Ultimate 80s Blogathon Conclusion

Hey there, dear readers!

Here we are at last, the end of our cinematic journey through the 1980s.  My lovely co-host, Kim, and I didn’t know what kind of participation to expect when we were organizing this blogathon.  The number of bloggers who joined in was astounding and blew away our expectations. In case you missed any of the entries, here they all are in one convenient location:

Serendipitous AnachronismsPretty in Pink

Movie Movie Blog BlogBeetlejuice

Wolffians Classics Movie DigestSplash

Michelle, Books and Movies AddictPretty in Pink

Steve Says…Stand By Me

Tranquil Dreams – The Breakfast Club (Kickoff)

Drew’s Movie Reviews – Top Gun (Kickoff)

Prime Six Blogs80s War Film Series

Movie Reviews 101Child’s Play

Confessions of a Geek MindTrading Places

That Moment InKrull

Ramblings of a CinephileMad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Slip/Through MoviesBill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Movie Reviews 101Critters

Starry Traveler’s RoadAn American Tail

Elena Square EyesCrocodile Dundee


The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner BloggerLethal Weapon

Back to the ViewerFerris Bueller’s Day Off

Flick Chicks National Lampoon’s Vacation and Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Carly Hearts MoviesThe Hunger

Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg MoviesInnerspace and Tequila Sunrise

Life of This City GirlWhen Harry Met Sally

Cinema SchminemaReturn to Oz

Tranquil Dreams – 80s Dance Movies Triple Feature (Wrap-Up)

Drew’s Movie Reviews – Airplane! (Wrap-Up)

Film and TV 101Ten 1980s Faves (Encore)

Look at that list! So many awesome bloggers joined in.  And such a wide range of films chosen, too.  We were expecting some of the big action stars, like Schwarzenegger, Stallone or Bruce Willis, maybe some Back to the Future or Indiana Jones or Blade Runner. But all of you reached to far corners of the 80s for your selections and it couldn’t be more exciting.  However, one thing is for certain: John Hughes was a big part of the 80s. Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off all got some love, with Pretty in Pink being reviewed twice.  Now before I go on, here are a few words from Kim:

Wow! Four weeks went by like a blink of an eye.  Ultimate 80s blogathon was a mega success. Its definitely a great way to start my first blogathon.  There is no doubt that the best part of this blogathon was all the incredible participants that joined up and contributed their choices and pieces.  The turnout took our breath away.  The choices were truly surprising to us, especially when a lot of the popular choices didn’t seem to make the cut.  Everyone had very unique choices and now, I have a ton of 80s movie I know I need to catch up with.   This could get all sappy and emotional on my end (although I’m probably getting all sentimental and missing it) so I’m going to cut straight to the chase and say THANK YOU! A HUGE THANK YOU to all the participants, everyone who dropped by liked and/or shared their thoughts and of course, my fantastic co-host! 😉

Aww, Kim, you’re gonna make blush.  😛 To echo Kim: Thank you!  Thank you to all the participants, thank you to all the commenters and likers, and thank you anyone who read the entries.  One of my favorite things about being a blogger is interacting with other bloggers.  As I said before, the amount of bloggers who sent in reviews was almost overwhelming, so I had such a blast working with everyone. And I can’t say enough about my co-host.  She is laid back and so much fun to work with.  Thank you Kim for joining me on this odyssey. 🙂

One last time, thank you to all the participants and readers! You’ve made all the time spent putting this together well worth it.



Critters (1986) by Movie Reviews 101 – Ultimate 80s Blogathon

Happy hump day, everybody! For your Wednesday entry of the Ultimate 80s Blogathon, Darren from Movie Reviews 101 returns to the Ultimate 80s fold with a review of the creature feature, Critters.  This weekend, he will be reviewing the entire Critters franchise so this is just a preview of what’s to come on his site.  Darren reviews all genres of movies and hosts the Opinion Battles, which both Kim and I participate in.  He recently created a podcast called the Fantasy Film Casting Podcast.  Be sure to go check his sites out. But in the mean time, here is is review of Critters.

