Ultimate 80s Blogathon Wrap-Up: 80s Dance Movies Triple Feature

We’re on our last post.  Today, Drew and I will be closing out with another of our reviews on 80s flicks.

Seeing as no one picked any dance movies and I wanted to end this in a grand way to wrap this blogathon up, I decided to do a quick triple feature on three dance flicks of 1980s: Flashdance, Footloose and Dirty Dancing. I’ve done full reviews for both Footloose and Dirty Dancing here before and you can seek it out if you want to read more in detail on how I feel for those movies.  Its obvious that I love a whole lot. Dance movies have always had a draw to me and its quite sad that its only in the recent years that I’ve really seen Dirty Dancing and Footloose in entirety but there is no doubt that they trump any modern dance movies quite a bit.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s check out these three features! 🙂

FLASHDANCE (1983)

Flashdance

Director: Adrian Lyne

Cast: Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri, Lilia Skala

A Pittsburgh woman with two jobs as a welder and an exotic dancer wants to get into ballet school.-IMDB

Flashdance might not be the best out of the three dance movies that I have here from the 80s, but it was the first out of the pack.  If you didn’t know what leg warmers were, this movie was the right place to start.  Its something of a fashion statement of a movie more than it was a great movie of its sort.  I’m going to be honest that I don’t prefer the story here but Flashdance was full of 80s charm from the music and the dancing to the style.  It embodied that time really well.

flashdance

I’m a late mid-80s baby.  To say I know a lot about this era is hard to say but some of the best dance films are done in this decade (excluding Grease).  While Flashdance failed mostly because I didn’t enjoy the character herself, I did like the dance and the music and the style of it.  The story of Flashdance is also one that first gives some sort of giving a purpose to inspire its audience to stay motivated for what matters.

FOOTLOOSE (1984)

Footloose

Director: Herbert Ross

Cast: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Chris Penn, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Laughlin

A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.-IMDB

Footloose is  a step up from Flashdance.  It dials it back down to a small town scenario with a big town boy.  Kevin Bacon is one of my favorite actors (even more after I saw him in his recent Cop Car).  The young Kevin Bacon as Ren fighting on behalf of his fellow classmates for prom and the freedom to dance is really a great story.  Its about fighting teenage stereotypes, being responsible, and fighting authority.  Footloose is a fun and serious movie.

The thing with Footloose is that its not a whole lot about dancing.  There’s scenes here and there and some of the most memorable parts of the movie is the choreography that becomes rather expressive and fun.  But, Footloose gets one thing on point and that’s delivering us some cheesy scenes and dialogue.  In the true heart of the 80s, how can we not point it out? 😉

DIRTY DANCING (1987)

Dirty Dancing

Director: Emile Ardolino

Cast: Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes, Jack Weston, Jane Brucker

Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle.-IMDB

I’m not going to lie! Dirty Dancing is my favorite dance movie of all time.  One reason has to be that Patrick Swayze is so handsome.  He was the 80s man with a crazy filmography that framed the style so well from his hair to his daring nature.  He embodies Johnny so well.  This is a love story, pure and true, even if its finding and chasing what you want.  Its about stereotypes yet again with different social groups and dividing the rich and the poor.

dirty dancing

Its set in one location essentially but its able to speak very well as to the themes they want to cover.  Dirty Dancing becomes a little more daring.  Its takes the sexy dance choreography in Flashdance and the uptight/breaking free/stereotypes sort of story in Footloose and combines it to get to another level. Its able to use the plot to drive us to fall in love with the cast and their chemistry.  Iconic dance choreography, memorable quotes, touching and inspiring story: its hard not to fall in love and have the time of your life over and over again watching Dirty Dancing.

