Last week, I posted Part 1 of the Birth Year Challenge. So if you haven’t read it, go check it out. There were a lot of great comments about the great movies that came out in the years that you Outposters were born in. It did seem like when I posted the rules maybe it wasn’t exactly clear, because I left a rule out. These all had to be first-time watches. Here are the rules again.
For this challenge you can only pick films that were released in the year you were born (going with Letterboxd dates to avoid UK/US release date confusion), the total amount of films to watch is the same as your current age. There is no time limit on the challenge, only to watch all the films before your next Birthday, or you’ll have to add another film!
All the films have to be first time watches.
This should explain why I watched the titles that I did, and not the obvious ones, like The Shining and The Empire Strikes Back. I’d take any excuse I can to watch those movies.
I’ll be posting the movies and their mini-reviews in the order I watched them. They’re mostly random thoughts I had while watching the movies.
Cockney mobsters, the IRA, and series of bombings. What else could you ask for from a crime drama? A part of me wishes they would have spent a little less time on figuring out who did it and some more time on why they did it. It all comes out at the end but through exposition. Still a great movie.
I can’t help, but feel like the plot of this movie was ripped off for Shutter Island.
There are some great actors in this all doing good jobs, except Tom Atkins was way underused. However, the silliness of the mental patients didn’t contrast well with the darker tone of the movie overall.
The Dogs of War, more like The Dogs of Bore. Am I right?
I got jokes, but this movie isn’t what I was expecting. It comes off more like an espionage movie than any kind of war movie. That’s not to say it was bad, I really did like it. However, it did come off a little too procedural in the middle.
*Usually, when I have a lot to say on a movie, more than a few thoughts, I’ll hold off and write a review for LMO. I’ll then post part of it on LetterBoxd and link back to the site. That’s what I did here, except seeing most of it stayed the same, I left it as it was. Luckily I did, because we lost everything from the old site. Yes, I’m still a bit upset about it, we all lost a lot of hard work. Anyway, here’s the review.
On paper, this is an interesting movie, although brutal and extremely violent. The plot is better than it has any right to be, but comes with a heaping dose of hypocrisy.
Going by the name Cannibal Holocaust, it’s not exactly the movie you’d expect it to be and at the same time, it is. A team of documentary filmmakers go into the “green inferno” and go missing. A professor goes looking for them and finds the brutal truth of what happened to them.
There are a lot of scenes that are hard to watch in this, much like many other horror movies. However, for me, no matter how hard scenes can be to watch I don’t care what a movie shows, because I know it’s fake. No matter how much I might dislike it. On the other hand, this movie is notorious for depictions of real animals being slaughtered. There’s absolutely no reason to show this in any movie. If you can’t use already dead animals, then use real animals and simply infer their death. If you can’t do that, don’t do the scenes at all.
I don’t want to hear any “authenticity” bullshit either. It was done for no other reason than shock value. There’s a scene they shoot a small pig point-blank for no reason. This was Italian scumbag filmmaking for the sake of Italian scumbag filmmaking. There are also other controversies with the movie’s director Ruggero Deodato as well that I won’t get into. The guy seems like a real piece of shit.
The film’s message about the Western world and its ignorance is overshadowed by a disgusting filmmaker using brutal tactics to make the film. Using actual violence to make a statement about violence and how bad it, and our thirst to see it, actually is feels truly ignorant.
This movie is a mess. I wish I could say it was so bad it’s good, but it’s just bad. The pacing is a nightmare, it’s a slog to get through. The acting isn’t great, but I liked seeing Jack Palance and Martin Landau both hamming it up. At least the alien looked good, too bad we don’t see much of it.
Not the greatest movie, I had a hard time staying invested in watching it. The plot is boring and the characters are paint by numbers, except Vic Morrow, he’s great as always. They at least tried to give this some… depth.
If you’re looking for blood, gore, and boobs, you’d probably like this movie. I’m sure growing up I would’ve loved it.
It’s not a terrible movie. It’s really repetitive, which makes it boring to sit through. There’s really no plot to it. The weird psycho sits around his apartment, goes out, breathes heavily, and kills a woman. Copy and paste for 90 minutes.
I will say this, I miss the atmosphere of the dark and seedy underbelly of New York City in movies. The only thing missing is someone playing three-card Monte.
Not a bad adaptation of the James–Younger Gang, but far from the best. I really like how they used actually siblings to play their respective roles. There are some great actors here in their prime. Some before they reached that point.
There’s not much superheroing going on. Most of the movie is about John Ritter’s character, being an out-of-work actor, and his lackluster love life. It’s cheesy, silly, and pretty stereotypical of superhero movies of the time. However, compared to most superhero movies that we’ve gotten in the past few years, it’s kind of refreshing. I can see why I’d never heard of this movie until putting this list together. It’s not bad though.
