#454 Tank (1984)

This being one of the lesser known 80s movies so I expected a light-hearted military farce with some sort of special tank as the centerpiece. Quite the opposite, this movie is more of a adventure and coming-of-age drama for both the father (James Garner) and the son (C. Thomas Howell).

The movie starts off a bit slow and keeps you guessing of the genre and things to come. When things start happening, they sort of make sense but are merrily over exaggerated and ridiculous, with bad cops, a hidden labor camp and reaching the point of no return by going berserk in town with the military tank.

As much as I loved the nonsense of escaping the police with a Sherman tank and them not able to keep up, the movie couldn’t get me interested in events and lagged more and more towards the end.

Tank was written by Dan Gordon who would go on to write Gotcha (1995) and Surf Ninjas (1993), a movie that still has eighties written all over it, despite the later release date.

Summary : Has tank, bad cops, explosions and mayhem, but fails to create any substantial interest to the plot or the characters throughout its running time

#451 Gross Anatomy (1989)

Starting from that lame poster, Gross Anatomy is one of those movies that have fail written all over them. Relatively unknown cast combined with medical theme usually spells for bad comedy, but Gross Anatomy totally surprises by bringing to the table some actually working, unforced drama with some very light comedy touches to it.
While the drama itself is predictable, Gross Anatomy gets right its mood and the narrative. The viewer is right there in the same hall with the students getting their pep talk to prepare for the semester and standing for the first time in the formaldehyde fumed anatomy room with dozens of embalmed cadavers wrapped in plastics to be opened and dissected by none other by themselves.

The eeriness and intensity is there, but it once again feels unforced and falls in nicely with the theme.
Equally well established is the way the characters react both to the external and internal pressure of having to cram in mind boggling amount of anatomy, all to be quizzed at any given moment and of dealing with whatever demons they might have haunting them.

There’s some unnecessary drama involved, but it doesn’t really take away from the fact that Gross Anatomy feels fresh, and is definitely one of those rare medical dramas of the 80s worth your while and not to be overlooked.

Gross Anatomy gets right the essence of being a first year med student, and is ultimately much better than the sum of its parts