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Picture of jljones
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Watched the original Terminator tonight. It got me to thinking about the whole genre of 80s action flicks. Some were good, some campy, some bad, and some have aged really well.

I think the original Terminator has aged really well. The acting, writing, and screen play is in a lot of ways superior than the CGI mega block busters of today. I place the original Red Dawn in the same category.

What 80s action flicks have aged well to you? Which ones were good back in the day and are down right cheesy today? What was good in the day and are really bad these days?




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Posts: 34249 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Evil Asian Member
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One of my favorites is getting ready to disappear off of Netflix, Bruce Malmuth's Nighthawks. (Malmuth was the ring announcer from The Karate Kid!)

I tend to favor the early '80s over later '80s. Early '80s still has some '70s influences. It still has the '70s NY grime and earth tones, but there's that touch of gloss and neon just starting to seep in. Keith Emerson's soundtrack is synth-heavy, but can still get away with those '70s bongos. I love that vibe.

Contrast that with Stallone in Cobra, where now we're firmly in the latter-'80s with neon and sunset filters and palm trees and mullets and mirrored aviator sunglasses and laser-sighted Jati submachine-guns. That's the '80s vibe that contemporary audiences like to make fun of.
 
Posts: 5329 | Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA | Registered: April 11, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Easy picks that hardly anyone would dispute:
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
The Empire Strikes Back
The Terminator
Aliens
The Road Warrior
The Karate Kid
Beverly Hills Cop
Predator
Das Boot
Top Gun
Die Hard (even though I think it's overrated)

Some personal picks:
First Blood
RoboCop
Dune
Escape from New York
Conan the Barbarian
Red Dawn
Almost every Jackie Chan movie in the 80s - he was in his physical prime and constantly raised the bar for stuntwork and fight choreography that remain to this day some of the best action set pieces on film.

Ones that have not aged well:
James Bond movies starring Roger Moore
Sho Kosugi ninja movies or the whole ninja genre in general
Any action movie starring Burt Reynolds
Any action movie starring Chuck Norris
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Iron Eagle 1-2
Superman 2-4
Batman
Roadhouse
Megaforce

I know many will disagree, but I don't think Lethal Weapon 1-2 have aged well.

Terminator and Aliens have aged well, b/c they are not only great action movies, the are also first rate science fiction. The Terminator is a good example of how a great sci-fi story can compensate for lack of special FX.

Red Dawn holds up well IMHO, b/c it was a reasonable representation of Cold War era fear. One of the reasons the remake failed was b/c of how difficult it was to buy the premise that N Korea was invading the US.
 
Posts: 1856 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
goodheart
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Any specific Jackie Chan movie recommendations from that period?


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Posts: 15920 | Location: One hop from Paradise | Registered: July 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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Good list, iron chef.

I'll add Mad Max 2 to the "good ones that have aged well" list.
 
Posts: 25267 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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These are some of my personal picks but I also included a few war films.

Blade Runner
Death Wish II and III
Full Meta Jacket
Platoon
Commando
The Running Man
Uncommon Valor
Dogs of War (Released on my birthday in 1980)
Red Heat: This is one of my favorite films even though it is kind of cheesy.
Extreme Prejudice with Nick Nolte: I am reading the book right now.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: mrapteam666,
 
Posts: 1252 | Location: Bismarck, ND for Work | Registered: March 03, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Start and finish with Aliens. If I had a buck for each time it was on cable and I'd stop what I'm doing and watch it...again.
 
Posts: 2928 | Location: Alexandria, VA | Registered: March 07, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sjtill:
Any specific Jackie Chan movie recommendations from that period?

Police Story
Wheels on meals
Dragons Forever
 
Posts: 1700 | Location: El Paso, Texas | Registered: January 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
E tan e epi tas
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I think I know what you are going for so I don’t consider stuff like Raiders and some of the others in that realm.

I’m going to go with.
Die Hard - I know somebody above said over rated but not only did it age really well, it’s got it all. One liners, BIG explosions, boobs, over the top stunts, super cool guns, great villains and still manages to be a good movie on top. I put it only slightly above......

Lethal Weapon.....much of the same as above.

The Running Man....Campy but in some ways prescient and most of super fun.

Predator.....This movie, on release, really was a super cool bait and switch and is basically iconic......

....pretty much any of the Ahhhhnold flicks of the era but I don’t really put T1/T2 in there. Too much sci/fi T2 is too toned down. Terminator 1 walks the 80s action line for me. I could go either or here. The movie is FANTASTIC but not sure I would put in the 80s action box so to speak.


Above The Law/Hard To Kill/Out For Justice......yeah Segall is a piece of shit but his early action flicks were killer. A nice mix of 80s/70s feel with some decent gunplay and some fun martial arts.

BHC 1 and 2....Just a perfect pairing of action and comedy with a great cast that fits the 80s action movie mold. R rated, one liners, over the top action/explosions, cool guns and boobs.

There are MANY others but I think all of these fit the 80s action movie formula. Not hard SciFi like Alien/Aliens etc. Not Adventure like Raiders etc. Not Star Wars which is really space adventure, Not Iron Eagle more adventure drama, but all honest to by God R rated 80s Action flicks.

