Tuesday, 16 December 2014

80 From the 80s - Gremlins

Cute. Clever. Mischievous. Intelligent. Dangerous
Studio: Warner Brothers Release :::::::::: Date: 8th June 1984
Director: Joe Dante :::::::::: Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates
Budget: $11M :::::::::: 2015 Equivalent: $25.3M
U.S Box Office: $148.1M :::::::::: 2015 Equivalent: $347.3M
Billy’s new pet, a Mogwai, comes with three simple rules. Never expose it to bright light, never get it wet and most importantly of all, never, ever feed it after midnight. But when all three rules are inadvertently broken, it’s down to Billy, Linda and Gizmo to save the picturesque town of Kingston Falls from the chaos unleashed by Gremlins. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

80 From the 80s - The Last Starfighter

The Last Starfighter
He’s got one extraordinary chance at the dream of a lifetime
Studio: Universal :::::::::: Release Date: 13th July 1984
Director: Nick Castle :::::::::: Starring: Lance Guest, Robert Preston
Budget: $15M :::::::::: 2015 Equivalent: $34.5M
U.S Box Office: $28.7M :::::::::: 2015 Equivalent: $66M

When trailer park resident Alex Rogan breaks the high score on a Starfighter arcade machine, he doesn't realise he has just proved his worthiness to be a real Starfighter pilot. Visited by the mysterious Centauri, Alex soon finds himself in the middle of an intergalactic war that'll require more than just his skills to win.

Like a number of 1980s movies The Last Starfighter is often forgotten, yet for those who saw it in cinemas, or more likely on video, it remains a much loved gem. Released in July 1984, it broke ground for its revolutionary use of computer graphics but actually owes its inspiration to one of the oldest of legends, that of the sword in the stone. With the popularity of the video arcade still on the rise, writer Jonathan Betuel sought to combine the classical adventure with a modern one, and thus The Last Starfighter was born.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

80 From the 80s - Mannequin

When she comes to life, anything can happen!
Studio: Fox :::::::::: Release Date: 13th February 1987
Director: Mike Gottlieb :::::::::: Starring: Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall
Budget: $7.9M :::::::::: 2015 Equivalent: $16.6M
U.S Box Office: $42.7M :::::::::: 2015 Equivalent: $90M

In one of his many jobs, failed artist Jonathan Switcher creates the perfect mannequin. Fired yet again, he later sees his creation in a shop window and sets about getting a job at the store. Much to Jonathan's amazement, he discovers that when he is alone with the mannequin, she comes to life. But the path of true love is never a smooth one, and soon the duo are dealing with an obsessed night watchman, a hostile takeover and Jonathan’s colleagues, who are getting concerned with him talking to a shop dummy....

Saturday, 15 November 2014

80 From the 80s - Romancing the Stone

Romancing the Stone

 She's a girl from the big city. He's a reckless soldier of fortune. For a fabulous treasure, they share an adventure no one could imagine... or survive.

Studio: 20th Century Fox Release Date: 30th March 1984
Director: Robert Zemeckis Starring: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner
Budget: $10M 2015 Equivalent: $23M
U.S Box Office: $76.5M  2015 Equivalent: $175.9M

A director being fired from a movie is a rare occurrence. One being fired from a future project because their current one is so bad, that's something of a one-off. Yet that's exactly what happened to Robert Zemeckis while working on action-adventure Romancing the Stone. The film was a gamble for all involved, but for Zemeckis, it was make or break; failure would signify the end of his short Hollywood career. In the latter half of 1983, the situation wasn't looking good.

Friday, 7 November 2014

80 From the 80s - Wargames


Is it a game, or is it real?

Studio: United Artists/MGM Release Date: 6th June 1983
Director: John Badham Starring: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy
Budget: $12M 2015 Equivalent: $28.6M
U.S Box Office: $79.5M 2015 Equivalent: $189.8M

For the modern audience, it's perhaps a little baffling to see how prevalent the threat of nuclear war was back in the early 1980s. With Ronald Reagan in power, the Russians and Americans pursued a game of nuclear one-upmanship, whose effects quickly spread to all facets of life. People became survivalists, built fallout shelters and campaigned to 'Ban the Bomb'.  Never one to miss a trick, Hollywood was quick to use the nuclear threat as the central device in a number of projects. Initially the focus was on the dangers of nuclear power, with 1979's The China Syndrome being among the first. The Jack Lemmon/Jane Fonda picture opened just twelve days before the nuclear disaster at Three Mile Island proved the dangers were all too real.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

80 From the 80s - Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon

He’ll Save Every One of Us!

Studio: Universal Release Date: 5th December 1980
Director: Mike Hodges Starring: Sam Jones, Melody Anderson
Budget: $27M 2015 Equivalent: $82M
U.S Box Office: $27.1M 2015 Equivalent: $82.3M

The origins of Flash Gordon stretch back to the early 1930s. Created by Alex Raymond, the character first appeared in comic strip form on January 7th 1934 and was both inspired by, and in direct competition with, Buck Rogers.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

80 From the 80s - Krull


‘A world light-years beyond your imagination’

Studio: Columbia Pictures Release Date: 29th July 1983
Director: Peter Yates Starring: Kenneth Marshall, Lysette Anthony
Budget: $26M 2015 Equivalent: $62M
U.S Box Office: $16.5M 2015 Equivalent: $39.3M

Despite being one of the most expensive movies of the time, Krull is seemingly forgotten amongst the releases of the early 1980s. Taking its primary influence from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, it sought to score box office gold in the late summer of 1983. With Return of the Jedi starting to look a little long in the tooth, Krull staked its claim to be the next fantasy epic.