Overall…

Three movies, very similar angles with different back stories but all related to dance and dreams and fighting for whats right.  While the latter two are much more iconic and great to me than Flashdance, all of them have their mark in 80s cinema.  Who can forget Flashdance and the sexy opening scene? Or Baby seducing Johnny along to “Love is Strange” and imitating Mickey and Sylvia? How about Ren teaching a very awkward Willard how to dance with the Walkman down the school corridor?

The 80s brought us a lot.  Between John Hughes and his teenage drama/comedy, and the cheesy action flicks, some over the top romantic comedies that we couldn’t help but love, its good to know that there’s also some feel-good inspiring pieces in the form of dance movies.  I just love them! If you haven’t seen these, you should! 😉

Have you seen any (or all) of these movies? Do you  like dance flicks? 

Remember to keep your eyes out for Drew’s wrap-up review a little later today! 🙂

Netflix A-Z: In Your Eyes (2014)

Moving along with the Valentine’s movies! The next Netflix selection is going to be a little sci-fi romance called In Your Eyes.  Well, I guess the premise is sci-fi but its really a romance for a good part of it.  I find it funny that this coincided with the fact that I had rewatched Cloverfield for The Random Chat Show and it had the same actor playing the main guy.  I never see Michael Stahl-David in much and suddenly I watch two back to back movies with him in it.  In Your Eyes has been on my mind since it landed on Netflix.  It looks like a really fun story and with Joss Whedon as a writer, it shows great promise.  I lie though because I didn’t know that until the movie started playing and the credits were flashing around the screen (I think), then I started fearing about how things would turn out…

Let’s check it out! 🙂

In Your Eyes (2014)

in-your-eyes-poster

Director: Brin Hill
Writer: Joss Whedon
Cast: Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David, Mark Feuerstein, David Gallagher, Jennifer Grey, Steve Howey, Nikki Reed, Reed Birney, Steve Harris

Two seemingly unconnected souls from different corners of the United States make a telepathic bond that allows them to see, hear and feel the other’s experiences, creating a bond that apparently can’t be broken.-IMDB

 In Your Eyes is a romance with notes of science fiction, mostly because its about a telepathic connection where the two can see and feel each other as well. I’m all for the premise.  It called for fun moments of just how having someone else in your head and not being able to remove that voice and how it becomes a crucial part in your life.  However, its not only about that.  Its about finding yourself when someone else can see and live the life that you are living and see it in a different light.  Its a clever story and one that I found builds on the connection really well especially since the two main characters acted out the scene by themselves.

in your eyes

I did some research on how they filmed it and it was the female lead, Rebecca (played by Zoe Kazan) that filmed her parts first and then the male lead Dylan (played by Michael David-Stahl) would do his part.  While they would be on set together, they were never on the scene together.  Its an interesting concept and seems like a truly challenging task. However, what more could you expect when the script is written by Joss Whedon, right? Originality is a strong suit in his work. The story is special and its one that usually we don’t quite ever think about (at least I haven’t). We’ve seen telepathy and romance and voices but combining the fact that there’s this mysterious phenomenon that two people never really know that they are connected since they were young (but we do) until later on in their life when they truly need each other.  They don’t only connect, they can see and feel everything around them.  That just takes it to another level and one that I love so much. While its about a connection being built between Rebecca and Dylan, there is an undeniable romance going on in the background but I thought the idea that they saw more out of each other was the key here and sending a message that others can see what our judgemental selves don’t usually see.

in your eyes

What makes it amazing in this one other than the story itself is the chemistry between Dylan and Rebecca.  Michael David-Stahl and Zoe Kazan are fantastic in their roles capturing the wounded selves they are and just what has lead them to where they are.  Finding each other kind of saves them because they bring a new hope even though its not right next to each other physically.  It feels like there’s a statement somewhere here about how knowing someone is there is much stronger than a person physically being there.  Knowing how this was filmed after watching it makes me feel that they both are excellent actors and deserve much more opportunities. On a side note, there’s a minor supporting roles with Nikki Reed and Jennifer Grey.  They had rather simple roles but helped move the story along a little also.

