She’s Having a Baby

She’s Having a Baby
Released: February 5, 2015
Directed by:  John Hughes
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth McGovern, Alec Baldwin
Availability: DVD, HBO Go/Now, Streaming for purchase or rental via iTunes and Amazon, Streaming for free via Hoopla if your local library has an account

John Hughes continues to explore more mature subject matter, Kevin Bacon finally stops playing a teenager, and we continue to explore a particularly fertile era in American cinema history, in She’s Having a Baby.

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They Live

They Live
Released: November 4, 1988
Directed by:  John Carpenter
Starring: Roddy Piper, Keith David
Availability: DVD, Blu Ray, Streaming for purchase or rental via iTunes and Amazon, Streaming for free via Hoopla if your local library has an account

Editor’s Note: On July 31, 2015 “Rowdy” Roddy Piper passed away at the age of 61.  He was the author’s favorite wrestler growing up.  This special edition of 1988 in Film is being published out of order in honor of his legacy.

John Carpenter deviates just slightly from his horror movie roots just enough to give wrestling icon Roddy Piper a chance to kick ass, because he’s all out of bubblegum.

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Braddock: Missing in Action III

Braddock: Missing In Action III
Released: January 22, 1988
Directed by:  Aaron Norris
Starring: Chuck Norris
Availability: DVD (only as part of a set with Missing in Action and Missing In Action 2), VHS

 

Chuck Norris stars in the third iteration of his Rambo-clone vehicle, only without the subtlety of the Stallone films.  Norris himself is a Vietnam veteran, and though I’m not trained in such matters, after watching this film I suspect he has some issues with his experiences over there.

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Return of the Living Dead Part 2

Return of the Living Dead Part 2
Released: January 15, 1988
Directed by:  Ken Wiederhorn
Starring: James Karen, Thom Matthews, Dana Ashbrook
Availability: DVD, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes

Here we have a sequel to a movie tangentially related to the seminal zombie movie Night of the Living Dead.  Does this film have the same things to say about our consumerist society?   A word of warning, I have not seen the first Return of the Living Dead, so am not sure what may have gone over my head with this movie.

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For Keeps

For Keeps
Released: January 15, 1988
Directed by:  John G.Avildsen
Starring: Molly Ringwald, Randall Batinkoff
Availability: DVD, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes

Molly Ringwald attempts to shed her image in a movie about what happens in the 20 minutes after her previous movies like Pretty in Pink end, and the ensuing aftermath of those actions.  Yep, we’re talking about pregnancy and, even though the official title of the movie has a question mark (For Keeps?), the fact that Ringwald is holding a baby on the cover of the DVD kind of spoils the fact that yes, keeps it.

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The Couch Trip

The Couch Trip
Released: January 15, 1988
Directed by:  Michael Ritchie
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Walter Matthau, Charles Grodin
Availability: DVD, Hoopla Digital (free if your public library has an account)

We have to have reached the end of the road for mistaken identity comedy, right?  In The Couch Trip, Dan Aykroyd’s character, an inmate at a state psychiatric correctional facility, manages to not only impersonate his psychiatrist on the phone, but maintain the charade during a cross-country flight, acting about as conspicuously as possible.  In today’s world, that would of course be impossible, but I have to believe it would have been impossible in 1988 as well.

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