This image-driven series shines an obnoxious pastel neon light on the 80-iest 80s movies around.
THAT’S SO 80s! takes a nostalgic trip down VHS memory lane, remembering some of the cheesiest movies from one of the cheesiest decades. Fellow movie connoisseur MOVIEROB joins forces with SLIP/THROUGH for a semi-regular column highlighting some of the best scenes (and fashion choices) of the era.
This edition of That’s So 80s takes aim at the blue-collar-turns-white-collar comedy, BREWSTER’S MILLIONS (1985).
Imagine mixing Gordon Gecko’s WALL STREET, with a heaping dose of Richard Pryor, and a pinch of BAD NEWS BEARS.
The ridiculous premise of this story takes a backseat to Pryor’s manic performance, which is the real highlight making this worth watching decades later.
This article is loaded with images, including quick retrospectives, and special 80s-themed ratings by the end
BREWSTER’S MILLIONS truly is one in a million because they were able to take a very serious story that has been filmed numerous times before and remake it as an all-out funny modern comedy.
This movie has a real impressive list of future known actors who pop up in some very funny parts – Rick Moranis (GHOSTBUSTERS, HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS), Thova Feldshuh (THE WALKING DEAD, Mayor of Alexandria), Smirnov, and Grifasi… to name a few.
They successfully use the 80s style music and montage in the whole election part of the movie. It works so well. I also loved the whole twist of keeping it a secret because it leads to a lot of really funny scenes throughout.
SLIP/THROUGH – DAN says…
Joel Silver (LETHAL WEAPON, THE MATRIX) produces, and Walter Hill (THE WARRIORS) directs, in an unlikely behind the scenes collaboration for a comedy. Leading men, Richard Pryor and John Candy, are a bit more at home in the genre.
Pryor stars as an aging baseball player who inherits $300 million from a long lost relative. The twist is, in order to get his inheritance he has to spend $30 million in 30 days without having any assets to show for it. Candy plays his best friend, in ultimate SPACEBALLS sidekick mode, delivering a few solid laughs along the way.
This zany premise launches Pryor on an unlikely adventure, as he bounces off of the walls trying to hide his secret. Another challenge is actually spending the money. When you think of it, $30 million could be like $100 with inflation today. Brewster has to spend an incredible amount each and every day without owning anything for himself. The ways he manages to spend his cash ranges from ridiculous to brilliant scheming.
Pryor is the main draw reason to watch BREWSTER’S MILLIONS. Beginning his career as a stand-up comedian appearing on THE TONIGHT SHOW with Johnny Carson way back, Pryor actually had a much tamer act. However, most fans adore this comedic legend for his edgy stand-up albums, with THAT NIGGER’S CRAZY as his all-time best (and infinitely re-playable).
One wonders if Pryor’s role in BREWSTER’S MILLIONS reflects his rise to fame with success in Hollywood? People surely treated him differently, and he definitely would have much more responsibility weighing on him like Brewster does. I think, in a way, Pryor was commenting on how white people treated him differently once he had success. A lot of the scenarios in BREWSTER seem to reflect racial prejudices without hitting us over the head with the message.
Really though, interpretive elements percolate under the surface. This comedy confidently delivers the laughs, with a variety of jokes flying all over the place. Despite a predictable story, the characters make it worth the watch.
THAT’S SO 80S! RATINGS
* note: ratings are out of 5 *
RETRO REWIND RATING (AKA WHAT 80S US THOUGHT)
FAST FORWARD RATING (AKA HOW DOES IT HOLD UP)
SO, HOW 80S WAS IT?
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