February 1987 was another cold and dreary winter month in the Midwest. The best way to fight the boredom was to head to the mall and watch a movie.
There were some great movies released in February 1987 and a couple of bombs. I went to see as many as I could. Some of them didn’t make it to my town. And a couple of them didn’t appeal to me.
Movies were a great escape from the everyday. If I had some money laying around and a friend to go with I’d go see a movie.
Movies from February 1987
From the Hip
Judd Nelson shaking off the Brat Pack label and starring in an OK comedy. Nelson plays an attorney who wants to be a trial lawyer. He convinces his boss into letting him argue one trial and drags it out for days.
He, of course, wins the first trail gaining new clients for the law firm and becomes a junior partner. Then he has to defend a man convicted of murder, even though he knows the man is guilty.
He’s a win at all cost lawyer, does he defend the man? Or work to get him convicted? You’ll have to watch and see.
Nelson does a good job with the role, but it’s a mostly forgettable movie. Nelson was even nominated for a Razzie. He lost to Bill Cosby for Leonard Part 6.
The cast is rounded out with Elizabeth Perkins, Darren McGavin and John Hurt, who all do a good job. I don’t think the movie is as bad as the reviews say. It’s also not a movie I’d recommend to anyone looking for a Judd Nelson movie. Overall it’s just OK.
Light of Day
In Light of Day Michael J. Fox, known for his comedic roles, stars in his first serious role. Fox was still starring in Family Ties and had two mega-hits under his belt, Back to the Future and Teen Wolf. Light of Day was his attempt to break out of the comedy role and try his hand at drama.
I liked this movie. It gets OK reviews on Rotten Tomatoes but Roger Ebert gave it three and half stars out of four. It’s one of the underrated movies of the late 80’s.
Fox, joined by Joan Jett in her acting debut, play siblings trying to make it big with their band, The Barbusters. The movie follows their life as they struggle with life on the road and family drama.
Fox does a great job, Joan Jett is well cast and believable as a struggling rock star. I’m sure she pulled on her years of experience as… a rock star.
I can’t find it on a streaming service. If you quick you can watch Light of Day on YouTube.
I saw this in the theater and liked it. Over the years I’ve watch bits and pieces of it but never the entire movie. The premise is decent, a girls spirit travels the cosmic realm until she finds true love. It’s a fairy tale molded in plastic.
This is one of those movies that is totally 80’s. It’s a somewhat typical romantic comedy that did well at the box office.
The actors are good, Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall play the lead roles. Estelle Getty plays the department store owner and James Spader plays the bad guy. Of course he does. Meshach Taylor steals the show as Hollywood.
This is the second movie Andrew McCarthy and James Spader star in. The first was 1986’s Pretty in Pink.
Perhaps the biggest hit of the movie is Starship’s song “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.” It hit the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1987 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It lost the Oscar to Dirty Dancing’s “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.”
Number One with a Bullet
This movie was not number one with a bullet. More like number one million. I’m not sure anyone saw this in the theater. I rented it one night, watched it, returned it and moved on.
It’s a buddy cop movie starring Robert Carradine and Billy Dee Williams with a good plot for an 80’s buddy cop movie, get the drug dealers before they can sell their stash. Carradine plays the loose cannon and Williams is the straight man.
Carradine is a good actor, starring in over 120 movies and yet, to me, he will always be Lewis from Revenge of the Nerds.
Number One with a Bullet is a Cannon Film, making it a must watch for all Cannon Film fanatics, like me. Cannon released over thirty movies in 1987, there will be more coming that are better to watch than this one, including one this month.
Death Before Dishonor
NFL star turned actor Fred Dryer stars in Death Before Dishonor. Dryer is probably best known for his TV series Hunter. My dad watched Hunter all the time, which is how I was introduced to Dryer.
Death Before Dishonor is a good action movie. Dryer plays Gunnery Sergeant Burns stationed at an Embassy in the Middle East. Terrorists attack the embassy and Gunnery Sergeant Burns is the only one who can stop them.
As a young teenager this movie was made for me, lots of explosions, killing bad guys and winning the day. I loved it!
