cocoon shells (pod-like objects) at the bottom of the ocean as well as a pool in Florida. A group of elderly friends living in a retirement community, discover that the vacant home next door to their nursing home has a fabulous pool and decide to use it and joyfully swim together as in the old days.
After some time, they begin to notice a vast mental sharpness and physical vitality, as if they lost 30 years from their bodies. They start to be growing younger and it does not take long for them to realise that it has something to do with the pool.
It happens to be that the cocoons contain the alien survivors of the Atlantis disaster, and the aliens have come to recover them. But the aliens, called Antereans, are upset at the group of elders who used of the pool, and unwittingly sapped the life-force out of the pool and the cocoons.
So after meeting the Antereans, they are offered to make a magnificent journey with them in return for their help in recovering the rest of the cocoons from the bottom of the ocean. So they must decide to stay on earth and eventually die, or be transported to an unknown dimension where they will live forever, excluding the company of their families.
|D.A.R.Y.L.: The movie begins in the middle of a car chase with an older man and a young boy; and an helicopter that is chasing them while the car is twisting down a winding road. The man pulls over for a moment and tells the little boy to get out and run away. As the child runs through the woods, the car is hurled over the side of a cliff falling down to a nearby river bed.
Then the boy is found by campers, but he has lost his memory and does not remember anything but his name, Daryl. Some time later he is placed with a loving foster family. They have no children of their own and soon fall in love with him.
Daryl is sort of a perfect son, he helps his foster mother clean, never makes a mess or argues with his new parents. He also develops a good friendship with his neighbor, a boy called Turtle. Turtle is the normal everyday trouble-maker, while Daryl behaves perfectly.
But unlike other children he can do things other cannot. But by the moment Daryl is becoming comfortable with his new life, an old couple come knocking on the door. They say they have proof that they are in fact Daryl's real family; and in a tearful scene Daryl is taken away from his new family, friend and beautiful life.
At this point of the story Dary's real origin is disclosed, and the audience finds out that Daryl is actually Data Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform. He was created by the government in an experiment to create the perfect soldier. When they see that Daryl has begun to fully develop human emotions and feelings, the scientists that took him away from his foster family regret their decision, and when the government decides to shut down the project and terminate Daryl. Soon they are helping him to escape again.
This film is a window of the society of the 80s, when robots were considered as something inaccessible to the general public, mostly related to Sci-Fi films and stories about experiments of the government. It also shows us the paranoia of the time, with the technology manipulated only by the military which nowadays is mostly available to everyone (gps, telecommunication technologies like Internet and cell phones, high performance computers, digital television, etc). In the 80s robots were to society what the aliens were in the 50s and 60s.
Top Gun: Top Gun is the most prestigious branch of the US Navy aerial forces. Only the best of the best are able to enter this area. It is not enough to be good, the pilot also must have the instincts to survive.
Maverick (Tom Cruise) is one of those guys. Along with his partner, Goose (Anthony Edwards), they will compete with other US Navy pilots for a place in the heavens. However, things get complicated in Top Gun when Cruise falls in love with a beautiful woman who also is one of his trainers.
The producers wanted to add as much realism as possible to this classic movie, so they hired Pete Pettigrew, a real life Top Gun instructor and retired two star admiral in the Navy for assistance during the production of the film. He was working at the Top Gun school and was prepared to help as long as the producers were willing to bow to the navy's needs for the correct portrayal of its fighter school. Of course, during the production, Pettigrew's objections to certain scenes or concepts went basically unheeded in the search for excitement. As production continued, what had started out as a realistic portrayal of the Top Gun school diverged into a fantasy with no bearing on reality. This was done intentionally, with Simpson allegedly saying to Pettigrew that regular moms and pops in Oklahoma would not know the difference, and that they were making this movie for mom and pop in Oklahoma.
Pettigrew was to concede after the films success that many of the producers' modifications enhanced the movie saying that They made the movie better than reality.
The film, now a classic of the 80s, was a complete success, taking over $176 millions in domestic rentals, becoming the biggest hit of the year and skyrocketing Tom Cruise's status as the top A-list star of the period.
|Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: The movie starts just at same point where the third movie finished. The crew of the recently destroyed Enterprise have decided to end their self-imposed exile on Vulcan and return to Earth in their commandeered Klingon ship to face the charges levied after their previous adventure.
When they arrive in the solar system, they see that the planet is under attack by a mysterious space probe, that Spock (Leonard Nimoy) correctly assumes is trying to communicate with its earth envoys, humpback whales. However, no reply can be given, as the species was hunted to extinction in the mid 21st century.
Knowing that no response can be simulated and that to ignore the space probe would mean the end of all life on earth, they use the Sun's gravitational pull to send themselves into time-warp and return to the late 20th century to try and collect a couple of whales to repopulate the species in their own time. When in the 1980s San Fransisco, they encounter (and solve) several problems: finding the whales is easy, as there are a pair in the Whale Institute, overseen by Dr. Gillian Taylor (Catherine Hicks).
