Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1982 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start to a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of those still reverberate to this day.
We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly four dozen.
Yes, we’re insane, but 1982 was that great of a year for film.
The articles will come out – in most cases – on the same day the films hit theaters in 1982 so that it is their true 40th anniversary. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory. In some cases, it truly will be the first time we’ve seen them.
This time around it’s June 25, 1982, and we’re off to see Blade Runner, Megaforce, and The Thing.
Quick side note: Since we launched this series this year, we’ve discovered that Vintage Video Podcast is doing the exact same project with two differences: First, it’s audio (naturally), and second, they are doing every major film. We’ve listened to numerous episodes and it’s fun checking off their thoughts against my own. Check them out over at Vintage Video Podcast.
Blade Runner has to be the best-looking, but boring movie, ever made.
I said it, and I’m not taking it back.
I have loved Blade Runner ever since it was released, and I have watched every one of the different cuts of the film. For this viewing, I did use the original theatrical cut with Harrison Ford’s narration to keep with the theme of the review. I hadn’t watched it in some time. Yes, his narration is just as monotone and lifeless as you’ve heard, but I have always appreciated the detective noir angle of it. It’s not for everyone, and that’s absolutely fine.
Where this movie goes off the rails is just long, silent scenes that take forever. For instance, Deckard’s (Harrison Ford) analysis of the photo scene. We get it. He can zoom in… and zoom in… and zoom in. There were so many more things I would have liked to get to. More time learning about Rachel (Sean Young), perhaps another scene with the other Replicants interacting and acting like a family to give them that much more humanity. There’s a lot of other ways the time could have been spent.
But in spite of its minor flaws, there is no arguing with this film’s place in cinematic history. It is visually stunning with every second oozing with atmosphere. This feels like a real, lived-in world. Never once do you question this dystopian landscape, or the fact there are Off-World Colonies. You buy this version of 2019, even when you’re living in 2022.
Despite the slogging moments that happen here and there, this is a film that absolutely everyone should see at least once and just marvel at the sheer audacity of its scope.
I remember vividly you couldn’t pick up a comic book in 1982 without seeing an ad for Megaforce. It worked, it got me, at the ripe old age of 10, to get my dad to take me to see it.
I actually remember, again, at the age of 10, going, ‘this is really bad.’ It’s the first occurrence I can remember of me disliking a movie while watching it. I think I saw it once or twice after it came to HBO, but hadn’t seen it in decades.
I’ll say this for Megaforce, it’s still not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but the concept had something going for it. The idea of a shadow military unit that works covertly to take down threats is intriguing. The addition of the unique hardware and so on, made it a heck of a hook, and I honestly can say if someone wanted to turn this into a TV series now, I would definitely check it out.
And you see the money spent on this movie, and you have to ask how the script seems to have been the smallest item on the budget. There is a lot of money on the screen with original vehicles, tons of actors, a lot of action being filmed, and more, and the script is just horrifically bad. The relationship between Ace Hunter (Barry Bostwick) and Zara (Persis Khambatta) is just hamfisted with zero chemistry and completely unnecessary. The film also seems to have no concept of time. Everyone seems to be in a rush, but then lets have a nice dinner, and take some time for training, and lets just not feel like it’s that pressing.
And somewhere along the line it must have been a group decision for everyone to act completely over-the-top. There are no small parts in this film and everyone it playing to the back of the hall to be sure.
Megaforce is just as bad as you’ve ever heard, but it’s made just that much worse as you can tell there was a slim chance of something pretty fun was hidden inside of it.
The vast majority of the movies I review in this project I’ve seen before, but The Thing is one I simply had never gotten around to. It had always been on my list and thankfully this project finally got me there.
I just wish I had liked it more.
The thing is, I didn’t dislike it, but I just didn’t find the story that engaging. I liked the characters, the effects, and certain aspects of the story, but other parts just seemed to keep dragging the story down and lengthening scenes that didn’t need it. There were prolonged scenes of repetitive tests to figure out who was and wasn’t a Thing, but we never got any idea of what exactly was happening with the creature.
The creature clearly had intelligence as evidenced by trying to build a new ship, but it never attempted to communicate. It clearly could talk when it took over someone and could use their voice, saying anything would have been interesting. What we ended up with was no indication of its motivations. Was it here to take over the planet? Did it just want to go home? We had no idea. All we know is everyone is chasing it around the base – rightfully so – and for all we know it just really wanted to go home. I don’t feel that was its plan, but you just never know for sure.
Despite all of this, it’s still an enjoyable film, and it’s an important milestone in 1980s horror and sci-fi. It just would be nice if it had been a bit more.
1982 Movie Reviews will return on July 2 with The Secret of NIMH!
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