MCN Blogs
Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

BYO Your Summer Favorite Movies

sun-leaves

40 Responses to “BYO Your Summer Favorite Movies”

  1. Aaron Aradillas says:

    Let us take a moment to reflect thta thirty years ago we had one of the most nourishing Summer Movie Seasons ever. On the commercial front you had BULL DURHAM, BUG, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, THE DEAD POOL, MIDNIGHT RUN, COMING TO AMERICA, AFUNNY FARM, A FISH CALLED WANDA, married to the mob. and DIE HARD. On the art-house front you had A WORLD APART, WINGS OF DESIRE, TUCKER: THE MAN AND HIS DREAM, and THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. And on the guilty-pleasure front you had WILLOW, RAMBO III, THE GREAT OUTDOORS, THE PRESIDIO, the remake of THE BLOB, YOUNG GUNS, and COCKTAIL.

    Like Diamond Dave sang, “Those were damn good times.”

  2. MarkVH says:

    Summer of 2001 is one I always go back to, as it was the last one pre-9/11. I was home from college, working a menial job and saw pretty much everything that came out that summer, for good or ill. Shrek, Pearl Harbor (ugh), Jurassic Park III (ugh), Planet of the Apes (ugh), Rush Hour 2 (ugh) and – it still blows my mind that this was a summer release – Moulin Rouge. Saw it twice and recall being blown away both times.

  3. Stella's Boy says:

    Summer 1999 stands out to me. In no particular order: Deep Blue Sea, Sixth Sense, Blair Witch Project, Lake Placid, The Mummy, Notting Hill, Bowfinger, Thomas Crown Affair, American Pie, Austin Powers 2, Iron Giant, Mystery Men, Arlington Road, Summer of Sam. And that’s only like half of the total. I was in college and also saw everything that came out, three movies a week from May through August. Good times.

  4. Alex says:

    1995. 15 years old, first job, no bills, no girlfriend, all money for beer and movies. My theatre got new tech and the game changer that was Dolby Digital 5.1.
    Saw some movies multiple times, often just because of the sound. Apollo 13, Die Hard 3, Crimson Tide, Goldeneye, Waterworld, Jumanji, Bad Boys. Great boobs in Species. Alicia Silverstone in her prime in Clueless. Best year for a teenage boy. Ignored Seven an Heat back then. Mortal Kombat was more important.

  5. JS Partisan says:

    Summer 1985 really sticks with me. I was seeing a lot of those movies at a trippy mall in Memphis, that had TWO THEATERS INSIDE OF IT. One on the east side, and the other the west. It was insane, but a great way to go from Goonies to Back to the Future. It was just a fun time to be a kid. Also, seeing Teen Wolf with a friend, then being kicked out of theatre while waiting for our parents. We were just playing with hot wheels, but those damn baby boomers couldn’t handle it!

  6. Aaron Aradillas says:

    Summer ’85 also had RAMBO II, MAD MAX 3, PRIZZI’S HONOR, D.A.R.Y.L, EXPLORERS, WEIRD SCIENCE, REAL GENIUS, THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, FRIGHT NIGHT and PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE.

    How is it that CRIMSON TIDE didn’t win Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing?

  7. Stella's Boy says:

    ’95 was good. I got my driver’s license in April of that year so I was going to a lot more movies that summer. In addition to the movies you mentioned, there’s also Braveheart, Congo (dumb fun), Under Siege 2 (ditto), Desperado, The Usual Suspects, Tales from the Hood, Lord of Illusions, and The Net. Come to think of it, dumb fun applies to a lot of those movies.

  8. Hcat says:

    Worked at a movie theater in 95 during college summer so I saw EVERYTHING multiple times. You guys are forgetting two heavy hitters with Bridges of Madison County, saw every adult woman in three counties walk out of that movie sobbing.

    And Babe, pure magic, the woman I was dating at the time hated it and her friends told me to break up with her since she was obviously dead inside. Ended up marrying her instead.

    And was too young to experience any but two of these until later but I would love to have a line up like 79. Apocalypse Now, Alien, Phantasm, In-Laws, Rocky II, Muppet Movie, Moonraker (My first Bond), Meatballs, and Life of Brian.

