Color us black and white – it’s almost Halloween! It’s this time of year when parents think of sharing with their kids the one ’80s horror comedy that seems appropriate – Beetlejuice! And, in the ’80s, the Tim Burton classic was considered a children’s film with special effects makeup and monster creations all wrapped up in a wacky comedy. (Doubt it was considered a kids film? There was an cartoon series spinoff featuring our lovable demon and young teen Lydia adventuring around the Netherworld.)
The film is a bit problematic in regard to kids and teens. On this episode of our podcast ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents (listen here or on Stitcher, iTunes, and BlogTalkRadio), movie critics Tara McNamara (Gen X) and Riley Roberts (Gen Z) explore how this beloved Michael Keaton film poked fun at suicide at a time when it was at an all-time high for teens. The two also examine how it holds up in today’s environment.
As always, we’re eager to hear your analysis and opinions. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter,Facebook, or Instagram.
It's the 30th Anniversary of Say Anything, the film that truly launched Cameron Crowe as a filmmaker (yes, he'd written Fast Times at Ridgemont High and made The Wild Life, but was nowhere near the household name he'd become). Crowe proved himself to be the only true rival to John Hughes when creating teen films drenched in authenticity. The one element of the film that steps outside of that is the one the script mandate coming from the higher ups - an issue that reflected the times but sent '80s kids a message that hammered in what they were already being taught: Don't. Trust. Parents.
In this episode of '80s Movies: A Guide to What's Wrong with Your Parents, co-hosts Tara McNamara (Gen X) and Riley Roberts (Gen Z) discuss how the John Cusack classic holds up today, how it reflects the teen experience then and now, and that one sticky issue. Listen above or listen/subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, and BlogTalk Radio.
We share a mission with Ted Logan and Bill Preston, Esq. Cinema’s favorite air-guitaring airheads know that to move forward most righteously, you’ve got to travel back in time to understand history. And, that’s exactly what we do in the ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Our Parents podcast. In this episode, we look back at why Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, a “dumb” comedy about two guys who appear to be stoners, turned out to be most triumphant and how it does and doesn’t hold up today.
Xanadu is a pure, sweet romantic musical fantasy down to the kissing animated fish. Wait…what? You know, like the man dressed like a spider crawling under women’s legs. Huh? Xanadu is a fever dream: crazy imagery and chaos that seems awesome but when you wake up, you realize none of it made sense. But, just Olivia Newton-John sings, it’s hard to deny that Xanadu is, indeed, “magic.”
’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents podcasters Riley Roberts (pictured above) and Tara McNamara give their take on the roller disco musical fantasy that will leave you both humming and scratching your head. They cover the What the Heck elements, what makes it hold up, and how – even in a squeaky clean PG film, it delivered another chip in the Gen X psyche.
Give the podcast a listen and then check out our Xanadu guide page for the full explanation of what went right and went went wrong.
With Missouri, Alabama, and other states banning abortion, Dirty Dancinghas never been more important or more relevant. Made in 1987, Roe Vs. Wade was decided law and women had won the battle to control their own reproductive rights. However, screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein felt a time might come when Americans needed a reminder of why the law was passed.
Dirty Dancing is a fun, coming-of-age, dance movie with a plot that hinges completely on obtaining an illegal abortion. Viewers are reminded of why abortion is the only means of survival for some women who, in desperation, will put themselves at risk to end their pregnancy. In our podcast, mother-daughter movie critics Tara McNamara (Gen X) and Riley Roberts (Gen Z) examine the film through a modern lens, looking at the abortion plotline as well as why the uncomfortable age difference between Baby and Johnny played well with young, female audiences.
And, for more details on the history of Dirty Dancing and Bergstein’s clever strategizing of how she could relay a story about the importance of giving women agency over their own bodies and decisions, go to our Dirty Dancing page here: https://80smovieguide.com/dirty-dancing/
Stephen King had been on a decade long tear of financially successful horror films and 1989’s Pet Sematary would be one of his biggest moneymakers. But was it good? Hmmm. Yeah. So, on its 30th Anniversary, there’s a new Pet Sematary! Is it any good? We get into that…but what is already evident is that it’s a money maker. One week into its release, the Pet Sematary remake with Jason Clarke and John Lithgow is already in King’s Top 10.