Critters movie poster

Director: Stephen Herek
Writer: Domonic Muir, Stephen Herek (Screenplay) Domonic Muir (Story)
Starring: Dee Wallace, M Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush, Scott Grimes, Nadine Van Der Velde, Don Keith Opper, Billy Zane, Terrence Mann, Lin Shaye

Plot: A race of small, furry aliens make lunch out of the locals in a farming town.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Creature Feature Comedy

Story: Critters starts when the Crits escape from their intergalactic prison, bounty hunters are set to follow them across the galaxy. The planet they are heading for is Earth as we meet a family Helen (Wallace), Jay (Bush), Brad (Grimes) and April (Velde) along with their worker Charlie (Opper) all in a small town.

When the Critters crash land near the small farm it is up to the family to fend them off because their apatite just never stops as they will eat anything and everything. The bounty hunters including Ug (Mann) arrive to help but can they stop them in time?

Critters is a classic 80s creature feature taking advantage of what Gremlins created a few years before. It has all the fun needed and creatures that come off harmless but are in fact deadly. We don’t have the biggest body count which helps because with a body count we end up setting up pointless characters just to create a kill. This isn’t going to be a true classic but a fun film with a very simple story.

Actor Review

Dee Wallace: Helen is the mother of the house who has to look after her kids when the Critters are attacking their family farm. She is very patient with her children being the soft one compared to the stricter father. Dee does a good job without doing too much in a spell where she shone in horror.

M Emmet Walsh: Harv is the sheriff of the small town who has to deal with the Critter invasion, he has to step up when his deputy fails to solve the problem. M Emmet makes for a fun character through the film.

Billy Green Bush: Jay is husband and father in the household who has to do the most part of the investigation of the creatures, he gets attacked the most but will do anything to protect his family. Billy is good in this role without doing too much.

Scott Grimes: Brad is the youngest member of the family who likes using fireworks and a slingshot, he uses his skills to fight off the Critters to protect his family. Scott does a good job in this role as the kid with extra fight in him.

Don Keith Opper: Charlie is the town drunk and believer in something coming from out of space using him to communicate, he works for the family but could be the answer to all the problems. Don is good in what turns into two roles through this film.

Support Cast: Critters has your typical supporting cast, dumb deputy, damsel in distress sister, flashy boyfriend etc they all work for the film.

Director Review: Stephen HerekStephen gives us a fun creature feature that isn’t the strongest but an easy watch.

Comedy: Critters has good comedy moments mostly from the Critters themselves.

Horror: Critters isn’t the scariest film because the comical look for the creatures doesn’t help.

Sci-Fi: Critters has creatures from out of space, bounty hunters from out of space coming to our world which ticks all the sci-fi angles.

Thriller: Critters does keep you wondering where the creatures will attack next.

Settings: Critters uses the farm as the setting giving the character’s isolation as they wait for help.

Special Effects: Critters has the right level of effects needed for the comic side of the film.

Suggestion: Critters is one for the all the creature features fans to enjoy. (Creature Feature Fans)

Best Part: Creatures are fun.
Worst Part: Slightly short.
Action Scene Of The Film: Final showdown.
Funniest Scene: Crit meets ET.
Kill Of The Film: Firework eating Crit.

Believability: No
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: Part one of 4
Post Credits Scene: No
Similar Too: Gremlins

Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $13 Million
Budget: $2 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes
Tagline: The original tasty entree!

Overall: Fun creature feature that will make you laughing throughout.



Ultimate 80s Blogathon Kickoff: The Breakfast Club (1985)

Tranquil Dreams

Let’s Kickoff the Ultimate 80s Blogathon!

Are you ready for close to a month dedicated to the awesome 1980s movies? I know I am! I’m doing the honors of kicking off with my first review for the Ultimate 80s Blogathon.  Drew over at Drew’s Movie Reviews has full credit for this idea and he has let me join forces with him to bring you this lovely blogathon.  Thanks so much to all those that sent us their reviews! I think its safe to say for both of us that you’ve blown us away with the reviews we have received.  I’m not giving anything else away but the Ultimate 80s choice has varied quite a bit and there were some surprises and some that I’ve never even seen or heard of.  You are in for some awesome fun! Remember to drop by and check it out.  You can find all the reviews…

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Double Indemnity Review – The Remembering Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon

Crystal, the lover of classic films behind the blog In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood, is a huge fan of Barbra Stanwyk.  To celebrate the anniversary of her passing, Crystal is hosting the The Remembering Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon, and invited me to join in on the fun.  Not having much experience with Stanwyk, I was more than happy to join in!  Having heard good things about Double Indemnity, I decided now was the perfect time to check out this classic.  Check out the rest of the entries in the blogathon here.

