Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Eight From '85 - DW Ferranti ""

Friday, April 5, 2019

Eight From '85 - DW Ferranti

Podcaster and copywriter DW Ferranti finally submits a list after years of threats. His hopes for the future include lunch.

Midpoint in one of the most transitional decades in the history American popular consumption, '85 gives us a truly Janusarian perspective with a trove of films that reflect times past and the shape of cinema to come. Of course, your mileage may vary, but that's because you're still driving that gas guzzler. Get a Honda.

The Legend of Billie Jean
Fair is Fair! This fempowerment cult classic doesn't need any help from me to get your attention, but as an advocate of its status as an instant quotable classic since it splashed shorn Slater on the big screen, it's place on this list was a sure thing.
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Trooper Jack Deth played with deadpan perfection by Tim Thomerson. Helen Hunt in her dark age between kidvid star and A-list actress. A script that plays like the bastard offspring of 70s Marvel and 2000 AD. Spawned a future straight to VHS franchise for Charles Band and Full Moon.
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Railsback. Naked Space Vampires. Why are you still reading this?
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Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart
The awesome Victor Wong started his full on acting career in his mid-fifties, appearing in this Ozu inspired confection for director Wayne Wang in between his iconic turns for Cimino in Year of the Dragon and Landis in Big Trouble in Little China. Co-starring with real-life mother and daughter Kim and Laureen Chew in this slice of life tale of assimilation and loss in San Francisco's Chinese-American community, Wong's off kilter realness lends spice to Wang's character focused non sequitor narrative.
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Sparkling in its unabashed unrevisionism, Lawrnece Kasdan successfully washed the memory of baby boomer drekfest The Big Chill out of our collective unconscious with this charming ensemble Western that simultaneously birthed Kevin Costner's career and gave us the immortal "And that ain't right!". Thus spaketh the Glover. Thus repeateth us all.
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Enemy Mine
To this day, this two-man show with Dennis Quaid and Louis Gosset, Jr., adapted from the Barry B. Longyear SF novella remains the Christmas movie you forgot to watch. Skip Ralphie next Xmas and give this interstellar bromance a spin.
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Return to Oz
Shock treatment transport to the Emerald City? Fairuza Balk as Dorothy? Nicol Williamson as The Nome King? Piper Laurie as Auntie Em? Jean Marsh as Mombi? This dark fantasy follow up to The Wizard of Oz may not have the magic of MGM, but it's still a worthwhile diversion into Baumiana.
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Alamo Bay
Louis Malle's meditation on how private troubles get twisted by politics into hate-filled division was dismissed for a lack of subtlety in its day but plays like a prescient paen to our current national nightmare. Ed Harris plays a Vietnam Vet Texas fisherman clashing with competing Vietnamese immigrants that he perceives as stealing his piece of the American Dream.
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