Category Archives: 1987

Movies released in 1987.

Guest Review: Predator

Director: John McTiernan
Year: 1987
Score: 8.5/10
Reviewer: Drew Pontikis

"No seriously guys, who’s got the keys? I've been bursting since that last village and I am not in the mood to muck around!"

“No seriously guys, who’s got the keys? I’ve been bursting since that last village and I am not in the mood to muck around!”

Before the hate, let me put this score into context. Predator is an action film. Action films are not known for intense emotional dialogue, heartfelt sentiments or character evolution. They are known for blowing stuff up and beating people up. That’s it; nothing else is particularly relevant. In this regard Predator is the best action film, as it delivers all that you could possibly need from the genre.

I could waste your time and mine by explaining the plot, but you know the score; Arnold Schwarzenegger et al. are dropped into a jungle and picked off one by one by the ominous be-dreadlocked alien Predator, until a final showdown. It’s not Tolstoy, but who cares? For its time the CGI is quite advanced, and although some of the effects are starting to look a little tired the majority is achieved through live action; something that looks as good now as it did then. What Predator does surprisingly well is generate a sense of isolation, a feeling of being stranded and preyed upon that plenty of films since have tried and failed to do.

Containing iconic pearls of wisdom such as ‘Get to da choppah!’, ‘Cause some damn fool accused you of being the best’ and ‘What happened to you, Dillon? You used to be someone I could trust’, there are enough clichés to make Shakespeare spin in his grave and almost enough testosterone to fill a swimming pool (gross), but you can’t help but enjoy what’s going on.

Many will disagree on this, but to me this should be the go-to action film as far as anyone is concerned. Compare it to later contenders for example; Transformers or Predator? Independence Day or Predator? It’s no contest really. Sometimes I want to be moved by a film, sometimes I just want to be entertained. For that, there really is only one choice.

Drew Pontikis is an avid gamer and film fanatic. A fan of racing sims, first person shooters and horror films, Drew is notable for talking almost exclusively using Futurama quotes. Follow him on Twitter as @drew060609 or read his game reviews at http://obscenegaming.wordpress.com.

Review: Evil Dead II

Director: Sam Raimi
Year: 1987
Score: 8/10

Sing it with me: "There ain't no way to hide your flyin' eyes..."

Sing it with me: “There ain’t no way to hide your flyin’ eyes…”

The best film in the franchise, this one is funny and scary and gross, all in just the right proportions. Bruce Campbell is perfect, bringing Ash to a new level. It’s the Evil Dead II Ash that we all remember; it’s here that he really gets his mojo (plus his chainsaw arm and boomstick), and it’s here that he best delivers the catchphrases he’s known for (all of which were later ripped off by 3D Realms in the video game Duke Nukem 3D). Big chunks of the movie feature him on his own (apart from demon/s, possessed hands, etc.), which is not a bad thing. So many great scenes; I think my favourite is Ash vs. his hand (still attached at that point). The biggest flaw of the film is that the final act is mostly used to set up the weak third instalment, Army of Darkness, instead of providing a satisfying stand-alone ending.

Review: Fatal Attraction

Director: Adrian Lyne
Year: 1987
Score: 6/10

WTF? What does that even mean?!

WTF? What does that even mean?!

As a PSA warning married men against having affairs, it’s potent enough, but as a thriller its results are more mixed. Michael Douglas is quite good, and Anne Archer is fine, but Glenn Close overdoes it a little, going from sexpot to pitiful to stalker to psycho without ever being entirely believable (yet somehow she was nominated for an Oscar!). The first half of the movie is better than the second; it’s when things begin to spiral out of control, and events become more outlandish, that cracks really begin to show. The ending is pretty silly, but I watched the alternate ending too and it’s worse. How did this score a Best Picture nomination?? Look for a young Jane Krakowski as the babysitter right at the start.

Review: Broadcast News

Director: James L. Brooks
Year: 1987
Score: 6.5/10

There’s a lot to like in this: interesting subject matter, some meaty characters, sharp dialogue, a solid cast and assured direction from James L. Brooks (who also wrote and produced it). The three central characters are played by Holly Hunter, William Hurt and Albert Brooks, and all three do well in tricky roles: Hurt is good, Brooks is great and Hunter is outstanding. The main flaw, however, is that it pulls its central punch, pivoting into a bland romantic comedy rather than pursuing its initial interest in actually analysing and criticising the fabric of network news. Still, large swathes of it are highly enjoyable, such as any scene in which we watch Hunter’s character being great at her job, or the scene in which Brooks’ character sweats too much.