|Movie Title/Year and Brief Description, Including Great Quotes and Scenes|
This James Cameron-directed science-fiction action film was the first of three such films. It was set in post-apocalyptic 2029 Los Angeles and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as an indestructible cyborg Terminator sent back from the future to 1984. It was an exciting, well-paced action thriller with apocalyptic, monster, and adventure story elements.
The Terminator was an unstoppable, villainous Cyberdyne Systems model T-800 cyborg (with a humanoid, human tissue exterior and cold chromium/metallic, skeletal interior - and a death's head skull). His mission was to eliminate the future unborn son (an off-screen John Connor) of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton).
Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), a member of the human resistance movement of the future, was also teleported back (by the future John Connor) to rescue and protect his mother - and father the child.
Schwarzenegger performed in a career-shaping role that would soon lead to many more formidable, box-office appealing characterizations in other 'guy' films in the mid to late 80s and into the 90s, such as: Commando (1985), Raw Deal (1986), Predator (1987), The Running Man (1987), Red Heat (1988), Total Recall (1990), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), True Lies (1994) and Eraser (1996) (see some of these titles below).
"I'll be back."
"Listen, and understand! That Terminator is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."
The scene in which the Terminator was transformed into a mechanical skeleton when his flesh and blood were stripped away in the course of his unstoppable pursuit - and the final demise of the Terminator when crushed in a hydraulic press.
This Mark Lester non-stop action film, the quintessential 80s action flick, was filled with explosions, views of muscle-bound abs and biceps, and fight scenes resulting in dozens of deaths.
Arnold Schwarzenegger starred as retired US Special Forces elite commando John Matrix, engaged in a one-man mission to find and rescue his kidnapped pre-teen daughter Jenny (a young Alyssa Milano) from exiled and deposed Latin American dictator Arius (Dan Hedaya) and his henchman Bennett (Vernon Wells) (Matrix's former psychopatic subordinate), who threatened to kill the young girl by blackmailing Matrix into killing the present President of the country in exchange.
In a race against time, Matrix, while spouting quips and deadpanned one-liners that were cruelly humorous, was aided by inept tough chick/stewardess Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong).
"I eat Green Berets for breakfast. And right now,
I'm very hungry!"
The climactic slaughter-assault and shoot-out on Arius' island hideout.
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
This unorthodox, violent crime thriller from writer/director William Friedkin, after his genre-defining The French Connection (1971), was about the pursuit of a counterfeiter - a sexually-ambiguous ex-convict named Eric "Rick" Masters (Willem Dafoe) by two US Secret Service agents:
After Chance's partner Hart, during a solo stakeout at Masters' desert warehouse, was murdered in cold-blood (a shotgun blast to the head) three days before his retirement (Hart had just said: "I'm getting too old for this shit" - a phrase co-opted later by Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon films), he acquired a new, strait-laced partner John Vukovich (John Pankow). Chance obsessively vowed to get Masters by whatever means possible, including going rogue and breaking the law ("I'm gonna bag Masters, and I don't give a s--t how I do it!").
In order to get close to Masters, Chance impersonated a wealthy businessman, and convinced Masters' crooked, sleazy double-dealing lawyer Bob Grimes (Dean Stockwell) to work with him and other FBI agents to purchase some of the counterfeit money from Masters. The counterfeiter demanded a down-payment of $30,000 upfront to illustrate his legitimacy - $20K more than the agency allowed.
Chance exploitatively obtained information from his sex-slave - a submissive parolee who worked as a check-in lady and cashier at a strip club, Ruth Lanier (Darlanne Fluegel) (with whom he had semi-regular sex and exhibited a full-frontal glimpse). She said that they could target an underworld courier Thomas Ling (Michael Chong) carrying $50K in cash (to trade for stolen diamonds) to obtain the funds. The problem was that the 'mule' was an undercover FBI agent who was killed during the daring robbery.
Thus followed a long car chase pursuit, between the armed FBI backup team and Chance (one of the robbers). In the final confrontation between Chance and Masters in a locker-room, the FBI agent (in an unlikely and unexpected plot surprise) was shot in the face and killed instantly by Masters' bodyguard Jack (Jack Hoar) (who also died from a chest wound). Vukovich pursued Masters to his printing warehouse, where the counterfeiter accidentally set himself ablaze, while Vukovich shot at his burning corpse.