in your eyes

Overall, there isn’t much to say about In Your Eyes! It was a great premise and a beautiful storyline acted out with a fantastic chemistry between Michael David-Stahl and Zoe Kazan playing Dylan and Rebecca respectively.  Its not all about romance but more the connection of having someone with you and the message it sends is one that deserves some thought.  On top of that, there are a ton of great moments in this one and one that just blew my mind. From the contrast in their life and how they relate to each other, and even just watching how the world reacts to them in public when they are in their world looking like they are talking to thin air, it even shows how the outside opinion from people around is really influential but at times also very fun. This isn’t a conclusion anymore if I continue.  Point is, I love this movie. Its been a while that I’ve seen a modern day  romance that truly blew my mind and just made me fall in love with the characters. Its an amazing feeling! 🙂

Have you seen In Your Eyes? What did you think about it?

We have one more Netflix A-Z movie in this Valentine’s Marathon for letter J! Any guesses?

Dirty Dancing (1987)

First movie out of my list of recommendations is from Marilyn from MKG-Memories-Keepsakes-Gifts back in February during my Valentine’s Marathon. Seemed like a good night to keep the energy going and stream on Netflix: Dirty Dancing! Who doesn’t love a little Patrick Swayze? Plus, I’ve never seen this before…so lets check it out!

dirty dancing posterDirector: Emile Ardolino

Cast: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes, Jane Brucker, Kelly Bishop, Lonny Price, Jack Weston

Dr. Jack Houseman (Jerry Orbach) and his wife (Kelly Bishop) and two teenage daughters Lisa (Jane Brucker) and Frances/”Baby” (Jennifer Grey) are going on summer holiday at a resort.  As Baby plans on being in the Peace Corps the following year, this would be the last year she can experience being a carefree teenage.  At the resort, she meets dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) and in an event that happens with his partner, Penny (Cynthia Rhodes), she takes up learning how to dance to be in an important performance for them and falls in love with him.

dirty dancing practice

There’s something about these older dance/romance/music/drama flicks that really make me love them a lot.  I found the first 15 minutes to be a tad long and meh but once we got Johnny Castle kicking it up with his dancing, it started being totally awesome! Heck, even before that first dance, the moment Patrick Swayze was on screen, Jennifer Grey’s expression was totally priceless and I was captured by the whole movie right there. Then you add in some sexy dirty dancing and lots of romancing and learning how to dance, fun music, it was absolutely the time of my life 🙂

dirty dancing baby johnny

The first thing that defines a good romance (drama or comedy) is the chemistry between our lovers.  Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze was totally awesome.  Their chemistry was OFF THE CHARTS! I mean, in my mind, I’ve already fallen in love with Patrick Swayze millions of times in the movies his done but man, I wish I was Jennifer Grey at that very moment. This movie reminds of how the death of Patrick Swayze at such an early age is such a huge loss.  However, we can still see his energy alive in these awesome flicks.  He’s done some amazing stuff.

dirty dancing practice baby

Jennifer Grey was fantastic as Baby.  The character of Baby was designed in a pretty realistic way.  In one way, I could slightly relate to the situation of growing up the way she did.  Of course, I never thought of joining the Peace Corps or saving lives.  I’d love to but her character makes me wish I could be and do a lot more.  Some may see her as naive and clueless but sometimes, thats what makes her a bigger and better person and turns her into a courageous person.  Its quite an inspiring role because her character ends up changing how she is into a good way and influencing others around her also, like Patrick Swayze’s Johnny Castle.

dirty dancing meeting

There are millions of other aspects I could talk about that was good.  The cast itself other than the main two and Penny was totally cool.  Jerry Orbach, who played Baby’s father was awesome. Dirty Dancing is definitely a recommendable flick if you like music/romance/drama.  It was fun and entertaining and had me moving to the music throughout the movie with a huge smile on my face.  Nothing beats feel good quite like this 🙂 Plus, we have a very charming Patrick Swayze and man, makes me want to rewatch all his movies. He was a great actor!

