1989 was a great year for pop culture classics, with blockbuster hits that helped to form some of the fabric of our shared language of references and influences. It was also a full 30 years ago, and remembering that while you’re watching an old favorite might just make you feel like you’re crumbling to dust as the credits roll. The good news? We’re here with some emotional support as you remember that these movies were released a full three decades ago.
In the 1980s, the only big-screen superhero megastar was Superman, and the last major live-action effort for Batman starred Adam West. Then came director Tim Burton, fresh off of Beetlejuice, and an effort to capture some of the more gothic Batman spirit made so popular by the comics of the '70s and '80s. The result was Tim Burton’s Batman, a massive commercial hit and one of the most talked-about films of 1989.
Michael Keaton starred as the Dark Knight, which was a controversial casting choice at the time, since he was mostly known for known for goofy comedies. It’s easy to argue that the real star was Jack Nicholson as the Joker.
"Wait’ll they get a load of me."
Burton and designer Anton Furst imagined a Gotham City that lives up to its name with bold set design choices, memorable costumes, a gorgeously lonesome Wayne Manor, and a sweeping score from Danny Elfman that still resonates as Batman’s signature theme. The film has its flaws, including a rather contrived origin for the Joker, but even today it holds up as a classic of the genre.
Other Batman films have come since, some great and some… not so well loved, but Burton's film still holds a certain kind of sway over '80s and '90s kids. It spawned a franchise that would run for a decade and remains one of the most influential superhero films ever made. In fact, virtually every comic book film of the 1990s and even into the 2000s was a reaction to it in some way.
The last film installment of the Friday the 13th franchise was an ill-fated reboot in 2009, so it might be difficult to remember that this slasher series was once a box office powerhouse. Producers cranked out eight Friday films in the 1980s, and quickly established Jason Voorhees' reputation as an iconic killing machine who just won't go away.
Jason Takes Manhattan is not the best of these films, but it is among the most interesting. It follows a group of high school seniors who are all set to take a big trip up to the Big Apple, but there's one problem: their journey begins at Crystal Lake, where Jason sank at the end of the last film. He's reanimated by an electrical accident, climbs aboard, and begins causing havoc. Sadly, he only really "takes" Manhattan in the final minutes, but in between there's a brutal and often silly cruise that some Friday fans love and others loathe. Whether you dig the film or not, it remains a fascinating cultural artifact in terms of how far slasher franchises were willing to go in the '80s to keep churning out sequels.
Rick Moranis hasn't made a major live-action film appearance in more than 20 years, but once upon a time he was a comedy powerhouse, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was one of his most successful showcases. Moranis is a master of in-over-your-head, nerdy comedy, and in that regard he was perhaps never more perfectly cast than he is in this film. Keep watching the video to learn more about Movies you won't believe were released 30 years ago.
#Movies #80sClassics #Batman89
Batman | 0:24
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan | 1:43
Honey, I Shrunk The Kids | 2:39
Back to the Future Part II | 3:30
Field of Dreams | 4:13
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier | 5:14
Pet Sematary | 6:03
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade | 7:09
Heathers | 8:00
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure | 8:53