Retrocon 2024

Netflix '80s Fix: Busters, Dancers, and Arm Wrestlers

March 2014

March is here which means it's time to take a look at what movies and TV shows have recently been released to Netflix. This month's new additions include a variety of horror, romantic comedy, animation, and action. Plus, I'll also be throwing some '80s classics in the mix that are still available along with an overlooked gem and the "Horribly Entertaining Challenge."

Did you manage to sit through last month's challenge Miami Connection? Well, I've got another one this month that is a 1989 crime thriller with just a 1.9 star average by Netflix viewers. Ouch! But first, let's get to the featured titles...

Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
Rated PG Add to queue
Director Ivan Reitman's engaging sequel finds the fearless ghostbusting trio reuniting to bail out the Big Apple by saving the city from a massive slime attack and a flood of malevolent spirits on a fateful New Year's Eve.

Was very glad to see this added in the wake of Harold Ramis' death. That means that the 1984 original film and sequel are now both available. Some people are down on this movie, but I have nothing but good memories about it. I mean, c''s the Ghostbusters! 

Fright Night (1985)
Rated R Add to queue
Nobody believes teenager Charley Brewster when he discovers that his suave new neighbor is a vampire. So when the bloodsucker starts stalking Charley, he turns to has-been actor Peter Vincent, famed for portraying a ghoul hunter.

This campy cult film seems to be still highly regarded among most horror film fans. I've never seen it so I'll leave it up to someone else to give their opinion in the comments.

Look Who's Talking (1989)
Rated PG-13 Add to queue
Mollie is a single working mother who's out to find the perfect father for her child. Her baby, Mikey, prefers James, a cab driver turned babysitter who has what it takes to make them both happy. But Mollie won't even consider James.

Haven't seen this film in quite some time, but do remember watching it several times in '90s and being entertained. Pretty sure it was one of the top grossing films of the year and led to a couple sequels including Look Who's Talking Too which is also available.

Over The Top (1987)
Rated PG Add to queue
Trucker Lincoln Hawk hopes to reunite with the son he abandoned years earlier. Standing in Hawk's way is the boy's unforgiving grandfather, who will retain custody of his grandson unless Hawk wins the prize money in a national arm-wrestling contest.

Make fun of it all you want, I still love this cheesy '80s film. I believe I saw it in the theater and of course, never saw any of its flaws as a kid. It just seemed to be an extension of the WWF wrestling world I lived in around that time. I watched it last year and it was a bit rough. Still love the Kenny Loggins song though.

Care Bears Movie 2: A New Generation (1987)
Rated G Add to queue
This animated adventure goes back in time to the Care Bears' first-ever Caring Mission, when True Heart Bear and Noble Heart Horse touch down on Earth to boost the spirits of some unhappy kids at summer camp.

As a boy with no sisters growing up in the '80s, I've never watched the Care Bears but I'm sure there are many ladies who remember adoring them. This time traveling sequel to the 1985 film (which is also available) is sure to bring back some memories.

Dirty Dancing (1987)
Rated PG-13 Add to queue
Expecting the usual tedium of summer in the mountains with her family, 17-year-old Frances is surprised to find herself stepping into the shoes of a professional dancer -- and falling in love with the resort's free-spirited dance instructor.

Definitely more a fan of the soundtrack than the actual movie, but still an '80s classic.

Das Boot: Director's Cut (1981)
Rated R Add to queue
Nominated for six Oscars, this edge-of-your-seat dramatic triumph follows the trials of a German U-boat crew during World War II. Upon its restored re-release in 1997, an hour was added to the original film, which further augmented its impact. It also played as a six-hour German miniseries. In all its forms, the realistic and gripping battle scenes and palpable human struggle make Das Boot a critical hit.

I've heard alot of good things about this film, even had in my queue several years ago when I was on a WWII kick but still have yet to watch it. Hopefully I'll get to this month.

Steel Magnolias (1989)
Rated PG Add to queue
Featuring a star-studded cast, this bittersweet drama follows the abiding friendship among five tight-knit women who congregate at a beauty parlor in a small Louisiana town to laugh, cry and discuss their lives.

This is a movie I've glanced past on cable over the years but have never truly sat down to watch. Probably not one I will plan to watch this month, but I know there are probably some ladies who have enjoyed it and might want to revisit.

About Last Night (1986)
Rated R Add to queue
Rob Lowe and Demi Moore star as two veterans of the Chicago singles scene trying their best to get comfortable with the "c" word: commitment. Both consult their well-meaning friends: one a wisecracking sex adviser and the other a doubting girlfriend.

This movie was just recently remade, released on Valentine's Day just this year starring Kevin Hart. I can't speak to the original as I've never seen it, but I didn't hear many objections to the remake as compared to say RoboCop.

Watch It Again For The 80th Time...

Overlooked and Underrated...

Explorers (1985-86)
Rated PG Add to queue
Dreaming of space travel, teenage science whiz Ben Crandall and his best friend Wolfgang create an interplanetary spacecraft in a homemade laboratory. It isn't long before the two pals are zooming off to another galaxy.

It's been years since I've watched this movie. I remember it being a "Goonies meets Flight of the Navigator" type kid's film. With 78% on Rotten Tomatoes and 3.7 on Netflix, it sounds like this overlooked gem still holds up.

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

Marked For Murder (1989)
Rated R Add to queue
A snooty female production assistant and an eager gopher at a TV station are assigned by their boss to locate a mysterious cassette. They quickly find themselves framed for murder and pursued by government agents.

Okay, so this month's challenge I'll actually be taking myself as I've never watched this crime drama. From the plot, I'd watch this just based on the "mysterious cassette" (microfilm, diamonds, and cash are so overrated.) All the reviews I've seen have basically said to avoid this movie at all costs so I can't think of a better challenge opportunity than this. 

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

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