In January 1987 there was still a relatively new movie plex in my town. The 5-screen movie theater at the mall.
Movies had a limited window to be in the theater unless they were big money makers. Some of the movies below never made it to my theater and some came and went within a week.
Screens were limited and the theater wanted to fill seats.
Big movies from the end of 1986 were still playing, further limiting new movies from making it to the theater. Movies like Platoon and Star Trek IV were playing. Crocodile Dundee and The Three Amigos were still around too, but only playing as a matinee.
Let’s look at the films of January 1987. Some I saw in the theater, some on VHS and some not at all.
Movies from January 1987
Starting the year off with a Cannon Film! Cannon Films made some of the best (worst) movies of the 80s. Cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus purchased Cannon Films in the 1970s and pumped out fantastic movies for over a decade.
Charles Bronson was having a resurgence of popularity in the 70s and 80s. In the 1960’s he starred in The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape. Then he made films in Europe for several years. Perhaps his best known role is in 1974’s Death Wish. Which if you haven’t seen it, is an excellent movie and well worth your time.
In the 80’s Bronson worked, almost exclusively, for the Cannon Film Group. Bronson starred in thirteen movies from 1980 to 1989, nine of them were for Cannon Films.
Assassination is an OK movie. It’s not one of Bronson’s best but it’s not bad.
The Bedroom Window
Steve Guttenberg in a non-comedic starring role. Coming off his hit Police Academy movies and Short Circuit, Guttenberg tried his hand at drama. It worked OK.
The movie is a Hitchcock clone that doesn’t quite hit the marks. Sitting here 35 years later I don’t think I’d recommend anyone run out and watch it. If you’re a Guttenberg fan and need to watch all his movies, then check it out. Otherwise wait for better Guttenberg movies later in 1987.
Guttenberg starred in five movies in 1987, including the highest grossing movie of 1987.
The Bedroom Window is streaming on Kanopy
Richard Pryor was a comedic powerhouse in the 70s and 80s. Due to his foul language and crass humor I wasn’t allowed to watch his movies. I did watch a couple of his earlier movies while at my cousin’s house, Silver Streak and Stir Crazy come to mind.
In the 80s he made a couple PG rated movies; The Toy and Brewster’s Millions, which are both worth watching. Critical Condition is not.
It’s not a great comedy, the acting falls flat from almost everyone. If you want to watch a good Richard Pryor movie watch any of the movies mentioned above.
Critical Condition is streaming on FuboTV and Paramount+
Allan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold
Another movie from Cannon Films!
This movie is a sequel to 1985’s King Solomon’s Mine. The two movies were filmed at the same time and released two years apart.
Both films are a clone of Indiana Jones, only not at the same quality level. More the quality of other Cannon Films.
The movie was a box office flop. The two Cannon Films released this month were duds and led to the decline of Cannon Films.
If you are a Cannon Film aficionado (like me) then you have to watch this one. If not, go watch Indiana Jones.
Allan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold is streaming on Tubi and PlutoTV.
Wanted: Dead or Alive
One night the trailer for this movie come on TV and my dad mentioned he used to watch a TV show starring Steve McQueen with the same name.
Sure enough this movie takes place in the same universe. The main character, Nick Randall (played by Rutger Hauer) is a descendant of Josh Randall, McQueen’s character in the TV series.
I liked this movie. It’s a low budget action movie from the 80s…everything a teenage boy in the 80s could want. It doesn’t hold up real well but I have fond memories of it. And it stars Gene Simmons as the bad guy.
Wanted: Dead or Alive is streaming on Tubi
This is one of those movies that never made it to my area and I haven’t seen it. Watching the trailer it looks interesting, crazy guy that might have killed his family and finds a new one. If you like a good thriller this may be for you.
It stars Terry O’Quinn in his breakout role as the stepfather. O’Quinn would go on to star in numerous movies and TV shows including Young Guns, Tombstone, Lost and the new Hawaii Five-0.
This movie is a bit of a cult classic and spawned two sequels.
The Stepfather is streaming on Peacock, Tubi, The Roku Channel and more
The 80s were jammed pack with sex charged teen comedies; Porky’s, Hardbodies, Spring Break and Zapped! are a few that come to mind.
Those movies are raunchy, inappropriate and geared toward immature boys, no matter what their age.
Some of them are even worth watching again. Jocks is not one of them. In fact it wasn’t worth watching the first time.
Jocks never made it to my theater. It was a rental for me. One of those rentals you wish had a money back guarantee. It’s a movie you don’t rewind, you get it out of the VCR as fast as possible!
No streaming options available (and for good reason)
I watched this movie once, and that was one to many times.
This is a bad comedy starring Better Midler and Shelley Long. They are dating the same man, he disappears and they band together to find him. There’s a CIA/KGB aspect and a bio-terror weapon of some kind.
There are so many other movies that you could watch starring either Midler or Long that are better than this one.
Despite my misgivings it did well at the Box Office, raking in over $52 million.
Fun Fact: Both Shelley Long and Bette Midler were promised top billing when they signed to do the film. Neither one wanted to give up top billing to the other and the Studio came up with a compromise. West of the Mississippi River, Long got top billing. East of the Mississippi Midler got top billing.
After watching the movie, I’d ask for my name to be removed…
I’ve never seen a Woody Allen movie. After watching the trailer for this one I don’t think I’ll be putting it high on my list of must watch movies.
While the movie didn’t do well at the box office it was a critical success.
Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars saying “…the most elaborate production Allen has ever made and it’s inexhaustible, spinning out one delight after another.”
January 1987 was an OK month for movies. There were a couple of good action movies and some OK comedies.
January, in general is a lull in movies. The Christmas rush is over, the blockbuster season is months away and studios are saving their big movies for summer.
Have you seen any of the movie from January 1987? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.
Next week we’ll look at January 1992.
Until then the balcony is closed.