  9. Stella's Boy says:

    I didn’t see those two in theaters, but fair point they should be included. Babe is wonderful and yeah I remember Bridges being a very big deal. I know my mom loved it.

  10. Aaron Aradillas says:

    @Hcat: The obvious question is this: Are you still married? If so, has your wife found her soul?

  11. movieman says:

    The summer of ’69 sticks in my memory:
    “The Wild Bunch;” “Midnight Cowboy;” “True Grit;” “Once Upon a Time in the West;” “Goodbye, Columbus;” “Last Summer;” “Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?;” “Isadora;” “Sweet Charity;” and yes, even “The Love Bug.”
    (Remember enjoying Rowan and Martin’s “The Maltese Bippy” at the time, too, but I’m afraid to give it a second look.)

    I turned 11 that summer.
    (Yes, I was a very precious child, and drive-ins were a great enabler.)

  12. Sideshow Bill says:

    The 3 that jump to mind for me:

    1984: GREMLINS, and my total obsession with everything about it (I even brought it up to Phoebe Cates’ daughter Greta Kline Monday night. She’s singer for Frankie Cosmos and me and my daughter met Greta after their show in Chicago). TEMPLE OF DOOM, which I will defend on my deathbed. GHOSTBUSTERS. Those 3 alone make 1984 unbeatable but then there was also KARATE KID and STAR TREK 3.

    1986; ALIENS ALIENS ALIENS ALIENS ALIENS. Oh, also BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA,STAND BY ME, BACK TO SCHOOL, RUTHLESS PEOPLE ( still funny), SHORT CIRCUIT, THE FLY, LABYRINTH, FERRIS BUELLER, FRIDAY 13TH 6…And even though it was September I’m throwing BLUE VELVET in there, because it’s BLUE fucking VELVET.

    1989: BATMAN You have to have lived through it to realize that today’s hype machine started right there. It was utterly overwhelming. Even though I don’t like it there was also GHOSTBUSTERS 2. Then INDY 3, DEAD POET’S SOCIETY, DO THE RIGHT THING (!!!), LICENCE TO KILL ( one of my all-time favorite Bonds),WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, THE ABYSS…

  13. JS Partisan says:

    HC, that’s hilarious.

  14. Popcorn Slayer says:

    summer 1987: THE UNTOUCHABLES, THE BELIEVERS, PREDATOR, THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK, ROXANNE, SPACEBALLS, INNERSPACE, FULL METAL JACKET, ROBOCOP, LA BAMBA, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, THE LOST BOYS, STAKEOUT, NO WAY OUT, DIRTY DANCING, THE BIG EASY, HAMBURGER HILL, MATEWAN…

  15. Aaron Aradillas says:

    Summer ’84 also had BREAKIN’, THE NATURAL, THE FOURTH MAN, STREETS OF FIRE, TOP SECRET!, CONAN THE DESTROYER, THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN, BACHELOR PARTY, THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, REVENGE OF THE NERDS, DREAMSCAPE, TIGHTROPE, THE NEVERENDING STORY, THE LAST STARFIGHTER, CLOAK & DAGGER, THE WOMAN IN RED, ELECTRIC DREAMS, BEAT STREET, and RED DAWN.

    Summer ’86 also had COBRA, TOP GUN, RAW DEAL, THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE, HEARTBURN, PSYCHO III, and MANHUNTER.

  16. Jerryishere says:

    ’82
    E.T., Poltergeist, Blade Runner, The Thing, TRON, Star Trek II, Rocky III, Annie, World Accordimg To Garp,, Conan, Road Warrior, Firefox, An Officer and a Gentleman, Fast Times, Night Shift

    I mean, come on…

  17. Hcat says:

    It’s late but wanted to say a thank you to Aaron to starting us off.

    And while I didn’t catch the creepy right wing lunacy of red dawn when I first saw it (opening day first matinee) it replaced Beastmaster as my favorite movie at that age, and it still holds a soft spot in my heart. To this day I occasionally shout out WOLVERINES!!!! upon sexual climax.