This movie is laughably obvious. I was convinced it was intentional until the big reveal at the end.
For its time, I’m sure the whole mental illness angle of it was seen as “progressive.” I doubt that’ll be the case anymore. It’s not that it really takes it seriously, it’s still a mediocre thriller at the end of the day. The acting was really good, even if Dennis Franz was a stereotypical typecast New York cop. It works for him.
Apparently, the last movie starring an aging Frank Sinatra and the first for Bruce Willis. Although, if you blink, you might miss the latter.
Some of the characters are there just to move the plot along, but they’re interesting enough that I don’t mind. Sometimes things are better left ambiguous. This movie makes the mistake of exposition. Still an all-around good movie.
Not a bad movie, but could’ve been a lot better. The horror elements were great and the plot was interesting. The set pieces looked good, but the special effects were cheesy. The robot wasn’t very intimidating, which hurt the movie the most. This happens a lot in these older sci-fi movies.
The movie has two plots too many. I’m not sure which one it could have done without, both are pretty uninteresting. The one about the son felt like it got in the way and the other, about gambling on the train. It wasn’t very original. Although the latter was closer to the song at least.
This movie has some great comedy actors in it. That said, Gilda Radner is criminally underused. There are some hilarious moments and the satire is on point. However, it starts to trail off toward the end. Still, overall a funny movie.
I don’t think something like this could be made today, for obvious reasons.
* Also known as Pinball Summer
A pretty run-of-the-mill teen sex comedy. Not the first and not at all the last of its kind. It does nothing to stand apart. It has it all though; tits, a fat (for 1980) nerd, and even a biker gang. There’s also this whole thing about pinball, but it’s hardly touched on until the end.
I’ve always loved medieval movies growing up, but I don’t think I would’ve cared for this. I’m not big on short films, they’re paced differently and so they kind of get lost on me. This one is no different. The acting is fine, the filming locations are great, but the story is dull and feels kind of rushed. I have mixed feelings about it, but overall, I didn’t like it as much as I wish I had.
Usually I’d say you can’t go wrong with a movie from the 70s or 80s with James Brolin or Dan Hedaya…
Brolin is fine enough I guess. He’s not given much, but he makes the best of it. Hedaya feels completely shoehorned in. He could’ve been completely removed from the movie and not much would’ve changed. The girl playing his daughter never feels at risk, which means there’s no suspense there. This is mostly due to the kidnapper falling for her in a sick, weird way. He’s also one note, constantly going on about how his mother use to be.
On paper, this looks like a great movie, which is why I chose it, but it’s lacking for me. The plot could’ve used more meat maybe, but the characters definitely could’ve been fleshed out more.
William Shatner is William Shatner. I don’t think he’s that great of an actor, but he’s all right. He’s good in this. Hal Holbrook is great as usual. Whenever I see him in a movie I instantly think ‘He’s from Creepshow.’
The movie is pretty good, except for the actual abduction of the President. There’s no way they’d allow a horde of people to be around him. He’s the President of the United States, not a wrestler on his way to the squared circle for the main event of WrestleMania. I was in simpatico with the President when he wasn’t taking the abduction at all seriously. It came off as a joke. It didn’t help the villain wasn’t the least bit intimidating.
I have mixed feelings about this movie. I found it mostly boring, but the concept I like.
Burt Reynolds is a diamond thief, working with Lesley-Anne Down. They have all right chemistry. David Niven is the inspector, looking to catch Reynold’s character red handed. He’s as good as ever. The movie feels like it wants to be like many other cat and mouse thievery movies, but feels like an imitation. If I had watched it a lot earlier in life, it wouldn’t feel like a knock off of other movies that came after. I can’t fault it for that.
I was looking forward to watching this movie. Directing and starring Dennis Hopper, how could I go wrong? Unfortunately I found it lackluster. It started out good and seemed interesting, but slowly fell off. The movie has a ‘day in the life of’ style plot, never really going anywhere. There’s no character arcs and everyone is unlikeable. The acting was good though, I can’t take that away from it.
I guess I was expecting too much from Xanadu. It wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t all that good either. The plot is thin, which is partly do to all the musical numbers. I can’t really blame it for that, as it’s a musical. It just comes off typical I guess.
Olivia Newton-John was great as usual. This is the first movie I’ve seen with Michael Beck, outside of The Warriors. I enjoyed him in that as he came off stoic. Here, unfortunately he’s bland at best. It was nice seeing Gene Kelly still had moves in his late 60s. The music is decent, but nothing remarkable though. The second half lets loose more and feels more like an 80s movie. It kind of makes me think this movie opened some doors for some of the greatness that was the 80s.
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