Double Indemnity movie posterSynopsisbarbara-blogathon
Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), an insurance salesman, falls for the beautiful Phyllis Dietrichson(Barbra Stanwyck). Unhappy with her marriage, she convinces him to kill her husband and collect the insurance money.

I didn’t know much about Double Indemnity going into it other than the main character was an insurance salesman. So you could say I didn’t have any expectations for the film. In the end, it was a good thing I didn’t have any expectations because any that I would have had would have been crushed.

Double Indemnity primarily focuses on two characters: Walter Neff, played by Fred MacMurray, and Phyllis Dietrichson, played by Barbra Stanwyck. When the movie starts, Walter is a good man. He is actually kind of a bad-ass. He is quick witted, full of self confidence, and always has a match ready to light a smoke. MacMurray fills the role perfectly. He has no problem portraying the confident salesman, the gentle lover, or the cold-hearted murderer.

On the other side of the coin, there is Phyllis. When we first meet Phyllis, she doesn’t seem very threatening. As the movie progresses, it becomes clear that she is more dangerous than she seems. Phyllis is a sultry woman, you almost don’t expect her to have this killer instinct. Stanwyk breaths a lot of life to this femme fetale. One moment she is all over Walter, then the next she is straight-faced and ready to kill her husband.

The movie is narrated by Walter in classic noir style. This was a double-edged sword because it somehow both removed and created tension. It created tension because I already knew he was going to get caught. Throughout the movie he kept trying to stay one step ahead Barton Keyes, the man responsible for catching insurance fraud. So every scene I kept thinking “will this be the moment?” But at the same time, since I knew he was narrating, whatever trouble Walter got into, chances are he would have gotten out of it.

I thought Double Indemnity is GREAT :-D. Fred MacMurray and Barbra Stanwyck were simply electric as the two leads. Walter trying to stay ahead of his pursuer made for some pretty tense moments. However, knowing that he was going to get out of whatever trouble he was in removed some of the tension. I don’t have much experience with noir films and this felt like a great introduction to the genre.

Favorite Quote
Phyllis Dietrichson: Nettie, show Mr. Neff to the living room.
Walter Neff: Where would the living room be?
Nettie: In there. But they keep the liquor locked up.
Walter: That’s alright. I always carry my own keys.


Cast & Crew
Bill Wilder – Director / Screenplay
Raymond Chandler – Screenplay
Miklos Rozsa – Composer

Fred MacMurray – Walter Neff
Barbra Stanwyck – Phyllis Dietrichson
Edward G. Robinson – Barton Keyes
Porter Hall – Mr. Jackson
Jean Heather – Lola Dietrichson
Tom Powers – Mr. Dietrichson
Byron Bar – Nino Zachetti
Richard Gaines – Edward S. Norton, Jr.
Fortunio Bonanova – Sam Garlopis
John Philliber – Joe Peters

Ultimate 80s Blogathon

Hey there, dear readers! I have something very exciting to announce. The wonderful, the talented, the does-everything Kim from Tranquil Dreams and I are teaming up to host the Ultimate 80s Blogathon! The premise is fairly simple: When you think of films from the 1980s, what is the first film that pops into your head? What do you consider to be the ultimate 80s movie?  We all have our favorites, whether it is a comedy like Ghostbusters or Caddyshack, an action movie like Rambo or The Terminator, a horror like The Shining or Nightmare on Elm Street, an animation like The Little Mermaid or Akira, or any other of the countless classics.  There are so many great films and we want to hear want YOU have to say.

But let’s leave this in the 80s…

If you are interested in participating, tell us in a comment down below or email Kim, kim.tranquildreams@gmail.com, or me, drewt510@gmail.com.  Then email us your submission once you are finished. Boom! Easy, peasy. Submissions are due before Monday, February 8. Then Kim and I will kick off the blogathon on February 15.  If you leave a comment below, keep your choice a secret. We want to be just as surprised as our readers by which film is your Ultimate 80s movie.  Feel free to use one of the banners below to show everyone how rad you are (click to view full size).


