Dave -- my cohost on the Internet Sensation "John and Dave's Pop Culture America," heard every Saturday at 12 noon Eastern, 11 AM Central on blogtalkradio.com (thank you blogtalk!) -- has recently touted 1982 as the latest in a long line of supposedly Great Years in Cinema. It joins such previous luminaries as 1939 and 1973.
And there's no denying that there were some tremendous films released in 1982. Besides the ones Dave mentions, I would add, My Favorite Year (with the great Peter O'Toole and a movie so good it even made Mark Linn-Baker tolerable), Shoot the Moon (Alan Parker's underrated masterpiece with stellar performances by Albert Finney and Diane Keaton), The Thing (John Carpenter's incredible gooey remake), and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid ("I had to adjust your breasts. They were all out of whack.").
But let's have a little perspective here. If you just cherry pick, any year can be an all-time great. So for the record, in the interest of fairness and balance, I present an alternate list of films released in 1982. Look at this list and then tell me what a great year it was.
Jinxed! (Bette Midler's wildly disappointing follow-up to The Rose)
The Beastmaster (spawned one of the worst franchises in adventure film history)
The Pirate Movie (Ah, Kristy MacNicol you crazy crazy minx)
Some Kind of Hero (the beginning of the end for the great Richard Pryor)
The Toy (see above)
Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (Fred Ward stars. Michael Nesmith cowrites. I cringe.)
Best Friends (some really like it. They are wrong.)
Friday the 13th Part 3 (Look out! Jason's in 3-D!)
Six Pack (Kenny Rogers and adorable children. Shudder ...)
Yes, Giorgio (Dave and I both have a soft spot in our hearts for this gloriously wrongheaded misfire.)
Trail of the Pink Panther (sure Peter Sellers is dead, but that's no reason to stop churning these out.)
Porky's (I know it has its defenders but I believe this movie and its sequels are the opposite of comedy.)
Class of 1984 (in 1982! How hep!)
National Lampoon's Class Reunion (makes you pine away for Mad Magazine's Up The Academy)
Monsignor (Christopher Reeve tries to shed the tights and cape by playing a horny priest.)
Grease 2 (okay. I confess. I actually really love this movie. But for all the wrong reasons)
Wrong Is Right (not very funny but with its terrorists and $3.00 gas, oddly prescient. Maybe a reassessment is in order.)
Visiting Hours (tagline: "There is no known cure ... for MURDER!" Seriously. That's REALLY the tagline.)
A Little Sex (hilarious adultery comedy. No, not hilarious. What's the word? Oh yeah, "lousy.")
Firefox (manages to make Clint Eastwood boring.)
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (embarrassing Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds performances.)
Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (generally acknowledged as the worst of the series. I actually really like it. Same as Grease 2.)
Six Weeks (CRY! Damn You! CRY!)
I could go on. Just focus on the good stuff and every year is My Favorite Year.