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1983 Movie Reviews – Get Crazy, Risky Business, and The Star Chamber

by Sean P. Aune | August 5, 2023August 5, 2023 10:30 am EDT

Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1983 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 1983 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 1983 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 August 5th, 1983, and we’re off to see Get Crazy, Risky Business, and The Star Chamber.

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.


Get Crazy

I would love to tell you what Get Crazy is about, but I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten a movie faster. Thankfully the internet exists.

Set on New Year’s Eve 1983 – you know, the night that was eight months ago when this movie was released? –  the Saturn Theater will be putting on a huge celebration with an assortment of the hottest musical acts, being played by real musicians of the day, set to perform. And while the show is getting set up, an evil concert promoter (Ed Begley Jr.) who used to work at the theater wants to buy it out from his old boss, Max Wolfe (Allen Garfield).

As was a trope of the time period, the employees of the theater are people who barely do any work and want to party more than anything. Leading to various escapades throughout the night.

The film is supposedly based on the experiences of director Allan Arkush’s experiences working at the Filmore East from 1968 to 1971. How true these stories are is anyone’s guess, but in general it just comes off poorly from lackluster directing and sub-par acting. It is an easily forgotten film, and I most certainly already have.

Risky Business

Risky Business is a movie that should not work. From the far-fetched scenarios to the absurdity of multiple situations, you should not enjoy this film as much as you do, but it’s irresistible on so many levels.

Joel (Tom Cruise) finds himself in a precarious situation after he cannot pay Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) the money he owes her for a night of her call girl services. While out getting the money, she makes off with his mother’s prized glass egg, and the we’re off to the races. Everything revolves around this egg, and then, eventually, his father’s Porsche. Watching Joel turn from your average suburban kid, with dreams that outstrip his talent, into an entrepreneur that may have a bright future, is quite the journey to watch.

Personally, I am not Cruise’s biggest fan, but there is no question he was perfect in this role, and it is easily the one that launched his career into the stratosphere. It’s odd to imagine this gangly-looking would-be teen would go on to star in so many action films, but here we are.

If you’re just beginning your journey with 80s cinema, this one is essential viewing. If you’ve seen it before, revisit it. It holds up and is just as entertaining as it ever was.

The Star Chamber

What if justice just kept getting in the way of itself? What if criminals kept getting off on technicalities? And what if a group of people decided they need to be more of a blunt instrument when it comes to dealing with such issues.

The Star Chamber proposes an interesting conundrum where you may think you have all the pieces, and you may think you know the perfect solution, and it turns out you don’t. When judges gather and form a “Star Chamber” to retry cases they feel that went wrong, you can root for them in a way. But when they get it wrong, it’s then that you realize that there is a reason that all these safeguards are in place, no matter how infuriating they may be at times.

Where this film goes wrong is that it can’t decide what it wants to be. Is it study on our society and the ways we enforce laws on ourselves, or is it a thriller? It tries both, and ends up shortchanging both of them.

But even with that shortcoming, I can at least say I stayed engaged and intrigued throughout the film, but it’s nothing I would go out of my way to watch, and I definitely won’t be revisiting it, either.

1983 Movie Reviews will return on Aug. 12, 2023 with Cujo, The Man Who Wasn’t There, and Prisoners of the Lost Universe!

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Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing