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This Distracted Globe announces The Class of ’84 Blogathon

August 24th, 2009 · 20 Comments

Class of '84 button

“I’ll be back.” Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

There was probably no better year to be a kid going to the movies than 1984.

It seems like I might have spent most of the year at two theaters in northwest Houston: the AMC North Oaks 6 and a six screen General Cinemas theater at the gargantuan Willowbrook Mall. Willowbrook featured countless retail stores. Toys By Roy and a shop that sold role playing game gear are two that stand out because I was their ideal customer at the time.

I preferred North Oaks. In addition to the movie theater, there was B. Dalton Booksellers and Aladdin’s Castle arcade. North Oaks lacked an essential element in the development of the mall as a social scene — the food court — but this suited my purposes well. I could safely enter the world of the movie with minimal risk of running into Shu-Shu Taylor and worrying what I would have to say to her.

A sample of the movies that came in 1984:

This Is Spinal Tap, 1984, poster Top Secret!, 1984, poster

Sixteen Candles, 1984, poster Karate Kid, 1984, poster

Romancing the Stone, 1984, poster Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1984, poster

Buckaroo Banzai, 1984, poster Ghostbusters, 1984, poster

Terminator, 1984, poster Dune, 1984, poster

This Distracted Globe will go nostalgic by hosting its first ever carnival — The Class of ’84 Blogathon — on Monday, October 26, 2009. On this date, anyone with a website is invited to post their thoughts on a movie released in 1984. October 26 marks the 25th anniversary of The Terminator, which will be my contribution to the festivities.

To participate, RSVP This Distracted Globe in either the comments section below or via email at journeymanjones [at] gmail [dot] com. As soon as your post goes live on October 26, remember to email me your URL so I can publish it.

If you were too busy playing Zork on your Commodore 64 to recall the year’s movies, I recommend consulting The Moviezzz Blog, where Jim Magovern recently generated a list of many of the films that hit theaters in 1984. Below are some buttons Aaron Valdez has designed for any promotional needs you might have.

Terminator button

Streets of Fire button

Repo Man button

Red Dawn button

Tags: Thoughts and theories

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Marilyn // Aug 24, 2009 at 6:00 am

    Too cool! Of course, how could I resist doing Michael Radford’s 1984.

  • 2 J.D. // Aug 24, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Great idea! Count me in for STREETS OF FIRE.

  • 3 Moviezzz // Aug 24, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Great idea, Joe!!!

    I will be participating. Probably on a few films.

    It was a great year.

  • 4 Neil Fulwood // Aug 24, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Count me in for Sergio Leone’s ‘Once Upon a Time in America’.

  • 5 Ivan // Aug 24, 2009 at 11:08 am

    If no one objects, I’m grabbing Red Dawn like a crazed Soviet paratrooper.

  • 6 AR // Aug 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Oh, I will likely be doing this. Just need to figure out which movie.

  • 7 kelsy // Aug 24, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I’ve always wanted to watch Dune, not only because I enjoyed the book but to see Sting acting. So count me in.

  • 8 Joe Valdez // Aug 24, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Marilyn: Now that citizens can use YouTube to keep a watch on governments — instead of the other way around — George Orwell must be rolling over in his grave. I’ll look forward to your article!

    J.D.: I heard Larry Gross speak several years ago and regretted not asking him about Streets of Fire. Everyone has their 48 HRS. stories, but failure has no proud fathers. I’m looking forward to your thoughts!

    Jim: Thanks for inspiring this blogathon. I think an overview from you of the most influential films of the year will be perfect. Thanks for participating.

    Neil: I’ve never made it through Once Upon A Time In America all the way through, so I’m counting on you to tell me what happens to Noodles.

    Ivan: I considered writing about Red Dawn. Possibly the most beloved movie of the year, at least for guys. I’m looking forward to what you have to say.

    Amanda: I have a feeling you want to do Buckaroo Banzai. Maybe not, but I can still hope.

    Kelsy: It will be a special treat to hear from somebody discovering David Lynch’s space opera for the first time. I envy you, actually. I wish I could watch all these movies again for the first time.

  • 9 Chuck // Aug 25, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I would be interested in doing Splash.

  • 10 Yojimbo_5 // Aug 25, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Count me in for “The Natural.”

    But you and “L” Magazine (and their week-long video essay “The Evolution of the Modern Blockbuster”) have made me zero in on the movies of 1984. I’ve got ten movies that I’ll dole out over three weeks or so.

    But count on “The Natural” here. (if I don’t do 2010).

  • 11 Pat Evans // Aug 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I couldn’t quite believe it when I found that I have 65 films from 1984 in my collection — and that’s from a buff who considers herself one of the golden oldies. I’d like to do one of my very favourite flicks (and a little-known British one) “Company of Wolves” — but I would cheerfully write about some other ’84 minor leaguers like “Night of the Comet” or “Grace Quigley”.

  • 12 Joe Valdez // Aug 25, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Chuck: Excellent choice. Splash is a real sleeper, a silly little comedy with no reason to be any good that sneaks up on me every time. Can’t wait to read your thoughts.

    Yojimbo: 1984 certainly was a horn of plenty for film geeks. I think The Natural and 2010 are both better films than people remember; each sport casts which are too tremendous to ignore. Nice picks!

    Patricia: Any one of those minor leaguers would be terrific. In a way, they all qualify both as B-movies and arthouse fare. I’m a big fan of Night of the Comet.

  • 13 Mike // Aug 26, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I’m in! I’m going to do Maximillian Schell’s documentary on the lovely Marlene Dietrich.

  • 14 Joe Valdez // Aug 26, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Mike: After a visit to the IMDB, I now know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m sure your contribution will broaden my cinema horizons even further. I’m looking forward to it.

  • 15 Piper // Sep 1, 2009 at 5:40 am

    I’m in. And J.D. is a punk for taking Streets Of Fire.

    I might do Dune. Or something else. Not sure yet.

  • 16 Ned Merrill // Sep 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I’d like to jump in with STOP MAKING SENSE if I may.

  • 17 Joe Valdez // Sep 1, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Pat: Whoa! No more Walter Hill movies for you until you promise not to hit J.D. with a pick axe. I look forward to your contribution.

    Ned: My favorite concert film of all time. It may be Jonathan Demme’s best film as well. Great selection.

  • 18 Yojimbo_5 // Sep 5, 2009 at 9:52 am

    And I’ll have “The Razor’s Edge” for you—the movie, I mean.

  • 19 Wings (Caffeinated Joe) // Oct 2, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Can I take on a review of the classic FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER ?

  • 20 Kate Hanley // Oct 5, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Found your site through Megan and since I love movies I have to do this. My movie will be Footloose. Cheese I know but still, I loved it and Kevin Bacon, man, who knew he’d become household game all unto himself.

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