Top Five Since I've Been Alive: The Movies of 1984

Ah, 1984 -- the year of my birth.  In 1984, Transformers (sans the Michael Bay-ness) were introduced to the public.  Michael Jackson destroyed his competition at the Grammys.  William Zabka swept the leg and proved that he''s the best (movie asshole) around and nothin's gonna ever keep him down.  And Rick Allen of Def Leppard donated his left arm to science after he decided that only pussies need two arms to pound the skins.  1984 was full of glorious moments, but let us now look at the movies that kept our minds off of the threat of Russian nukes.


5. Beverly Hills Cop

"You're not gonna fall for the banana in the tailpipe?  It should be more natural, brother.  It should flow out, like this - 'Look, man, I ain't fallin' for no banana in my tailpipe!'  See, that's more natural for us.  You been hanging out with this dude too long."

Saturday Night Live made Eddie Murphy a household name and 48 Hrs. made him a movie star.  However, it was Beverly Hills Cop that secured a place in history for Judge Reinhold.  Oh, and Eddie Murphy.  The true potential of Eddie Murphy came out in this movie.  Naturally, he has since squandered most of that potential and, like most rock stars of the eighties, he''s going back to the well to try and replicate some success.  Does anyone have hope for the perpetual Beverly Hills Cop 4?  Well, when you watch this movie, it doesn't matter what he's done with his career in the last fifteen years.  Eddie Murphy was only 23 when this movie came out, but he had the timing of a seasoned comic veteran.  His improvisational skills were unrivaled.  I feel that the only thing that's really missing from this movie is more Inspector Todd.  Coincidentally, Inspector Todd wasn't an actor.  He was an actual Detroit detective and he even ran for mayor!  You gotta respect those 'nads of steel.


4. Ghostbusters

"We've been going about this all wrong!  This Mr. Stay Puft's okay!  He''s a sailor, he''s in New York!  We get this guy laid, we won't have any trouble!"

It's the movie that spawned the cartoon that spawned a thousand of the world's greatest toys.  It may ruin my street cred to say this, but I always liked the cartoons more than the movies.  I'm old enough now to know that the second movie is crap (it still has a special place in my heart, though), however, I still love this movie.  My mom saw this while she was pregnant with me, and she laughed so hard during the scene where Peter got slimed in the hotel that I was almost born in the theater that night.  The special effects of Ghostbusters did exactly what the special effects of Star Wars did seven years earlier: Make kids want to wield deadly weapons.  If you had a real proton pack, you could kick anyone's ass.  Even some nerd with a lightsaber.


3. A Nightmare On Elm Street

Freddy, showing his glove: "This... is God."

Freddy Krueger is responsible for my love of horror movies.  A remake (excuse me, "reimagining") is being churned out this year, and who better to direct it than Samuel Bayer?  Thanks to New Line for putting this Holy Grail of movies in the hands of a man whom has basically done nothing more than direct music videos.  Oh well, it is the way of Hollywood to create film gold in a Midas-esque fashion and then deuce all over it in an attempt to make more money.  The Krueger character has always intrigued me.  Freddy is a supernatural being who has god-like powers.  How do you escape a killer who hunts you in your dreams?  This movie always gets lumped in with other slasher flicks like Halloween and Friday the 13th; however, it is so much deeper than the average slasher premise.  Krueger doesn't just chase after you or pop out from behind a tree; he swats at you like a cat does at a mouse.  He'll give you just enough room to think you can escape, and then he'll claw you to death.  To many people, the scene that stands out the most is the "Johnny Depp Fountain of Blood" scene, but what always stood out to me was the scene where Nancy runs up the liquid, molasses-like stairs.  The sight of her feet plunging into the goopy steps is the perfect metaphor for the futility of trying to escape Freddy's clutches.


2. Sixteen Candles

"Do you know how many times a week I go without lunch because some bitch borrows my lunch money?  Y'know, any halfway decent girl can rob me blind, because I'm too torqued up to say no."

John Hughes was an unstoppable force in the 80's.  Anthony Michael Hall is quite possibly the greatest movie nerd of all time, and he wasn't even in Revenge of the Nerds.  Molly Ringwald is one of the hottest redheads of all time.  Even though it's debatable as to what John Hughes' greatest movie is, I think that, without a doubt, Sixteen Candles is his most fun movie.  Every time I see the scene that shows Jake Ryan's house in utter chaos I laugh my ass off.  Of course, it's difficult to determine which version is better -- the unedited version or the hilariously butchered TBS/TNT version.


1. Bachelor Party

"Gentlemen... start your boners."

Ah, Bachelor Party -- one of my favorite movies of all time.  This is a fine example of how Tom Hanks can do any kind of movie.  Who would have thought he would have been a perfect fit in a raunchy, adult-oriented comedy?  This movie has a lot of sight-gags and dirty jokes but what really makes this a classic is the relationship within the diverse group of friends.  There's the two charming smart-asses (Rick and O'Neal), the two idiots (Rudy and Michael), the two sex-starved nerds (Stan and Gary), and the bipolar junkie (Brad).  The interactions between them are so natural that it seems like they could have been good friends off the set as well.  This movie proved that Tom Hanks should be nominated for sainthood, as he performed a miracle -- he got a decent acting performance out of Tawny Kitaen.  Mr. Hanks, I salute you.

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