Spread the word! If there is someone you think would like to participate, please feel free to invite them to join. We can’t wait to read everyone’s submissions! 🙂


Back to the Future Ult 80s banner Footloose Ult 80s banner Ghostbusters Ult 80s banner The Little Mermaid Ult 80s banner Rambo Ult 80s banner The Shining Ult 80s banner Sixteen Candles Ult 80s banner Terminator Ult 80 banner

Some Like It Hot Review – “Try It, You’ll Like It!” Blogathon

Fritzi from Movies Silently is up to her tricks again! This time, she has paired up with Janet from Sister Celluloid to host the “Try it, you’ll like it” Blogathon. Each film in the blogathon fulfills two requirements: 1) they were made in or before 1965, and 2) they must work as an addictive introduction to newcomers to old, classic films.  There is an impressive range of films in the blogathon.  Check out all the entries for yourself here. Now, for my entry, I chose a film that I always see regarded as one of the best comedies of all time: Some Like It Hot.  As a huge fan of comedies, I thought this was the perfect time to finally check out this classic for myself.

Some Like It Hot movie postersis-tryityoulllikeit-blogathon-5Synopsis
After Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), two struggling musicians from Chicago, witness a gang hit, they go on the run disguised as members of an all-girl jazz ensemble.

Whenever I start a movie that is constantly on “Best Of” lists, I’m always leery. I’m leery because on multiple occasions, I haven’t enjoyed a movie that is on these types of lists. I have a similar feeling watching films that I am so far removed from; sometimes I just can’t get into them. Some Like It Hot falls into both of these categories. It is regularly on best of comedies lists and it was made over 55 years ago. Comedy is one of my favorite movie genres so I have been eager to watch it for some time but I did still go in with some reservations. I am very pleased to say these reservations were unnecessary.

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are one of the funniest comedy pairs I have ever seen. Curtis does fantastic transitioning between his female alter ego, Josephine, and other alter ego, Junior, millionaire heir to the Shell oil company. It’s actually quite impressive how well he can play essentially three roles. Shining equally as bright is Lemmon, who only has one alter ego, Daphne, but he has to deal with being courted by real millionaire Osgood Fielding III. As great as they are individually, their scenes together are even better. They had this natural chemistry that isn’t seen very often between two actors. The small things they add, like Jerry focusing so much on Sugar (Marilyn Monroe), the jazz ensemble’s singer, that he doesn’t realize he is playing the wrong side of his bass for a second, make the movie even more enjoyable.

Although Curtis and Lemmon were an absolute delight, they were able to excel because of the amazing script, written by director Billy Wilder and IAL Diamond. I haven’t laughed so hard at a movie in a very long time. The set up of having two guys dress in drag and hide among an all-women jazz ensemble can easily fall into the pitfall of relying on crude jokes and uncomfortable situations, which I enjoy but I know turns others away. Some Like It Hot never goes for the low hanging fruit. Instead, it artfully crafts unique and inventive situations for the characters to find themselves in. Each laugh is genuinely earned.

So far I haven’t even mentioned Marilyn Monroe. As big a star as she was, this is the first film I have watched of hers, so I can’t compare her performance here with her other movies. However, I can say she is good here. Although she doesn’t have the comedic presence of Curtis or Lemmon, she manages to hold her own. Joe E. Brown as Osgood was an absolute surprise to me. He didn’t have a ton of screen time but when he was on screen, he made the most of it. Brown’s comedic timing was perfect and outside of the two leads, he is my favorite actor in the film.

Some Like It Hot has found its way into my favorite comedies. Every scene is filled to the brim with laughs. It’s too bad this is the only film Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon made together (that I know of anyway) because they are one of comedy’s greatest movie duos.


Favorite Scene


Cast & Crew
Billy Wilder – Director / Writer
IAL Diamond – Writer
Adolph Deutsch – Composer

Tony Curtis – Joey
Jack Lemmon – Jerry
Marilyn Monroe – Sugar
George Raft – Spats Colombo
Pat O’Brian – Det. Mulligan
Joe E. Brown – Osgood Fielding III
Nehemiah Persoff – Little Bonaparte
Joan Shawlee – Sweet Sue
Billy Gray – Sig Poliakoff
George E. Stone – Toothpick Charlie