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The Secret of NIMH (1982) | Don Bluth

Don Bluth’s first big screen effort under his own name after splitting from Disney, along with several other Disney animators and artists, in order to try to return to the kind of groundbreaking style and commitments to storytelling that their former company had been skimping out on during the 1960s and 1970s.  THE SECRET OF […]

Scrooged (1988) | Richard Donner

I look back at a film that some people herald as a great Christmas film.  I’ve always had issues, but wanted to give it another shot.  Do I come around? Bill Murray stars as Frank Cross in this modern take on the Charles Dickens’ class, “A Christmas Carol”. Richard Donner directs.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) | Jeremiah S. Chechik

The third in National Lampoon’s Vacation series, Christmas Vacation has gone on from being a minor blip to a holiday favorite for many families over the years.  Chevy Chase at his most slapstick-y sets the formula for many dysfunctional Christmas comedies to follow.  John Hughes scripts.

A Christmas Story (1983) | Bob Clark

Bob Clark directs and co-writes my favorite Christmas film of the 1980s, and perhaps my favorite of any era, A CHRISTMAS STORY, a nostalgic look at childhood that makes me nostalgic for my own.  Peter Billingsley stars as Ralphie, who wants more than anything to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, even though […]

The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981) | Joel Schumacher

Lily Tomlin stars in this wacky comedy from 1981, playing multiple roles, exploring the satirical themes of the diminishing role of the American housekeeper in the period, getting smaller, literally, by the day, as she eventually measures only two inches tall.  Zany antics ensue in this first feature directed by Joel Schumacher.

Innerspace (1987) | Joe Dante

In this episode, Vince takes a look at “Innerspace” from director Joe Dante, starring Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, and Meg Ryan.  produced by Steven Spielberg, this sci-fi based comedy riffs on “Fantastic Voyage” where an unassuming supermarket clerk is injected with the microscopic vessel containing an ace test pilot who is wanted by hi-tech thieves […]

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) | Joe Johnston

Rick Moranis stars as lovable dad and ambitious college professor Wayne Szalinski, who has recently become something of a laughing stock to his peers when he dares to introduce a potential way to drastically reduce the size of everyday objects.  His own experiments have proved futile, but a fluke accident causes the reduction machine to […]

Labyrinth (1986) | Jim Henson

Jennifer Connelly is cast in one of her first starring roles as Sarah, a teenage girl who has grown tired of her stepmother and father leaving her home alone to babysit her infant brother, Toby.  In a bout of exasperation, she wishes him away, and inadvertently summons the vain and moody Goblin King of myth, […]

Ladyhawke (1985) | Richard Donner

Set in France during the Middle Ages, Philippe ‘The Mouse’ Gaston, a convicted pickpocket escapes from a castle dungeon only to get involved in a bitter feud between the powerful, scheming Bishop of Aquila and two lovers, a former captain of the guard named Etienne of Navarre and a lady named Isabeau d’Anjou, who were […]

The Princess Bride (1987) | Rob Reiner

A sick young boy gets a visit from his grandfather, who reads the young lad one of his favorite books, ‘The Princess Bride’. The book is of a princess named Buttercup, who has a romance with her stable boy, Westley but the evil Prince Humperdinck has plans to marry the beautiful young woman so he kidnaps her, leaving […]

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi | Richard Marquand

This final entry sees the Empire creating a new Death Star, a feat with such magnitude, even the Emperor himself has come to oversee the progress.  Meanwhile, a rescue attempt is underway to try to spring Han Solo from his icy trap in Jabba the Hut’s lair.  Luke has grown in his Jedi training, but […]

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back | Irvin Kershner

The Empire Strikes Back continues the Star Wars saga in exciting fashion, with the Empire now having driven the Rebels from their secret base to another on an ice planet called Hoth. The Empire eventually locates this new base, forcing an evacuation, whereupon a more experienced Luke is told by the “spirit” (aka Force Ghost) […]

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) | George Lucas

The inaugural review of the 1980’s film retrospective, looking at George Lucas’ monumental blockbuster.  Yes, it’s from 1977, but it’s mandatory to cover in order to comment on the later films. The plot: A couple of robots shuttle to a desert planet after their rebel spaceship is taken over by an Imperial star cruiser, capturing […]