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My Love for the Films of the 1980s!

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Everyone has a favorite era of film. For me, an era of film that never gets old and has some of my favorite movies is the 1980s. My love for movies of the 1980s began with the first time I saw the 1984 film The Karate Kid at my middle school movie club. The Karate Kid became a favorite of mine with its great characters like Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, amazing soundtrack, and the perfect blend of drama and enjoyment. After that first experience, I would check out other movies made in the 1980s such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club.

The characters in these films immediately won me over. Characters like Daniel LaRusso and Ferris Bueller were characters I could root for and watch multiple times. These characters are likable and easy to connect with. Some of my other favorite characters introduced in the 1980s are Indiana Jones and John McClane.

Action movies took off in the 1980s. Action movies grew, from great sequels like Mad Max: The Road Warrior to new franchises beginning, such as The Terminator, Predator, and Die Hard. Die Hard is the perfect action film with a great protagonist in John McClane, played by Bruce Willis, a great antagonist in Hans Gruber, played by Alan Rickman, great action, big stakes, and as a bonus, taking place on Christmas Eve. Special effects and stunt work improved a lot in this decade and helped these movies.

Franchises from the 1970s improved a lot. Aliens took the Alien franchise to a whole new level. Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes Back provided so many iconic scenes and ended in a way that no one expected it would end. Mad Max: The Road Warrior was an improvement from the 1979 film Mad Max.

So many of my favorite directors came in around the 1980s. Sam Raimi would direct the cult classic horror films The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. Tim Burton would direct Beetlejuice and Batman, both starring Michael Keaton. James Cameron would direct The Terminator, Aliens, and The Abyss. These directors are still around today making movies.

The soundtracks also stood out. Whether it was the song choices or the film’s score they always intrigued me. Some of my favorite film soundtracks are:

· Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

· Rocky IV (1985)

· Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

· The Karate Kid (1984)

· The Lost Boys (1987)

· The Transformers: The Movie (1986)

While the 1980s saw a lot of experimenting with special effects and franchises starting, it had gems that weren’t expensive movies and had many heartfelt moments. Dead Poet Society starring Robin Williams had many funny moments, but later had one of the most emotional endings to a film I saw. Hoosiers, starring Gene Hackman, is one of the best sports stories on film showing how a team overcame tough obstacles to win it all.

While the 1980s is one of my favorite film eras, it is not perfect. The 1980s were the weakest era for Disney animation, but the 1989 film The Little Mermaid turned things around and brought Disney to a Renaissance-era that would continue into the 1990s that gave them some of their best animated movies ever. Some of Don Bluth's animated films, such as The Secret of NIMH and The Land Before Time, dominated animation on the big screen in the 1980s. Also, Who Framed Roger Rabbit combined animation and live-action to make a hilarious murder mystery that included cameos from popular cartoon characters from the 1940s. including Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny.

While some franchises grew, some declined. After Richard Donner’s 1978 film Superman, the only good sequel to the film in the 1980s was Superman II. Rocky III and Rocky IV were entertaining, but nowhere near as good as the 1976 film Rocky. Despite the few flaws, the 1980s paved the way for movies today and many of these films still hold up well today.

Some of my favorite 1980s movies include in no particular order:

· Aliens (1986)

· Back to the Future (1985)

· Beetlejuice (1988)

· Dead Poet Society (1989)

· Die Hard (1988)

· Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

· Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

· Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

· Robocop (1987)

· Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

· The Breakfast Club (1985)

· The Goonies (1985)

· The Karate Kid (1984)

· Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

What did you think of the 1980s and what are some of your favorite 1980s films? Comment below.

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