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Not classics, they're just movies


TopBilled
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I wanted to start this thread in honor of my 93 year old neighbor. 

Ed is such an interesting fellow. He has so much energy, he is always on the go and lives in the present. 

But occasionally he tells me stories about serving in World War II. And about the way movies were "back then."

Keep in mind he was born in 1926 when silent films were still being made. 

A few days ago, we were talking movie channels. I mentioned TCM and he smiled. He said to him they are not classic movies. They're just movies-- movies he saw first run in the theaters when they originally premiered.

I guess I'd feel this way too, if someone asked me years from now about "classic" movies that defined my generation. It would be a bit odd to think that FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF and TOP GUN were considered classics and marketed by a channel in such a way. They're just movies from my youth.

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19 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I guess I'd feel this way too, if someone asked me years from now about "classic" movies that defined my generation. It would be a bit odd to think that FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF and TOP GUN were considered classics and marketed by a channel in such a way. They're just movies from my youth.

Never mind Ferris Bueller, if you told me back in my Class of '83 days that John Hughes and Bob Clark would be considered film geniuses, and "The Breakfast Club" would be considered the Voice of Its Generation, I would be...........skeptical.  (We were grateful, however, that "A Christmas Story" was more watchable than the Porky's movies or "Turk 182".)

Oh, and kids?  We were there:  We HATED "The Goonies".  It flopped in theaters with a murderous passion.  And "Labyrinth" almost put Jim Henson and George Lucas out of business, Ridley Scott was laughed off the screen for "Legend", and I can think of six reasons "The Lion King" became a hit that had absolutely nothing to do with the movie itself.

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1 hour ago, EricJ said:

Oh, and kids?  We were there:  We HATED "The Goonies".  

I agree, "The Goonies" is one that has become a "classic" kids movie to some.  Also, "The Sandlot" and "Space Jam" seem to be regarded similarly. Every free movie in the park in our area has at least two of these scheduled.  These weren't movies I remember being well-received when they came out.  I like "The Breakfast Club" (then and now) but remember really disliking "Sixteen Candles" when it came out.  I thought "Top Gun" was pretty cheesy when I saw it in the theaters, too.

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1 hour ago, EricJ said:

Oh, and kids?  We were there:  We HATED "The Goonies".  It flopped in theaters with a murderous passion. 

How old were you when The Goonies came out? You complain about it a lot. It's kinda strange. I too remember when it came out. It wasn't the hit that say, Back to the Future was, but it made money. Personally, I was never crazy about it, but I wasn't a little kid at the time either, and the people that I've met that were kids at the time regard it fondly, as did the many customers who rented it on video from me.

By the way:

Box office[edit]

The Goonies grossed US$9 million in its opening weekend in the U.S., second on the charts behind Rambo: First Blood Part II.[20] It grossed more than US$61 million that year [on a budget of $19 million], placing it among the top ten highest-grossing films of 1985.[21]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Goonies#Box_office

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On 7/16/2019 at 4:54 PM, LawrenceA said:

How old were you when The Goonies came out? You complain about it a lot. It's kinda strange. I too remember when it came out. It wasn't the hit that say, Back to the Future was, but it made money. Personally, I was never crazy about it, but I wasn't a little kid at the time either, and the people that I've met that were kids at the time regard it fondly, as did the many customers who rented it on video from me.

By the way:

Box office[edit]

The Goonies grossed US$9 million in its opening weekend in the U.S., second on the charts behind Rambo: First Blood Part II.[20] It grossed more than US$61 million that year [on a budget of $19 million], placing it among the top ten highest-grossing films of 1985.[21]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Goonies#Box_office

Looking it up here, The Goonies was #9 among all releases at the box office in 1985. (Adjusted take $155,808,700) . The top 8 were Back to the Future, Rambo: First Blood, Part II, Rocky IV, The Color Purple, Out of Africa, Cocoon, The Jewel of the Nile, and Witness. 

https://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=1985&adjust_yr=2019&p=.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Goonies came out when I was 1.  It seems to have gained some sort of cult status among my age group.  I am not really sure why though.  I've seen it exactly once and honestly can't remember much about it. 

While obviously someone can genuinely love the film (and more power to them), I think it might be one of those films where people hear that it's a classic among their peers, so they claim to love it too--even if they really don't know why they like it. 