Thank you to Marilyn for her long  ago mention of this movie back in February 🙂 I loved it!

And you should definitely go check out her blog if you haven’t, she’s totally awesome and really artistic 🙂 I put her link to her name on the top.  Make sure to check it out!

Any other Patrick Swayze or dance flicks you’d like to recommend to me? Have you seen Dirty Dancing? What did you think?

Tales from the Crypt: Ritual (2002)

I’m finally starting to work on those 8-movie packs.  What better thing to choose to watch something potentially bad than when feeling sick and crappy? Plus, I need to start eventually seeing these as Shitfest deadline is coming way sooner than I imagined.  This one obviously didn’t make it because right now, I am looking for that movie that makes me feel even more rubbish than Bad Moon did for the last one.  Apparently, my boyfriend knows what Tales from the Crypt is but I don’t so he recognized it the moment it started with that weird crypt master (or whatever you call it).

Ritual posterDirector: Avi Nesher

Cast: Jennifer Grey, Craig Sheffer, Daniel Lapaine, Kristen Wilson, Gabriel Casseus, Tim Curry

*By the way, that cover picture there was not what the one on my DVD movie pack looked like, mine looked way more intriguing but had NOTHING to do with the movie itself. Haha!*

Dr. Alice Dodgson (Jennifer Grey) gets her medical license revoked due to not following orders which resulted in the death of a patient.  Since she could not practice, she tried to seek work elsewhere and found it in Jamaica as the caretaker of a wealthy man, Paul Claybourne’s (Craig Sheffer) brother Wesley (Daniel Lapaine).  Wesley has a disease but he also claims that he is a zombie.  As Alice with the help of Caro (Kristen Wilson) and veterinarian Matthew (Tim Curry) explores the voodoo cult that is the area and its influences when they realize they are all infected with the something that causes them to have hallucinations.  The only way to save herself and Wesley was to find out where this all started and why they are targeted in this voodoo curse.

Here's our intro to the movie!

Here’s our intro to the movie!

Whenever I get these movie packs, I really don’t know what to expect.  Especially when we start with a crypt keeper that looks like a doll and we start with the first shot of big breasted women in bikinis.  Obviously, I’m not the market they were aiming at.  That aside, the movie was not horrible.  It wasn’t scary at all but it wasn’t bad either.  Some parts merited the laugh out loud because it was somewhat ridiculous but then nearing the end, it did build up the mysterious secret pretty good before revealing the final part.

Voodoo Curse! *GASP*

Voodoo Curse! *GASP*

Lets look at the plus.  We do have Tim Curry in this little production which I think started off as a TV movie.  He’s always fun to watch on screen, right? Plus, the rest of the cast, even if I’ve only seen them in a few other flicks but nothing I remember off the top of my  head without researching, did a pretty decent job.  The acting was definitely not on the list of complaints. Plus, the guys got some pretty girls to look at and well, I liked Daniel Lapaine, the younger brother who thought he was a zombie.

ritual wesley alice caro

The movie gets just a tad predictable.  Let the flow of the story get a little same old same old but then the ending has a pretty interesting buildup to the finale.  It was alright.  I have to say some parts didn’t really flow and made no sense but hey, I have seen worse.

*Bonus* Naked Kristen Wilson

*Bonus* Naked Kristen Wilson

Overall, an average flick.  Nothing really scary about it but the actor’s do a good job to pull through a pretty predictable storyline that leads to a decent ending.  It was better than I expected for something that cost me 50 cents.

My brain’s in a mush right now from antibiotics so that’s all I’m going to write.  Its back to resting for me. If any of the review doesn’t make sense, I will be back to reread it afterwards (not that I didn’t this time around), so forgive me please!

Do you know about the Tales from the Crypt?