#1734 Butterfly (1982)

Looking at Butterfly, and the first few moments of it I assumed it to be one of those icky 80s sensuous erotic movies with the theme of teasing daughter of a mine guard moving in with his father and driving him crazy in a very off putting forbidden incest love relationship.

And here I was thinking; how on earth has Stacy Keach gotten himself involved in such a sleazy piece of celluloid.

But, Butterfly surprises positively as there’s much more depth in the story than first meets the eye. Sure, it takes a leap of faith to go with some of the wildest plot twists, but if you if you get over that Butterfly is surely one of those few rare, original movies that leave a lasting impression.

80s-o-meter: 23%

Total: 71%

#1733 Talking Walls (1987)

In Talking Walls A peeping tom records and ”studies” couples having sex for ”his thesis” while struggling in his own love life.

If this sounds like just a cheap excuse to show some naked skin, this is pretty much what it is. Sometimes the movie is quite blatant about this, but really the worst parts is when it occasionally pretends to be something else. It’s in those moments that the movie feels like wanting to be intellectual, but ultimately with an IQ equivalent of one’s shoe size.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 21%

#1732 Chameleon Street (1989)

Some people never became as big in the cinema history as they should’ve been. After seeing Chameleon Street, I’ll add the name of Wendell B. Harris Jr. to that list.

Written, directed and starring Harris Jr himself, Chameleon Street is a fascinating look into a life and events of a man ended up in a disappointing dead end in his life becoming a chameleon of a man, taking on multiple roles to reinvent himself socially and financially. The movie is sharply written and the snappy (and funny!) dialogue delivered by Harris Jr flows like an endless poem that glues the viewer to the screen.

Granted, ultimately Chameleon Street is more about style than substance. But darn it – as a movie it is such a cool cat thoroughly entertaining to watch that I could have continued sitting through the new episodes of the life of the main character for hours without ever getting bored.

80s-o-meter: 86%

Total: 91%

#1731 Falling in Love (1984)

Not a sequel not a prequel to the Falling Love Again from 1980, Falling in Love tells a story of two married people running into each other by accident a few times and soon falling in love.

Starring perhaps the two biggest stars of the era, this is also the problem with the movie. As good as actors these two are, I never quite could shake the feeling I’m watching a character played by Robert De Niro falling in love with a character played by Meryl Streep.

Lack of credibility aside, the still has good aspects to it. For one, it feels very 1984, and cinematic in a good way. There’s also one great scene where De Niro reaches the last car of the train and looks out of the rear window, having never found the person he was looking forward to find.

We all know the feeling and have been there, and this is where I connected with the character the most.

80s-o-meter: 83%

Total: 65%

#1730 Falling in Love Again (1980)

Not to be mixed up with totally unrelated Falling In Love released in 1984, Falling in Love Again is a look into a middle aged couple in a marital crisis, and even more into their past.

This is where the movie fails for the first time, as I would be much more content with the movie leaning totally with either one (although preferably the present moment – and pretty much primarily because it’s the part of the movie featuring Elliott Gould).

The movie feels like two movies in one, but disconnected – and despite them both being a-ok, neither one are nothing really that special.

80s-o-meter: 30%

Total: 58%

#1729 The Chosen (1981)

On paper I could not have think of something less interesting than a movie about a Jewish kid becoming a friend with and orthodox Jew in 1940s Brooklyn. But as both start venturing and peaking into the strange and enticing world of the other the movie grasps one in a very unexpected way, like a good movie or book does.

The World War 2 era setting in The Chosen provides a dynamic and colorful background for the experiences of both conservative Jews, who are becoming less and less common, and liberal Jews, who are looking to maintain their traditions while also embracing modern ways of life. The clash between these two perspectives is effectively conveyed through the friendship between two young boys, as well as through the contrasting attitudes of their respective fathers, who despite their belief and heritage represent very opposing worldviews.

Robby Benson and Barry Miller perform their roles admirably and make the improbable friendship between the two young boys easy to buy into.

80s-o-meter: 2%

Total: 79%

#1728 Patty Hearst (1988)

The story of Patty Hearst was formerly unknown to me; a media family heir that got kidnapped at the age of 19 by a left-wing domestic terrorist group would be interesting if it was fully fictive, but given that the events actually took place is what makes Patty Hearst really interesting.

The story is skilfully told from the POV of Patty Hearst, and it’s easy for the viewer to really step into her shoes and feel like what it felt to be blindfolded and locked in a closet, brainwashed and then slowly easing into the treating your kidnappers as your brothers and sisters.

Very interesting, very thought provoking and very controversial, Patty Hearst is a movie not to miss.

80s-o-meter: 60%

Total: 90%

#1727 Incident at Crestridge (1981)

Woman moving into a small town located in the Western region of the USA faces ineptitude and corruption of the local law enforcement system and campaigns to become the new sheriff with the mission of rooting out corruption and to provide a sense of safety and security to the community that had been missing for years.

As with made for TV movies the theme of the movie is a bit different from what you’d normally see in movies with a theatrical release, and here also her struggle against the powers that be is interesting to watch.

On the downside Incident at Crestridge suffers from being very much a made for TV movie, and in its style and pacing reminds more of a long episode of some TV series of the early 80s, rather than a cinematic experience you’d go to see from a big screen.

80s-o-meter: 71%

Total: 60%