Featured Posts

Jan 28, 2011

Fletch's Favored Five: 1982 in Film

Now, the tenth in a continuing series in which I count down my favorites from a particular year in film. Previous entries:

1984 * 1985 * 1988 * 1990 * 1991 * 1993 * 1997 * 2002 * 2003

I'm going to use Wikipedia to kickstart my brain, year by year, and I'll throw out a Favored Five here and there. If you want to refresh your memory in a similar fashion, just go to Wiki and type "[four-character year] in film." Here's the one for 1982. I won't pretend that Wiki is the end-all, be-all of filmic knowledge or that these yearly lists are 100% accurate, but they're an excellent place to start and a great resource.

This year might as well not even exist for me. There are certainly some 'classics' in the mix, but many of them are in genres that I don't particularly care about (read: horror) or are films that I've not yet seen (I know, shocking). I guess it's due to bad timing, mostly - I was but five/six years old for this year, so I certainly wasn't catching the adult fare of the day, and I never got around to catching up on so many of them. The era doesn't help - films from this time seem hopelessly dated for the most part, so the thought of going back to watch An Officer and a Gentleman just doesn't appeal to me. Hell, I rarely watch even any of my top five from this year, save for a certain one that's on TV almost constantly. Perhaps in time this will change.

Notable movies not yet seen:
An Officer and a Gentleman
First Blood
The Thing
The Verdict
The Year of Living Dangerously

*Note: I've seen bits and pieces - and maybe even half or more - of at least Poltergeist and Porky's, but it's been so long that I can barely recall them, so they're making this list.

Honorable mentions:
Basket Case - If I read a trivia question that asked what year this came out, I would have guessed 1987. I watched this a number of times in high school and fell in love with it, but ain't seen it since. Fond memories (and a shout-out to Jason Soto, who holds this as one of his favorite movies of all time. It's weird as hell, but check it out.).

Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan - I'm not Trekker, but this is just too much fun to pass up.

TRON - Got a copy sitting next to the TV right now, just waiting to be watched. Had hoped to do so before seeing Legacy, but no dice. Still looking forward to a re-watch.

The Five
5. The Wall - Watch it tripped out, watch it sober - it doesn't matter. Either way, it's got great music and is a hell of a ride. Just don't make me watch the nipple shaving scene.

4. Blade Runner - By all accounts, this should be number one on my list (and probably will be eventually). Harrison Ford was only my movie hero of the 80s (I know, so original). Add on to that the sci-fi factor, and add on to that the Phil Dick factor, and this should actually be in my Top 10. Fact is, I just haven't seen it enough, or often enough, to love it that much. I'd watch it more, but frankly, movies that have 12 versions and bickering about what the final cut really, really is kind of bug me.

3. E.T. - My mom always used to tell me that when I saw this in the theater, I cried like a baby and was scared to death when E.T. was near death's door. Anyway, what 80s kid didn't want to ride their bike into the night sky? Or live in the sweet neighborhood that Elliott and family lived in? Or discover an alien in the woods. I also grew up with a crush on Drew Barrymore that lasted until about 1995.

2. The Man From Snowy River - You've probably never even heard of this, much less seen it. Maybe you have, but it seems like this was a classic film only in my family. The funny thing is, this is probably more of a little girls' movie than a boys movie, what with all of the horses and such, but it's got Kirk Douglas playing two roles and a ton of great action scenes. Show it to your kids if you have any; otherwise, leave this one to me and my nostalgia.

1. Fast Times at Ridgemont High - A quintessential 80s flick and a great flick all at once, Amy Heckerling's paean to high school has become iconic for so many reasons, from Mr. Hand to all of Spicoli's lines to the deep reservoir of talent the film lined up - including, of course, Mr. Nic Coppola. It's crazy outdated, but the themes presented are timeless.

23 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Favored Five: 1982 in Film"

jackssmirkingrevenge said...

Good list, I would probably go Man from snowy river and blade runner, numbers 1 and 2, respectively.
From about 1984 to 1987, Snowy River was probably my favorite movie that wasnt from the star wars or indiana jones univerese.

Aiden R. said...

Damn, now I have to see Basket Case. Who knew '82 was one hell of a year? First Blood? Gandhi? The Thing? Jesus Christ, wish they still made movies like those.

And The Man from Snowy River is an effing classic, man. Good call.

WampaOne said...

Solid choices/post all around Fletcher! Fast Times, probably my favorite from that time too.

You won´t be disappointed with First Blood - try to forget every Rambo movie that came out afterwards, that is, treat it like a movie on its own. You have to watch The Thing too.

Ha, other people like The Basket Case too.


Nick said...

Wait, wait, wait...

You've seen BASKET BASE, but you've never seen Poltergeist? Something is fundamentally wrong with this picture.

Alex said...

Whoa what is this? No ANNIE? No VICTOR/VICTORIA? No GREASE 2?! You've got to get up on your 1982 musicals, dude.

Otherwise, cool list! I rewatched FAST TIMES a few months ago and found it didn't quite live up to my memory of it, but I think I would have liked it better had I watched it a lot in high school. It's so loved by a lot of people so I definitely get its number 1 spot here.

Also I really recommend THE THING. It is so badass!

Fletch said...

