What a great month for movies. Comedy, action, horror, biography and an international spy. There is something for everyone to enjoy.
I saw a lot of movies in July 1987. We just moved to a new town and I had no friends yet and school was still two months away. I spent my time at the mall with my sister and her boyfriend. We did all the normal stuff teenagers do at the mall, wonder around, play arcade games and go to the movies.
Since this wasn’t our small hometown they weren’t able to get me into to the ‘R’ movies. We had to settled for the ‘PG’ movies. It still gave us plenty of good movies to choose.
Let’s take a look at the movies released in July 1987.
Movies from July 1987
Adventures in Babysitting
Elisabeth Shue in her first movie since The Karate Kid, you know I was going to see this one!
Adventures in Babysitting is a fun movie which Siskel and Ebert dubbed a cross between Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Risky Business.
Shue plays the babysitter Chris, who, after being stood up by her boyfriend, decides to watch the neighbor kids while their parents go out for the night. While she is babysitting she gets a frantic call from her friend Brenda, who is stuck in downtown Chicago and needs a ride home.
Chris unwisely decides to take all the kids with her to pick up Brenda. On the way they get a flat tire and call a tow truck. The driver picks them and the car up but they never reach the shop, the driver is detoured when he finds out his wife is having an affair.
While the driver is shooting at his wife’s lover the kids jump in a car to hide, then the car is stolen and they end up in a downtown chop shop.
The whole night goes from bad to worse as they try to find Brenda, get the car and get back to the suburbs.
Adventures in Babysitting is the directorial debut for Chris Columbus. He should sound familiar to you. He wrote Gremlins and The Goonies and would go on to direct Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire and a couple of Harry Potter movies among others.
You can watch Adventures in Babysitting on Disney+
Full Metal Jacket
Full. Metal. Jacket.
What a great movie. Written and directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Matthew Modine, Lee Ermey and Vincent D’Onofrio. The movie follows a group of Marines as they go through boot camp and get sent over to Vietnam. It focuses on two main characters, Joker (Modine) and Pyle (D’Onofrio).
The movie is split into two distinct parts, the first being the events in boot camp and the second the events in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. While the split may seem abrupt it captures the essence of military life. One day your state side training and the next day your in a war zone.
The real star of the show is Lee Ermey, as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, the drill instructor. He rides the recruits mercilessly as he trains them for war. The one recruit he can’t get through to is Private Pyle. Even the other recruits try to help Pyle but something snapped in his mind.
Modine does a good job playing Joker as he tries to cope with life in Vietnam.
Full Metal Jacket isn’t a movie for everyone but if you like war movies it is a good one to watch.
Watch Siskel and Ebert debate the merits of Full Metal Jacket. Guess what, they don’t agree.
You can watch Full Metal Jacket on Netflix
Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
There are a few ways to go with a Revenge of the Nerds sequel. You could have a story about their second year in college when they are the kings of the campus and not the jocks. You could fast forward a few years and show them out of college. Or you could make it a complete rehash of the first movie, only put them on the beach.
There’s nothing new, or good about Nerds in Paradise. They nerds go to a fraternity convention Fort Lauderdale and the jocks want them gone. The first movie was original and funny, this one is neither.
Anthony Edwards didn’t want to be in the movie but was under contract. His role was reduced and he is barely in the movie. Good move on Edwards’ part.
Somehow this movie was a success at the box office, making over $30 million. They only Revenge of the Nerds movie worth watching is the first one. You can skip all the sequels.
You can watch on Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise on Max GO.
Summer School is another fun summer movie. It’s also the second movie this month starring Courtney Thorne-Smith. She was in Revenge of the Nerds II as well.
Summer School stars Mark Harmon as gym teacher Freddy Shoop, Kirstie Alley, Dean Cameron, Shawnee Smith and more. Mark Harmon was a popular TV star appearing as Dr. Robert Caldwell on St. Elsewhere. Alley was in several movies and TV series and just getting her start on Cheers.
In Summer School Shoop gets blackmailed by Vice Principal Gills (Thomas) into teaching summer school on the last day of the school year. Shoop has no desire to teach anyone and the misfits assigned to summer school have no desire to learn.
Shoop takes the students on field trips to the beach and theme parks until he is caught by Gills. Gills threatens to fire Shoop if the students don’t pass the end of summer test. Shoop makes a bargain with the kids, he’’ll grant them one favor if they study for the test. He also enlists the help of fellow teacher Robin (Alley) to help teach the students.
Summer School is a light hearted, enjoyable movie perfect for summer time. Harmon plays the role well and is believable as a gym teacher just trying to get by without much effort. Harmon will go on to star in multiple movies and TV shows and finds great success for 18 seasons as Jethro Gibbs on NCIS.
You can watch Summer School on Fubo TV
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a cornfield just outside my hometown. My dad was nineteen at the time and recalled the news coverage and hysteria that surrounded the event. Over the years I met people who were either at the concert or part of the search and rescue party. They all had interesting stories to tell.
La Bamba tells the story of Ritchie Valens, one of the pioneers of the Chicano rock movement. Lou Diamond Phillips plays Valens and does a fantastic job. Today we all know Phillips from his lengthy movie career in Young Guns and multiple other movies. In 1987 he was a relatively unknown actor and La Bamba was his first starring role.