I know I didn’t specifically call out Commando but damn I love this line and it is a perfect example of the kind of line that belongs in an 80s action flick.......
“Hey Sully, remember when I promised to kill you last?”
“Yeah matrix, you did!!!”
“I lied”. Smile

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"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
 
Posts: 5138 | Location: On the water | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get Off My Lawn
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Mad Max II: The Road Warrior
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Aliens
Die Hard



"I’m not going to read Time Magazine, I’m not going to read Newsweek, I’m not going to read any of these magazines; I mean, because they have too much to lose by printing the truth"- Bob Dylan, 1965
 
Posts: 13201 | Location: Texas | Registered: May 13, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For the last week or so they have been playing Beverly Hills Cop 1 and 2 on cable almost non stop

I forgot how funny and cheesy it is but also how many people starred in it.

I forgot to add "48hrs" in my previous post.

I cannot believe that it came out in 1982. I watched it about a month ago, and to be honest every time it is on I stop what I am doing to watch it.
 
Posts: 1252 | Location: Bismarck, ND for Work | Registered: March 03, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nobody mentioned "They Live"? The alleyway fight that goes on for five minutes is the quintessential '80s action scene. Wink
 
Posts: 12 | Registered: July 13, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ice age heat wave,
cant complain.
Picture of MikeGLI
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Aliens
Die Hard
Terminator
Lethal Weapon

In no particular order.




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Posts: 8890 | Location: Orlando, Florida | Registered: July 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
E tan e epi tas
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quote:
Originally posted by jrhillma:
Nobody mentioned "They Live"? The alleyway fight that goes on for five minutes is the quintessential '80s action scene. Wink


For the record I had meant to throw that in but lost my train of thought. Smile


"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
 
Posts: 5138 | Location: On the water | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To add:

Big Trouble in Little China
The Hidden
Bloodsport


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Life Member NRA Washington Arms Collectors
The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. 'Make it evil,' he'd been told. 'Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them.'
 
Posts: 963 | Location: T-town in the 253 | Registered: January 16, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sjtill:
Any specific Jackie Chan movie recommendations from that period?

During the 80s, Jackie transitioned from old-school kung-fu theatre movies to ones in more modern settings. The best scenes are available on YouTube if you care to sample them. Among his greatest hits are:

Police Story 1 & 2 - Police Story was nicknamed 'Glass Story' by his stunt team, b/c... well, watch it, and it's obvious.

Project A 1 & 2 - lots of homages to Buster Keaton & Harold Lloyd

'Wheels on Meals' and 'Dragons Forever' - both feature Jackie vs Benny Urquidez in two of the all-time best-ever film fights.

Armour of God - Jackie's take on Indiana Jones. This was the movie where he broke his skull on a stunt and almost died.
Armour of God 2: Operation Condor - released in 1991, so technically not an 80s movie but also highly recommended

Miracles, aka, Mr Canton & Lady Rose - weak story even by martial arts movie standards, but it has a couple of insane set pieces worth watching
 
Posts: 1856 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Highlander
Aliens
Die Hard
Lethal Weapon
The Killer (the Hong Kong version by John Woo)


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Posts: 2008 | Location: Seacoast, NH | Registered: July 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Like most of you guys, I'm an 80s action movie fan. Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Terminator, Predator, Robo Cop, Conan the Barbarian et al

A couple of my personal favorites are
1. Cobra - my favorite Stallone movie, seen it a BUNCH of times.

2. Wanted: Dead or Alive with Rutger Hauer, just like this one, don't know about Gene Simmons as an Arabic Terrorist though... but I like it.

3. Extreme Prejudice with Nick Nolte and Powers Booth, again I just like this one.


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Posts: 1549 | Location: Collier Twp, PA | Registered: June 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another of my favorites that I rarely hear people mention is John Badham's Blue Thunder. Remember when shows and movies would be centered around vehicles with high-tech?

You've got the Orwell 1984 theme, the anticipation of the 1984 L.A. Olympics, the PTSD Vietnam vet, and that slick Arthur Rubenstein electronic score. Most importantly, you have actual helicopters flying around downtown skyscrapers, shooting up buildings, and weaving in and out of the L.A. River viaducts. Could they get away with that back then? You know they'd just CGI the hell out of that if filmed now.

That was my cinematic introduction to the Vulcan cannon!
 
Posts: 5329 | Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA | Registered: April 11, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by LastCubScout:
Another of my favorites that I rarely hear people mention is John Badham's Blue Thunder. You've got the Orwell 1984 theme, the anticipation of the 1984 L.A. Olympics, the PTSD Vietnam vet, and that slick Arthur Rubenstein electronic score. Most importantly, you have actual helicopters flying around downtown skyscrapers, shooting up buildings, and weaving in and out of the L.A. River viaducts.


ERRRPP! Totally forgot that! How could I forget JAFO, the thermocam, and naked yoga?


"Ultima Ratio Regum"
Life Member NRA Washington Arms Collectors
The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. 'Make it evil,' he'd been told. 'Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them.'
 
Posts: 963 | Location: T-town in the 253 | Registered: January 16, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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