I'm not even a big fan of The Breakfast Club.  It's good and I like the music, but it's not one of my favorite of John Hughes films.  I love Sixteen Candles (Jake Ryan! be still my heart!) and Pretty in Pink. My favorite of Hughes' films though is Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Reviewing this list of 1985 releases, my absolute favorite would be Clue.  That movie is hilarious.

I also like Summer Rental, Back to the Future, and The Legend of Billie Jean.

And since I was 1 in 1985 and have memories of watching the 80s cartoons as a preschooler, I have to say that there's a spot in my heart for The Care Bears Movie and Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer

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6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

How old were you when The Goonies came out? You complain about it a lot. It's kinda strange. I too remember when it came out. It wasn't the hit that say, Back to the Future was, but it made money. Personally, I was never crazy about it, but I wasn't a little kid at the time either, and the people that I've met that were kids at the time regard it fondly, as did the many customers who rented it on video from me.

It's the video customers who made it a hit (because it sure wasn't the theater audience), and if I harp on it, it's because The Myth symbolizes WHY a VHS-raised generation thinks that Chunk & Co. was the "definitive 80's movie":

Judging from the mania over "Stranger Things", "It: Chapter One", and JJ Abrams' "Super 8"--which all descended into a mania for marketing 80's iconography--when the Generation Who Wasn't There symbolizes Big-80's Movies as literally its own genre, they mean one thing:  Misfit junior-high kids on bikes, who can't tell their parents about aliens/monsters.  When you hear somebody in their twenties talk about "Great 80's movies", you can bet a jelly donut they're not talking about The Killing Fields or Terms of Endearment.

I've theorized the reasons why, but when you look at something like the Goldbergs sitcom, the Transformers "Bumblebee" movie, or the 90's jokes in "Captain Marvel" (and I can already guess half the jokes from next summer's 1984-set Wonder Woman sequel), there's a conflicted love-hate relationship the generation has for the 80's:  They WANT to snicker-snag on their parents' decade for wearing neon colors, listening to Rick Astley, believing that Russians were scary and a 50's actor was really president, wearing headbands just like Ralph Macchio, and watching (ack!) TV sitcoms--But get them talking about 80's songs or 80's movies, and there's...just that little bit of jealousy there that sitting through "Back to the Future" for the first time would have been a lot more fun than sitting through "Justice League" or "Godzilla: King of the Monsters", and that Huey Lewis was a lot more fun to drive to than Beyonce'.  Which, in turn, only manifests itself in even MORE sour-grapes jokes about "ALF", followed by more Bruce Springsteen songs, and so on, and so on...

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3 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Reviewing this list of 1985 releases, my absolute favorite would be Clue.  That movie is hilarious.

That's another on that seemed to have gotten more love over the years.  I like Tim Curry but I'm not crazy about Clue.  Murder By Death is a similarly silly movie mystery that I liked.  It might be an acquired taste, though.  A boozy Truman Capote is the bad guy.  

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5 hours ago, TopBilled said:

He said to him they are not classic movies. They're just movies-- movies he saw first run in the theaters when they originally premiered.

We have an older friend who loves movies and saw many of what we consider "classics" when they came out.  But there are movies that we were surprised he had never seen.  We recommended "The More The Merrier" and "Talk of the Town".  He never liked Jean Arthur for some reason growing up but really enjoyed them now.  

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7 hours ago, EricJ said:

Never mind Ferris Bueller, if you told me back in my Class of '83 days that John Hughes and Bob Clark would be considered film geniuses, and "The Breakfast Club" would be considered the Voice of Its Generation, I would be...........skeptical.  (We were grateful, however, that "A Christmas Story" was more watchable than the Porky's movies or "Turk 182".)

Oh, and kids?  We were there:  We HATED "The Goonies".  It flopped in theaters with a murderous passion.  And "Labyrinth" almost put Jim Henson and George Lucas out of business, Ridley Scott was laughed off the screen for "Legend", and I can think of six reasons "The Lion King" became a hit that had absolutely nothing to do with the movie itself.

Those Hughes movies did well in my neighborhood. I can't count how many times my friends and I watch Sixteen Candles. Some kids brought a cammed version of "The Breakfast Club" to school and we spent a period of English class watching it. You would think it was the new Citizen Kane.