  18. Alex says:

    @ Stella’s Boy:
    I would have killed to be allowed to see Braveheart, but my theatre said it was too violent and they checked IDs. It had a 16 rating here in Germany, I was only 15.

    Just to understand the stupidity: Cigarettes, beer and wine are legal for 16y olds. And no one cared back then if you’re only 15. As long as you don’t look 12, you’re fine. Die Hard 3, Bad Boys and Species were rated 16, too, no one cared. I could see these movies multiple times.

    But there were articles in the papers how violent Braveheart was and some people probably complained, so they checked IDs and I had to wait for the VHS the next year.

  19. Pete B says:

    “1989: BATMAN You have to have lived through it to realize that today’s hype machine started right there. It was utterly overwhelming.”

    Stood in line for over an hour to get tickets for opening night at our city’s largest screen. It was a packed house that cheered the opening credits. When the Batmobile first showed up the place went nuts. It was deafening. More like a concert than a film. Batman is still the standard for my movie-going experience.

  20. palmtree says:

    May I submit 1994?

    THE LION KING, FORREST GUMP, SPEED, TRUE LIES, THE MASK, THE CROW, MAVERICK

    You had not one, but two $300m grossers going toe to toe. Yup, I loved the box office horse race even back then.

    Then you got a healthy does of more adult summer movies too:

    NATURAL BORN KILLERS, THE CLIENT, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, BLOWN AWAY, WOLF

  21. Hcat says:

    Alex, that’s nothing I once got carded trying to get into Planes, Trains, and Automobiles of all things and had to run back to the parking lot to get the adult who dropped us off to give the pimply faced BO attendant permission to let us in.

    “Two for the 9:00 please”

    “Are you seventeen?”

    “No, Are you?”

    Movieman, Midnight Cowboy at 11 years old? When it was still a straight X? Makes me laugh at what a different time that was.

    Aaron, still married, I made her revisit Babe again a few years later, she came around though doesn’t recognize it as being as transcendent as it is. But she loved Get Shorty and Nobody’s Fool after I showed them to her and tolerated me rewatching those constantly during the years we had no cable and a limited movie library so I can’t really complain.

  22. Hcat says:

    87 is interesting in that the top four films and another two in the top ten were all R-rated, can’t imagine that happening again. I look at the list of that year and think all I saw were marginal comedies like Summer School and Back to the Beach, along with the wonderful Roxanne. All of those were great times in the theater and I am a little sad that summer is now mostly filled with nothing but monsters.

    And we mentioned 85 above without calling out Better Off Dead, it only played for one week in my town. Of all the questionable films I wanted to see in my youth but disappeared before I was able to get my parents to drop me off, winners like Heartbeeps or Superfuzz, I am fortunate I was able to actually get to see the Better off Dead before it disappeared.

  23. movieman says:

    Hcat: Yep, I was all of 11.
    The ratings code was still in its infancy, and theater managers weren’t taking the new restrictions all that seriously.
    And the teenagers manning drive-in gates would literally let ANYONE in.
    My first X-rated movie (also at a drive-in) was actually “The Killing of Sister George” when I was 10. Bored to tears by it at the time, but rewatched it a few years back and was blown away. Also shocked at how explicit/erotic that climactic Coral Browne/Susannah York scene really was. Especially for a 1968 movie.

    One thing I’ve always wondered: when major studios were shooting films like “Midnight Cowboy,” etc. prior to the inauguration of the ratings code, how did they know their movies would actually see the light of day in American theaters? After all, there was a huge (sexual) leap between, say, “The Graduate” and “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Sister George,” M/Cowboy,” “Heironymus Merkin,” etc., etc.

  24. Mike says:

    I worked at a movie theater the summer of 1996 and spent so much time watching the movies over and over again. At the time it seemed like there were a lot of great movies, and now looking back, I’d kill for a summer like this again!

    The big blockbusters: Independence Day, Mission: Impossible, Twister and The Rock.

    The adult mainstream: Phenomenon, Courage Under Fire, A Time to Kill and Tin Cup.

    The comedies: The Nutty Professor and Kingpin.