If I had guts, I would have placed Snowy River at the top as well, but I chickened out.

Sounds like we had the same childhood. From 1981-1983, I think my favorite movies were Star Wars, Benji, The Black Stallion and the Muppet Movie, but Snowy River came into the equation probably around '84.

Fletch said...

My memories of Basket Case are really hazy. I know the first one is more straight-up horror; it might be the sequel that I loved even more, which was more of a horror-comedy. Don't get your hopes up, you may very well think they're retarded.

Sweet - another Snowy River lover! Ever seen the sequel?

Fletch said...

Yeah, believe it or not, I've never seen a single Rambo flick. Arnold was my choice in the 80s, and I pretty much avoided all Stallone flicks that weren't named Rockey. Never seen Tango and Cash, either.

I will think about watching The Thing. ;)

Fletch said...

Hey, I said I might've seen half or all of it and I just don't recall. I've had a lot longer to forget movies than you have. I know the basic story anyway, do I really need to go back and revisit "they're here?"

Fletch said...

By and large, I don't do musicals. No interest in any of those flicks right there, Alex. Sorry.

I actually am more of the age where I like Heckerling's other high school movie more - Clueless - but Fast Times is probably the "better" movie. Clueless is just so much fun.

Okay, more attention going to The Thing, pronto!

Buffett35 said...

Fast Times and E.T. are definitely 1 and 2 for me, although E.T. doesn't do nearly as much for me as it did when I was a kid. I believe it was the first movie I ever saw in a theater. I cried and got scared too.

I can appreciate the inclusion of The Wall (pretty sure we watched that together a few times), but never seen Snowy, Blade, Tron, or Khan. Basket Case brings back some memories. I forgot it even existed.

As others have said, First Blood, Poltergeist, and The Thing are all worth a watch. The "they're here" girl is the most boring character in Poltergeist. Spielberg wrote it and Craig T. frickin Nelson is in it! And don't let John Carpenter scare you away from The Thing. It's way more sci-fi than horror.

Buffett35 said...

Yeah I'll watch Blade Runner. Just never had the opportunity, and never sought it out. Now I don't know which version to watch though!

Tango & Cash has Russell and comes highly recommended, too :)

Nick said...

I've actually seen Poltergeist in theater. They brought it here for a special showing. That was fun to see it on the big screen.

Jason said...

Fuck yeah, Basket Case!!!

And countdown to everybody hating me in 3...2...1...

I don't like "Blade Runner". I know, I know, I KNOW! I just find it boring. Sue me.
-Jason (hopefully I'll figure out how to sign in on this crazy thing)

Andrew Wickliffe said...

I always think of '82 as the year of great sci-fi (or sci-fi related) movies. Star Trek II, Blade Runner, The Thing... they're all at the tops. I hadn't even thought of E.T.

Buffett35 said...

I think I've seen Tequila Sunrise, but I don't remember a damn thing about it, so yes, you're right. I suppose T & C is Lethal Weaponesque with the whole buddy cop thing, except that they hate each other. Russell is at his smary-assy best, and Stallone actually pulls off some humor. It has a young, as-yet-unknown Teri Hatcher and the coolest bad guy ever, Jack Palance! As if that wasn't enough, it has Clint Howard in the best role of his career! He seriously should have been nominated for something. You won't regret watching it.

Fletch said...

That's ok - I don't know which version you should watch, either. I'd say the
theatrical one, but I don't know if that's the one I have. I wanna say you can
see at least two endings with the disc I've got.

So Tango is the good one, and Tequila Sunrise is the not-so-good one, right? I
just assume they're all kinda Lethal Weapony...accurate at all?

Fletch said...

Only one that really shocks me is that you never saw Blade Runner. I'd think
you'd be in the same shoes as me there, in that you ought to love it, and at
least have seen it. I have a copy if you want to borrow, though it might be on

I know all about Craig T. Nelson, man! Peter Griffin played him in the FG
version! ;)

I'm not afraid of Carpenter, per se. Hell, I even saw Escape from L.A. once
upon a time. Then again, Carpenter doesn't do much for me, either. But it's
got Russell (and it comes highly recommended), so I'll give it a shot.

Fletch said...

I need to do a double-feature and just watch both of those back-to-back. Wouldn't help with the confusion I have for them in my head, but at least I could say that I've seen them.

The best Clint role, really? But there's so much to choose from, like his cameo in that one Ron Howard movie, or maybe in that other Ron Howard movie...

Fletch said...


But yeah, a lot of top sci-fi work here. If only Empire Strikes Back had come out in '82, too...

Fletch said...

I was thinking...if you ever want to have me back on the Lair, we should talk about Basket Case 1 and 2. I could stand a rewatch, and I know you love talking about them...

Watch Blade Runner again. We both need to.

Fletch said...

That's pretty cool. You don't get a whole lot of chances to watch old flicks on a big screen there, do you?

James Blake Ewing said...

You haven't seen The Thing? Madness! Even I, who try to avoid all movies that might entertain, have seen the film.

For me, 1982 will always be the year of Blade Runner. Easily my favorite sci-fi and one of my personal all time favorites.

And I've heard of The Man From Snowy River. It's one of those films my mother watched over and over again. I've never actually seen it before. Might have to give it a watch as I do like me some Douglas.