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 October 6th, 1983, and we’re off to see Never Say Never Again and Romantic Comedy.
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.
Never Say Never Again
I never knew a James Bond movie could be this boring.
If you’ve never seen this James Bond oddity, yes, it is essentially the film Thunderball again, but far more boring. This all came about due to an abandoned Bond film script in the 1960s, which Ian Fleming then turned into the novel Thunderball. This then caused copyright issues and two people ended up owning the rights to the same story.
Honestly, how this movie came about is a far more interesting story than the film itself.
This film saw Connery return to the role of Bond after two others had played him. The new “M” (Edward Fox) is not the biggest fan of the Double O program, and is mainly keeping them on training exercises. In the case of 007, he feels Bond has aged out and sends him to a spa to get back in shape. Once there, he stumbles on to the latest plot by SPECTRE to blackmail the world.
As Bond stories go, this is just so slow that you don’t care what is happening. There is a fight at the spa that could have been interesting, but dragged out for so long and with nothing unique happening, it borders on painful for the audience.
Everyone involved with the film should have had a long, hard, think about getting involved with it. Sadly, they didn’t, and now this film exists.
Oh good, the 1980s trend of unlikable characters continues.
Romantic Comedy follows Jason Kramer (Dudley Moore) as he gets a new writing partner for his Broadway plays, Phoebe Craddock (Mary Steenburgen). Their attraction to each other is obvious from the jump, but sadly they meet on the day of Jason’s wedding. Ah darn it, of all the luck! Jason goes through with the wedding and has a multi-year marriage, as well as a couple of children, all while working with Phoebe. Phoebe doesn’t marry for years as everyone can see she is in love with Jason. It’s only after she finally marries, and Jason divorces after a fling, that they finally get together.
Oh good, it’s so easy to root for people who destroy marriages and uproot kids lives.
The thing is, I like both Moore and Steenburgen as actors, but again it’s a situation where I simply don’t like the characters. Do things such as this happen in real life? Yes. But that’s not why I’m watching a movie that has the audacity to call itself “Romantic Comedy.” There is nothing comical to me about marriages breaking up because people are indecisive.
It was very much not for me, and it’s none too surprising I had never heard of this film before I had to watch it.
1983 Movie Reviews will return on Oct. 14, 2023 with All the Right Moves and The Dead Zone!
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