    The indies: Lone Star

    The guilty pleasure: The Frighteners, Joe’s Apartment and Escape from L.A.

  25. amblinman says:

    “Stood in line for over an hour to get tickets for opening night at our city’s largest screen. It was a packed house that cheered the opening credits. When the Batmobile first showed up the place went nuts. It was deafening. More like a concert than a film. Batman is still the standard for my movie-going experience.”

    3 best crowd reactions I’ve experienced:

    1 – Return Of The Jedi: Vader decides to save Luke.
    2 – Jurassic Park: 1st T-rex attack (first time I can remember, and maybe last, an audience screaming for minutes on end)
    3 – T2: lots of cheering and such but what stood out was all the OOO’s and “Wow” at the fx. Remember back when people were still impressed by special effects?

  26. Hcat says:

    Movieman, the ratings went into effect on November the previous year so they must have been kicking around the idea for awhile and since production and post took a lot less time than it does today they probably knew they could get it in theaters. Or they thought they could just cut it down to a releasable form.

  27. movieman says:

    Hcat- Always figured they must’ve had a giant crystal ball to guide them into the future, lol.
    Virtually every movie that was branded with an “X” back then looks mighty tame today.
    Case in point: 1969’s “The Best House in London.”
    Finally caught up with it on TCM last December where it aired in an early evening/weekday slot. For the life of me, I couldn’t fathom how it was ever branded with an “X.” It’s such a quaint and decorous treatment of Victorian-
    era prostitution that it could probably pass with a “PG” now.
    And Lumet’s “Last of the Mobile Hot Shots”?!? I’m guessing it was the miscegenation angle that freaked them out.
    Weirdly, some of the “R”-rated movies back then were actually racier than many of the “X”‘s. For example, “The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart” w/ copious Don Johnson full frontal nudity, and “Zabriskie Point” w/ its extended orgy-in-the-desert sequence.

  28. movieman says:

    Concur w/ those who picked the summers of ’82 and ’87.
    I’d add “Ishtar” to the latter list of summertime goodies, and “Author, Author!” to the former.
    And summer ’79 had “The Wanderers”! Attention must be paid.
    1980 was “Empire,” “Hollywood Knights,” “Urban Cowboy,” “Dressed to Kill,” “The Shining,” “The Long Riders,” “Used Cars,” Blues Brothers,” “The Big Red One,” “Bronco Billy,” “Fame,” “Great Santini,” “Willie and Phil,” “Roadie,”
    “Tom Horn,” “Those Lips, Those Eyes” and my beloved “Can’t Stop the Music.” (“Caddyshack” and “Airplane,” too, of course, although I have to confess to secretly digging the unloved “Up the Academy” and “Gorp” more.)

  29. Hcat says:

    Movieman, was going to include the Warriors but it apparently opened in Feb, though given the length that movies played in those years I would imagine it would still be sticking around come summer.

  30. Dr Wally Rises says:

    ’89 was the ground zero for the modern Summer moviegoing ecosystem, it’s the first time that franchises and sequels became the dominant force. It remains my favorite movie year.

  31. Hcat says:

    I remember looking at the summer preview issue of something for 89 and thinking the Abyss is the only original idea this whole summer, and even that was coming on the heels of Deepstar and Levithan.

    Of course a month before summer and there was no idea that Harry/Sally, Dead Poets or Parenthood had such commercial potential.

  32. Bulldog says:

    The Summer Preview edition of Premiere Magazine was highly anticipated. Couldn’t wait for that thing to be delivered. Sometimes I miss the days before internet access.

  33. Bulldog says:

    Kind of unrelated but not necessarily, I was just on Mojo and looking at Disney’s summer slate for 2019. Untitled Avengers Film is May 3rd, Aladdin is May 24th, Toy Story 4 is June 21st, and Lion King is July 19th, and Artemis Fowl is Aug 9th. WTF.

  34. Hcat says:

    Bulldog, I miss the thrill of the fall season preview TV Guide arriving back in the pre and early teen years where television was the entire world. And I miss the excitement of hearing a new song on the radio by a favorite group who you didn’t even know were coming out with a new album.

    Plus youth, I really miss youth.

