The year after Big Brother started watching us all, A look back at 1985

In 1985:

Ronald Reagan began his second term as US President.

The single We are the World was released.

EastEnders debuted on British television.

Mikhail Gorbachev assumed power in the Soviet Union.

The WWF held the first ever Wrestlemania In the main event, Hulk Hogan and Mr. T defeated Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff.

The NCAA Men’s college basketball tournament featured 64 teams for the first time.

South Africa ended its ban on interracial marriages.

New Coke debuted and after a disastrous couple of months, was removed from US stores.

The mayor of Philadelphia ordered police to bomb the headquarters of the radical group MOVE.

U.S. Route 66 was decommissioned.

The first Live Aid concert was held simultaneously in Wembley Stadium in London and JFK stadium in Philadelphia.

The US announced Christa McAuliffe would be the first teacher in space.

Aspen, Colorado became the first US city to ban smoking in restaurants.

The wreckage of the Titanic was discovered in the North Atlantic.

Pete Rose became the MLB all-time leader in career hits.

Super Mario Bros. was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Steve Jobs resigned from Apple to found NeXT.

Gary Kasparov became the youngest winner of the World Chess Championship.

Calvin and Hobbes and the Tommy Hilfiger clothing line debuted.

Kiera Knightley, Derek Hough, Chris Paul, Carey Mulligan, Colbie Caillat, Lana Del Rey, Michael Phelps, Emile Hirsch, John Francis Daley, Calvin Johnson, Bruno Mars, Jack Osbourne, Carly Rae Jespen, Kaley Cuoco, Frankie Muniz, and Dwight Howard were born.

Henry Cabot Lodge, Marc Chagall, Edmond O’Brien, Karen Ann Quinlan, Gale Sondergaard, Ruth Gordon, Simone Signoret, Yul Brynner, Orson Welles, Phil Silvers, and Roger Maris died.

VH1 and Nick at Nite launched.

David Letterman performed his first Top Ten List.

Elmo made his first appearance on Sesame Street.

Larry King Live debuted on CNN, The Golden Girls and Punk Brewster debuted on NBC, and GI Joe: Real American Hero and Thundercats premiered in syndication.

The Dukes of HazzardThe JeffersonsAlice, and Super Friends ended their respective runs on American television.

These are my ten favorite films released in 1985:

Continue reading “The year after Big Brother started watching us all, A look back at 1985”

Define friendly

Casper (1995)

Casper (1995)

Casper has haunted his family’s former home at Whipstaff Manor since his death as a young boy. When shameless opportunist Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty) inherits the property and overhears Casper and his prankster uncles talk about a hidden treasure, she manipulates ghost therapist Dr. James Havrey (Bill Pullman) into helping her locate the treasure.

Christina Ricci was perfectly cast as Kat, Harvey’s sullen teenage daughter who reluctantly befriends the titular friendly ghost, while the celebrity cameos, including Rodney Dangerfield, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, and Dan Aykroyd add a touch of whimsy.

Based on the venerable cartoon character, this fantasy film aimed at children and families is not high cinema, but it has an infectious charm and earnestness. In a world full of films reminding us of the evil of ghosts and demonic spirits, it’s refreshing to see a lighter approach to the material.

Everything that follows is older than the new Spider-man or: A brief look back at 1995

In 1995:

The World Trade Organization was established;

O.J. Simpson was acquitted for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman;

Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution;

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City;

Shawn Nelson went on a rampage in a tank in San Diego;

The New Jersey Devils won their first Stanley Cup;

The first DVD was made available;

eBay went online;

Star Trek: VoyagerXena: Warrior Princess, and The Drew Carey Show premiered;

While Matlock, Blossom, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Northern Exposure ended their series runs;

Calvin and Hobbes ended its ten-year run in newspapers;

Selena was murdered;

Pierce Brosnan debuted as James Bond;

Braveheart won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 68th Academy Awards;

Rose Kennedy, Ginger Rogers, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jonas Salk, Wolfman Jack, Eva Gabor, Jerry Garcia, Mickey Mantle, Orville Redenbacher, and Bobby Riggs died;

The History Channel and the WB Network launched into American homes;

Will Ferrell joined SNL;

And Drew Barrymore flashed David Letterman for his birthday.

These are my top ten films released in 1995:

Continue reading “Everything that follows is older than the new Spider-man or: A brief look back at 1995”