At a time when summer movies seem uniquely capable of consolidating the cultural discourse, our Evolution of the Modern Blockbuster series looks back to the summers, and summer movies, of 1984 and 1989, when MTV editing, post-Boomer cynicism and other cultural sea changes converged to shape the summer blockbuster we all know and can't avoid. Below is part one; parts two through five are forthcoming later this week:
San Antonio-based film critic Aaron Aradillas is a contributor to The House Next Door, a contributor to Rockcritics.com and the host of “Back by Midnight,” an Internet radio program about film and television.
Our epic video essay series on the summer movies of 1984 and 1989 concludes with The New Sincerity, as rediscovered in the hallowed teen-movie triumvirate of Heathers, Dead Poets Society and Say Anything, released within three months of each other twenty years ago.
Aug 28, 2009
In part four of our five-part series on the summer movies of 1984 and 1989, we watch feel-good sequels ape the spirit of '84 while the heroes of Lethal Weapon II and The Abyss flip out, and the unprecedented Batman taps into the decayed American city.
Aug 27, 2009
In part three of our five-part series on the summer movies of 1984 and 1989, we begin with a lickety-split recap of the second Reagan term, and begin the Bush years with the rise of hip-hop, Field of Dreams, Do the Right Thing, and the American indie film opting out and breaking out with sex, lies and videotape.
Aug 26, 2009
In part two of our five-part series on the summer movies of 1984 and 1989, we take in Steven Spielberg's society of the spectacle, the rise of sadism and cynicism in the blockbuster movie, and the influence of the PG-13 rating. Also starring Indiana Jones, Red Dawn, and gremlins. Lots and lots of gremlins.
Aug 25, 2009