April 1987 was a slow month for movies, only nine new movies released. One movie went straight to video due to other box office failures. Don’t let the low number of releases get you down, there are still good movies to watch this month.
It’s the month for comedies, one good, one OK and one to avoid. There is also a good Sci-Fi movie starring Matthew Broderick which could have been a sequel to WarGames. If your a fan of 80s toys then the straight to video movie is a must watch.
Grab some popcorn and let’s check out the movies from April 1987
Movies from March 1987
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol
Police Academy is a wacky, slap-stick comedy franchise. The first movie was released in March 1984. It spawned a franchise which includes seven movies, a cartoon, a live action sitcom and a comic book series.
The movies were released every year for six years in a row, 1984-1989. The seventh movie was released in 1994. The first five movies opened #1 at the box office the week they hit the silver screen. Love it or hate it the Police Academy franchise is a powerhouse.
I saw the first four movies and the animated series.
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol brings back the familiar faces from the first three movies; Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg), Hightower (Bubba Smith), Jones (Michael Winslow), Tackleberry (David Graf), Lassard (George Gaynes) and Hooks (Marion Ramsey).
In the fourth installment of the franchise, the Academy offers regular citizens the chance to train as police officers to help the overworked Police Department. Kind of like a Neighborhood Watch program. It’s mildly funny, geared toward a pre-teen/young teen crowd.
Like a lot of movies it was panned by the critics and a box office smash. I enjoyed the movie but it seemed to me they were running out of ideas at this point. The jokes were recycled, the plot wasn’t great and the best part, Sgt. Jones and his incredible sounds wasn’t fresh.
Police Academy 4 marks the end of the franchise for Steve Guttenberg. The rest of the main cast would star in the next three movies.
Overall it’s an OK comedy. The first one was easily the best of the bunch. But give this one a try if you’ve never seen it.
The Secret of My Success
This is the second movie in 1987 starring Michael J. Fox. The first was Light of Day in January. In 1987 Fox was also starring in Family Ties and in two made for TV movies. Busy guy.
This movie was a much better success for Fox. It holds the #7 spot for top grossing movies in 1987. The soundtrack also broke into the billboard top 200, peaking at #131.
In the movie Fox plays a recent college grad trying to make it in the world of high finance. He ends up working in the mail room at his Uncle’s company. In order to make it out of the mail room Fox setups a false identity, moves into an empty office and starts working as a junior executive in the company. He maintains the mail room job as well. Which leads to lots of running around, changing clothes and avoiding anyone who could blow his cover.
While working under his assumed identity he falls for a co-worker, has an affair with his Aunt-in-law and discovers his Uncle is corrupt. The co-worker, played by Helen Slater is one of the weaker characters in the movie. She is also sleeping with the boss (Uncle Howard) and doesn’t offer much for Fox. Auntie Vera (Margaret Whitton), is easily the best supporting role. She steals the show and despite being the Aunt makes a better partner for Fox’s character.
The Secret of My Success is another movie panned by the critics but a massive box office success. Roger Ebert gave it one and a half stars. What’s the point of critics? They are looking for something other than a fun, popular movie. I’ll beat this dead horse the rest of the year. Critics rarely like the high-grossing popular films.
Despite the critics The Secret of My Success made over $110 million and played in theaters for months.
The movie is a great fit for Fox and his comedic ability. If you haven’t seen The Secret of My Success add it to your watch list.
Three for the Road
I rented this movie one night, what a mistake.
It stars Charlie Sheen, Alan Ruck AKA Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Kerri Green from Lucas and The Goonies. All great in their previous movies. But this movie is a complete waste of time and talent.
Charlie Sheen plays a Senators aide and must take the Senators daughter (Green) to a girl’s institution. Sheen asks his roommate (Ruck) to come along for the ride.
The plot really doesn’t matter. The movie isn’t good. Charlie Sheen is on record saying the movie is “a piece of sh*t that I wished didn’t exist and that I was terrible in”.
This movie is said to have killed three careers. Director Bill Norton would never directed another movie after this one. He did direct a handful of TV episodes over the years. Kerri Green acted in a couple more unsuccessful movies and a few TV shows before retiring from acting in 2001.
