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A LOOK BACK AT 1989

 

Two stars that rose in 1989 were Meg Ryan, left, and Michelle Pfeiffer

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s almost New Year’s Eve, so, ever nostalgic, I offer a look at my New Year’s Eve column from some 27 years ago. This ‘Hicks on Flicks’ column was published in the Deseret News on Dec. 31, 1989.

OK, it’s New Year’s Eve. Hats, horns, confetti and resolutions not-withstanding, a lot of people go to the movies before heading off to more rowdy celebrations.

But not me. I’ve seen enough movies for one year.

Instead, I’m going to sit back and reflect on the recent past and think about possibilities for the future. Quiet time.

At least until the kids drag me into the TV room as they pop “Batman” into the VCR for the 267th time. (That was a great Christmas gift.)

And there’s plenty to keep me thinking. After all, a lot of entertainment fodder occurred in ’89. This was the year of Batmania. And Roseanne. Of Brando’s return. And Olivier’s departure.

In addition to Olivier, other deaths strongly felt by the movie industry included Bette Davis, whose acting style changed the movies in the ‘30s, and John Cassavetes, whose intensely personal improvisational directing style helped bring “underground” filmmaking into the more acceptable realm of “independent” filmmaking.

And:

Stars rose: Michelle Pfeiffer, John Goodman, Kevin Costner, Ellen Barkin, Meg Ryan.

Stars fell: Patrick Swayze, Tom Selleck.

Stars were resurrected: Jodie Foster, Al Pacino, John Travolta, Matt Dillon.

Stars went into the stratosphere: Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise.

Stars went from movies to TV shows: Jamie Lee Curtis, Jon Cryer.

Stars went from TV shows to movies: Corbin Bernsen, Roseanne Barr, Mark Harmon, Jimmy Smits.

A star returned to movies after TV revived her career: Cybill Shepherd.

Stars separated: Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving, Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke.

Stars married: Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates, Rae Dawn Chong and C. Thomas Howell.

Stars remarried: Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson.

Star shot themselves in the foot: Rob Lowe, Sean Young, Zsa Zsa Gabor.

 

            Steven Spielberg, left, Eddie Murphy, circa 1989

Rich stars got a lot richer: Steven Spielberg, Eddie Murphy.

Billy Crystal finally had a hit movie (“When Harry Met Sally . . .”).

Eddie Murphy had his first box office disappointment since “Best Defense” in 1984 (“Harlem Nights”).

Spike Lee, with his third feature (“Do the Right Thing”), proved himself a director to watch for.

Movie titles got weirder: “Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator,” “Rabid Grannies,” “The Beer Drinker’s Guide to Fitness and Filmmaking.”

Seven movies went over $100 million (a record for a single year, though one opened at the end of 1988): “Batman,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “Rain Man,” “Lethal Weapon 2,” “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” “Ghostbusters,” “Look Who’s Talking.”

Looking ahead. . ..

Speculation:

How about a film biography of Leona Helmsley starring Zsa Zsa Gabor?

Maybe Woody Allen could give Eddie Murphy some advice about writing, directing and starring in his own material – like, “Don’t do it again!”

Do you suppose Cher will run for office?

Someone might recognize what an incredible talent Christine Lahti is and give her a starmaking role.

How do we get George Lucas to begin work on the next “Star Wars” trilogy?

 

Perhaps Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford will look at the box office receipts and come up with “Indiana Jones and Yet Another Crusade.” (With Sean Connery again, of course.)

Sylvester Stallone may find a movie that doesn’t make him look like he has more muscles in his head than on his arms.

Robert Redford and Paul Newman could find that script they’ve been looking for to make a third movie together.

And, if we’re really lucky, Stephen King will decide not to sell his books to movie studios anymore.

Finally, here are some actual trade paper news items (which may be even more frightening than speculation):

Roger Corman is remaking his Edgar Allan Poe movies.

“Police Academy 7” is in pre-production, and Steve Guttenberg may return to the series.

One of the first films of 1990 will be “Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3.”

John Candy made more movies in the ‘80s than any other single star – 17.

Roger Corman is making his version of “Frankenstein.”

“Rocky V” comes out next summer.

Robert Duvall will not be in “The Godfather, Part III.”

Roger Corman has accepted a movie acting role.

Roseanne Barr plans to be the next Woody Allen, writing, directing and starring in her own movies. (See Woody Allen-Eddie Murphy under “Speculation” above.)

Oh well, it could be worse. Geraldo Rivera could be making movies.

Well, that was a lot of pondering.

In fact, it looks like the kids have already finished “Batman.”

What a shame.

Guess I’ll have to make do with “Singin’ in the Rain” or “Duck Soup” or “North by Northwest” or . . ..

Happy New Year to you, too.