Goonies, Gremlins etc... not for us. I'd never even heard of "A Christmas Story" until recent years.

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5 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

The Goonies came out when I was 1.  It seems to have gained some sort of cult status among my age group.  I am not really sure why though.  I've seen it exactly once and honestly can't remember much about it. 

While obviously someone can genuinely love the film (and more power to them), I think it might be one of those films where people hear that it's a classic among their peers, so they claim to love it too--even if they really don't know why they like it. 

I'm not even a big fan of The Breakfast Club.  It's good and I like the music, but it's not one of my favorite of John Hughes films.  I love Sixteen Candles (Jake Ryan! be still my heart!) and Pretty in Pink. My favorite of Hughes' films though is Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Reviewing this list of 1985 releases, my absolute favorite would be Clue.  That movie is hilarious.

I first saw The Goonies when I was around 11 years old or so, and I had zero interest in it. I re-watched it in high school, and actually enjoyed it. I don't love it, but I like it. 

I really like The Breakfast Club for some reason, but I can't get behind the ideology that John Hughes is a genius or whatever. Although, Planes Trains and Automobiles is fantastic. 

Clue is definitely a favorite for me. True, some of the jokes don't hold up today, but it's entertaining and puts me in a good mood, and I LOVE when movies do that for me. 

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7 hours ago, EricJ said:

 We HATED "The Goonies".  It flopped in theaters with a murderous passion. 

Fact check: As others have noted the movie was #9 at the box office the year it was released, making over $42 million (in 1985  money).

Your statement is false. 

 

2 hours ago, EricJ said:

It's the video customers who made it a hit (because it sure wasn't the theater audience)

Fact check: "Box office" refers only theatrical earnings. It does not include revenue from video rentals or video sales or even revenue from television rights.

As has been documented, The Goonies was #9 at the box office among movies released in 1985 so your statement is false.

 

6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

How old were you when The Goonies came out? You complain about it a lot. It's kinda strange.

EricJ is a master at stating opinion as fact, LawrenceA. 

 

5 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

Looking it up here, The Goonies was #9 among all releases at the box office in 1985. (Adjusted take $155,808,700) . The top 8 were Back to the Future, Rambo: First Blood, Part II, Rocky IV, The Color Purple, Out of Africa, Cocoon, The Jewel of the Nile, and Witness.

Thanks, CinemaInternational, for educating us with the facts.

 

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You just never know what's gonna happen around here. TopBilled starts a thread about his 93-year-old neighbor, and it immediately changes into a debate about The Goonies! Typically, I feel like a youngster around here, but I think I'm older than most of the posters on this thread. The summer of 1985 would have between my sophomore and junior years of high school. I remember most of these movies well, but I was just old enough to be getting a bit jaded about movies - I didn't spend endless hours gushing about how awesome this one or that one was anymore like I would have just a few years earlier. I saw The Goonies in the theater, but it made zero impression on me. I found it to be kind of sub-Spielbergian suburban kids adventure movie, nowhere near as good as E.T. (Without looking it up, I'm gonna guess Spielberg was an executive producer on that one. Seems like one of those movies). I thought the red-haired girl in it was cute. I didn't think about it again for many years until I discovered it apparently has some kind of cult status among those a few years younger than me. I don't think Eric J. is wrong to say it had a fantastic afterlife on home video, one of the greatest ever, I think, though clearly it was a hit in its initial theater run, too.

Clue I completely missed. I remember seeing the Siskel & Ebert review (S&E aired at a weird time slot on my local cable, at like 10:30 p.m. on Sunday nights. I never missed it in high school or college. It was absolute essential viewing), and having been a Clue (the game) aficionado in my elementary school years, I thought well, that might be kind of fun. But other movies must have drawn attention more during its theatrical run, and I never rented it in the Blockbuster era, either. I don't suppose I ever will see it, unless TCM shows it. I do remember they did something fairly novel where they filmed multiple endings that revealed different murderers, and the version you saw just depended on where you lived. I don't know what they did when they released it on VHS (on DVD, they probably put all the endings).