The third career is for Alan Ruck, which I disagree with. While he never went on to star in leading roles he has a consistent career with supporting roles. He was in Young Guns II, Speed, Twister, Cheaper By the Dozen, War Machine and dozens more. He also has a long list of credits for TV shows, including a stand out role as Stewart Bondek on Spin City.
Charlie Sheen and Ruck would reunite in 2000 when they both starred on Spin City for the final two seasons.
Three for the Road was never released on DVD and it isn’t streaming on any service. Watch the trailer and move on.
What If… Daivid Lightman (WarGames) joined the Air Force? You’d get Project X.
This is a decent movie starring Matthew Broderick and Helen Hunt. Hunt is a grad student, Teri, training chimpanzees sign language. Broderick plays Jimmy, an Air Force Airman in charge of a top secret protect involving chimpanzees.
The project involves teaching the chimps to fly in a flight simulator. Once they are proficient at flying they will be exposed to high levels of radiation to see how long they can fly after exposure. The data is then used to see how human pilots would react during a nuclear exchange.
Once Jimmy discovers the real reason of the project he contacts Teri to help save the chimps. The chimps escape their cages, steal a plane and fly their way to freedom. Yes, the chimps fly the plane. Did you miss the part about them getting training in a flight simulator?
It sounds a little far-fetched but is well done. Everyone plays their part well and you end up having sympathy for the chimps.
If you haven’t seen Project X, it’s worth watching.
You can watch Project X on MaxGo.
G.I. Joe: The Movie
This one we’ll chalk up as an honorable mention since it was never released in theaters. It was a direct-to-video movie. You can blame it on The Transformers: The Movie and My Little Pony: The Movie.
Hasbro lost over $10 million on The Transformers and My Little Pony movies and decided not to release G. I. Joe: The Movie in theaters. Instead it went straight to video and also aired on TV. It was later cut into five parts and aired as a mini-series.
When I was a kid there were two toy lines I played with the most, Star Wars and G. I. Joe. I loved the G. I. Joe cartoon and was ready for a movie.
Since it never hit the big screen it never made much of an impact. It’s a good movie but really it’s just a longer version of the cartoon. Once it was split into a five part mini-series it wasn’t distinguishable from the cartoon.
The movie introduces the Cobra-La, an ancient race that once ruled Earth. In the movie Cobra-La is ruled by Golobulus. Cobra-La assassin Pythona reveals the origin of Serpentor as well.
The movie also introduces several new Joes including Jinx, Law and Order, Tunnel Rat and Duke’s half-brother Lt. Falcon (voiced by Don Johnson).
There was one other change to G. I. Joe: The Movie as a direct result of The Transformers: The Movie. In The Tranformers: The Movie Optimus Prime dies (spoiler) causing a huge backlash from kids and parents alike. Duke was going to suffer the same fate in G. I. Joe: The Movie but after the Optimus Prime fallout Duke’s life was spared.
G. I. Joe: The Movie is a good addition to the universe. I always wonder if it would’ve been a box office success. We’ll never know…
My Demon Lover
This movie is so bad, it’s bad. There are a few good spots but overall it’s not worth the time.
My Demon Lover stars Scott Valentine, probably best know for his stint on Family Ties playing Mallory’s boyfriend Nick.
In My Demon Lover Valentine plays a street musician with a curse. Whenever he gets aroused he transforms into a demon. There’s something about a serial killer and the curse being lifted. I don’t know, it’s all nuts.
It’s not streaming anywhere, you don’t want to watch it anyhow.
Other movies released in April 1987
Here are the rest of the movies released in April 1987. Looking at the posters and reading the plots I don’t recall any of them. I don’t think I’ll search them out either.
Well, maybe Rumpelstiltskin. It’s a Cannon Film and I have a strange obsession to watch all Cannon Films.
Not a bad month for movies. A couple of the comedies were funny and wildly successful. Project X was a good movie, although it is mainly forgotten today. And G. I. Joe is always fun to watch. Go Joe!
What are your favorites from April 1987?
Next week we’ll look at April 1992.