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 11, 1982, and we’re off to see E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Grease 2.
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.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Now we’re in the heart of the 1980 movie boom. For a long time, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was the biggest film in history. Even in my small town the film played for 18 weeks.
I hadn’t seen this movie in 20 years or more, and there are definitely some issues with it. For instance, why in the world does E.T. get linked with Elliott (Henry Thomas)? It’s fine that he does, but why? When E.T. dies temporarily, the link is severed immediately and Elliott is then fine. So, the point of this was… what? I’m truly puzzled.
But all that aside, it’s a heck of a film. Stephen Spielberg had proven himself already with Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And that actually may be the downfall. While E.T. is enjoyable, it feels very light compared to what we had already seen Spielberg accomplish. If I had to choose between those other two movies and this one to watch again, E.T. would come in last every time.
It has some nice tension here and there, and it certainly has some cute moments, but once you’ve seen it, you feel like some of the shine comes off of it. While other films in Spielberg’s career can be watched endlessly because it feels like you are always catch something new.
E.T. must be seen at least once, but past that it feels like a bit of a letdown.
Imagine if you decided to make a completely unnecessary sequel to a very light-hearted, but huge hit of a musical. You would need songs that would really knock it out of the park.
Instead, the music of Grease 2 sounds as though it was written by someone who actively hates music and they wanted to make sure you walked away with a dislike for it as well. And anyone who points to “Cool Rider” as a great song is clearly not to be trusted. I love Michelle Pfeiffer as an actor, but her singing leaves a lot to be desired.
And I think that may be a lot of it. If they had gone with people with stronger singing voices, some of the songs may have landed better. Instead, you have very pretty people without much singing talent and it’s just painful.
As to the plot, it’s essentially the first film just done again, but without even half of the charm. As sequels go, it seems we were well on our way to studios never being able to copy the success of the original films.
1982 Movie Reviews will return on June 18 with Firefox!
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