Getting them into the ship is harder, as it needs Commander Scotty (James Doohan) and Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) to construct a whale tank. At the same time, the time travel has damaged the dilithium crystals essential for time-warp travel and these need to be fixed, so Chekhov (Walter Koenig) and Commander Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) break into a US aircraft carrier to collect some nuclear material. But, Chekhov is injured and needs rescuing from the hospital before they can go home.
But if problems are not enough at the last minute, Dr. Taylor jumps aboard ship and the journey back home begins.
|Back to School: The film starts in the year 1940 in New York City, where a 10 years old boy named Thornton Melon does not care about his low school grades. Thornton tells his father that he wants to work in the tailoring trade. Although his father advises him that a man without education is nothing no matter how rich and successful he is; Thornton did not listen him and we see in the opening credits a pictorial document showing the boy growing up and becoming a successful and rich man as he always wished.
Once finished the opening credits we reach the year 1986, when Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) is the owner of Thornton's Tall & Fat Stores. He is puffing on a cigar in the back of his limo watching the latest TV commercial for his 'hugely' successful Tall & Fat stores. The fat fashion king is on the way to the annual company meeting with his obese board. The conference is interrupted by a phone call from his son, Jason, currently away at University. Jason phoning from the locker room, tells his father, that all is cool, his grades are great, and he's on the Diving Team, while raising hell in the Fraternity, and a whole pile of lies but the truth is that he merely is the towel boy.
Since he is divorcing his latest wife, he wants to spend some time with his son and decides to pop down and surprise Jason at University and tell him the news.
But pon arrival at the campus, Thornton quickly discovers that his son, is not in the fraternity and only the towel boy for the dive team. When he confronts his son, he tells him -"Why did you lie to me Jason? You don't lie to me, you lie to girls!" Jason tells him that he wants to quit because the girls don't like him, he can't get into the dive team and his grades are all C's.
Dad tries to encourage him, and also repeats the words of his own father saying that he doesn't care how rich and successful a man is, he's nothing without an education.
But his son still unconvinced, responds saying that it is easy for him to say, since he doesn't have to do it. With that Thornton decides that he's going back to school and then to the same university of his son. From that moment a series of hillarious moment come one after the other; showing us at every moment different aspects of the 80's culture at its best, from the lingo and music to the clothing and hairstyles.
|Aliens: This is James Cameron's sequel to the 70's horror sci-fi film Alien. After colonist, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) survived her disastrous experience, nobody believed her story about the "Aliens" being on the planet LV-426.
In Aliens, Ripley, after fifty years of being floating in space in cryogenic animated suspension. When she is taken back to Earth, she learns that a human colony was founded in planet LV-426 where the aliens were first found. Although she tries to alert The Company, they ignore her warnings. After contact with the colony is lost, she finds herself sent back to the planet along with a team of warriors. Worried about what may have happened, The Company decides to send a group of marines along with Ripley to investigate the matter. Unfortunately, the investigators of Aliens will have to fight more than one enemy and thus Ripley's worst nightmare is about to come true.
|Ruthless People: Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) married his wife Barbara Stone (Bette Midler) because of the money she was scheduled to inherit in the event of her father’s passing in the movie Ruthless People.
But, when Sam realized that his father-in-law may be around longer than he expected, he masterminds a plot to kill his wife. He goes home to execute his plan one day and gets a phone call telling him that his wife has been kidnapped and that will kill her if he does not pay the ransom, they also threaten to kill her if he calls the cops. Sam is relieved that someone else would be doing his dirty work; so here the film picks up since we never know what can be the outcome of such a story in which greed is exposed at its best.
|Ferris Bueller's Day Off: This is another big classic of the 80s that most millennials will remember. Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is an archetypal, American, spoiled middle class kid extremely popular but that never took school too seriously. He was used to faking ill for his teachers and principal just so he could get out of schoolm.
Now once again, in a beautiful spring day, the sun is shining and Ferris is feigning the ill symptoms to his parents, who tell him to stay home in bed, enraging his jealous younger sister Jeannie (Jennifer Grey) and skips school.
Once his parents and sister are away for work and school respectively, he commences his day off, by resurrecting his best friend, Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck) from his own semi-genuine sick bed and by getting his girlfriend, Sloane Peterson(Sara) out of class, under the guise of a death in the family. The school principal, after being made to swallow a whole humble pie at once, smells a rat and will spend the rest of the day battering hopelessly against Ferris's array of cunning ingenious defences. Computer-hacking, pre-recorded doorbell messages, full blown snoring, sleeping bed body double and the family’s trusty, snarling Rottweiler.
The three teenagers take a joy ride in Cameron’s father’s Ferrari to live a number of adventures around the city of Chicago.
