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Archive for the ‘80’s’ Category

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Top Gun is an Academy Award winning 1986 American film directed by Tony Scott and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer in association with Paramount Pictures. The screenplay was written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr., and was inspired by an article written by Ehud Yonay for California Magazine entitled “Top Guns.” The film stars Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer and Tom Skerritt.

The film follows LT Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a young Naval aviator who aspires to be a top fighter pilot in the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, which trains the top 1% of all Naval aviators. Maverick gets his chance to attend the school after one pilot drops out, allowing him and his RIO (Radar Intercept Officer, the “back seater” in the two-man F-14) LTJG Nick ‘Goose’ Bradshaw to train with the best. The film opened in America on May 16, 1986 to good reviews, the aerial scenes being most notably praised. Similar praise followed soon afterwards when the film broke records at the box office, becoming a mega hit. The film accumulated over $350 million world-wide, and broke home-video sales records.

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Moonlighting is an American television series that first aired on ABC from 1985 to 1989 with a total of 66 episodes. The show starred Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd as private detectives and was a mixture of drama, comedy and romance that is considered a classic spoof of television detective shows.

The show’s theme song was performed by popular jazz singer Al Jarreau and became a minor hit. The show is also credited with making Willis a major star while reviving Shepherd’s acting career.

The series revolved around cases investigated by Blue Moon Detective Agency and its two partners, Madolyn “Maddie” Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) and David Addison (Bruce Willis). The show, with a mix of mystery, sharp dialogue and sexual tension between its two leads, introduced Bruce Willis to the world and brought Cybill Shepherd back into the spotlight after nearly a decade-long absence. The characters were first introduced in a two-hour TV movie which preceded the show.

The show’s storyline begins with the reversal of fortune of a former model, Hayes, who finds herself bankrupt after her accountant embezzles all of her liquid assets. She is left saddled with several failing businesses formerly maintained as tax write-offs, one of which is the City of Angels Detective Agency, helmed by the carefree David Addison. Between the pilot episode and first episode, Addison persuades Hayes to keep the business and run it in partnership. The detective agency is renamed “Blue Moon Investigations” because Hayes was most famous as the spokesmodel for the (fictitious) Blue Moon Shampoo company. In many episodes, she was recognized as “The Blue Moon Shampoo Girl,” if not by name.

The show also starred Allyce Beasley as Agnes DiPesto, the firm’s quirky receptionist who regularly answered the phone in rhyming couplets, a la Dr. Seuss. In later seasons, Curtis Armstrong — familiar as the character Booger from the Revenge of the Nerds films — joined the cast as Herbert Viola, a temporary employee turned Blue Moon investigator and a love interest for Agnes.

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The Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur), also called the Falklands Conflict/Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The Falkland Islands consist of two large and many small islands in the South Atlantic Ocean east of Argentina, and their name and ownership have long been disputed. (See Sovereignty of the Falkland Islands for the background to the latter dispute.)

The war was triggered by the occupation of South Georgia by Argentina on 19 March 1982 followed by the occupation of the Falklands, and ended when Argentina surrendered on 14 June 1982. War was not actually declared by either side. The initial invasion was considered by Argentina as the re-occupation of its own territory, and by Britain as an invasion of a British overseas territory, and the most recent invasion of British territory by a foreign power.

In the period leading up to the war, Argentina was in the midst of a devastating economic crisis and large-scale civil unrest against the military junta that had been governing the country since 1976. The Argentine military government, headed by General Leopoldo Galtieri, sought to maintain power by diverting public attention playing off long-standing feelings of the Argentines towards the islands, although they never thought that the United Kingdom would respond militarily. The ongoing tension between the two countries over the islands increased on 19 March when a group of hired Argentinian scrap metal merchants raised their flag at South Georgia, an act that would later be seen as the first offensive action in the war. The Argentine Military Junta, suspecting that the UK would reinforce its South Atlantic Forces, ordered the invasion of the Falkland Islands to be brought forward to 2 April.

Word of the invasion first reached Britain via ham radio. Britain was initially taken by surprise by the Argentine attack on the South Atlantic islands, despite repeated warnings by Royal Navy captain Nicholas Barker and others. Barker believed that the intention expressed in Defence Secretary John Nott’s 1981 review to withdraw his ship HMS Endurance, Britain’s only naval presence in the South Atlantic, sent a signal to the Argentinians that Britain was unwilling, and would soon be unable, to defend her territories and subjects in the Falklands. Britain launched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force, and retake the islands by amphibious assault. After combat resulting in 258 British and 649 Argentine deaths, the British eventually prevailed and the islands remained under British control. However, as of 2007 and as it has since the 19th century, Argentina shows no sign of relinquishing its claim. Indeed, the claim remains in the Argentine constitution after its reformation in 1994.