In the conclusion, Vukovich (who had symbolically become Chance) cynically told Ruth: "You're working for me now."
"Uncle Sam don't give a s--t about your expenses. You want bread? F--k a baker."
"Do you know you're livin' like a f--king animal in the zoo?"
The detailed and lengthy money counterfeiting sequence showing the methodical and authentic production of forged cash.
The well-choreographed chase on a crowded, rush-hour freeway, against the traffic down wrong-way lanes!
Ruth (Darlanne Fluegel)
Top Gun (1986)
Director Tony Scott's jingoistic action film blockbuster, filmed in the midst of ultra-patriotic Reaganite America and staged as a very loud, feature-length, glitzy music video, melodramatically portrayed the character of hotshot, cocky and arrogant fighter pilot Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell (Tom Cruise in a star-making role). The flyboy was destined to become the "top gun" at the Naval Academy Flight School while competing with rival Iceman (Val Kilmer).
He was engaged in a sideplot in a heterosexual love affair, to the tune of the Oscar-winning Best Song "Take My Breath Away," with pretty civilian instructor Charlotte 'Charlie' Blackwood (Kelly McGillis), a contractor at the Top Gun school who had a PhD. in astrophysics.
The entire homoerotic film was basically about male bonding and machismo (high-fives, fetishistic views of male bodies, shower scenes, etc.), as voiced by Quentin Tarantino's character in Sleep With Me (1994) as he analyzed the film's homosexual subtext: ("You think it's a story about a bunch of fighter pilots... It is a story about a man's struggle with his own homosexuality. It is! That is what Top Gun is about, man... They are this gay fighting f--king force.")
"And if you screw up just this much, you’ll be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog s--t out of Hong Kong!"
"I feel the need...the need for speed."
"You can be my wingman any time."
The gratuitous shirtless volleyball game, to the tune of Kenny Loggins' "Playing With the Boys."
The sensational aerobatic flying sequences and dogfights of fliers in the US Navy's elite (Top Gun) Fighter Weapon School near San Diego.
Naval pilot and radar officer Lt. Nick 'Goose' Bradshaw's (Anthony Edwards) death scene following a tailspin and botched ejection.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
This acclaimed war film was Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Gustav Hasford's The Short Timers presented in two parts.
It first told about the exploits of a recruited young Marine Corps soldier known as Private "Joker" J.T. Davis (Matthew Modine) who experienced dehumanizing South Carolina boot-camp training on Parris Island (under unrelenting, foul-mouthed drill instructor R. Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman).
The boot camp training scenes were dramatically obscene, as the Sgt. transformed young Marine cadets into killing machines with twisted sentiments, and verbal, psychological, and physical abuse and torment: "You're the lowest form of life on Earth. You are not even human f--king beings! You are nothing but unorganized grab-asstic pieces of amphibian s--t! Because I am hard, you will not like me. But the more you hate me, the more you will learn. I am hard, but I am fair! There is no racial bigotry here! I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers. Here you are all equally worthless! And my orders are to weed out all non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in my beloved Corps! Do you maggots understand that?..."
In the film's most startling scene, overweight misfit and psychopathic Marine Private "Pyle" Leonard Lawrence (Vincent D'Onofrio) suicidally shot himself in the mouth in the bathroom - thereby blowing his head off.
The second half of the film was set on the nightmarish, violent front lines within Hue City - a cool, unemotional look at urban warfare on the eve of the 1968 Tet Offensive at the turning point of the war, as it followed "Joker's" work as a photojournalist for a military magazine and his combat soldiering - with his helmet labeled "Born to Kill".
"You had best unf--k yourself or I will unscrew your head and s--t down your neck!"
"Bulls--t. I bet you could suck a golfball through a garden hose."
The early boot camp training scenes with Sergeant Hartman shouting at the recruits, ending with the chilling, dehumanizing bathroom scene in which Private "Pyle" committed suicide after murdering Gunnery Sgt. Hartman.
