Streampix of Consciousness: Channel Surfing in the ‘80s

The ‘80s might seem a cultural wasteland to you—filled with coming-of-age teen  movies—but it was actually the decade of “E.T.,” “Back to the Future,” “The Terminator” and, well yes, John Hughes’ Brat Pack-spawning “The Breakfast Club,” recently tapped by IMDB as the #1 movie of that 10-year span. The film definitely stands up, especially the poignant ending, when Judd Nelson triumphantly raises his arms over his head to the sounds of Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me,” rivaling the scene in 1989’s Cameron Crowe-directed “Say Anything,” where John Cusack serenades Donovan’s daughter Ione Skye under her bedroom window with a boom box blaring Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” Hughes’ groundbreaker is part of Streampix’s upcoming September ‘80s fest, starting Sunday… Other ‘80s films to revisit: Sergio Leone’s ’84 masterpiece “Once Upon a Time in America,” which foreshadows TV shows like HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” (whose new season starts up Sept. 8) and Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York”… Oliver Stone was also active during the decade, directing Tom Cruise as paralyzed Vietnam vet Ron Kovic in his adaptation of “Born on the Fourth of July and “Talk Radio ,” his prescient tale of a Howard Stern-like host played by Eric Bogosian, based on his one-man show, who draws the ire of his audience… Other ‘80s must-sees include Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 anti-war screen “Full Metal JacketCarl Reiner’s hilarious film noir spoof, “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” with Steve Martin, and Spike Lee’s corrosive take on racism “Do the Right Thing,” which is available along with his films “Clockers,” “Crooklyn” and “Get on the Bus” as part of Streampix’s Black Cinema collection…   On another note entirely, one of my favorite garage bands of all time is the Fleshtones, a post-punk outfit from the borough of Queens who have been purveying their brand of garage-rock mayhem for more than three decades. Check out the entertaining documentary “Pardon Us for Living but the Graveyard is Full”…  If Vanessa Bayer’s spot-on Miley Cyrus impression on the MTV Video Music Awards impressed you, check her out on “Saturday Night Live” on Oct. 2, 2010 here. The real Miley Cyrus hosted on March 5, 2011, here and proved she was in on the joke…. With the NFL season set to kick off on Thursday night, get in the mood with a viewing of Oliver Stone’s 1999 “Any Given Sunday,” with Al Pacino as the beleaguered coach and Jamie Foxx his QB… In the mood to view the film the late Roger Ebert once alled “the worst film in the history of Cannes”?  Vincent Gallo’s controversial 2003 movie “The Brown Bunny” also had its share of admirers, including the influential French Le Cahiers du Cinema, which called it one of the Ten Best Films of the Year, and the U.K. Daily Telegraph named it one of the 100 “defining” films of the decade. Now it’s largely remembered for Chloe Sevigny’s daring sexual act…  And finally, if you just want to sit around this Labor Day weekend, do bong hits and eat Twinkies, the dude will abide in the Coen brothers’ ultimate cult movie, 1998’s “The Big Lebowski,” which remains a Streampix perennial on top of our “Most Popular” chart.  Try this for a great “smoking” game. Take a hit every time someone says “dude” in the movie. And it’ll warm you up for the siblings’ eagerly anticipated “Inside Llewyn Davis,” about the ‘60s Village folk scene….


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.
Comments are closed.