Posts Tagged ‘1985’

he-man-and-she-ra-a-christmas-special-movie-poster-1985-1020427363Two Children become lost when they go to find their family’s Christmas tree, befriended by Orko they set about to bring the goodwill of Christmas to Eternia.

In 1985, in the hight of this popularity came this hour shy Christmas special. Filmmation’s offering works just like the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and its spin-off She-Ra episodes. Even though a commercial for the twist waist & power punch action toys it also had some great stories and morals to share, this is more of the same. Naturally there’s the recycling of the same cells but there’s plenty of new footage including cute children, a puppy and Adam dressed as Santa Claus.

When Alisha and Manuel visit Eternia their goodwill attracts the unwelcome attention of Horde Prime and Skeletor. The tale switches between planets and this special has a mix of fantasy elements synonymous with both shows – fairies, soldiers, monsters and (also thrown in are Transformer-like) robots.

Amongst the action set-ups there’s some nice writing from Don Heckman and Bob Forward with plenty of sugary cuteness and animated visual treats. Look for Orko’s nod to Ghostbusters. For fan’s it bridges Earth to Queen Marlina, there’s the on screen mix of Eterniain and Etheria characters and Skeletor’s transition from super villain to reluctant nice guy. After Hordak orders Skeletor to kidnap the kids there’s a great scene where they explain Christmas to Skeletor:

Skeletor: Tell me more about this “Christmas.”

Miguel: Well, it’s a wonderful time of the year. Everyone has lots of fun.

Skeletor: You mean they get in fights?

Miguel: No, no – they have fun!

Skeletor: Fights are fun. I like fights!

Miguel: And you give each other presents.

Skeletor: And when you open them, they explode, right?

Miguel: No! They’re nice gifts.

Skeletor: Nice? Doesn’t sound like much fun to me!

Priceless. Today, 30 years later directors Bill Reed and Ernie Schmidt offering may have trouble keeping up with the pace and style of contemporary cartoons but it’s a heart warming story, fitting for the seasonal period, complete with some catchy songs and all the regular character favourites (voices from legend Alan Oppenheimer, John Erwin and Linda Gary to name a few).

While possibly not the best Christmas cartoon, that prize is up for debate, it’s still has great nostalgic value and is great viewing for children.

demonsIn a cinema lobby a woman is scratched by a mask on display and later becomes a demon. A group of film goers become trapped inside the picture house and try to evade becoming demons themselves.

Produced by Dario Argento, it suffers from the usual bad dubbing and choppy editing. That said, director Lamberto Bava and team serve up some great practical special effects (thankfully made in 1985 predating CGI) the lighting is excellent for the most part creating a creepy atmosphere.

Dardano Sacchetti’s story, the film within a film and four punks breaking in breakup the linear storyline, it ooze 80s atmosphere and has a great soundtrack featuring many bands of the day. There’s also an effective fitting score by Claudio Simonetti which adds to the surreal quality. The acting is a mixed bag, leads Natasha Hovey as Cheryl and Paola Cozzo as Kathy are effective but they get very little to do. Urbano Barberini is modelled on Evil Dead’s (1981) character Ash in the later half. Both Nicoletta Elmi and an unknown Emanuela Zicosky as June leave an impression.

Although dated the nihilistic ending and the gooey special effects and set ups give Demons that lasting appeal. It still has all the faults as it did on its original release but is still worth checking out as much of it holds up today.

Demons on IMDB
Ridley Scott’s lavish 1985 fantasy Legend had a taxing and interesting history, script revisions, the studio burned down, the film had to be reedited and Jerry Goldsmith’s score was removed from the US version and replaced by Tangerine Dream followed by a Brain Ferry track over the closing credits to name a few.
Despite there being a 140-minute rough cut, which was then cut down to a 125-minute work print, Ridley never intended an audience to see these versions. The 113-minute version is the Director’s Cut (which has now been released on Blu-Ray) and is as close to complete as Ridley Scott intended it to be. Legend is no Blade Runner, Alien or even Gladiator and still remains a flawed film yet there is something magical about Legend even if it doesn’t literally live up to its title…
After a unicorn is killed darkness falls across the land and a forest boy named Jack must save the world and his love before last ray of sunlight disappears forever.
1985’s Legend is simple fantasy tale of good versus evil that unusually leaves room for interpretation. Debatably it lacks any likable characters which is possibly the reason why Labyrinth (1986) and The Princess Bride (1987) fair better in comparison. Tom Cruise, Mia Sara and co are surprisingly subdued and William Hjortsberg’s screenplay is missing the required attention-grabbing dialogue and a sense of journey and adventure. That said, what legend does have is atmosphere, and abundance of it. Many of the visuals in Legend are far superior to the aforementioned and there is no doubt this is due to Ridley Scott’s handling of the production.
Tim Curry’s brief performance and make up design as Darkness is fantastic, as to is the makeup as a whole. A notable cast also include Billy Barty (Masters of the Universe) and Kiran Shah (The Chronicles of Narnia). Alice Playten’s Blix is sorely underused, Annabelle Lanyon is the peculiar fairy Oona and David Bennent is excellent as the eerie elf-like Gump.
The sets are wonderfully constructed this coupled with lighting create a enchanting environment. The Meg Mucklebones is segment is truly creepy reminiscent of the witches featuring in Clash of the Titans (1981). Jerry Goldsmith’s score (reintroduced in the director’s cut) gives the film a timeless feel and underpins the mystical element.
Ultimately despite being magnificently crafted it’s a fantasy that is too straightforward and underdeveloped for adults and too scary for children.
Ah nostalgia, oh the 80s. Although Miami Vice was aired in the US in 1984 as Friday night viewing here in the UK Season 1 wasn’t aired until 1985 and oddly on a Monday! The first episode Feb 4th, 1985 – 9.25pm to be exact.
Tubbsequently (see what I did there) a Tuesday thereafter. Maybe not to conflict with Crossroads or Dads Army, who knows eh. That said, being Welsh we got it much later… 11pm, usually on a Thursday. Bikinis, drugs and guns were too shocking for us Welsh people see mun.
In addition to Crockett and Tubbs for a generation most associated the great Edward Woodward with Callan or the Wicker Man, for me he’ll always be Robert McCall – that nice old man, carrying a gun, helping people while removing his Deirdre Barlow glasses as The Equaliser. (Incidently Stewart Copland drummer for The Police did the excellent theme tune.)