  35. movieman says:

    LOL, Hcat.
    I remember seeing “The Warriors” on opening day (actually “opening” morning: it was a 9 A.M. show) at the New Amsterdam on 42nd Street (i.e., before the NA became Disney’s preferred Times Square venue for their theatrical spinoffs).

    Sheer electricity in the air, even though most of the audience consisted of winos/junkies catching a break from the frigid mid-winter temps, and a few stray hookers doing the same.
    I’m thinking the movie stuck around for about a year on the Deuce, segueing from one theater to the next on double, even triple bills.

  36. Aaron Aradillas says:

    How come when talking about Summer ’79, no one brings up THE WANDERERS?

    I’m surprised no one has given a shout-out to Summer ’83. JEDI, WARGAMES, BLUE THUNDER, SUPERMAN III, PSYCHO II, the opening and last two segments of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, OCTOPUSSY, TRADING PLACES, THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS, THE SURVIVORS, JAWS 3-D, CUJO, VACATION, MR. MOM, STRANGE BREW, and RISKY BUSINESS.

    SUMMER ’80 had FRIDAY THE 13TH, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, THE SHINING, URBAN COWBOY, HONEYSUCKLE ROSE, DRESSED TO KILL, STIR CRAY, THE LONG RIDERS, THE BLUES BROTHERS, FAME, CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC, ZANADU, S.O.B., AIRPLANE, CADDYSHACK, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND: THE SPECIAL EDITION, and THE BLUE LAGOON.

    SUMMER ’81 had THE FOUR SEASONS, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, SUPERMAN II, DRAGONSLAYER, STRIPES, ARTHUR, ENDLESS LOVE, BLOW OUT, PRINCE OF THE CITY, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, THE FOX AND THE HOUND, WOLFEN, CANNONBALL RUN, and HISTORY OF THE WORLD – PART 1.

  37. movieman says:

    I did mention the summer of ’80, Aaron. (Btw, “Stir Crazy” was a Christmas release.)

    And I gave a shout-out to “The Wanderers,” too. One of my all-time favorite movies, summer or otherwise.

  38. palmtree says:

    I think the 80s win for best summers, an embarrassment of riches, but in the 90s, 94 and 95 are up there too.

    1990 might be the sweetest of all the 90s, possibly because it was so close to the 80s and so summer movie franchising still felt fresh.

    GHOST, DIE HARD 2, DICK TRACY, TOTAL RECALL, DAYS OF THUNDER, BACK TO THE FUTURE 3, GREMLINS 2, ROBOCOP 2

    Hell, we even got a sequel to CHINATOWN.

  39. JS Partisan says:

    I had a shit ton of fun Summer 1990. Lots of Faith No More, and just a lot of fun movies. They weren’t all perfect movies, but it was just a fun damn Summer.

  40. cadavra says:

    I’d have to agree with Bill and Aaron: 1984 was THE year in the modern era. Of course, I’m so old I can remember when summer was a dumping ground as far as adults went, with AIP stepping in to hoover up all the teens’ cash.

Leave a Reply

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

“There are different signs that this is not stopping. I don’t think that anger and frustration and those feelings can go away. I hope they don’t. The attention and support for the victims needs to be continued, more than people worried about these abusers and what’s next for them, how are they going to move on — shut up. You know what? If any of these people come back, I would say, “I can’t wait to see who is actually going to support them.” That is going to be the glaring horror. Who is going to be, like, “This is a pressing issue, and we need to get them back?” If a janitor was so great at cleaning the building but also tended to masturbate in front of people, would the people at that building be like, “Yes, he masturbated, but I’ve never seen anyone clean so thoroughly, and I was just wondering when he’s going to get his job back, he’s so good at it.” No, it would be, “That’s not acceptable.” It’s fame and power that people are blinded by.”
~ Tig Notaro in the New York Times

“It’s never been easy. I’ve always been one of the scavenger dogs of film financing, picking up money here and there. I’ve been doing that all my life. This was one was relatively easy because certain costs have gone down so much. I made this film in 20 days whereas 30 years ago, it would have been made in 42.”
~ Paul Schrader