The movie is tremendously fun, with a number of amusing characters and almost does not give the audience a break to the laughs.
|Howard the Duck: At the Astrophysics laboratory of Dinatechnics, while doing an experimetn, scientists led by Dr. Walter Jennings (Jeffrey Jones) and his assistant Phil Blumburtt (Tim Robbins) brought accidentally a humanoid duck from outer space.
In this movie, Howard the Duck will have to look for a way to survive in our planet. Fortunately, he meets someone that can help him. So, Howard joins the Human Race.
But it seems that Howard wasn’t the only thing beamed to Earth by Dr. Jennings. A less friendly being, known as the Dark Overlords, arrives through the beam.
Howard ends up in Cleveland, where he rescues rock singer Beverly Switzer (Lea Thompson) from a group of thugs. Beverly and Phil are friends, and when the government is told about Howard's existence, she helps Dr. Jenning and Phil hide Howard from the authorities until they can get him back home.
Things get complicated when the evil being arrives and takes possession of Dr. Jenning's body, putting Howard, Beverly, and Phil in a fight for their lives.
Now Howard and his friends must save the world from the evil Dark Overlord(s).
Despite the critics consider this film as George Lucas's biggest mistake, it should not be taken seriously as a sci-fi film, but a worthwhile good comedy of the 80s which falls at the same level of quality of other blockbuster comedies considered as masterpieces of the decade.
|Short Circuit: The 80s was a decade during which robots were the main characters of several movies; examples of this being the T-800 of Terminator, Robocop, Darryl and among them Number 5; the main character of this movie.
Number 5 (Johnny 5 as fans use to call him) was the product of a secret military program at the NOVA labs which is pursuing the design of robots that can be used as weapons of war. During a public demostration at the NOVA headquarters, Number 5 is struck by lightning and acquires self-awareness.
Now, Number 5 wants to escape his fate. With the help of a woman named Stephanie Speck (Ally Sheedy), they will try to convince his creator, Newton Crosby (Guttenberg), that Number 5 is truly alive, and his only hope is to live. Unfortunately, things aren’t easy in the film Short Circuit, for the military are after them. When his escape is discovering by NOVA, they send their security reinforcements led by the egotistical leader, Skroeder (G.W. Bailey), to stop Number 5 because of his powerful lazer beam that can wipe out even an entire tank. Skroeder doesen't just want Number 5 reprogramed but dead.
This movie is one of those that kids of the 80s loved and watched over and over again featuring by far the most lovable robot ever made for a movie.
Three Men and a Baby: The story tells the story of three men: Peter Mitchell (Tom Selleck), Michael Kellam (Steve Guttenberg) and Jack Holden (Ted Danson). The three of them live in New York, have girlfriends of their own and are very successful in their careers. But all of that will become part of the past the day they all at a once become the babysitters of an infant that is left in their doorstep. Now, they will have to adapt their lifestyles to this new responsibility.
Fatal Attraction: Lawyer Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas), is very successful in the world of book publishing. He lives in a well-off New York apartment building with his wife Beth (Anne Archer) and their little girl Ellen (Hamilton Latzen), he has everything a man could dream of. However one day when his family is out of town he takes a chance at being unfaithful with a woman he meets named Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), so he has a one night stand with her.
They have an intensely passionate encounter. But the passion from the part of Dan is only temporary, since he cannot risk his family. But Alex has mental and emotional issues and to her, the passion continues on. She tries getting back in contact with him and they have a few more passionate moments. But that is all they are to Dan, just moments. To Alex, they mean something more. She wants Dan desperately and she'll do anything to have him, even if it affects his family life. This blockbuster thriller of the 80s shows just how far a woman can go to get what she wants.
|Beverly Hills Cop II: Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy), the resourceful Detroit detective who doesn't exactly play by the rules is back in this second installment of Beverly Hills Cop. The movie begins with Foley's friend, Captain Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox) who is in an undercover mission trotting innocently near to an oil camp; however everything goes wrong and the same criminal he is trying to put in jail detects him, shoots him and is left, almost dead, in the street.
Foley finds out about the murder attempt of his friend, so he decides to go back to Beverly Hills to help detectives William Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton) with his wit and instincts in the capture of the criminals.
This sequel directed by Tony Scott introduces is full of action scenes as well as funny moments. It is worth of mention the fact that it introduces in a debut comedian Chris Rock with a brief appearance as a parking valet.
|The Untouchables: This is a classic blockbuster, set in Chicago in 1930, times of the prohibition when the city was ruled by mob leader Al Capone (Robert De Niro) who manages the illegal delivery of alcohol throughout the city and vicinity, and the law hasn’t been able to capture him. He also buys off the police and city government - and kills all who cross him, including a little girl who happened to be at the wrong place and the wrong time and was killed.
So, Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), a federal agent is sent to solve the situation. After his first disasterous raid, Ness almost gives up hope. Then he encounters the veteran beat cop James Malone (Sean Connery) on a bridge who gives him a few advises. The next day Ness is greeted with a barrage of staring eyes and whispers as he arrives at work. As he paces his office, a woman, mother of the slain Blackmeyer girl, places her confidence in Ness.
So Ness seeks out Malone at his home and tries desperately to enlist Malone's help, but he decides that staying alive is more important than the fame of bringing down Capone. Next day, the character of Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith) is introduced. He is a 40-something accountant. Then Malone finally decides to aid Ness in his quest. Together they go to the Police Academy to pick out an uncorrupted cop. They choose the rookie with faultless aim, George Stone (Andy Garcia). That’s how The Untouchables are created. A group of incorruptible men, that will go after the big fish, Al Capone himself at any cost.
This classic of the 80s has a great soundtrack, great quality of actors and amazing sets creating a pure 30's atmosphere.
|The Secret of My Success: This movie directed by Herbert Ross is protagonized by Michael J. Fox, at the height of his career, when he was one of the most popular teen celebrities of the time. He plays the role of Brantley Foster (Michael J Fox) who left his hometown in Kansas for New York City to work in his uncle’s big company, determined to make a fortune an become a successful businessman.
He starts off in the mail room of a large corporation run. But, when he meets Christy Wills (Helen Slater), an executive in the company, he takes on a pseudonym just to apply for a job that he can excel in. The problem is that he doesn't drop his other position and working simultaneously in both, developing funny situations at all time during the movie. Moreover, things start to get more complicated when he falls for Christy.
This classic comedy of the 80s can be considered as a kind of corporate fairytale based on a typical theme that was used also in other films of the time, greed.
|Stakeout: Officers Chris Lecce (Richard Dreyfuss) and Bill Reimers (Emilio Estevez) are sent by the FBI to monitor the house of an escaped convict’s, named Richard Montgomery (Aidan Quinn), girlfriend Maria (Madeleine Stowe).
Chris masqueraded as a telephone company guy to plant a bug in her phone, and Maria gets interested on him. When he accidentally runs into her at the store, she invites him back for a coffee in return for giving her a lift home. The coffee turns into dinner and more. Slowly business gets personal when Chris falls in love with Maria and all is well between the two until Maria’s ex boyfriend shows up at her house unannounced.
Unlike other typical films of the 80s this one lacks of montage sequences (a series of short shots that are edited into a sequence to condense space, time, and information usually accompanied by background music as the only sound). Other than that, the movie is a typical romantic-comedy of the time in which a cop meets gangster's wife and falls for her, endangering his life and career.
|Lethal Weapon: This is one of the most popular action-comedy movies of all times. The story is centered around, two cops, Sergeant Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) (the Lethal Weapon of the title) who is in the border of committing suicide after he lost his wife in a car accident. However, the only thing that maintains him alive is his work as a police sergeant; but that doesn't keep him from doing suicidal things such as walking into a schoolyard sniper's line of fire, entertaining cocaine dealers with 3 Stooges impressions before a bloody fistfight including a night of suicide contemplation while weeping over a picture of his beloved.
On the other hand, Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is a veteran sergeant in the ranks of the police force, a loving family man, he gets his job done with minimal worry, although the day of his 50th birthday, he becomes a little worried about whether his shooting is as good as it used to be.
Meanwhile a young woman named Amanda Hunsaker (Hillary Swanson) has had problems in her life entering California's underworld and to finally fall out a window, high on a mix of cocaine and pills. The connection to the cops is that Amanda is the daughter of Murtaugh's Vietnam buddy Michael Hunsaker (Tom Atkins). Michael, angry and distraught, wants his daughter's killers destroyed, asking Roger's help. Information is soon revealed that Amanda didn't commit suicide but she may have been murdered.
When Murtaugh is assigned Riggs as a partner, now he will have to deal with two problems; his new suicidal partner and finding the murderers of his friend's daughter. For the first one, the real problem of Riggs is the lack of love, something he will find in his new friend and his family. The second is something both will have to resolve.
|Dirty Dancing: One of the most popular and successful dance movies released in the decade of dance it was produced by independent studio Vestron. Written by Eleanor Bergstein as a recollection of her memories of family trips with her parents to Catskills holiday camps, it took many years of pushing before any of the studios got interested.
The story is set in the summer of 1963 when Frances 'Baby' Houseman (Jennifer Grey) a typical teenager goes to a Catskills summer holiday camp with her parents, and is having a really boring time, until she meets a rebellious dance teacher Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). She enrolls in his dance class and falls in love with her teacher.
Johnny Castle is a summer camp dance teacher by day, but at nights he teaches his students the art of dirty dancing. Frances then becomes Johnny’s lover, but they must decide if their love is strong enough and if they can handle the responsibility it brings.