Immediately after Pyle's suicidal death scene, the striking entrance of a hip-swiveling, mini-skirted Vietnamese prostitute/hooker (Papillon Soo) in Da Nang (viewed from behind as she walked down the street) to the tune of Nancy Sinatra's feminist song: "These Boots Are Make For Walkin'" - and then propositioned two soldiers at a cafe: "You got girlfriend (in) Vietnam?...Well, baby. Me so horny. Me so horny. Me love you long time."
And the Lethal Weapon Series-Franchise sequels: Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
Richard Donner's action-comedy, 'buddy cop' film opened with a shot of the bare buns of psychotic, borderline alcoholic, depressed and self-destructive Vietnam vet/LA cop Sgt. Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) in his beer can-strewn camper-shell trailer as he strutted into his kitchen for a cold beer and greeted his collie at the door, while a day-time game show played on his television.
The popular, multi-part, LA cop adventure series with witty dialogue featured the ingenious, mismatched partnership duo of retiring family man/detective-cop Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) (known for repeatedly saying: "I'm too old for this sh-t") and a suicidally-crazed, depressed Sgt. Riggs.
In one dramatic scene, Riggs played Russian roulette with a loaded gun (pointed at this forehead and jammed down his throat) while he wept over a picture of his murdered wife.
The action film included its share of deaths, gunfighting, beatings, car chases, profane dialogue, and some nudity (in the opening scene, 22 year-old topless, drug-poisoned hooker Amanda Hunsaker (Jackie Swanson) died by falling backwards from an apartment balcony onto the hood of a parked car below).
In the shower electrocution scene, hostage Sgt. Riggs was tortured (strung up half-naked, doused in water, and prodded with an electric sponge) by vile albino killer/henchman Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey) and his Chinese henchman Endo (Al Leong) - who demanded to know about "The Shipment."
In the conclusion, Riggs had Mr. Joshua's neck between his legs with a vice-like grip choke hold.
"Now that's a real badge, I'm a real cop, and this is a real f--king gun!"
"Everybody thinks I'm suicidal, in which case I'm f--ked and nobody wants to work with me. Or they think I'm fakin' to draw a psycho pension in which case I'm f--ked and nobody wants to work with me. Basically I'm f--ked."
- "Have you ever met anybody you didn't kill?
"What are ya, a fag?"
"Let's do what one shepherd said to the other shepherd...
The scene of Riggs' unconventional strategy of trickily handcuffing himself to another suicidal man named McCleary high atop a building and convincing him to jump - with him.
The scene of the shootout in a Christmas tree lot.
And the sequel: Predator 2 (1990)
In this exciting John McTiernan testosterone-soaked, macho action thriller (similar to The Most Dangerous Game (1932) and the space-themed Alien (1979)), Arnold Schwarzenegger starred as Maj. Alan 'Dutch' Schaeffer. He was an elite, cigar-chewing Army commando sent by the CIA into the rainforest jungles of Central America to combat an invisible, trophy-collecting force preying on them called the Predator (7'2" actor Kevin Peter Hall in a 200 lb. suit) - skinning its victims and leaving them hanging on high tree limbs.
The camouflaged, cameleon-like, mysterious, unseen alien creature used lethal blaster firepower and through the film's special effects, was a morphing, thermal being (using its 'heat vision' point of view to detect bodies to kill).
During the tense hunt, marked by lots of one-liners, gunfire and dozens of dead, Dutch and ultra-braggart Blain (Jesse "The Body" Ventura) tried to out-bully each other and put down the others: ("Bunch of slack-jawed faggots around here. This stuff will make you a god-damned sexual Tyrannosaurus, just like me"), while the one token female in the film, guerrilla hostage Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) displayed no nudity or love relationship.
Ultimately by the film's brutal climax and face-off with mud-covered Dutch, the Predator was seen with dreadlocks and large mandibles, as Dutch exclaimed: "You're one ugly motherf--ker!"
"If it bleeds, we can kill it."
"I ain't got time to bleed."
"This place makes Cambodia look like Kansas."
"There's something out there waiting for us, and it ain't no man. We're all gonna die."
The final battle between Dutch and the monstrous creature.
(chronological, by film title)
Intro | 1960-1965 | 1966-1969 | 1970-1973 | 1974-1976 | 1977-1979 | 1980-1981 | 1982-1983
1984-1987 | 1988-1991 | 1992-1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996-1998 | 1999-2002 | 2003-now