1985 was my year, He-Man, Knight Rider, The A-Team and my Star Wars figure collection were at their peak, it was just after that time when I would have a bath, watch Fraggle Rock and get ready for bed in wait for Santa. VHS, singles, Atari, ZX-, Billy Ocean, McEnroe and Paul Hogan also spring to mind. One persons great year is anothers nightmare.
Thinking about it 1985 made me, ’85 was more important than my birth, for me it may very well be the centre of time, with every other date orbiting around it everything being an influence in those 80’s years. Leg-warms are still a hot favioute of mine even though I never donned on a pair, er-hum. Film wise although Scorsese’s After Hours is now one of my faviourate films I didn’t see it at the time as with Day of the Dead, Commando, Rambo 2 and Rocky 4 to name a few. Of course I did see Teen Wolf and Back to the Future. You know, looking back it’s as if my future had something to do with it.
Don’t ask me if I saw some of the adult things mentioned or question if I was up I at 11pm, I doubt it. I’d like to think my parents protected me, shielding me from 80’s fashion, Jan Hammer and that I only watch re-runs. I must have. Lately I wish my father had sheltered from Phil Collins, the Fagin of music, yes he had hair once too. Nevertheless, the Equaliser and Miami Vice were ingrained in my mind more so than others. Slightly ahead of the openings of TV shows, Manimal, Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Street Hawk, Air Wolf and boring Cheers, Dallas and Dynasty.
I recently set out on a quest, one funnier than The Young Ones, as crazy as Todd ‘Tucker’ Carty in Krull and as cheesey as Red Sonja. I’m doing this so by the power of the internet your kids and their grand kids will get to see a glimpse of circa 1985. So I sat down and watched the first series of The Equaliser and Miami Vice or as the cool kids call it MV. Not as punishment or as an experiment but as entertainment. Painful I think not… I, think, not…

Miami Vice (1984–1990)
This classic ground breaking series followed two very different Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami.
It holds up, the characters are still as endearing as they were back then. The first season has its faults mainly the abrupt cutting between scenes (due to planned adverts) but also at times the writers or directors don’t seem to know how to finish a scene before the next as with many of the shows of the time. New comers may find this a little jarring and frustrating as this has been finely tuned in modern quality TV shows.
The first season has some rough episodes but of the 22 they are the few and far between. The characters are great and the acting is decent for the most part. The meeting of the both leads is great, Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas), a New York street cop collides with James “Sonny” Crockett (Don Johnson) Former football star and ‘Nam vet’ now undercover detective. It’s good to watch their friendship grow through good and bad times. The supporting cast are on fine form, notably Det. Gina Calabrese (Saundra Santiago) and Lt. Castillo (Edward James Olmos) who becomes their new boss a few episodes in.
Its fitting that the exposition isn’t forced and you need to take note to what the characters are saying. Many of the cast are while not major stars are veteran bit part actors who have familiar faces. In addition, as well as the many guest stars including Bruce Willis it’s surprising how many of the supporting cast are stars now, for example Ving Rhames.
Even after being viewed through 80’s rose tinted glasses and overlooking some cheese – it encapsulates a fanciful nostalgia, the clothes, the cars, the boats, soundtrack and even Miami itself. The style and panache of Crockett and Tubbs sums it up, but that’s not to say the locations, story lines and character are not without a dark side, prostitution, kidnapping, murder and drugs (mainly heroin) to name a few. These maybe sanitized slightly due to censorship of the time but there’s enough to give it an edge especially for the time.
Restrictions and the unkindness of time aside, like the Equalizer, from its motion picture shooting style and production/wardrobe design, to the landmark music Miami Vice is as entertaining today as it was back then.
The Equalizer (1985 – 1989)
Robert McCall, a former secret agent offers his expertise and services to people in need. He can be found through a newspaper ad that reads: “Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer. 212 555 4200”. In the process of helping desperate New Yorkers he inflicts justice upon hoodlums, murderers, kidnappers and drug dealers to name a few.
Tamely choreographed fights aside and despite a lack of blood when some one is shot The Equalizer stands the test of time. Edward Woodward is perfectly cast as the quintessential English gentleman, at times teaching the bad guys some manners. There are debatably few actors that would have pulled off the dangerous character as well. His age makes the retired character more believable and he has a look and edge that makes him a credible killer. While each episode is entertaining some fair better than others. It’s always engaging whether McCall is using a his wits and some psychology or a ballistic knife, Uzi or Walther PPK. The episodes that are set in the thick of a conspiracy or that give hints of Macall’s background are the more memorable. The supporting cast are more than adequate and usually feature a familiar face or an up and coming star of the time.
Its New York setting elevates the realism with its gritty look. The writing, especially for much of the first season is of feature film quality. All episodes are competently directed and capture the trends and style of the time, making it great nostalgia for some. The soundtrack usually contains the chart toppers of the time and while some of the music score has dated the Equalizer theme is still as good as it was back in the 80’s.
Between 1985 and 1989 it was perfect TV entertainment. Disregarding pleasant remembrances The Equalizer is as relevant as it was then and still holds up on viewing now.