But, 1989’s Pet Sematary reflects something the new one doesn’t: Gen X parenting. The oldest Gen Xers were just starting to have children by the end of the ’80s – and, basically, everything that goes down in the Creed family only happens because of the new hands-on parenting that Gen Xers had adopted. Check out our take on our ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents podcast…you’ll see the film in an entirely different light . And remember: little Ellie is a future Millennial.
The Breakfast Club is the face of the ’80s Movies – the classic gave teens a voice, showed their box office power, and cemented John Hughes as the decade’s most influential director. This weekend marks the 35th Anniversary of Claire, Allison, John Bender, Andrew, and Brian’s Saturday detention (“March 24, 1984, Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois….”)
The movie made an impact in the entertainment industry, in Hollywood history, and most certainly, on ’80s teens who absorbed a whole lot of negative messaging. From blaming their parents for all their problems to John Bender’s abusive and sexually harassing behavior of Claire that ends in his getting the girl, ’80s Movie Guide’s Tara McNamara (Gen X) and Riley Roberts (Gen Z) break down how The Breakfast Club may be the ’80s most influential film in all the wrong ways on our ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents podcast. Take a listen and give us your take in the comments below.
Mystic Pizza is an anomaly among ’80s teen movies: it was written by a woman, about three women who had healthy attitudes toward sex – sort of. By 1988, the pendulum had swung from the orgy-filled ’70s to the good-girls-don’t sexual conservatism. That confusing perspective is on full display in Mystic Pizza, where best friends and sisters JoJo (Lili Taylor), Daisy (Julia Roberts), and Kat (Annabeth Gish) engage in sex without hangups but, at the same time, give and take all kinds of slut shame.
We explore that angle in our ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents podcast, along with the sociological change that was taking place among young people and the changing attitude of what they are supposed to do with their life after high school. Please give it a listen and, let us know what you think in the comments below. You can currently stream Mystic Pizza on Hulu, Epix and Amazon Prime. And, read up on all the behind-the-scenes info of Mystic Pizza including what made it so rad and so wrong on our Mystic Pizza page: https://80smovieguide.com/mystic-pizza/
Photo Above: Podcaster Riley Roberts gives her take on Splash. Photographer: Victoria Igloi.
Splash is a family film that began our modern-day fascination with mermaids, a film that made Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah bonafide movie stars, and began Hanks journey as American treasure. But, does the film live up to its legacy? In many ways, yes! It’s still a heartwarmer of a tale. But family friendly? Hmmm…maybe not.
On ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents podcast, mother-daughter movie critics Tara McNamara (Gen X) and Riley Roberts (Gen Y) re-examine the film with a modern-day perspective and discuss how it turned the Disney princess trope on its fins, and yet, perpetuated the attitudes that successful men are pigs to women and that’s okay.
Please give a listen to Splash: A Lovable Disney Movie that Just Happens to Have Child Nudity, Bestiality, and a Sex Crime.* And, check out our other podcast episodes available on iTunes,Stitcher, and BlogTalkRadio. Also, please read our comprehensive behind the scenes guide to Splash here: https://80smovieguide.com/splash/
’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents PODCAST:
When you think of Thanksgiving movies, your brain might rush by Addams Family Values, Free Birds or Jack and Jill. Frankly, Thanksgiving movies of substance are few and far between. But hopefully, you’ll think of the greatest, most relatable Thanksgiving movie ever: Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
But let’s focus in on one word: relatable. In 1987, Neal Page’s (Steve Martin) teeth-gnashing journey was an anomaly. We’d all had a frustrating experience or two, but Neal’s three-day journey to get home was an exaggeration for most everyone (except John Hughes, whose five-day ordeal to get home one Thanksgiving inspired the script). In 2018, though, more cars are on the roads, more planes in the air, and more B.S. at the car rental counter. Is Planes, Trains and Automobiles now the American Thanksgiving experience? On our ‘80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Experience podcast, mother-daughter movie critics Tara McNamara and Riley Roberts look at that concept, why a perceived “family film” got an R rating, and if this classic holds up for today’s youth.
If nothing else, let our podcast entertain you on your long, long ride to Grandma’s house.