Rosanna Arquette stars as Roberta Glass, a dreamer New Jersey housewife who contents herself to reading about the mysterious lives of others through perusing the personals in the local paper. One in particular has caught her eye, involving “Jim and Susan” (Susan is played by Madonna) who use the ads in order to meet in public places. Curious Roberta heads out to catch a glimpse of the two when they meet in New York City, and. through a mishap, ends up with amnesia, not to mention a case of mistaken identity that sees her playing the role of being Susan herself. Trouble is, the artsy hipster Susan is being followed by a crazed thug (Will Patton) intent on recovering some heisted priceless Egyptian artifacts that end up given to Jim, earrings that have been seen in the real Susan’s possession. With the help of Jim’s friend Dez (Aidan Quinn), who also mistakenly thinks Roberta is Susan, she must traverse this dangerous territory and find meaning to her own life, even if she has to live the life of another to do it. Susan Seidelman directs this whimsical, artsy farce.
In this follow-up to the 1984 hit, Romancing the Stone, it’s hard to live up to a “happily ever after ending”, especially for a successful romance novelist like Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner), who has learned more about romance in the chase than she does in the union of the two would-be lovebirds. It’s affecting her work, as she struggles to come up with new dreams and situations to fuel her romance novels, resulting in a prolonged bout of writer’s block. As Joan and her hunky man of adventure, Jack Colton (Michael Douglas), have spent their time living the life of luxury partying in Cannes and sailing on their yacht off the French Riviera, boredom begins to set in, realizing the excitement in their lives lie more in reminiscing, causing them to wonder if their good run of romance has run out as they near the expectation of their marriage in Greece.
When a well-known leader within the fictional North African country of Kadir, a supremely wealthy sheikh named Omar (Spyros Fokas), approaches her to write his life’s story, on the hope of elevating his status among his people to become the new emperor there, Joan sees new possibilities to change her scenery, her outlook, and her horizons as a writer. Jack and Joan reluctantly split up, but when Jack catches wind that Omar may be in possession of the mysteriously alluring “Jewel of the Nile”, his soldier-of-fortune ways get the better of him, so he decides to get a closer look in Kadir, as does the diminutive lowlife named Ralph (Danny DeVito), who insists that Jack owes him enough for them to help each other get the jewel and split their fortune. Meanwhile, Joan discovers that Omar’s dark side and his attempt at a bloody power grab, leading her to try to get the scoop, as well as help spring a valuable prisoner who is seen as a folk hero to the people of the region, and therefore, Omar’s greatest threat to be respected as leader.
Sean Astin stars as Mikey, the youngest of two brothers who are about to move from their home in Astoria, Oregon because their family lacks the funds to stop a developer from taking over the area to expand a lush country club. This would end many friendships with the other children in the area, which they’ve dubbed “the Goondocks”, and their crew call themselves The Goonies, who are united in their quest for adventure and shenanigans. Things take an interesting turn when a map is discovered in Mikey’s father’s collection of antiques in their attic, which promises to lead to the secret fortune of the infamous One-Eyed Willy, whose cache of jewels promises to make them rich beyond imagination, once they get though all the pirate booty-traps (er, I mean, booby-traps). The gang end up finding the entrance to the caves where the loot is hidden, but a rival group of thieves threatens to get there first, and to kill anyone who gets in their way. Steven Spielberg produces, Chris Columbus scripts, and Richard Donner directs. Also features Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Jonathan Ke Quan, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Anne Ramsey, John Matuszak, Robert Davi, and Joe Pantoliano.
The loose story of how Def Jam came to be, featuring the hottest hip-hop artists of the mid-1980s, Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow, The Fat Boys, LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, and many more. Blair Underwood plays Russell, whose management company is coming up with some hot musical acts, including Run-DMC, featuring his brother Joe, who he ends up losing to some rivals offering more money. He gets into a financial pickle, while also romancing a hot funk-pop talent named Sheila, whom Joe also has a thing for. Michael Schultz directs this fan-favorite kitsch on hip-hop’s early days.