You can stream Death Before Dishonor on Tubi.
Some Kid of Wonderful
John Hughes was a powerhouse in the 80’s and 90’s. His movies in the 80’s captured the angst of teenagers and let us know we’re not alone. Some Kind of Wonderful is another one of those movies.
It’s set in LA but could be set in Anywhere, USA. It’s rich kids vs poor kids trying to navigate their way through high school life and figure out their futures.
By Hughes’ own admission Some Kind of Wonderful is a re-telling of 1986’s Pretty in Pink. Hughes hated the ending of Pretty in Pink. The movie ending is different than the script he wrote.
Some Kind of Wonderful wasn’t as successful as Pretty in Pink but it did well at the box office.
It’s a must watch for all John Hughes fans.
You can watch Some Kind of Wonderful on Paramount+.
Over the Top
What I do is I just try to take my hat and I turn it around, and it’s like a switch that goes on. And when the switch goes on, I feel like another person, I feel, I don’t know, I feel like a… like a truck. Like a machine.
This is easily the best Cannon film this month. Sylvester Stallone plays Lincoln Hawk, a truck driver trying to get his son back and win the World Armwrestling Championship.
I saw this multiple times in the theater. There weren’t a lot of ‘kid’ movies out at the time. Meeting friends at the mall without an older sibling meant we were relegated to movies rated PG. I had no problem going to see this one more than once, or twice.
I’m positive 1987 was the year I did the most arm wrestling in my life. And I did it with my hat on backward! Everybody I knew who saw this movie wanted to arm wrestle. We were all convinced we were the next champ.
Over the Top didn’t do well at the box office and was panned by critics. Despite that, it is a fantastic movie! It’s filled with larger than life characters, all trying to tear Hawk’s arm off, hard hitting rock songs and a circus like Vegas finale. This movie is great in every way.
The soundtrack features big names like Sammy Hagar, Eddie Money and Kenny Loggins.
Stallone was nominated for a Razzie for Over the Top, which is a damn shame. He, like Judd Nelson, lost to Bill Cosby.
You can watch Over the Top on Tubi and Pluto TV. Go do it, right now!
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
I’ve never figured out why movie studios release a horror movie outside the Halloween season. If you asked me all horror movies should only be released in September and October. No one asked.
Dream Warriors is, hands down, my favorite movie in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. It’s arguable the most successful too.
I wasn’t able to get into ‘R’ rated movies on my own in 1987. Thankfully I had older sisters who liked horror movies and let me tag along. I loved it from the first time I saw it. The first movie introduced Freddy to the world and Dream Warriors established him as a horror icon.
After the initial viewing in the movie theater Dream Warriors became a rental favorite. I’ve seen all the movies in the franchise but the two I re-watch the most are the original and Dream Warriors.
Wes Craven returned to write the third installment of the franchise. He didn’t take part in the sequel as he didn’t want the movie to turn into a franchise. That didn’t work out for him.
Craven’s intent with Dream Warriors was to end the film series. He did too good of a job. The massive success of Dream Warriors encouraged the studio, New Line Cinema to continue the film franchise.
Heather Langenkamp also returned to play Nancy. Craven called Langenkamp to get her permission to include Nancy in the script.
Dream Warriors is also notable for being the movie debut of Patricia Arquette.
Wes Craven, along with Bruce Wagner created a great story for the franchise. Although, according to director Chuck Russel the original script was darker and more profane then the final version. I’d like to see that version.
Dokken wrote and preformed the title song “Dream Warriors” for the film. If you haven’t seen the video it’s worth watching. The song is great and Dokken defeats Freddy with the power of Heavy Metal!
You can watch A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors on Tubi. You can watch all the movies in the franchise on Tubi, except part 4. Not sure why part 4 is left out.
Other movies released in February 1987
There were a few more movies released in February 1987. I didn’t see them. A couple of them look good. I may give them a chance this year.
Over the Top and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 are my favorite movies of the month. I could watch either of those movies today and still be entertained.
What are your favorites from February 1987?
If you want a flashback to the music of 1987 check out Eric’s This Week in the 80s series.
Next week we’ll look at February 1992. Party on!