Here are Nos. 1-5:
5. Fast Times At Ridgemont HighSeveral things make Fast Times one of the best movies of 1982, first being the incredible cast they assembled for the film: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Forest Whitaker, Judge Reinhold, Anthony Edwards, Eric Stoltz, and Nicolas Cage (billed as Nicolas Coppola). And that's not even counting the talent behind the camera, director Amy Heckerling and screenwriter Cameron Crowe. Every single one of these people went on to have great careers in Hollywood, racking up five Oscars between them.
Another reason this movie leaves its counterparts in the dust is the story: this movie is about teenagers doing teenagery things, hanging out at the mall, working, trying to lose their virginity, dealing with teachers, peer pressure, etc. The kids in Fast Times were real teenagers with real problems. They were beautiful, emotional, and flawed, like we all were when we were young.
And the Phoebe Cates film scene was pretty freaking great, too.--Chris
4. Star Trek II: The Wrath Of KhanAfter the dismal first Star Trek movie, the Paramount powers knew they had one shot to turn their franchise around. For this make-or-break sequel, the studio went back to Gene Roddenberry's original series and tapped one of the best Trek villains ever around which to wrap the plot. The iron-chested Ricardo Montalban played Khan, intent on ruining the life of the Starfleet captain who'd originally sentenced him and his people to life on a desolate planet years ago. (In an episode entitled "Space Seed" for those nerds who like to fact check.)
Unlike the previous Star Trek flick, this one was familiar, funny, suspenseful, and action-packed. From Kirk and Khan's melodramatic nemesis dialogue, to their tense game of starship hide-and-seek in a nebula, this was the movie that brought Star Trek back in a major way. (It also set up the rule known by all Trek fans that would hold true for several years: every odd-numbered ST movie blows, and every even-numbered one rocks.)--Didactic Pirate
3. Blade RunnerLet me be clear: Blade Runner is 1) one of the greatest sci-fi movies, 2) one of the best noir films, and 3) one of the best private eye stories ever. Ever.
Harrison Ford and his jawline played Rick Deckard, a retired police officer who makes his living hunting down rogue androids called replicants with a cold precision. Life is simple until he meets and falls for Rachael, (a pre-crazy Sean Young) who may or may not be one herself. Dilemma! Along the way, Deckard gets his ass handed to him by the psychotic replicant Pris (Darryl Hannah) and receives a tears-in-the-rain sermon by buff and blond Roy (Rutger Hauer), just before the android's life force flickers out. Existentialism at its most visceral.
Ridley Scott has crafted several masterpieces over the years. This one wasn't his first--that honor goes to Alien--but Blade Runner, with its glassy-yet-gritty dystopian vision of the future, helped establish him as a real artist.
P.S. Fans note: the movie takes place in 2019. Um... that means we're only seven years away from flying cop cars, replicants, and Voight-Kampff interrogation, y'all. Just saying. Be ready.--Didactic Pirate
2. Poltergeist1982 was a strong year for sci-fi so I can't say I'm surprised that Poltergeist made it to number two on our list! I think the brilliance of it is how it plays creepiness and horror off of each other to take you through successive highs and lows. Poltergeist is not your typical bloody, jump-out-of-your-seat horror movie. It's one that psychologically pulls you from nervous to heart-pounding and back again. First you completely feel and identify with this family and their cute little girl, then the TV static starts you off with unease, then an animated tree attacks the house and one of the kids, then he gets saved so you take a breath only to find Carol Anne is gone and there's disembodied voices! And that's just the fricking beginning! It has a perfect blend of a great complete story, levels upon levels of creepiness (even the people helping were creepy, I mean, Tangina? *shudder*), and then a solution at the end! Or at least an escape and a reason "why" the ghosts appeared, and somehow that leaves you a lot more satisfied than hacked-up teenagers in the woods.--The Weirdgirl
1. E.T. The Extra TerrestrialWho doesn't have some sort of fond memory of this tucked away in their memory? It's an endearing story of a boy and his alien, and the unflinching resolve of friendship. This has got to be one of those movies you sit and share with your kids. I'm not sure really when else you watch it, but it's definitely every parent's duty to pass it on to the next generation, even if you have a scaredy-cat kid like I was. Seriously, E.T. terrified me when I was little for absolutely no good reason, but then again so did Beast in Beauty & The Beast. The good memory didn't come until 8th grade when we watched it in French class, translated: "E.T... telephone maison..." And we still quote that, as so many do (though usually in English) to this day.--J-Hawke
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