One of the greatest dance movies ever made. This film is one of the greatest representatives of the 80s.
|The Witches of Eastwick: The Witches of Eastwick is set in the town of Eastwick, Rhode Island, where three women, Alexandra writer Sukie Ridgemont (Michelle Pfeiffer), cellist Jane Spofford (Susan Sarandon) and sculptress Alex Medford (Cher) decide to leave their husbands and to have lives of their own. However, after a while, they start to get bored.
After their latest conversation lamenting about the lack of suitable men in Eastwick and describing the qualities they are looking for in a man, mysterious Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) and his equally mysterious butler Fidel arrive in town. Daryl manages to be able to intercept the innermost emotions of the three women, and as such manages to seduce each. In turn, the three women blossom emotionally and sexually. After an incident involving one of the town's leading citizens, the ultra conservative Felicia Alden, the three women begin to understand how and why Daryl is able to mesmerize them so fully.
|The Princess Bride: This classic cult movie of the 80s actually wasn't a big box office hitter and gained its popularity and devoted fans only after the video release, reaching to the point of being one of the top 80's movies.
The movie begins with a grandfather (Peter Falk) that is telling his grandson (Fred Savage) a story that has been passed along from generation to generation.
The story is about The Princess Bride beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn), in the land of Florin has fallen in love with her "Farm Boy" Westley (Cary Elwes). Soon she realizes that she actually loves him and of course, he loves her. But because he is poor, he must leave her to find his fortune across the sea.
After some time Buttercup finds out that his ship has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts who never left captives alive. Upon learning of this news, Buttercup promises herself that she will never love again. This is, of course, the background for the slew of fantastic events that occur to Buttercup afterwards; she becomes betrothed to the Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), is then kidnapped by three unusual men (Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, and Andre the Giant), is kidnapped again from the kidnappers and, a series of more adventures as well as misadventures.
Another classic movie that few millennials have missed and is worth a re-watch.
|Robocop: Set in the gritty urban wastelands of Detroit in the "futuristic" at that moment 90s. The film begins with a news broadcast, showing that the city has become a violent and anarchistic place. Security for the city has been privatized, with the police now taking their orders from the heartless corporate (OCP) Omni Consumer Products Organization.
Moreover life for policemen isn’t too good and they are threatening to strike, the criminals are looting and the city is in disarray. That's when Dick Jones, vice president of OCP, believes that he has found the answer to Detroit’s crime problem, using their resources of military hardware, space technology and enforcement robots. So young executive Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) seizes the opportunity and informs OCP's CEO, the Old Man (Daniel O'Herlihy) that he has been working on a technology which can combine the human nervous system with robotic technology to create the ultimate cop.
Meanwhile Officer Alex J. Murphy (Peter Weller) and his partner Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) are chasing a gang of criminals to a deserted industrial estate, where without any back up they pursue the gangsters into an empty warehouse. Officer Murphy is cornered by drug gang and literally shot to pieces, in the most brutal way.
This situation gives Morton his framework in which to apply his OCP technology, as Murphy’s basic brain functions are still in ‘working order.’ His memory is supposedly blanked and the ‘dead’ Officer Murphy's key body parts were transferred into a robot shell and thus he is turned into Robocop.
As Robocop, Murphy starts fighting crimes all around the city more efficiently and effectively than any other cop, but meanwhile he regains his memory, he remembers the person who killed him: gang leader Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and he seeks revenge on him.
Rain Man: When Charlie Babbitt’s (Tom Cruise), a ruthless car dealer, father passed away. Charlie only cares about claiming the inheritance from his late father's will. But; the years of estrangement led his Dad to leave everything to Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), an autistic brother Charlie never knew he had.
Charlie thinks that it is unfair for Raymond to have so much and not being able to know what to do with it. At first he was enraged by all the money his brother was getting, but then into desperation he decides to lure Raymond out of the asylum in an attempt to take him back home. Raymond refuses to fly and so the long lost siblings form an uneasy relationship on the highways and byways across the country towards L.A.
This blockbuster movie of the 80s is based on a true story, which features funny, dramatic and touching moments which make of it a piece of art of the cinematography of all times.
|Scrooged: This is one of the best adaptations of Charles Dickens's story A Christmas Carol, or at least the funniest. This movie, takes the classic storyline, turning it on it's head and dumping it in a modern-day New York TV-producer. Frank Cross (Bill Murray), is the Scrooge of this story and plays as the self-centered, mean spirited and unforgiving President of TV network IBC, Frank treats his employees with no respect and would not think twice about firing anyone who does not get onboard with his own ideas.
To add more troubles to his already troubled head, he also hates Christmas holidays maybe because he did not have a good Christmas in his childhood.
