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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

Airplane! (1980)

A takeoff (peculiarly appropriate term in this context, although the implication of getting off the ground makes it a misnomer after all) on the Airport series of disaster films. Several flashbacks allow it to take off on other tacks as well, and indeed it seems constitutionally unable to remain on ... (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alligator (1980)

Hip horror movie which, when not too wrapped up in tracking down an overgrown reptile, throws in some cinematic "in" jokes ("Harry Lime Lives" scrawled on a sewer wall) and some digs at industrial research, rich people, and male chauvinism (Henry Silva, nice to see, as a Great White Hunter). ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Altered States (1980)

The traditional mad scientist dressed up in new clothes, or rather, divested of his clothes and floating naked in an isolation tank. That's just for starters. It's quite nice the way the metaphysical odyssey of this so-called "Faust freak" keeps expanding into new territory, moving through a Dr. Leary psychedelic ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

American Gigolo (1980)

Paul Schrader's Bressonian portrait of a high-priced Beverly Hills gigolo: adolescently admiring and envying, but never very informative or inventive. Less than halfway through the thing, the gigolo's professional life gives way to the more automatically plottable business of a murder frameup, with the gigolo's every step shadowed by unknown ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Any Which Way You Can (1980)

Same which way as Every Which Way but Loose; in other words, no which way but lousy. There is, though, a fairly nice introduction and buildup of the chief antagonist, played by William Smith, who is named the same as, and even looks a bit like, the Jack Palance character ... (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Awakening (1980)

Charlton Heston as a modern-day Egyptologist, who, if he had spent less time with library book and pickaxe and more time watching mummy movies, would have had better sense than to violate a tomb inscribed "Do not approach the Nameless One, lest your soul be withered." Some very good moments ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Bad Timing (1980)

The mystery element, which doesn't claim our attention until very near the end, has to do with what really happened to Theresa Russell, who spends the length of the movie in a hospital emergency room having her stomach pumped, her throat perforated, her vagina sampled, etc., while we get bits ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Baltimore Bullet (1980)

The world's greatest pool players, real and fictional, face each other in a movie not worthy of the neighborhood-bar variety. The only interest is in watching James Coburn and Omar Sharif making some of their own shots, and in wondering how many takes were required. Directed by Robert Ellis Miller. (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Bear Island (1980)

Lots of action, of various types, on a barren island in the Barents Sea (no bears, even, on this Bear Island), used during World War II as a U-boat base and now the center of some mysterious neo-Nazi activity. Not as clever at concealing the villains' identities as some of ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Big Red One (1980)

Marching through World War II under the command of Samuel Fuller and in the company of a charmed infantry unit that survives North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia, and somehow missed out on the mop-up operation in the Pacific. (Robert Carradine, chomping on an unending cigar and narrating the ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Blue Lagoon (1980)

Two shipwrecked children of opposite sexes come of age all by themselves in an island paradise, and as in the Garden of Eden the female proves to be the inquisitive, trouble-making one. Randal Kleiser's remake of the old Henry DeVere Stacpoole tale parades under the banner of Natural Beauty, but ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Blues Brothers (1980)

Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, as a couple of Chicago white boys tuned to a rhythm-and-blues wavelength, expand the musical act they unveiled on television's Saturday Night Live into a full-blown slapstick chase movie, travelling through a meaningful cultural landscape that includes a Catholic orphanage, a black Baptist church, a ... (R)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Boogey Man (1980)

Self-conscious evocations of Halloween, Carrie, The Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, and Jaws are never elaborated to the point of either plagiarism or parody. Hardly more than winks of an eye, they nonetheless do an even larger job of conjuring up the entire history and foremost conventions of horror films in ... (R)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Borderline (1980)

The illegal alien problem provides a backdrop (no more than that) for a standard revenge drama, with Charles Bronson his usual implacable self as the avenger. Out of carefulness not to be offensive, none of the Mexicans is characterized as anything beyond a symbol, and all the serious villainy is ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Breaker Morant (1980)

Another truckload of dirt dumped onto the British Empire, with three loyal Aussie soldiers made scapegoats for the sins of British colonialism and militarism in the Boer War. It's sort of an Australian Paths of Glory, and the arguments are presented in a manner difficult to take exception to, or ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

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