Monday, May 5, 2014

Netflix '80s Fix: May I Have This Adventure

May 2014
Netflix is in full bloom this month with 80s movies ready to take you on an adventure! Whether you want to go undercover, seek lost treasure, or just take the kids across town, May's new streaming additions has you covered.

Highlights this month include four of the six James Bond films released in the 80s. One is Never Say Never Again, one of only two Bond films not produced by Eon Productions. The story was actually the 2nd adaptation from the 1961 Thunderball novel. Co-writer Kevin McClory engaged a long legal battle with Ian Fleming and agreed he could produce his own Thunderball film 10 years after the release of the original film. With Roger Moore already starring in 5 films (and Octopussy being released the same year,) Sean Connery was pulled out of a 12 year retirement even after insisting that Diamonds Are Forever was his last Bond film. Connery's wife suggested the title of the film as play on his bold statement.

It begins this month's fix which also includes the usual segments "Watch It Again for the 80th Time" and "Overlooked and Underrated." Plus, I've resurrected the "Horribly Entertaining Challenge" with a selection that is new to streaming this month. Let's see who's brave enough to watch it...

Never Say Never Again (1983)
Rated PG Add to queue
When two atomic warheads are hijacked by the evil SPECTRE organization, James Bond jumps into a race to save the world from nuclear terrorists.

Call me crazy, but it's one of my favorites starring Connery. Yes, the arcade game war is outrageous and outdated, but leave it to Bond to take on even shocking video game challenges. Also newly added is For Your Eyes Only (1981), A View To A Kill (1985), and The Living Daylights.


Adventures In Babysitting (1987)
Rated PG-13 Add to queue
When teenaged Chris Parker agrees to baby-sit for the Andersons after her boyfriend stands her up, it's hardly the boring night she expected.

One of the quintessential feel-good adventures of the '80s (I can probably say that about any movie starring Elizabeth Shue.) It's worth checking out now just to see Vincent D'Onofrio as a blonde Thor. 




St. Elmo's Fire (1985)
Rated R Add to queue
Six recent college graduates wrestle with the newfound responsibilities of life in the real world -- between visits to their favorite bar, St. Elmo's.

An adventure in real life. Been awhile since I watched this "Brat Pack" movie, but I don't remember being overwhelmed by it. Still, I'm looking forward to catching up with some of my favorite '80s actors again.




Starman (1984)
Rated PG Add to queue
An alien crash lands on Earth and takes the form of a recently deceased man. While evading authorities he enlists the help of the dead man's widow.

This alien adventure is one I'm pretty fond of. I actually remember watching the short-lived TV series in 1986-87 starring Robert Hays before I saw the feature film. For those that remember, it had that Incredible Hulk series feel to it. The film was every bit as good (if not more) and one of the few you could label as "romantic sci-fi."


Romancing The Stone (1984)
Rated PG Add to queue
When a romance writer learns her sister's been kidnapped, she's soon embroiled in a wild adventure involving hidden treasure and a dashing mercenary.

I actually watched this a couple nights ago with my wife and it was still the fun rom com adventure I remembered. I'm not sure it held up enough though to coax her to also watch the sequel Jewel of the Nile, which is also newly available to Netflix streaming.


Heavy Metal (1981)
Rated R Add to queue
A cult classic featuring a thumping metal soundtrack, this animated extravaganza centers on a menacing meteorite thought to be the root of all evil.

An animated adventure that by most accounts was ahead of its time. I don't believe I've ever watched it in it's entirety, but if I do this month, it will be on my tablet with headphones thanks to the adult content.


Top Secret! (1984)
Rated PG Add to queue
Scheduled to perform in East Germany, an American pop idol is caught in international intrigue in this zany spy spoof from the creators of Airplane!.

I've heard alot about this adventure in laughter, but can't say I've ever seen it. It's not for my lack of enjoying spoof comedies either, but for some reason this one missed me. It star Val Kilmer in what was his first feature film.



The Big Chill (1983)
Rated R Add to queue
After years apart, a group of idealistic former college buddies who've followed divergent paths as adults reunite at the funeral of one of their own.

This is another film that I've heard alot about over the years (especially the soundtrack,) but don't ever remember watching. It was nominated for several awards at the highest level, so I'll be trying to check this out during May.




Watch It Again For The 80th Time...
Among the most popular titles still currently available on Netflix streaming are GhostbustersGhostbusters II, The Naked GunBeverly Hills Cop, Pretty in PinkThe Great OutdoorsThe Muppets Take Manhattan, Big Trouble in Little ChinaSpaceballs, and Running Man. With the recent passing of actor Bob Hoskins, you can still watch him in one of his most famous roles as Eddie in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.


Overlooked and Underrated...

Runaway Ralph (1988)
Rated TV-Y Add to queue
Adventurous mouse Ralph runs away from home by firing up his motorcycle and pointing his nose toward the open road, making a new friend along the way.

With a 4.2 star rating and featuring Fred Savage, Sara Gilbert, and Ray Walston, Runaway Ralph is definitely a hidden gem. It was produced for television in 1988 and is the 2nd story in the Mouse and the Motorcycle book series published in 1970. The 40 minute film is live action with stop-motion type puppetry, but its worth a try if your kids need something new to watch.


The Horribly Entertaining Challenge
Can you find enough entertainment in this horrible film to watch it in its entirety??

Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Rated R Add to queue
When a mysterious comet passes close to Earth, machines everywhere take on murderous minds of their own. But humans won't give up without a fight.

This month's challenge was an easy choice. New to Netflix streaming is Maximum Overdrive aka "that movie with the Green Goblin tractor trailer." I'm pretty sure I've never seen the unedited version of this movie, but do remember watching it on one of the cable stations. It's not easy to forget that truck, but by the reviews, the movie itself is much more forgettable. 17% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I'm personally taking the challenge to see if I can watch the whole thing. Join me!


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.