It’s 2022 but we’re still obsessed with the ‘80s. The ’80s nostalgia is definitely not going away, as evidenced by the latest fashion trends. Even popular films and shows have been bringing back the ’80s such as the Netflix series Stranger Things. The ’80s were a golden decade in film. If you want to introduce the glory of the ’80s to your children, here are five movie recommendations to get them excited for one of the best decades in entertainment.
The 1986 adventure comedy film The Goonies follows a group of kids, the “Goonies” living in “Good Docks” who attempt to save their homes from demolition. The kids discover an old treasure map in the attic which leads them to an adventure in an underground cave. The film was co-produced and directed by Richard Donner from a screenplay by Chris Columbus, based on a story by executive producer Steven Spielberg. The main cast which comprises the Goonies stars Sean Astin as Mikey, the asthmatic leader of the Goonies, Josh Brolin as Brand, the athlete and oldest member, Jeff Cohen as Chunk, clumsy and chronic liar member of the group, Corey Feldman “Mouth”, the talkative Goonie, and Jonathan Ke Huy Quan as “Data” amateur inventor Goonie. The Guardian published an article about the film, saying, “It’s a straight-ahead romp-slash-fantasy adventure that echoes Spielberg’s Indiana Jones films, and is weirdly similar to Stephen King’s scary novel It, which it predates by a year. For me it also shows how Spielberg and Columbus were drawing upon a rather British tradition of kids’ adventure stories put out by the Children’s Film Foundation and the Ealing classic Hue and Cry.”
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
The science fiction film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, was a blockbuster hit and remains to be one of America’s highest-grossing movies of all time. The film tells the story of a boy named Elliott who befriends an extraterrestrial (E.T.) stranded on Earth. The boy goes on a quest to help E.T. go back home with the help of his friends and family. The film stars Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, and Drew Barrymore. Variety’s review had high praise for the film. “Captivating, endearingly optimistic and magical at times, Steven Spielberg’s fantasy about a stranded alien from outer space protected by three kids until it can arrange for passage home is certain to capture the imagination of the world’s youth in the manner of most of his earlier pics, as well as those of George Lucas.”
The NeverEnding Story
The fantasy film The NeverEnding Story, co-written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen (in his first English-language film), was based on the 1979 novel of the same name by Michael Ende. The film was produced by Bernd Eichinger and Dieter Giessler and stars Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach, Patricia Hayes, Sydney Bromley, Gerald McRaney, and Moses Gunn, with Alan Oppenheimer providing the voices of several characters in the film. The film follows a boy who stumbles upon a book titled “The Neverending Story” that he sneaked from a bookstore. The book tells the story about the land of Fantasia threatened by a dark force and needs the help of a human child to save the land. Variety published an article about the film, emphasizing its lasting legacy, “The Never Ending Story has remained a personally memorable outlier in a crammed 1980s fantasy film canon that includes Labyrinth, Willow and the heroically naff Krull. Viewed from 2020, that magnificent cluster looks like the last starburst of pre-CGI practical magic, where allegorical realms were ingeniously magicked up from matte paintings, physical puppetry and the judicious deployment of dry ice.” A review of the film was also published on RogerEbert.com. “The idea of the story within a story is one of the nice touches in ‘The NeverEnding Story.’ Another one is the idea of a child’s faith being able to change the course of fate.”
The 2021 film Ghostbusters: Afterlife has been released last November and stars Carie Coon, Paul Rudd, Mckenna Grace, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor. If you plan to watch the new Ghostbusters film with your kids, we recommend that you watch the original Ghostbusters film first. Ghostbusters stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. The film centers on parapsychology research professors Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler who loses their grant at the university. They end up starting a ghost removal service in New York, later on joined by Winston Zeddemore. The film has received a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critic consensus describing the film, “An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, with Bill Murray’s hilarious deadpan performance leading a cast of great comic turns.” Common Sense Media also reviewed the film and wrote, “Director Ivan Reitman’s movie succeeds in cleverly combining comedy, action, and some scary stuff. Although Ghostbusters has some frightening moments, Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis provide enough comic relief to lighten the fears.”
The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride is a fairy tale adventure that you can enjoy with your kids. The movie is narrated from the perspective of a grandfather reading a story to his grandson. He tells the story of a man who faces several obstacles to be reunited with his one true love. The film is based on the William Goldman novel of the same name. The movie stars Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn, André the Giant, and Christopher Guest. Variety took note of the excellent storytelling involved in this classic movie, “Perhaps the most striking thing now about The Princess Bride is the framing device: it’s a story being told by a kindly grandfather, played by Peter Falk – but to a little boy, not a little girl. There isn’t the same gender-stereotyping you’d find if the story were pitched today, and despite the title, The Princess Bride is not a tweeny sleepover movie like Frozen.” On Rotten Tomatoes, it currently has a 98 percent rating, “A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.”
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