And, yeah, A Christmas Story is also a cult classic from my adolescence, but I don't think I was ever even aware of it until many years later. I believe I finally saw it for the first time on TCM, in which Robert Osborne practically shuddered when he told us it was from the same guy who gave us Porky's, but not to worry about that so much, as he thought Christmas Story was pretty terrific. 

I really wasn't all that into the John Hughes movies, either, not until Ferris Bueller, anyway. I was certainly aware of all those Molly Ringwald movies, but I didn't see any of them in their original theatrical run. Some of the boys in my high school were endlessly imitating Long Duc Dong. We'd moved on from Stepin Fetchit by the '80s, but Asians were still fair game for mockery; none of those liberals in Hollywood had any thought at all that they were being offensive. Hughes' best movie ever, in my opinion, didn't have teenagers at all. It was Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which came out when I was in college.

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3 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

 

 

We'd moved on from Stepin Fetchit by the '80s, but Asians were still fair game for mockery; none of those liberals in Hollywood had any thought at all that they were being offensive. Hughes' best movie ever, in my opinion, didn't have teenagers at all. It was Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which came out when I was in college.

Not really. The 80's was a lame attempt at returning to the "good old days" by some people. Stepin Fetchit became the "drug dealer, gang banger, pimp, prostitute, etc... And if he was a decent human being, he was dead in the first ten minutes of the film. Remember, this was the decade when Lou Gossett Jr. won an Oscar...then couldn't get any work ! Richard Pryor was relegated to walking around in chicken suits, playing servant for some boy, etc... The mockery was alive and well in those days.

This is why I like classic film. Its of its day. I don't compare those films to what would be made today because it wasn't made today. And frankly, I prefer the old way. If you're offended, don't buy a ticket. Simple as that.

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5 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I remember seeing the Siskel & Ebert review (S&E aired at a weird time slot on my local cable, at like 10:30 p.m. on Sunday nights. I never missed it in high school or college. It was absolute essential viewing)

I loved Siskel & Ebert.  I didn't always agree with them but it was a great way to find out about new smaller movies.  It's too bad that there isn't just a show that reviews new movies anymore. I know that they tried different versions of it after Siskel and Ebert passed away.  (A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips did it for a short time.  They were my favorite although not as feisty as S & E.)  

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6 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

You just never know what's gonna happen around here. TopBilled starts a thread about his 93-year-old neighbor, and it immediately changes into a debate about The Goonies

That's okay. It's probably because I referenced films from my youth (80s fodder). But I don't mind discussing 80s cinema.

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2 hours ago, GGGGerald said:

Not really. The 80's was a lame attempt at returning to the "good old days" by some people. Stepin Fetchit became the "drug dealer, gang banger, pimp, prostitute, etc... And if he was a decent human being, he was dead in the first ten minutes of the film. Remember, this was the decade when Lou Gossett Jr. won an Oscar...then couldn't get any work ! Richard Pryor was relegated to walking around in chicken suits, playing servant for some boy, etc... The mockery was alive and well in those days.

These are all interesting points. I certainly didn't intend to imply I thought everything was hunky-dory with depictions of black characters onscreen in the '80s. Perhaps I should have elaborated a bit. I do think by the 80s, the stereotyping of African-Americans had at least gotten a little more subtle, whereas for Asians, there was more of a direct line that could be drawn between Fetchit and Long Duc Dong, i.e., we are going to laugh at you specifically because of your ethnicity, the way you talk and your facial expressions.

No question Richard Pryor wasn't utilized properly given his immense talent. Someone had the foresight at least to let him do his concert films, in which his genius could shine.

I would also take some issue with your contention that Louis Gossett couldn't get "any" work. Maybe not all the parts he deserved, but if you look at his imdb resume, over the remainder of the decade he was in eight theatrical films, eight made-for-TV movies, the Sadat TV mini-series and and five episodes of the TV series The Powers of Matthew Star

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8 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

Clue I completely missed. I remember seeing the Siskel & Ebert review (S&E aired at a weird time slot on my local cable, at like 10:30 p.m. on Sunday nights. I never missed it in high school or college. It was absolute essential viewing), and having been a Clue (the game) aficionado in my elementary school years, I thought well, that might be kind of fun. But other movies must have drawn attention more during its theatrical run, and I never rented it in the Blockbuster era, either. I don't suppose I ever will see it, unless TCM shows it. I do remember they did something fairly novel where they filmed multiple endings that revealed different murderers, and the version you saw just depended on where you lived. I don't know what they did when they released it on VHS (on DVD, they probably put all the endings).