One of the first victims of the movie is one of the employees of the channel, Eliot Loudermilk (Bobcat Goldthwait) who tastes Frank's wrath when he tries to question Frank's violent gun-toting Christmas holiday promo 'They have gotta be SO scared to miss it! SO TERRIFIED!' for IBC's special of 'Scrooge', instead of the nice family-orientated promo they had already been running for a month previous.
But the story takes a somewhat more classic style, following the Dickens' storyline; with a visit on the night before Christmas Eve by Frank's old and already dead Boss, Lew Hayward (John Forsythe), who pre-empts Frank with the notice that he'll be visited by 3 ghosts. Frank, being who he is, doesn't believe what he's seeing or hearing and so is treated in a similiar fashion that Frank treated Eliot earlier that day; by literally dumping him out of the office. But this time, things are out of his hand since three ghosts will visit him, the Ghost of Christmas Past (David Johansen), the Ghost of Christmas Present (Carol Kane) and the Ghost of Christmas Future; and he cannot do anything to avoid them; so the dice are throw and his life must change.
|Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: This movie, directed by Robert Zemeckis, revived the concept of humans and cartoons living side by side and sharing the screen. The story begins with Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), a detective who has lost his brother and who feels very depressed about his life. Suddenly, a new opportunity arises - he only needs to take some pictures on a wife cheating her husband.
When the affected husband finds about it, he wants to contract the services of Valiant. That’s when Valiant will discover that things in this case aren’t as they seem to be.
One of the elements that make this film a clear classic is that it incorporates Disney, Warner Bros; and many other cartoon characters together with human beings and the fact that this film has an entire land dedicated to it called Toontown in Disneyland.
Set in 1947, Roger Rabbit gets framed for murdering Mr. Acme (the owner of Toontown) in the first place. He's also the reason Detective Eddie Valiant is a drunk. Since the death of his brother, Valiant has become a bit of a lush and has lost his credibility. Doom was the person, or rather the toon, who murdered Valiant's brother. He also murdered R.K. Maroon, owner of the Maroon's Cartoons Corporation.
All of these murders are connected with Mr. Acme's will, in which he decides who gets to own Toontown after his death. Toontown is wanted by a lot of people, including Judge Doom. Dooms intentions for Toontown, however, don't look so great for the toons. He wants to destroy Toontown by covering the whole land and all of its inhabitants with a potion he has invented called The Dip (a mixture of Turpentine, Acetone, and Bincene). He then plans to put up freeways, which of course didn't exist yet in 1947, and become rich making a name for himself. The end of Toontown would mean the end of many lovable toons. Roger Rabbit is one of the most hip, but flawed, of these toons. He is married to the voluptuous Jessica Rabbit, who's a singer at The Ink Paint Club and is played by the voice of Kathleen Turner.
The main human character of the film is Detective Valiant. Valiant gets talked into helping all the toons out, which he is very reluctant to do because of the murder of his brother by a toon. However, the Detective steps up to the plate and becomes something of a hero to Toontown.
This was a huge highly expected film when it was first released. It was a cinematographic breakthrough unifying cartoons with human beings, featuring effects never seen before.
|Big: A hit of the 80s starred by Tom Hanks, that tells us the story of twelve year-old Josh (David Moscow), a kid who finds that being small is quite a disadvantage, especially when he is left in ridicule in front of Cynthia Benson the girl of his dreams; for example when considered too small to ride the 'grown-up' rides at the Carnival. Bitter and sad, Josh finds an odd-looking machine in the same carnival for making wishes. With nothing to lose, he inserts a coin and makes his wish of becoming big. A card pops out that reads Your Wish Is Granted. But of course, nothing happens, at least not until the next day.
There, the audience finds why the movie is titled “Big.” Transformed to a fully-grown adult (Tom Hanks), he is unable to convince to his frightened mother (Mercedes Ruehl) that he is truly her son, and she assumes that the adult before her has kidnapped Josh. Only his best-friend Billy Kopeche (Jared Rushton) believes and can help him. So, the two flee to New York City and find Josh a place to stay in a run-down hotel. Their plan is to find the machine and make another counter-wish to return him to his youthful form. The pair discover that this will take six weeks, and to occupy his time, Josh lands a job at Macmillan Toys, a huge Toy Company
It is also at MacMillan Toys where Josh meets Susan (Elizabeth Perkins) who is interested on "adult" Josh, gaining her attention thanks to his childhood innocence and naivety which works in his favour, as Susan can only be dazzled by his uncomplicated and romantic approach.
Another masterpiece of the 80s that few millennials have missed and no one should.
|Twins: Directed by Ivan Reitman, Twins is the story of a doctor who made a genetical experiment. He reunited the elements of the best of the best of humanity in order to produce a baby that could become a super man. But things did not go as expected, the result instead was the birth of two brothers, twins, who were seperated at birth.
