Movies We Still Care About – 1989 – Part 2 of 2

(For an explanation of this, read the Introduction.  Other posts in this series can be found here.)

Movies We Still Care About

  •  Batman
  • Field of Dreams
  • Heathers
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Say Anything
  • When Harry Met Sally

Other Fond Memories

  • Dead Poets Society
  • Steel Magnolias

Other Notable Movies

  • The Abyss
  • UHF

Best Picture Nominees:

  • Driving Miss Daisy (Winner)
  • Born on the Fourth of July
  • Dead Poets Society
  • Field of Dreams
  • My Left Foot

Top Grossing Films (US)

  1. Batman
  2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  3. Lethal Weapon 2
  4. Look Who’s Talking
  5. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
  6. Back to the Future 2
  7. Ghostbusters 2
  8. Driving Miss Daisy
  9. Parenthood
  10. Dead Poets Society

Rotten Tomatoes Top Movies

  1. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (98%)
  2. Say Anything (98%)
  3. Do the Right Thing (96%)
  4. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (94%)
  5. The Little Mermaid (92%)
  6. Parenthood (92%)
  7. Glory (93%)
  8. Crimes and Misdemeanors (93%)

Movies We Still Care About

The Little Mermaid

This started Disney’s string of brilliant animation that continued into the early-mid 90s, which in my opinion was far superior in quality to the classic Disney animation like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.  It combines a rich visual style with engaging story, humor, and amazingly catchy songs.  I bet to this day you can still hear in your mind Under the Sea, Part of Their World, and Kiss the Girl.

And just in case you can’t, here they are.

As a more modern audience, we can look down on this film for its anti-feminist message of the heroine giving up her identity in pursuit of a man.  It is a product of its time in that respect, and I can certainly see why parents might want to exercise caution before showing this to children of an impressionable age.

But on the other hand, that crab is hilarious.

Side note: Once when I was in college, I went with a friend to see the movie Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.  But it was sold out, so instead we saw the re-release of Little Mermaid.  True story.

Say Anything

There’s this scene:

 

When Harry Met Sally

Widely considered one of the best romantic comedies of all time.  It redefined the genre and was innovative for the way that it told a story spanning decades.  And as someone who also fell in love with and married my best friend, I can certainly appreciate this.

But I know you’re all just waiting for me to embed the orgasm scene.

Other Notable Films

The Abyss

I had a professor in film school that argued that the best big movies were those that were really a small movie in disguise.  (And this professor knew what he was talking about, seeing as he wrote a small movie called Top Gun.)  The Abyss is a perfect example of this.  It’s a simple story of a man reconnecting with his ex-wife whom he still loves, set in the backdrop of trying to protect aliens from a nuclear bomb at the bottom of the ocean.

It largely gets overshadowed by James Cameron’s other work, but it’s an excellent movie in its own right and well worth revisiting.  (Make sure you watch the extended edition.  The theatrical version hacked out a bunch of important story elements and ended up not making much sense, which is part of the reason why this movie isn’t as remembered as it should be.)

It also had some ground-breaking special effects for the time, which Cameron would re-use to great effect two years later in Terminator 2.


UHF

As I write this Weird Al is more relevant than ever, having the number one album in America.  (The first comedy album to reach #1 since JFK was President.)  Twenty-five years ago he released this bizarre but hilarious movie.  It bombed at the box office, but has continued to hold a cult status among nerds.  And its theme of an imaginative outcast who sees the world differently achieving greatness through his unique vision continues to resonate.  Plus it manages to spoof deep cable reality shows long before those shows even existed.  (And check out a pre-Seinfeld, pre-racist rant Michael Richards playing a delightfully weird character.)

– – – – –

Do you disagree with any of these choices, or think that I missed something?  Leave a comment below.

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