The media is going nuts over Dunkirk these days, and rightfully so if the reviews are on target. In my family, going to a war movie was a rite of passage passed on from father to son. The only movies my dad and went to see together were war flicks. I can't remember who I saw Star Wars or any of the Benji movies with. But I know Dad was next to me for Midway and A Bridge Too Far.
In later years, he and I would escape to the living room to wach Patton, The Longest Day and even Saving Private Ryan together on cable.
I won't pretend that the '80s gave us the best war movies - no decade could own such a vast genre - but here are five flicks from my favorite decade I wish I could watch again with Dad.
TOP 5 WAR FILMS OF THE 1980s:
5. DAS BOOT (1981): "Not bad in here, is it? No mail, no telephone. Solid wood paneling. Well-ventilated boat. Free food, too. 'Rolling in clover' we are."
4. HEARTBREAK RIDGE (1986): "The United States' Marines is lookin' for a few good men - you ain't it." …
We love '80s supergroups that flew under the radar on Lost and Found and today we have one that was so far under the radar its almost embarrassing for music lovers. So today let's show some love for Keats and their video for Turn Your Heart Around.
If you love Alan Parsons Project songs, you will love Keats. Keats was an offshoot of the Alan Parsons Project with most of the members having served as a part of Parson's band of the bulk of his albums in the '70s and '80s. The lineup may not have a household name in the bunch, but perhaps a mini-resume of its members might persuade you give some love for Keats.
On lead vocals for Keats is Colin Blunstone - the voice of The Zombies who in the '60s produced some of the finest singles of the day with songs like She's Not There, Tell Her No and Time Of The Season. Blunstone's connection to the Alan Parsons Project was as singer on several APP songs including one of my favorites - Old and Wise from the 1982 album Eye In The Sky. …
It’s a shame that Nancy and Ann Wilson are struggling with family issues and have put Heart on the sideline for now. Thirty years ago, they were atop the charts with the hit Alone.
If you’ve never seen Heart play live, say a prayer that they’ll eventually work things out and head out on the road together because they’re truly not to missed - especially their performance of Alone.
By the way, Alone isn't a Heart original. It was composed by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and first appeared on their 1983 pet project, I-Ten, on Taking a Cold Look. Later, Valerie Stevenson and John Stamos recorded a version for the soundtrack of the 1984 CBS sitcom Dreams. Twenty years after Heart topped the charts with their version, Celine Dion recorded her take on it.
Music videos were fun enough in the '80s but when you add Fun Boy Three, the fun multiplies threefold as evidenced by The Phone Always Rings.
When The Specials split up in the early '80s, three of its members decided to continue to stay together and formed the new wave group Fun Boy Three. Their 1981 debut album was a U.K. hit and scored several hits including The Phone Always Rings that was a Top 20 hit in the U.K. in 1982.
Around the 2:40 mark there are many cameos in the video for The Phone Always Rings as most Americans will recognize the girls of Bananrama. Fun Boy Three is credited with bringing Bananarama into the limelight as their collaboration of It Ain't What You Do (It's The Way That You Do It) landed the girl vocal trio their first chart hit. Other notable cameos include Ian Dury, members of Madness and around the 2:46 and 3:00 mark, glimpses of British comedian Alexei Sayle, whom '80s movie fans might better remember as The Sultan in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.
Fun Boy Three stuck around for only two albums when lead singer Terry Hall left to form The Colourfield.
Back in the days when watching R-rated movies on HBO was the height of our teenage rebellion, perhaps no movie was more forbidden than Summer Lovers. The tale of an American couple (Peter Gallagher and Daryl Hannah) engaging in a romantic relationship with a French woman on the Greek island of Santorini probably stretched the censors at the Motion Picture Association of America to the edge of their seats.
Released on July 16, 1982, Summer Lovers confused movie-goers and critics alike. Was it a piece of erotic work? Or a beach movie? Or a romantic-comedy? (Some websites still categorize it as a straight comedy, which it surely was not.) At the very least, it delivered some amazing music. Two songs in particular are often associated with Summer Lovers - I’m So Excited by the Pointer Sisters and Hard to Say I’m Sorry by Chicago, which punctuates the emotional end of the film.
Other tunes by Depeche Mode, Tina Turner and Elton John also make their way onto the soundtrack. …
One of the goals of the Stuck in the '80s blog and podcast is to take an entire decade and break it down to individual snap shot moments that defined the '80s. As far as the styles of the '80s, we need to look no further than the aptly named video of Snap Shot by Sylvia to marvel at the fashions of our favorite decade.
In 1982, country pop was just about at its peak as Kenny Rogers and Alabama were hitting the charts with regularity. Riding the wave was Sylvia and she scored a gold record with Nobody that hit the Top 20 on the pop charts. While Nobody is still heard occasionally on choice '80s retro programs, the single Snap Shot is a rare sighting.
Born Sylvia Kirby in Kokomo, Indiana, she was in her mid-20s when she burst on the music scene despite having the same one-name stage name as Sylvia (Vanderpool) who had a Top 3 hit in 1973 with the soft rock classic Pillow Talk. While no video was made for Nobody, the label got behind her for Snap Shot that was a Top 5 Country hit but did not chart as a pop single. …
There's not a thing so far about Blade Runner 2049 that makes me want to bad-mouth this sequel to the 1982 classic. The casting looks great. The music gives me chills. And the latest trailer, uploaded Monday by Warner Bros. Pictures, just makes sci-fi fans want it more and more. October 6 can't come soon enough.
It’e been a while since we had something to report on Sylvester Stallone. So imagine our delight to double-dip today with two dueling new items.