But all they had of twins was a common mother and the same birth date. In all the other aspects they were completely different. The 'superior' one is given all that humanity has to offer in the way of development, that one was Julius Benedict (Arnold Schwarzenegger) while the other one Vincent Benedict (DannDeVito) is 'dumped' in an orphanage with no knowledge of his past. 35 years later Julius seeks out the 'misfit' to give him the sense of belonging and family they both need. Together, the twins embark on an adventure to find their mother and themselves.
This is the first comedy of Arnold Schwarzenegger, breaking the mold that typecasted him as an unbeatable hulking destroyer with sharp one-liners. This was the movie that proved that he is capable of playing roles of a sweet guy as fine as he plays those of tough guy, thus showing some versatility. After the release of this movie Arnold entered the league of the very best leading men, and the world would never quite look at him the same again.
|Die Hard: Die Hard is the film that catapulted the star of the TV show Moonlight, Bruce Willis to Hollywood's stardom starring this film as New York policeman John Mc Lane, who facing christmas alone decides to fly to Los Angeles to meet his estranged wife and daughter. When he arrives at the Nakatomi Plaza, the office tower of the company where his wife works; they are having the office Christmas party, just a few minutes before it is getcrashed by Hanz Gruber and a dozen of criminals who take hostage all the employees of the company, including Mc Lane's wife. All they are looking for is the big prize of 600 million dollars of the company.
However they did not take into account a detail, a husband whose only intention is to spend the holidays with his family and who is already inside the building
During almost the whole movie, McClane is tested over and over, both by the criminals and by the FBI and L.A.P.D. who don't want him involved. But he is the only real hope for hostages and he is not afraid to get his hands dirty; so this man just by himself will have to confront a group a cold-blooded criminals. Pure action and guaranteed adrenaline all throughout the movie.
|The Naked Gun: Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) may not be the smartest cop on the team, but he gets the job done in the hilarious movie Naked Gun. Lt. Drebin’s assignment is to protect the Queen of England (Jeannette Charles) at a ball game. But, the events leading up to this, is a comedy of errors along the way. This one was the first installment of a classic trilogy of satirical comedies of the Airplane style, featuring the misadventures of Drebin.
Working Girl: This movie represents the 80s in many aspects including, the music, hairstyles, fashion, work ethics, among other. It features Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith), a secretary whose job frustrates her when she has some bright ideas and a head that make her perfect for business as well as a body for sin as she mentions in the beginning of the film. Nevertheless her boss, the ice maiden Katherine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) does not take Tess seriously for a number of reasons; like her background, her hairstyle and her voice which she considers too silly.
But Parker breaks her leg on a skiing holiday leaving she leavesTess in charge, giving her an opportunity she can’t miss. She changes her look and masquerading as the boss, Tess meets with Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford) who she drunkenly ends up in bed with that evening and in a meeting with the next morning. From that moment follows a series of business meetings and tense moments of Tess ‘nearly being caught’.
The soundtrack of this movie is recognizable by most millennials. This is another must see classic of the 80s that cannot be missed.
Batman: One night in the city of Gotham, two crooks rob and kill a husband in front of his wife and son. A shadow passes over the sky, it is a 6-foot tall, rubber clad bat who saves the day. Based on the classic D.C. Comics written by Bob Kane, Batman was a mostly awaited movie to be released in 1989 which fullfilled all the expectations becoming a critical and commercial success. Garnering everything from Coca-Cola commercials to an animated series, to TV series, video games, to six sequels and more to come, the Batman logo is recognizable to every millennial.
Greatly affected by the death of his parents under the hands of a criminal, Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) decides to do something about it. That is how the second personality of Wayne, Batman, was born. However, with the appearance of the masked hero, appears his nemesis: a maniac who presents himself as The Joker (Jack Nicholson).
Batman's billionaire parents were trapped in a dark alleyway where a menacing looking man murders both of Bruce's parents. That is one of the main reasons Bruce Wayne, grew up to be a vengence seeking superhero who uses his parents massive amount of money to be a crime-stopping superhero.
The plot of Batman gets even more complicated when a curious journalist and photographer, Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger), decides to learn more about this mysterious man. She is eager to snap some pics of this superhero who many people don't believe exists. Unfortunately, she will find herself in the middle of the struggle between good and evil.
The city is celebrating its 200th anniversery, but the crime-rate is so high that they feel even a city parade would be too dangerous and with the presence of The Joker things would get even more dangerous. Jack Napier (The Joker) turned into a monster after a plunge into a deep pool of toxic chemicals, turning his hair a sickly green and his skin a ghostly white.
The Joker's plans however will be hampered by Batman who is always ready to fight criminals of all type and sizes.
This film was a big success among millennial children of the time who were experiencing an adventure full of action and state-of-the-art special effects of a level never seen before; so much that it still stands the test of time, and still looks incredible to this day more than twenty years later.
|Look Who's Talking: Mollie (Kirstie Alley), an accountant who had an affair with one of her clients, Albert (George Segal), a married man, becomes pregnant. However when she gives birth is left by Albert, to raise the newborn all by herself.
