Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '86 - This Cinematic Life ""

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Underrated '86 - This Cinematic Life

'Becca'lise and Craig run the delightful site THIS CINEMATIC LIFEwhich you should absolutely check out and follow along with on Twitter(@Cinematic_Life) and Instagram (@thiscinematiclife)
Website is here:
http://thiscinematiclife.com/

Check out their Underrated '96 list too:
http://www.rupertpupkinspeaks.com/2016/04/underrated-this-cinematic-life.html
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Hannah and Her Sisters
While many try to hold up the the supremely overbearing Crimes and Misdemeanors as the apex of Woody Allen's 80's output, I'm much more partial to the subtle pleasures of Hannah and Her Sisters. It's much less on the nose, it's funnier and also more much more emotional. No heavy handed eyeball imagery needed here. It's the absolute definition of a masterpiece.

Something Wild
The 1980's wasn't the best decade for individuality. Socially and cinematically, homogenization was the law of the land. But there was some cool work being done under the radar. On the right radio stations and in the right cinemas you could still find something genuine and original. Occasionally that craziness was able to find its way into the studio world. This film is everything great about 80's cinema condensed into one truly wild film.
True Stories
When is this film going to get a bluray release? Pretty sure Warner Brothers hasn't updated this one since the early days of DVD. It's not even available in its intended 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Yet even in its present (cropped) form, Ed Lachman's photography of suburban Texas is something to behold. The crazy characters and Talking Heads soundtrack are just icing on the cake. Let's make this happen Criterion!
Captain Eo
Okay, this freaked me out as a very young child when I saw it at Disneyland. The 3D, the creepy robot lady, it was a lot to take in. But I when I revisited it as an adult, I couldn't help but laugh my head off. What a special thing to be a kid in the 80s and 90s! It's a work of pure joy, of having fun. This thing was written by George Lucas, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, scored by James Horner, stars Michael Jackson and Anjelica Huston....and it's totally nuts. Defeat the evil queen by singing and dancing? What is happening?! The special effects look like an episode of Gumby, but it has great energy. And who doesn't like watching this and feeling like a kid again?
The Great Mouse Detective
I loved this movie growing up. I loved it before I knew who Vincent Price was, or much about Sherlock Holmes, and I love it to this day. I love the score, I love the animation, and I love how they apparently didn't much care if kids understood everything that Basil of Baker Street was saying:"Offhand I can deduce very little. Only that the words are written with a broad-tip quill pen that has spattered, twice; that the paper is of native Mongolia manufacture, no watermark; and has been gummed, if I'm very much in error...by a bat who has been drinking Rodent's Delight, a cheap brandy served only in the seediest pubs." And there's burlesque! Like...actual dancers removing their clothes! In a Disney movie! This was made during the so-called slump for the company before they had their big renaissance with The Little Mermaid three years later, but I love it just as much as their more financially successful films. And when you've got Vincent Price playing a rat, hamming it up, you really can't go wrong.

1 comment:

George White said...

I agree about Basil - great fun, espec. the 39 Steps-esque ending and the spirited vocal performances esp. by Price, the late Alan Young and the late Barrie Ingham, who is one of the few people to voice a Disney classic and be in Doctor Who, the others as far as I know being Brian Blessed in Tarzan, Martin Jarvis in Wreck It Ralph and one of the bit parters in Meglos in 101 Dalmatians IIRC. And as an aside, the butler in the Aristocats, Roddy Maude Roxby played a cult leader record agent in Who rival the Tomorrow People.