My 80s Classic Day – Buckaroo, Robocop, WarGames

With a 3 day weekend, and the yard in tip-top shape, my Memorial Day was free to watch movies. I started with “Buckaroo Banzai”. After watching “Buckaroo Banzai”, pursued another Peter Weller film, which lead me to “Robocop”. Then staying with my 80s theme, I thought I would try to watch “WarGames”. I have seen them all before, and wondered if these films would hold up after 30 years.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)

Rating (2.5 out of 5) (3 for the fond memories)

“Buckaroo” is a cult classic from the 80s. There are parts of the movie that are very whimsical and fun, which give “Buckaroo” a “campy” feel. The “campiness” doesn’t stand the test of time, and the movie lacks pithiness . The idea of a scientist, rock star superhero isn’t a stretch for the modern age. Iron Man merely lacks the rock star element. Everytime Buckaroo verges on cool, the story slowed down, and stole the coolness away from Buckaroo.

The aliens are awkward and buffoonish. The Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States are stupid. This lowered the bar for Buckaroo, and he didn’t seem impressive, since they were all such baffoons. What makes Iron Man and Captain America superheroes was the cleverness of their enemies.

Finally, the resolution to the alien attack is too easy. This plus the cheesey final walk away scene end the movie on a dull note. That cheese may have been fresh in 1980, but 30 years later, it is stale.

Robocop (1987)

Rating (3.5 out of 5)

Following Peter Weller, I watched Robocop. Once you forgive the animation of the large robo, what you get to watch is a straight forward solid action movie. In this film, Paul Verhoeven uses commercials to set the tone of the day. This added a layer of humor plus sets the stage for the story.

Scott claims “Robocop” is the best action movie of the 80s. While a solid movie, it lacks the pluckiness of “Die Hard”. I liked the bad guys; the whole gang worked as a bunch of violence loving psychos. They bad guys were truly bad, and I cheered when they died.

I have to say except for the animation of the one robot, this movie holds up. Of the three, this is the one I would watch again.

WarGames (1983)

Rating (3 out of 5)

This is a monument to the day and age. The modem, the 5 1/4 floppy, the green screen. As far as a story is concerned “WarGames” is simply average and a little slow. The cute setup, leading to an David (Matthew Broderick) to mistakenly breaking into a military computer. Suddenly the pace quickens and whisked off to NORAD. David (Matthew Broderick) easily escapes the base even when he is confined behind huge metal doors. Ok, if you can forgive the easy escape, you are faced with the farfectched idea he can easily traverse the United Sates, traveling from Colorado to Oregon. There he meets Jennifer (Ally Sheedy) who drove down. Guess her parents didn’t care where she went with the car.

That whole sequence puzzled me and I started questioning the quality of the whole film. After this whole sequence, we travel back to NORAD to stop the computer. While I remember the final game sequence as enthralling, today, it is rather rather comical.

Overall, I don’t know if I would watch this again. However, it is easy to see how this film captured the imagination of computer dorks across the globe.