Mollie’s newborn Mikey (voice of Bruce Willis) has been talking since he was in the womb but his mother is not aware of this. Mikey, realizing that his father has no interest in his mother as a life long partner, is firm about his mother selecting the right dad to be his step daddy. Until she meets James (John Travolta), the cab driver that takes her to the hospital the day she is giving birth and who seems to be the perfect match with her and Mikey from the very first moment. A relationship will be developed, but things will become more complicated when Albert comes back to her.
|Honey I Shrunk the Kids: Scientist Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) has a penchant for inventing things that never seem to work right. Until he invents a shrinking machine whereby his kids accidentally get caught in its line of fire. In Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Szalinski kids, Amy (Amy O’Neill) and Nick (Robert Oliveri), are accidentally dumped in the thrash by their father whose science machine has shrunk them. Finding their way back to the house is tougher than they thought, since they run across giant insects and other perils along the way.
Back to the Future II: The sequel of one of the top movies of the 80s, Back to the Future II starts exactly at the same point in time and space where Back to the Future ended. Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) makes his appearance before Marty (Michael J. Fox) and Jennifer (Elisabeth Shue), in an updated version of the De Lorean (made in the future), warning Marty of the disaster that may happen to Marty’s kids if they don't come "back to the future" with him. Once in the future, Marty manages to save his children and put the bad guys in jail. But after clearing up the problem, new ones crop up (something that usually happens all throughout the trilogy) when Jennifer ends up at the future McFly family home. Moreover tempted by the kind of information that the future may provide him, Marty buys an innocent looking book, which, without knowing it, ends up in the hands of a hunchbacked 77-year-old Biff (Thomas F. Wilson), who also found out everything about the time machine.
While retrieving her, Marty and Doc leave the DeLorean unoccupied for Biff. The he uses the machine to wreak havoc in the past but after returning to 1985, Marty and Doc are confused by some changes generated by an alternative reality caused by Biff.
This second installment of the trilogy proved that sequels can be great and even better than the first parts of a story. This film stands out even today in all kind of aspects, from the story itself to the effects and the performance of the actors.
|Ghostbusters 2: Five years after the events of the first film, the Ghostbusters are back, but this time they have been plagued by lawsuits and court orders and their business is in bankrupt.
They've had to resort to other means to make ends meet. Peter (Bill Murray) now hosts a cheesy TV series entitled World of the Psychic, Ray (Dan Aykroyd) when not working at his Occult book shop, assists Winston (Ernie Hudson) in entertaining at birthday parties for children who don't even know who they are. Egon (Harold Ramis) conducts tests involving human emotions and the effects of stress.
They are reunited when Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) asks them to investigate a strange occurrence involving her 8-month old baby and a runaway carriage. They discover, after some illegal drilling, that a huge river of slime is flowing under the city. Not only that, but there is also a demonic painting at the city museum containing a deceased evil god who wants live again.
|Driving Miss Daisy: This charming story features Hoke Colburn (Morgan Freeman) and Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy). Hoke is hired to drive her around after her own driving skills led her into another car crash.
She is stubborn and is a bit hostile to him. However as years go by and they talk to each other more, they build a solid friendship that will last a lifetime. But Hoke's caring and patient demeanor teaches Miss Daisy a lesson in humility and about not judging a book by its cover.
Despite speculation that it would not appeal to teenagers and young adults. It grossed over $100 million, and made Jessica Tandy a bigger movie star than she ever had been when she was young.
|Parenthood: The film Parenthood is about Gil Buckman (Steve Martin) whose troubled childhood has given him a reason to go that extra mile for his kids. In this story the Buckman family and friends, are attempting to bring up their children. They suffer/enjoy all the events that occur: estranged relatives, the black sheep of the family, the eccentrics, the skeletons in the closet, and the rebellious teenagers.
Parenthood is a comedic, yet truthful, film about how families raise their kids and handle everyday life situations.
Glory: Directed by Edward Zwick and starred by Matthew Broderick one of the most popular teen actors of the time, Glory would seem an unlikely choice for both. Robert Shaw (Matthew Broderick) volunteered to be in charge of an all Black team of soldiers in Massachusetts during the Civil War in the 1860s. Shaw deals with racism toward his soldiers and also tries to overcome the obstacles and attitudes of some of his men.
In Glory, the team of soldiers at the 54th Infantry over which Shaw is responsible is comprised of runaway slaves that he turns into war fighting machines. Among the men, are two of his best friends but Shaw's attitude towards his friends is a tough as with everyone else. Denzel Washington as Pvt. Trip and Morgan Freeman as Sgt. Major John Rawlins both give stellar performances.
This movie, as it happens with many other of the decade is considered one of the top movies of all times.
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Enviado por dream en Junio 23, 2010 - 19:30.