Top Ten Tuesday: 80s Movies

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a movie freebie, so I decided to go with my favourite 80s movies, plus a few I still want to see. When I was in high school, I was obsessed with watching 80s movies, particularly John Hughes and the Brat Pack ones. Now, I just finished watching Stranger Things and, with all its homages and references to 80s movies, it reminded me again of why I liked watching them and why 80s movies are some of my favourites.

1. The Breakfast Club: I love books or movies or other media that take a quirky, diverse group of characters and throw them together in a situation. As they talk to and hang out with people they might never have associated with, tensions rise, secrets are revealed, and unexpected connections and friendships are forged. Bonus points if the characters are confined to a single room or location, because that really ramps up the conflict! The Breakfast Club is equal parts hilarious and touching, and I’ve loved it since the first time I watched it.

Favourite quote: “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.”

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2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: This movie is such a fun ride, with so many memorable scenes and funny quotes. Who wouldn’t want to play hooky with Ferris and Cameron?

Favourite quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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3. Stand By Me: Based on a Stephen King novella, four 12-year-old friends set out to find the body of a missing boy. I think it is one of the best coming-of-age movies of all time. It’s nostalgic and emotional, and it’s also hilarious and truthful in its portrayal of the kind of friends you have at twelve, the kind of friends that bicker with each other but also fiercely stand up for one another. I sometimes get a little teary watching it, and the ending is made even more sad knowing about the untimely death of River Phoenix.

Favourite quote: “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?”

 

4. A Christmas Story: This is also one of my favourite Christmas movies. It’s about a boy who wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, but I like it because it’s more of a coming-of-age movie (can you tell I love coming-of-age stories?). It has so many funny and relatable scenes: Ralphie’s friend getting dared to touch a pole with his tongue and then getting stuck, Ralphie finally snapping and beating up the bully, the leg lamp, and Ralphie letting loose an F-bomb while helping his dad and then being terrified of the consequences.

5. Pretty in Pink: A classic Molly Ringwald/John Hughes/Brat Pack movie. I don’t think a list of 80s movies is complete without it.

Favourite quote: “It’s called a sense of humour. You should get one. They’re nice.”

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6. Sixteen Candles: Another classic Molly Ringwald/John Hughes movie filled with classic teen angst.

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Some 80s movies I still need to see:

7. The Goonies: This has been on my to-watch list for so long! There are similarities with Stand By Me, and now many are comparing it to Stranger Things as well. I just have to watch it.

8. When Harry Met Sally…: I can’t believe I haven’t actually watched this classic from beginning to end. I mean, I know about it, I’ve seen random clips, I know about the infamous diner scene. I’ve just never sat down and watched it.

9. St. Elmo’s Fire: As it says on imdb, “A group of friends, just out of college, struggle with adulthood.” I can certainly relate to this, and it has many of the Brat Pack actors and actresses.

 

Favourite Book to Movie Adaptations: Part 1

As a booklover, I sometimes have a love-hate relationship with movies based on books I’ve read. On the one hand, it can be awesome to see your favourite books brought to life on the big screen. On the other, it can be irritating or downright disappointing when certain details or subplots are left out, major events are changed, or the essence of a character is lost. Here are some of my favourite book to movie adaptations (more to come in Part 2).

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
(based on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares)

The ultimate friendship movie – lots of falling in love, making mistakes, growing up, family drama and, of course, being there for your friends no matter what. I have watched this movie many times and I’ll probably watch it many more.

Sisterhood Traveling Pants movie pic

Room
(based on Room by Emma Donoghue)

This movie was amazing and really brought the book to life. It was one of those movies that you keep thinking about long after you’ve watched it. There were several intense scenes where I was on the edge of my seat, hoping everything would work out. I’m thinking particularly of the scenes of Jack in the truck and Jack talking to the police officer. The mother-child bond and chemistry between Ma (Brie Larson) and Jack (Jacob Tremblay) was so evident on the screen.

Room movie

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
(based on Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins)

This was my absolute favourite adaptation of the series; I could watch it over and over. There were so many intense and emotional scenes. It has all the best of the first Hunger Games: the reaping, the training, the interviews with Caesar Flickerman, and of course the actual Games. But added to that is the growing tension of unrest and rebellion in the districts, the twist of the Quarter Quell, and the additional twist at the end – the realization that there’s a bigger plan being orchestrated.

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The Spectacular Now
(based on The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp)

I haven’t read the book that the movie is based on, so I can’t speak to whether it’s a good or accurate adaptation. However, the movie itself was really good. It felt very realistic, with top-notch acting – it seemed as though the characters weren’t performing from a script at all but simply coming up with things to say as they went along, as you would in real life. They stumbled over words and talked over each other. They did things that made you want to shake them, scream at them, ask them what the hell they were doing. This movie is not a glossy, polished Hollywood blockbuster; it demonstrates the messy, imperfectness of life.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
(based on – what else – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling)

Sometimes I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with these movies. It’s certainly awesome to see Hogwarts and the Harry Potter universe come to life on the big screen. On the other hand, some of the movies bug me, whether because they leave out so many details or even whole scenes that would’ve been amazing to watch or because they miss the boat in some way. I recently re-read the fourth and fifth Harry Potter books and then re-watched the fourth and fifth movies and I felt this way about those adaptations. But despite all this, I couldn’t NOT put Harry Potter on the list. I mean, come on. That’s why I chose the very first one. I quite like this one as an adaptation; it’s where everything begins and I think it captures the, well, magicalness of the magical world. We are introduced to that world along with Harry, and we’re just as much in awe as he is. Plus, who can resist baby-faced Dan, Rupert, and Emma?

Harry Potter trio

 

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More coming in Part 2!

What are some of your favourite book to movie adaptations?