And the Ultimate 80s blogathon is in full swing! First up is P6 from Prime Six Blogs. P6 reviews all sorts of movies and games. Go check his site out for yourself. But before you do that, let’s look at some of his favorite war films of the 80s, shall we?
The 80’s changed the depiction of war in media and affects it’s portrayal even today. Apocalypse Now (1979) bought about this new wave of brutal and mentally disturbing war films.
In no particular order, here are some of the finest war films to be released in the 1980’s:
The Big Red One (1980)
One of Mark Hamill’s lesser known roles, this movie focuses on a small squad and is set during WWII. Lee Marvin seems a little too old for the role but acts it well. The movie has many different settings from farmland to desert and beach’s to slaughter house’s, allowing for pretty sets. The story feels epic but realistic, and poses moral questions to the audience. The fully operational tanks used in the film were impressive. There was an overuse of extreme close ups and zoom.
The film seems to have inspired some aspects of Saving Private Ryan and is surprisingly underrated.
Overall Rating: 7.3/10
Stanley Kubrick provides us with another great tale, or even tales, as this film feels like it has 3 distinct parts. The first is the iconic boot camp training, the second deals with truth and journalism in war, and the third is a combative part. Animal Mother is a very memorable character. The unorthodox way of storytelling is refreshing and the directing is masterful.
Overall Rating: 7.9/10
Robin Williams was Oscar nominated for his motor-mouth character Adrian Cronauer tasked with keeping troops morale up with jokes and music. At first this seems to be a light hearted take on war, a comedy with the only conflict being office politics. However half way through the film, Good Morning, Vietnam earns its stripes as a war drama. This is also one of the few films in which I enjoyed Forest Whitaker’s presence (and Platoon, more on that below). The film depicts how life was in Saigon at the time for the locals and the foreigners.
Overall Rating: 7.3/10
The quintessential 80’s film. The Oscar worthy soundtrack, the dangerous and daring Maverick, the full throttle action and the romance all make for one of the most iconic films of all time! Tom Cruise is charming and the rest of the cast are great. At times the action can be hard to follow by nature of the speed of the conflicts. On the other hand, the use of real planes makes Top Gun very re-watchable- not to mention how quotable the film is.
Overall Rating: 7.6/10
A.K.A. Rambo 1. There’s a surprising amount of drama to be found in this PTSD based action film. It’s much deeper than you think, as it’s easy to laugh at Stallone’s voice in First Blood but what he’s saying is still applicable today. Iconic franchise kick starter stuff.
Overall Rating: 7.4/10
Haunting visuals are the memories that persist in my mind of this gory tale. The main character has a great arc and the rest of the huge cast contain varied personalities. Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger are fantastic. Platoon shows us normal life as a soldier in a platoon in the jungle and has an epic finale.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Which of these is your favourite and why? What did I miss out on?
Thanks for reading.