The political effects of the war were strong in both countries. A wave of patriotic sentiment swept through both: the Argentine loss prompted even larger protests against the military government, which hastened its downfall; in the United Kingdom, the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was bolstered. It helped Thatcher’s government to victory in the 1983 general election, which prior to the war was seen as by no means certain. The war has played an important role in the culture of both countries, and has been the subject of several books, films, and songs. However, it is not seen as a truly major event of either military or 20th century history because of the low number of casualties on both sides and the small size and limited economic importance of the disputed areas. The cultural and political weight of the conflict has had less effect on the British public than on that of Argentina, where the war is still a topic of discussion.

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Donkey Kong (ドンキーコング Donkī Kongu?) is an arcade game that was released by Nintendo in 1981. The game is an early example of the platform genre as the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging obstacles. The storyline is thin but well-developed for its time. In it, Mario (originally called Jumpman) must rescue a damsel in distress, Pauline, from a giant ape named Donkey Kong. The hero and ape went on to become two of Nintendo’s more popular characters.

The game was the latest in a series of efforts by Nintendo to break into the North American market. Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo’s president at the time, assigned the project to a first-time game designer named Shigeru Miyamoto. Drawing from a wide range of inspirations, including Popeye and King Kong, Miyamoto developed the scenario and designed the game alongside Nintendo’s chief engineer, Gunpei Yokoi. The two men broke new ground by using graphics as a means of characterization, including cut scenes to advance the game’s plot, and integrating multiple stages into the gameplay.

Despite initial misgivings on the part of Nintendo’s American staff, Donkey Kong proved a tremendous success in both North America and Japan. Nintendo licensed the game to Coleco, who developed home console versions for numerous platforms. Other companies simply cloned Nintendo’s hit and avoided royalties altogether. Miyamoto’s characters appeared on cereal boxes, television cartoons, and dozens of other places. A court suit brought on by Universal City Studios, alleging that Donkey Kong violated their trademark of King Kong, ultimately failed. The success of Donkey Kong and Nintendo’s win in the courtroom helped position the company to dominate the video game market in the 1980s and early 1990s.

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Batman is a 1989 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, and directed by Tim Burton. The film features Michael Keaton as Batman, as well as Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, and Jack Palance. The film is primarily known for depicting a darker and more serious version of the character rather than the more acknowledged Batman TV series from the 1960s. It takes inspirations seen by the work of Bill Finger and Bob Kane’s stories from 1939.

Development phase for the film initially started as far back as the late 1970s, though due to creative differences on the project, it took roughly ten years to make the film. The film was shot almost entirely at Pinewood Studios and relied upon traditional stunts and miniatures for visual effects. Batman was both critically and commercially successful and garnered the sequel Batman Returns, as well as Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, though the last two were directed by Joel Schumacher rather than Burton. The film series would eventually be “rebooted” with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.

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One thing leads to another and while writing the previous post, MC Hammer came to mind…

MC Hammer (born Stanley Kirk Burrell on March 30, 1962) is an American MC who was popular during the late 1980s and early 1990s, known for his dramatic rise to and fall from fame and fortune and his trademark Get in Hammer’s Pants. He became a preacher in the 1990s and now works as a television show host and CEO. He lives in Tracy, California, with his wife Stephanie and six children, three boys and three girls.

Can you touch this?

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Lethal Weapon is the first in a series of American movies that were released in 1987, 1989, 1992, and 1998, all directed by Richard Donner and starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as a mismatched pair of LAPD detectives. These movies fall into the action-comedy, thriller genre (though the first is less of a comedy), and are generally considered to typify the “buddy cop” plot device.

Released on March 6, 1987, Lethal Weapon was #1 at the box office for three weeks before Blind Date supplanted it. It grossed $120 million worldwide and was nominated for an Academy Award for Sound. It is widely considered to be one of the best buddy cop films of all time, influencing numerous “buddy cop” films such as Tango & Cash, Bad Boys and the Rush Hour series.

In 2007, Entertainment Weekly named it the #24 greatest action movie of all time. It scores 89% at Rotten Tomatoes

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