officer

While on vacation I had the chance to watch a couple of films that were favorites from the 80’s. Both are movies I loved enough to have seen multiple times, going so far as to own them on DVD. Both are films I haven’t picked up in at least (gulp!) eight years. It was funny the different reactions I had to each.

The first film I had the pleasure of viewing again was Highlander. Sci-fi/fantasy buff that I am I can remember being delighted upon my first viewing of this film. For those of you who missed it, this 1982 epic is about immortals fighting to the death. For reasons that are never quite explained there can be only one and the last guy standing gets “the prize”. We follow Connor MacLeod as he battles it out over the centuries, finally landing in 1980’s New York for the final battle. I recall watching it a second time with my husband in the nineties and loving it all over again. The TV series based on the film was buzzed about on the AAR boards. When I saw it again last week all I noticed was the clunky dialogue, bad special effects and some plotting problems. I still loved the original premise – I just think it really needs updating. And I couldn’t help but laugh at the green and black screen of the 80’s computer used in several scenes. And the lack of cool tools in the forensic lab. CSI it wasn’t.

Another problem I had was I didn’t buy the love story. Connor and Brenda somehow lacked chemistry for me.

On the other hand, An Officer and A Gentleman was as good upon re-viewing as it was the first several times I saw it. It helps that the acting is superb. Louis Gosset Jr. won an Academy award, Debra Winger was nominated for one as well. Richard Gere, while often mocked for his work, held his own among such luminous company. The screenplay was also nominated for an Academy, so I didn’t find clunky dialogue or bad plotting. I know I am not alone in finding it an excellent movie -it received a great deal of critical support when it came out. For those of you who haven’t seen it – and you really must – it is the story of a man who goes into officer candidate school to fly jet planes and gets a much better education than he ever bargained for. In just nine short weeks he learns the meaning of love, friendship and character. The love story is so strong here it can bring tears to the eye. And the chemistry between the two leads scorches its way off the screen.

So here is my question to you: Which old favorites have stood the test of time? Which haven’t?

– Maggie AAR