Taimak stars as a young African-American Harlemite who is a devout student of martial arts. He lives kung fu, breathes kung fu and is so entrenched in the ways of the kung fu warrior, he stands out in his predominantly Black community for his lack of hipness and Asian-tinged wardrobe (he even eats his movie popcorn with chopsticks). He is sent out into the world from his master teacher to reach the final level of his training to become a true kung fu master, involving a golden amulet and a master named Som Dom Goy. Meanwhile, his quest is detoured by constant disruptions by a neighborhood bully, Sho’Nuff. who, along with his gang of thugs, are terrorizing the neighborhood. Leroy also gets embroiled with an even bigger bad guy, amoral record producer Eddie Arkadian, whose quest to get his girlfriend’s video played on the hottest music show on TV hosted by singer/VJ Laura Charles causes them to get physical. Leroy becomes Laura’s reluctant bodyguards, and the sparks between them suggest that they might have something more going on.
Sarah Jessica Parker stars as a Chicago teenager who works her tail off for a spot as a dance on her favorite dance show on television, but spats with her dance partner and a potentially rigged contest makes for a great challenge to success, not to mention her father will not approve if he finds out about her pursuit. Helen Hunt, Shannon Doherty, Jonathan Silverman, and Lee Montgomery get supporting roles in this film that takes its title from the Cyndi Lauper song.
A very speedy follow-up to A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET replaces Wes Craven as the creative force, taking the series in a new and unexpected direction under the guiding influence of Jack Sholder. Screenwriter David Chaskin supplies the subversive screenplay that caused it to become a cult hit in the gay horror-loving community for its homoerotic subtext that adds one more layer to this story of a confused teenage boy struggling to control his impulses driving him to commit heinous acts, with only the love of his gal pal to perhaps curb him from doing Freddy’s bidding. While derided at the time of its release, the film has its champions, even if it deviates the most from Craven’s vision among the sequels. Mark Patton, Kim Myers and Robert Englund star.
Joe Dante’s Explorers marks the big screen debuts of two future stars, Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix, who, along with Jason Presson, make up the three young boys with a thirst for adventure and scientific exploration. In their dreams, the boys have a connection to a circuit board that they eventually use to build their own little hovering spacecraft, thanks to the help of a strange spherical energy capsule in which they place an abandoned tilt-a-whirl carriage that they use their computer to control. The makeshift spaceship gets them into all sorts of adventures, before culminating in a close encounter with aliens in outer space.
Following up two sci-fi masterpieces in ALIEN and BLADE RUNNER, Ridley Scott turned his gaze toward the realm of fantasy with LEGEND, starring Tom Cruise and Mia Sara. Critics greeted the film with a shrug upon its initial release, but it has gained a cult following over the years, and the Director’s Cut release has had some re-evaluate it. Is it still problematic, or is it a film that has aged well over time?
Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale and Steven Spielberg present the original 1985 class, BACK TO THE FUTURE!
Michael J. Fox plays 17-year-old Marty McFly, a spirited teenager who doesn’t seem to quite fit in with his current family, so much so that he spends a great deal of his time helping out an eccentric local scientist, Doc Brown, in his kooky experiments. One night, Doc calls Marty out to an empty mall parking lot to witness his latest triumph, a souped- up DeLorean that he has modified as a time machine. Upset that Doc has used the plutonium given to make a proposed nuclear bomb for his own machine, some angry terrorists gun him down in cold blood, leaving Marty with no other choice than to escape in the DeLorean, which sends him back in time to the date Doc first came up with the idea for time travel, November 5th, 1955, which also happens to be the date that Marty’s parents met and fell for each other. Problems ensue when Marty’s mother begins to fall for him instead, which would completely negate the existence of Marty and his siblings. Marty must find a way for his parents to fall in love, and get back to the future without the nuclear component necessary, with only the younger Doc Brown to help him.
John Stockwell, Fisher Stevens and Dennis Hopper appear in this low-budget sci-fi/comedy from 1985, MY SCIENCE PROJECT, where teens find an alien contraption of seemingly unlimited power that opens a portal from which people and things from Earth’s past and future pour into their high school. Now the teens need to pull the plug on it before everyone is in mortal danger. It’s a very 80s movie in the best ways — and the worst.
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 cursed with dark magic when the Bishop, who also fancies Isabeau, finds out of their union. The spell transforms the knight into a wolf by night, and the lady into hawk by day, and they can only see each other briefly in human form at dawn or dusk.