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1984 Movie Reviews – The Natural and Firestarter

by Sean P. Aune | May 11, 2024May 11, 2024 9:30 am EDT

Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1984 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 1984 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 1984 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 May 11, 1984, and we’re off to see The Natural and Firestarter.

1984 Movie Project - The Nautral - 01

The Natural

(This review was originally published in 2019 when I first got this idea for the project. I watched the film again in 2024, and portions of the review have been updated.)

I am not normally a sports movie fan. I find them a bit too sentimental for my tastes, but when you put someone such as Robert Redford in the lead role, it just works.

The Natural is about as stereotypical for a sports movie as you can get. A team is down on their luck when a mysterious superstar arrives and saves them. But it will all come down to the one play at the end, and no one is sure he can do it because of something from his past causing issues in the present.

Did I mention it stars Robert Redford?

I like The Natural. It’s a kickback movie to be sure. It’s not going to change your life, and you’re going to think you’ve seen this story a million times (and you have), but you’ll still find yourself having fun with it. Although, I would still like someone to explain the woman who shoots him in the beginning of the film. Yes, I know she keeps shooting the top people in different sports, but it still didn’t make a ton of sense.

Did I mention it stars Robert Redford?

If you’ve never seen, it’s worth a watch. Just don’t expect it to change your life.

1984 Movie Project - Firestarter - 01


(This review was originally published in 2019 when I first got this idea for the project. I watched the film again in 2024, and portions of the review have been updated.)

We are truly hitting peak King adaptations as this is the second one of his films already this year.

Based on Stephen King’s 1980 novel Firestarter, the movie tells the story of Charlie (Drew Barrymore) and her father Andy (David Keith) on the run from a corrupt government agency known as “the Shop.” As with any government agency in a story such as this, it wants to study Charlie’s ability to create fire.

Why is never clear, but they sure do want to hook her up to monitors… until suddenly they don’t hook her to monitors, but have her destroy even bigger things? All of a sudden they’re just satisfied with filming her with no clear indication of what they are trying o accomplish.

What the potential end goal here is never clear as it is set up from the moment she is brought to The Shop that the end result will see her killed.

What I am learning as this project rolls along is that films in 1984 really didn’t seem to give a hoot about details. Perhaps moviegoers have gotten more sophisticated with time, or maybe moviemakers finally realized details matter. It’s anyone’s guess to be honest, but it is definitely weird how it didn’t seem to matter back then.

As for Firestarter, it’s fine. Stephen King has actually said it’s the worst adaptation of one of his works. We would certainly disagree, as we just watched Children of the Corn a few months ago. This was no Children of the Corn, Mr. King.

Firestarter is a tad bland and moves slowly, but it’s fine. We didn’t hate that we had watched it like some of the other films in this project. (Again, we watched Children of the Corn a few months ago.)

All in all, these two movies certainly weren’t fresh in their ideas, but you could find worse ways to have spent some time at a movie theater.

1984 Movie Reviews will return on May 18 with Finders Keepers and Making the Grade!


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