Every year for as long as I can remember the Surf Ballroom, the last venue the three performed at, hosts a memorial concert for the three singers.
If you like bio-pics or Lou Diamond Phillips this movie is for you. It’s a great tribute to the short life of Ritchie Valens.
Interesting fact: Waylon Jennings was the bass player for Buddy Holly and gave up his seat on the airplane to Richardson who had the flu.
You can watch La Bamba on Starz.
I’d buy that for a dollar!
RoboCop stars Peter Weller, Nancy Allen and Ronny Cox and is directed by Paul Verhoeven.
Detroit Police Officer Alex Murphy is fatally shot by a gang member and his body is transformed into RoboCop by the Omni Consumer Products (OCP) corporation. RoboCop is a heavily armored Cyborg with no memory of his former life.
RoboCop is programmed with four directives; #1 serve the public trust, #2 protect the innocent, #3 uphold the law and #4 CLASSIFIED.
RoboCop is put on the streets to clean up the crime only to find out the real criminals are at OCP.
RoboCop is a fantastic movie. It was a sleeper hit of the summer making over $53 million. It spawned two sequels, an animated series, TV shows, nine video games, pinball machines, novels, comic books, theme park rides and a 2014 reboot.
Of all the movies release in July 1987 RoboCop has one of the the longest legacies.
If you haven’t seen RoboCop put it on the top of your watch list.
You can watch RoboCop on Fubo TV
The Living Daylights
A new James Bond movie and a new James Bond actor. Sean Connery left the role in 1971, actually he left in 1967 but came back after George Lazenby starred in one movie. He also appeared in a 1983 Bond movie. Roger More took up the tuxedo in 1973 and retired from James Bond in 1985.
The Living Daylights was the first new actor to play James Bond in over a decade. Several actors were interested in the role including Sam Neill, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton and Bryan Brown. MGM Studios suggested Mel Gibson for the role but producer Albert Broccoli wasn’t interested in Gibson.
Originally the role was offered to Brosnan but he was under contract for the TV series Remington Steele, so the role went to Timothy Dalton.
Dalton’s version of James Bond was much different than Roger Moore’s. Dalton played it more serious with less jokes and one-liners. It was a stark contrast and audiences didn’t know how to take it. Some loved it, some hated it. I was right down the middle. Looking back Dalton’s version of James Bond it seems like a step toward Daniel Craig’s version. The dark and gritty side of Bond.
As far as the movie goes it’s just OK. Bond helps a KGB officer defect to the West and must stop an international arms dealer. The Bond girl is Kara Milovy played by Maryam d’Abo.
As Bond movies go I’d rate this one somewhere in the middle of the pack. Dalton isn’t my favorite Bond. Jason and I covered all things James Bond on an episode of The Retro Network Podcast. If you want to hear how I, and Jason, rank James Bond give it a listen.
I own ever Bond movie on DVD or 4K. As the early movies get converted to Blu-ray I’ve slowly been upgrading. With Amazon’s purchase of MGM all the Bond movies are available to stream so getting them on Blu-ray isn’t as high a priority.
You can watch The Living Daylights on Amazon Prime.
The Lost Boys
This is a great vampire movie and a great movie in general. It features a great cast with Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, Jami Gertz, Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland. Director Joel Schumacher called it “one of the greatest [casts] in the world.”
Kiefer Sutherland doesn’t have a lot of dialog but he steals the scene every time he is on screen. He has a presence, like his father, that demands attention.
The Lost Boys is about two brothers, Michael (Patric) and Sam (Haim) who move to Santa Clara, California only to discover the town holds a dark secret. It is the home to a group of vampires.
Michael, unknowingly falls in with the group, while Sam finds the Frog Brothers, self proclaimed vampire hunters. The movie culminates with a final battle between the living and the undead.
The Lost Boys is a wonderful 80s horror movie with just the right amount of comedy and horror to make it enjoyable for a wide audience.
I saw this movie in the theater with my friend Eric while he was visiting me in Colorado. He is the friend I talked about before, the one who wasn’t allowed to go to the movies. The last movie he saw in the theater was a Disney movie in the 70s. Now we were in the front row watching The Lost Boys. He loved it. The Lost Boys is a good movie to watch for your first real movie theater experience.
Did you know there are two sequels to The Lost Boys? One in 2008 and one in 2010. I didn’t watch either of them.
This movie is a must watch for any 80s horror fan. Put it on your Halloween watch list and you won’t be disappointed.
Other movies released in July 1987
Here’s the rest of the movies released in June 1987.
Jaws: The Revenge is the fourth movie in the franchise and it makes little sense. The first shark was killed, so was the second and third. Is this shark a long lost cousin trying to get revenge?
The last Superman movie I watched was Superman II. Superman IV is a Canon Film production so I’ll have to watch it at some point.
If you’ve seen one of these let me know.
This was a good month for movies. There are some great classics in the bunch like RoboCop and Full Metal Jacket, plus a decent entry in the James Bond universe.
What are your favorites from July 1987?
Next week we’ll look at July 1992.