RANKING THE YEAR’S BEST: FROM OSCAR MOVIES TO BLOCKBUSTERS
Walk down memory lane… And let the movie nerd debate begin.
Let’s REWIND to the year 1982.
These are personal TOP 10s ranking Oscar-nominated movies right alongside popcorn-munching blockbusters, indie films, b-movies, and cult classics. You never know, you might even uncover a hidden gem or two.
1982 was filled with blockbuster entertainment. The 80s embraced its popcorn culture. The #1 movie at the domestic box office was Steven Spielberg’s ET with $359 million (not adjusted for inflation). While there were a flavourful mixture of cult classics and guilty pleasure b-movies, 1982 was light on captivating dramas.
My TOP 10 is followed by HONORABLE MENTIONS.
Let’s dig in…
THE TOP 10
10. FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH
One of the best raunchy comedies ever. R-rated fun with Sean Penn as a stoner surfer and Phoebe Cates in one of the most memorable nude scenes in cinematic history. A guilty pleasure cult classic. A pre-cursor to AMERICAN PIE.
9. 48 HRS.
Hot off of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, Eddie Murphy burst onto the scene with this hilarious R-rated buddy cop action comedy that would influence the decade.
Ben Kingsley stars in this critically praised biopic about a pacifist and activist from India. Beautifully photographed with impressive performances, this captivating story deserves the recognition.
7. RICHARD PRYOR: LIVE ON THE SUNSET STRIP
One of the best stand-up comedy concert films from one of the best stand-up comedians ever. Extremely influential and laugh out loud funny. Pryor mixes outrageous storytelling with subversive social commentary. This still holds up.
6. DARK CRYSTAL
Jim Henson brought us THE MUPPETS and SESAME STREET, but his eclectic imagination wasn’t confined to entertaining the pre-school set. This thought-provoking fantasy adventure has astounding visuals, from the character designs, to the fascinating world designs. While the technical achievements with puppetry are mind-blowing, this imaginary world also breathes with compelling culture. Incredible detail harmonizes with the breath-taking magic of cinema.
5. FIRST BLOOD
Sylvester Stallone stars in the first RAMBO movie. This one was more serious than its over-the-top sequels, and actually explores thematic issues like soldiers returning home with post-traumatic stress. Intense action, with a lower body-count than its dismissive reputation suggests.
4. CONAN THE BARBARIAN
Before he was THE TERMINATOR, Arnold Schwarzenegger was CONAN, a muscle-bound slave turned pulp fiction warrior. The R-rated original respected Robert E. Howard’s original stories with a screenplay by Oliver Stone. Often ignored as b-movie bad, there is actually a story to go along with all the sword-filled action and fantasy adventure. NERD ALERT: Darth Vader himself, James Earl Jones, plays the big bad baddie here.
3. THE THING
Legendary horror director John Carpenter milks this paranoia-fueled story for every drop of tension he can. The masterful Carpenter soaks this cult classic with atmosphere. Ennio Morricone’s pulse-pounding score compliments the constant sense of dread. Kurt Russell leads the way as our bearded badass hero. One of the all-time best horror movies!
2. BLADE RUNNER
One of my absolute favourite films of all-time. Ridley Scott directs this atmospheric and introspective sci-fi cult classic starring Harrison Ford. Complex themes explore our mortality along with our morality. This incredibly stylish piece of cinematic history is at the pinnacle of its genre. A true heavyweight that slowly earned its iconic reputation. While not for everyone, this story is sure to spark a conversation.
My favourite film of all-time is Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The emotional connection he helped me build with Elliot and E.T. is priceless. I never felt so much for a movie. Seeing this in my childhood cemented it as the benchmark to weigh all emotional stories against. The magic of movies is often appreciated on a technical level, including the more cinematic qualities, as well as the behind-the-scene efforts of writers and special effects wizards; however, E.T. is imbued with a different kind of whimsy. Film’s ability to emotionally resonate is truly magical. For this reason and many more (deserving of a novel), this Spielberg blockbuster earns its special placement in my own personal Movie Hall of Fame.
BASKET CASE / CAT PEOPLE / CREEPSHOW / NIGHT SHIFT / PINK FLOYD’S THE WALL / POLTERGEIST / PORKY’S / ROCKY 3 / THE SECRET OF NIMH / THE SHAOLIN TEMPLE / STAR TREK 2: THE WRATH OF KHAN / SWAMP THING / THE TOY / TRON
MY MUST-WATCH LIST
movies i need to see
THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS / DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID / AN OFFICER & A GENTLEMAN / SOPHIE’S CHOICE / TOOTSIE / THE VERDICT / THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY
What do you think?
Stay Tuned for REWIND & RANK: 2003.