1987: Guest Blogger Jason's Year in Review

Occasional guest blogger and all-around curmudgeon Jason has once again eschewed our current year and taken pen in hand to revel in the lives we lived 20 years ago. Unfortunately, it looks like 1987 wasn't quite the year Jason was hoping for in retrospect, so proceed with caution!


1987: The Year Time Should Have Largely Forgotten
(another "Overdue Year in Review" from a permanently behind the times curmudgeon)

BOOKS
'87 was not a great year in literature, overall...

Best Books:

  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  • Einstein's Monsters, by Martin Amis
  • Misery, by Stephen King
Worst Book:

The Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe: Just like The Prince of Tides a year earlier, this would be made into a truly unwatchable film, but the book was nearly as unreadable for me.

FILM
...but it was a wonderful year in cinema. Not a very serious one, but many good to great "light entertainments" that still hold up 20 years later

Best Movies:

  • MOONSTRUCK - Still an all-time favorite. "A wolf without a foot!"
  • FULL METAL JACKET - If I were running a Roman-style empire, Kubrick would now be officially deified.
  • CAN'T BUY ME LOVE - Except, well...maybe I can if I have a telescope and the girl I covet spills something on her mom's suede jacket, or something. Hope for teenage nerds everywhere or secret capitalist propaganda?
  • DIRTY DANCING - Nobody puts Baby in the corner.
  • MATEWAN - Why are David Straithairn, Chris Cooper, and John Sayles all not superstars?
  • PREDATOR - Starring two future governors and the biggest-ass gun you ever want to see. Cool monster movie.
  • LETHAL WEAPON - I have to admit this was a highly entertaining action-comedy, even if I do find Me Gibson personally repugnant.
  • THE PRINCESS BRIDE - We have a winner, people. If you can't quote from this movie extensively, what have you been doing with your life?
Worst Movies:
  • MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE - With Courtney Cox!
  • SUMMER SCHOOL - With Courtney Thorne-Smith!
  • LEONARD, PART 6 - With Tom Courtney!
  • THREE MEN AND A BABY - No Courtneys involved here, but just like TOP GUN for '86, this was the top-grossing movie of the year. Blech. At least TOP GUN didn't feature Steve Guttenberg prominently.
MUSIC
The fact that I had to include a live album and a cover album doesn't bode well for '87.

Best Albums:

  • Anthrax - Among the Living
  • The Cult - Electric
  • Judas Priest - Priest...Live!
  • Metallica - The $5.98 EP - Garage Days Re-Revisited
  • Public Enemy - Yo! Bum Rush the Show
Worst Hit Songs:
  • Kylie Minogue: (Cover of) The Locomotion - Cute bottom notwithstanding, Kylie - we forgive you!
  • Huey Lewis and the News: Doing it All for My Baby - Doing it all does not apparently include retiring and taking vows of silence, which my baby would certainly appreciate.
  • Aerosmith: Dude Looks Like a Lady - Oh, the irony!
Best Hit Single:
  • The Bangles: (cover of) Hazy Shade of Winter
COOL THINGS ABOUT 1987
  • A 19 year old German pilot lands his Cessna in Red Square in apparent protest against the totalitarian Soviet regime.
  • The "Woodstock of Physics" takes place in NYC. Love that image.
  • Iron Maiden's World Slavery tour, and seeing it live on my birthday.
  • Growing "Metal Hair."
  • Aretha Franklin is the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. About damn time.
  • The Legend of Zelda is released in the US. Homework, family ignored.
  • 21 Jump Street debuts on televsion. Johnny Depp melts the panties right off my future wife (ed: my wife, too). My Two Dads debuts and she shrugs, meh.
NOT SURE IF THESE ARE COOL OR NOT, YOU TELL ME
  • President/Emperor Ronald Reagan undergoes prostate surgery, locates own head.
  • Iran-Contra affair. Bad that it happened. Good that the crooks got caught. Bad that many of them are back in positions of power in the current administration and/or mass media.
  • Jessica McClure gets 15 minutes of fame by falling down a well. Gerald Ford and Rikki-Tikki-Tembo wanted for questioning.
  • Dance Fever is cancelled. Wonder what they did with the light-up stage?
UNCOOL THINGS ABOUT 1987
  • Black Monday
  • Rita Hayworth dies. Her hair flip in GILDA (and THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) will live for eternity.
  • Author James Baldwin dies
Christ on toast! There just wasn't a whole lot to recommend for 1987. Why did I just spend my time doing this anyway? Should have skipped right over to 1988. Now you'll have to wait another year to read my about feelings on the Nobel Prize for Physics going to Leon M. Lederman, Melvin Schwartz, and Jack Steinman. By then I should have thought up some feelings on that.