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Author Topic: 80s characters better than any other?
oneyedwilly
The Dread Pirate Rewind....
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With 3D, CGI, SFX taking charge on our screens, i cant help but think that gone are the days where i can sit and get involved in the characters anymore. Am i making this up? The classic interaction between the brat pack which commands my attention again and again keeps bringing me back to the movies i know and love. Jack Burton - classic example of some great character acting...the cheeesy lines, the delivery, the swagger, the dialogue, its all there. Andrew Mcarthy, judd Nelson, mj Fox, Harrison Ford to name a few just captivate me. Are the characters we saw in the 80s really that good or am i missing something here? What characters did you really enjoy watching? And yes Logan, you are expected to rant here!
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Chris the CandyFanMan
Those Ain't Pillows......
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Watching Uncle Buck go about what today might be considered somewhat boring, everyday actions is a delight, whether the scene in question is humorous or with emotional weight. This shows exactly what Candy could do if he was just let loose to be himself, and you stay firmly with the character even if he's in the dumps. I often rate how good characters are on the basis of whether I'd want to get to know them; his slightly lazy and sloppy lifestyle aside, Buck would certainly be someone I'd want to be friends with, especially since, like so many similar Hughesian heroes, his heart's firmly in the right place underneath the slapdappish exterior. Perhaps if they'd added framing vignettes of Candy in character as Buck at the beginning and end of each episode of the short-lived spinoff series, it might have been able to have amounted to more than it actually did (nothing too much, just a minute or so of him--perhaps also with Mac & Gaby in character as Miles & Maizy if their schedules had permitted, preparing to watch the episode we'd be about to see and commenting on the series, with various things happening from week to week around them).
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Logan 5
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Ah... you know my feelings on this, but anyway...

I think the 'type' of movies we 80's fans like have been watered down to a formula. There was always some marker hitting with things like T&A flicks, but most of the studios still hadn't found their feet in the early 80's and relied on the audience to tell them what they liked via previews, etc.

The auteur Directors of the 70's with their film-as-realism style of filmmaking still existed, but they were making movies in the films-for-the-young-are-king era of Lucas and Spielberg. This gave us great fantastical movies made with an eye on reality. To a significant degree, movies today are generated in boardrooms by people who have no interest in movies at all beyond making sure their movie isn't a risky investment, and strongly resembles another movie that made money. Strictly in terms of effects - nothing means anything anymore - it's all CGI. And how many of the modern 'fantastical' movies from 'Transformers' to 'Harry Potter' have the same ludicrously portentous trailer heralding a movie which sacrifices character for action and can't seem to weave genuine humour in without it feeling clunky? Pacing is dead in movies. Character development is now 'dead space'. It's not that there aren't any good movies, or that there aren't good ideas, it's just that there seem to be more 'formula' movies out there, and formula used to come from the cheap movies who wanted to cash in a big movie's success - not so much from the big movies themselves.

I guess we're lucky though, the family / teen movies we grew up with in the 80's were among the best ever made. Not since the heyday of Disney movies in the late 50's early 60's had there been so many great family films, and there had never been that many good movies for teenagers.

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Pyro
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When I think back to my favorite characters in movies back in the day, I realize that about 90% of them are of the off-the-wall, not-of-the-norm type. Some of my favs would include: Pee Wee (Big Adenture and Big Top), Elvira (Mistress of the dark & Haunted Hills), Frank Furter (Rocky Horror Picture Show), James "Joker" Davis (Full Metal Jacket), John Winger (Stripes), Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice), Louis Tully (Ghostbusters), Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street series), Emmett "Doc" Brown (Back to the Future), Otto West & Ken Pile (A Fish called Wanda), J.D Dean (Heathers), Alex Forrest (Fatal Attraction), Jerry Blake (Stepfather 1 & 2), Tokashi Toshiro (Revenge of the Nerds), Cameron Frye (Ferris Bueller's Day Off), Ellen Ripley (Aliens)....ect.
I think you get the idea. I loved all these characters because they were all played by very great actors and actresses who didn't need gimmicky special effects to bring some very memorable and fun characters to life. They relied solely on acting skills, (well, and also some great make up effects for some), to get the job done.

[ 23. August 2010, 01:04: Message edited by: Pyromantic ]

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