backtrack; Chariots of fire (1981)


Competent – and oh so very britishly reserved – on the obstacle-overcoming journey  towards final glory. The famous electronic theme song by Vangelis is anachronistic but somehow works.

There’s really nothing wrong here, things just seem more bland than desired. Probably not in my book of competition.

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6th edition – really?


There will be a new edition out this year too! Available in October as usual, and containing at least four new entries (but probably more): Birdman, Boyhood, Ida, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. A worthy quartet? Well, I haven’t seen them yet, but it seems so to me.

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backtrack; Gallipoli (1981)


In all likelihood wants to deal honestly with friendship, growth, and the terribly misguided realities of war – unfortunately gets stuck in historical inaccuracies and too much of the usual heroics.

Not boy book morality, though probably not in my book of boys.

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backtrack; Airplane! (1980)


The first (reasonably) coherent blockbuster from the legendary Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker comedy team is a crazy, stupid, and vulgar parody of the increasingly formulaic 70s disaster movies.

Joyously falls into several of its own traps. In my dated book.

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backtrack; The Elephant Man (1980)


Charmingly oldfashioned in everything from beautiful black and white imagery to sentimental story, heavy moralising, and distinct acting.

For a David Lynch movie, this is surprisingly straightforward, comprehensible, even conventional. In my book of humanity.

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backtrack; Star Wars Episode V – The Empire strikes back (1980)


The Complete Star Wars Super Duper Franchise® – or at least the original trilogy – should be one entry in the book (like Toy Story and Lord of the Rings has become). Unjust, of course, since the quality of the individual movies differs. But only taken together do they comprise their epic uniqueness – as staggering and disjointed in nature as it may appear.

This second installment, more grim and nowadays even more acclaimed than the first, introduces ice planet Hoth, jedi master Yoda, notorious Boba Fett, iconic AT-AT walker vehicles, plus the shock of Darth Vader’s true identity. I suppose it must stay in my book of importance.

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backtrack; Atlantic City (1980)


Memory and illusions. An aging criminal hopes for a final chance, a young waitress plans a career. Together and separate, they both try – too hard? – to make their dreams come true.

Very well conceived and executed, being both gentle and cruel. In my sad, great little book.

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