This June marks the 30th anniversary of Tim Burton’s Batman. A film with huge cultural significance, positive and negative — as it forever it changed the summer blockbuster landscape. The entire summer slate of 1989 has to be one of the greatest in film history for sequels, blockbusters and surprise hits.
Consider that during just a few months, the summer of 1989 begat Ghostbusters II, Lethal Weapon 2, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Licence to Kill, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Abyss, and Do the Right Thing.
And so far I’ve just mentioned the summer releases. The entire year boasted en entire roster of films worthy of discovery (or rediscovery). I would have been around three so there are no solid memories of this year for me, except vague memories about Hardee’s promotion of Ghostbusters II. I guess Licence to Kill would have been too much for a child’s happy meal toy, kids probably couldn’t handle a shark-mangled Felix Leiter toy.
For more discussion of non-summer related releases from 1989, we have our in-house resident expert, James Patrick (@007hertzrumble), whose personal website has posted some great discussion on films from that year. It is a great resource if you want to scroll back through a few of these releases you might have missed.
I’m limiting my choices to three, but I have a feeling I will be doing more rewatches of 1989 films. My biggest shame release from 1989, which has had a lot of talk in the film twitter vacuum, is Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. (See James’ conversation here.) I’ve seen bits and pieces over the years but never took the time to watch the entire film. I’ve owned The Dream Team (another entry that James has lauded) for at least a year now without watching it and it would be interesting to compare Keaton’s performance to his role in Batman. The last movie I will pick from 1989 will be Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape. I will always take this opportunity to toss a Criterion release into the mix.
Future Prompts — Coming Soon to Shame Near You!
July – Cult Films
August – Racy Films (SCANDALOUS!)