Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Netflix '80s Fix: April Is Full Of Action Packed Fools

April 2014
Netflix is ready to shower us with some great new additions in April. New films include several classic '80s action flicks, a wrestling gem that I remember seeing in the theater, and a couple films featuring one of the most famous comedy duos of all time. Plus, with the new Muppets Most Wanted movie in theaters, you can treat yourself to one of their classics from 1984. And as usual, I'll also include a couple "overlooked and underrated" picks.


Rocky III (1982)
Rated PG Add to queue
After taking a pounding from a powerful young fighter, humbled world champ Rocky Balboa turns to ex-rival Apollo Creed for help in regaining his form.

Is there a better April Fools Day movie than watching Clubber Lang taking no pity on Rocky the fool? The first five Rocky movies are all available this month including the one that introduce me to the series, Rocky IV. Nazis might be the  favorite bad guys of American films but the Russians are a close second in my book.


Death Wish II (1982)
Rated R Add to queue
Charles Bronson slips back into the role of stoic crime-fighter Paul Kersey. This time, he contends with street thugs in his new home city, Los Angeles. After mugging Paul, the thugs break into his home and murder both his housekeeper and daughter.

Three sequels from the 1974 original were released in the '80s. I can't remember much about these movies, but they are pretty much what remade Charles Bronsan as an action star following his war and western film career in the '50s and '60s.



Running Man (1987)
Rated R Add to queue
In a totalitarian future America, cop Ben Richards is framed for a massacre and sentenced to battle for his life on a violent game show.

Although not usually included in a top 5 list of Arnold action flicks, Running Man is actually pretty high concept in the sci-fi realm. Think of it as if a more violent Hunger Games was produced in the '80s. Terminator has also been added back this month if you want more '80s Arnie action.




No Holds Barred (1989)
Rated PG-13 Add to queue
When pro wrestler Rip Thomas turns down an offer from a new network, its executives launch a free-for-all called "Battle of the Tough Guys".

At the pinnacle of his wrestling career, Hulk Hogan starred it what most consider now a campy action classic. I remember seeing this in the theater at 13 years old and thinking it was awesome. I'm kinda scared to watch it now for fear the my nostalgia for it might be bodyslammed into oblivion.




See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
Rated R Add to queue
Wally is blind, and Dave is deaf. But when a man is murdered outside the newsstand where they work, the police collar the unlikely duo.

Easily, my favorite Pryor/Wilder flick. Watched it many times throughout the early '90s and still quote to this day. Of course, with most of their films it comes with course adult language, but if that doesn't bother you, the concept of a blind and deaf man teaming up is genius. Also features Kevin Spacey in one of his earlier roles. The comedy duo's most successful film Stir Crazy is also available this month.


The Muppets Take Mahattan (1984)
Rated G Add to queue
When the Muppets graduate from college, they take their song-filled senior revue to New York City, launching a search for their ticket to Broadway.

The second sequel in the film franchise wasn't quite as successful as the previous films but still performed well among the G-rated films of 1984. It was only Muppet film to be directed by Frank Oz who voiced and puppeted several characters. This film also gave us the Muppet Babies cartoon which was inspired by a dream sequence in the movie.



Dragonslayer (1981)
Rated PG Add to queue
A village terrorized by a fire-breathing dragon calls on aged wizard Ulrich and his young apprentice, Galen, to defeat the beast.

The fantasy film did not do well commercially but has become a cult classic among fantasy films. The score was nominated for an Oscar and the special effects were praised among critics at the time. I don't believe I've ever seen it so will be top of my list this month.




Watch It Again For The 80th Time...

Overlooked and Underrated...


Quantum Leap (1989-92)
Rated TV-PG Add to queue
Physicist Sam Beckett "leaps" into the bodies of people who need his help, getting assistance from a friend from the future who appears as a hologram.

This was one of my favorite shows of its time and it seems to me it gets overlooked. It's rating is definitely not underrated on Netflix but I feel like the time-travelling show never gets its due. The quorum I have with it on Netflix (that several people have also commented) is that it's missing several important episodes from every season. Still, it's one of those shows were you can pick an episode at random and have a great time.



If you've missed a previous month's post, check the Netflix '80s Fix archive. Some featured titles could still be available. Also, feel free to comment with any you've recently rediscovered.