On the DVD when you start the film, you have two options: Have one of the three endings picked at random; or watch all three endings.  I always choose to watch all three, because each one is fun in its own way.  The best one is the one with Mrs. White's "flames on the side of my face" speech, where she talks about how much she hates Yvette, the maid. 

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3 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I do think by the 80s, the stereotyping of African-Americans had at least gotten a little more subtle, whereas for Asians, there was more of a direct line that could be drawn between Fetchit and Long Duc Dong, i.e., we are going to laugh at you specifically because of your ethnicity, the way you talk and your facial expressions.

 

In addition to the ethnic stereotyping of Long Duc Dong, Sixteen Candles has running gag about a girl with a neck brace trying to get a drink of water from a water fountain. I mean, how hilarious is that? I admit I was hoping through the whole movie that Molly Ringwald would end up with the Dongster. The Dongster is way cooler than all the kids who are supposed to be cool. Maybe I should put in a SPOILERS note here: I rolled my eyes that Molly would end up with the senior stud, who turns out to be sweet and sensitive (right), and that Anthony Michael Hall would (maybe) have sex with the hot senior girl. Wouldn't it have been a better ending if Molly had realized that Anthony Michael Hall actually had more to offer than the dreamboat?

I'll admit that one of my strongest memories of 80s cinema is wishing I had the strength to smack the smarm off Matthew Broderick's face in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but even Godzilla couldn't do that. Face it: I am not the target audience for these films.

Seeing the grosses for a year's films is almost always surprising. Look how well Mask did, for instance. And Out of Africa and The Color Purple got box-office receipts, not just Oscar nominations.

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I have a niece and nephew SpeedRacer5's age. They watch Home Alone every Christmas. They don't own it, but stream it.

So what word fits if it isn't classic? TGAM? Turner Golden Age Movies? Yuk!

I listen to music from World War II. That is the name of the channel. I enjoy older music and older movies. Not because they are old exactly, just that they are better.

As for 1985, Back To The Future is THE movie, only because it travels back to 1955, 2 years before I was born. Most of my favorite movies are older than me.

if you wanna talk 1984, there is Gremlins.

There is this one too. Still can't find the title.

 

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12 minutes ago, kingrat said:

In addition to the ethnic stereotyping of Long Duc Dong, Sixteen Candles has running gag about a girl with a neck brace trying to get a drink of water from a water fountain. I mean, how hilarious is that? I admit I was hoping through the whole movie that Molly Ringwald would end up with the Dongster. The Dongster is way cooler than all the kids who are supposed to be cool. Maybe I should put in a SPOILERS note here: I rolled my eyes that Molly would end up with the senior stud, who turns out to be sweet and sensitive (right), and that Anthony Michael Hall would (maybe) have sex with the hot senior girl. Wouldn't it have been a better ending if Molly had realized that Anthony Michael Hall actually had more to offer than the dreamboat?

I'll admit that one of my strongest memories of 80s cinema is wishing I had the strength to smack the smarm off Matthew Broderick's face in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but even Godzilla couldn't do that. Face it: I am not the target audience for these films.

Seeing the grosses for a year's films is almost always surprising. Look how well Mask did, for instance. And Out of Africa and The Color Purple got box-office receipts, not just Oscar nominations.

It's easy to see the studio patterns-- making mainstream films for the lucrative teen market that are meant to entertain. And then releasing the serious "high brow" Oscar bait at the end of each year. I think the mainstream hits tell us more about society than the Oscar winners.

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28 minutes ago, kingrat said:

Seeing the grosses for a year's films is almost always surprising. Look how well Mask did, for instance. And Out of Africa and The Color Purple got box-office receipts, not just Oscar nominations.

If you go back even earlier, like the '70s, you'll see the box-office champs are loaded with more sophisticated, mature fare. I guess when there were way fewer entertainment options, adults would actually go to the theaters to see straight dramas. There were a few more to come: I think stuff like Rain Man and Dances with Wolves were both big box-office hits, but as we moved into the '90s, things began to change dramatically.

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