First, Deadline.com reports that Stallone has issued a public statement saying he has no involvement with the latest remake of First Blood. As we all know from our homework, 1982’s First Blood was the beginning of the Rambo franchise. But with Stallone now 71 years ago, we can understand him taking a pass on this. (Tiger Shroff has been cast to appear as Rambo in the remake with filming set to begin in February, but we’ll believe it when we see it. Remake attempts for Rambo have crashed and burned in the past.)
But here’s the more interesting scoop: Deadline also reports that Stallone is fixated on a sequel to Creed, the 2015 Rocky spinoff that focuses on the soon of Apollo Creed. And in this new movie, it’s possible that Creed (played by Michael B. Jordan as “Adonis Creed”) could actually fight the song of Ivan Drago, the villainous Soviet boxer from Rocky 4. Oh, we're all in.
Stallone has been posting Instagram pics hinting at the matchup saying “HISTORY WILL ALWAYS REPEAT ITSELF IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER, JUST GOT TO BE READY!”
Were you a fan of RoboCop and Blade Runner? Did you know how the movies are actually connected?
Turns out that co-writer Edward Neumeier was helping out on the set of 1982’s Blade Runner when inspiration hit. In Blade Runner, cops are hunting down robots that look like humans. What if cops looked like robots as they hunted down humans? Bingo.
Released on July 17, 1987, RoboCop tells the dark tale of a Detroit police officer who is gunned down in the line of duty but is revived in robot form. The story - set in the near future - is sprinkled with themes of corruption, privatization, greed, you name it.
Fans adored it, giving way to a franchise that included two sequels, a TV series, mini-series, video games and a 2014 remake. RoboCop even won an Oscar for sound effects editing (while earning two more nominations for best sound and best film editing). Critic Roger Ebert called it "a thriller with a difference."
Here are five things you probably didn’t know about RoboCop on its 30th anniversary. …
Do you remember a time when the phrase Midnight Movies actually meant something? You can go down to the neighborhood cineplex, hand over $3 and go in and see an amazing flick with your friends before staggering home around 3 in the morning.
And the movie choice! Amazing! Anything from Spinal Tap to Rocky Horror to any of the four films we honor in this week's podcast about cult movie classics from the '80s: Where the Buffalo Roam, Ladies and Gentlemen - The Fabulous Stains, Rock n' Roll High School and Heavy Metal. The movies might have been rated R, but the podcast is not. (Took some mighty editing in a couple scenes to make that work out!)
We hope you enjoy it enough and send us suggestions for a Part 2 for this series.
Has it really been 32 years since Live Aid? Seems like it was just a month ago I was jammed inside my college dorm's TV lounge, trying to find a clear signal for the broadcast from London. All around me, a generation stayed glued to the tube until the final notes rang out late that night from Philadelphia.
Our parents had Woodstock. But we have Live Aid. And I'm cool with that. (The Millennials? What do they have? Coachella? No thanks. Nice try, kiddos.) A lot of things changed in the music world after Live Aid. U2 became a must-see live act after their epic performance of Bad. Duran Duran took a much needed sabbatical after a croacky vocal performance by Simon Le Bon. And The Who began was was surely the first of maybe 50-some reunion efforts. In the midst of it all, we all kept the focus on helping people far less fortunate than us. (Maybe that's a lesson we should embrace again these days.)
Back in 2010, the Stuck in the '80s gang gathered to record a tribute to Live Aid for its 25th anniversary. We had a blast remembering the highs (and a few lows) from that magical day. The result is still one of our favorite shows to date. Listen, remember, and enjoy.
Let’s just ask the question: Did you really expect much from a sequel to Revenge of the Nerds? In the ‘80s, sequels were very hit or miss. Star Trek 2? Amazing? Meatballs 2? A catastrophe. Frankly, we were just happy that - full name here: Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise - fell somewhere in between.
Released July 10, 1987, the story sends our beloved Tri-Lambs down south - Fort Lauderdale naturally - for a Greek convention. Only the Alpha Betas - still smarting from their comeuppance in the original 1984 movie - are committed to making the nerds lives a living hell.
We get the requisite song-and-dance number - “No on 15” - that follows the single best joke of the movie - the alteration of the neon sign for Hotel Coral Essex. Ogre makes an epic bathroom visit. And the movie ends with everyone learning a valuable lesson about acceptance. Again. …
Are you ready to return to the '80s? (If you're reading this blog, the answer is usually yes.) Netflix's '80s-friendly series Stranger Things returns with Season 2 on Oct. 27, the network has confirmed. Stranger Things 2 will have nine episodes, all of which will be released at once.
According to the official Netflix description: "It’s 1984 and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are still reeling from the horrors of the Demigorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived."
If you missed Season 1, it's still available for streaming customers of Netflix. A teaser video for Season 2 premiered earlier this year during Super Bowl coverage.
Can you imagine how cool it was to be a music fan back in the early ‘80s? Check out this week’s top 5 hits for the week of July 10, 1982.
1. Don’t You Want Me (The Human League) 2. Rosanna (Toto) 3. Hurts So Good (John Cougar) 4. Heat of the Moment (Asia) 5. Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
Five classics at the top of the charts. We were so LUCKY back then. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that The Human League made their mark so early in the decade. For some reason, I always think of them as a later ‘80s band. Wrong. Truth is Human League formed way back in 1977 and this particular tune was actually from their third album. Its success helped propel the group to a Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough Act in 1982.
As urban legend as it, Don’t You Want Me was originally recorded with a more "harsh" synthesizer sound. It was the record company that insisted a more "pop-friendly" version be mixed. Lead singer Philip Oakey reportedly hated the remix and so he stuck it as the last track on side two of Dare.
Relive the '80s music, movies and culture with Tampa Bay Times correspondent Steve Spears. A teen during the greatest decade ever, Steve is obsessed with everything from Duran Duran to Journey, John Hughes to John Cusack, and parachute pants to big hair.