DUNE (1984)

dir. David Lynch. Based on the Frank Herbert science fiction novel of the same name, about feuding noble houses, fighting over the crucial natural resource, ‘Spice’ which is only found on the planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. What a beautiful mess. The dialogue, and almost constant voiceover of characters inner monologue waver between dreamlike, to cringe-inducing. Something about the cinematography and special effects make this feel more like a 1950s science-fiction film, than a 1980s film. Three years earlier, BLADE RUNNER (1982) looks even more visionary and futuristic in comparison. Interesting BLADE RUNNER connection, with Sean Young as Chani in DUNE, after playing Rachel in BLADE RUNNER. This is a shame, because the costume and set designs are stunning, each planet’s culture is distinct and interesting. The Brian Eno music is brilliant. Some of the best moments are when David Lynch’s unique sensibility sync up with the sci-fi settings, creating some truly wonderful Terry Gilliam style scenes. 

THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984)

dir. Rob Reiner. “They’re treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry.” Amazing first theatrical feature from Rob Reiner. Hilarious from beginning to end (watch the whole end credits). Co-written by the genius Christopher Guest (I love WAITING FOR GUFFMAN (1996)) I won’t try and spoil any of the jokes, but I recommend this movie to anyone. The first “mockumentary” I saw, and I was hooked. It’s a fake documentary about a rock band at the end of their career. Fans of ‘Better Call Saul’ will recognize Jimmy’s brother Chuck, in the role of a lifetime – David St. Hubbins. So many famous lines that are still sidesplittingly funny. I still have a crush on the airport security guard. Wonderful cameo with Fran Drescher (a decade before ‘The Nanny’) If you took out all the songs, it would still be a masterpiece. To have such a pitch perfect comedy, then pack it with an album’s worth of 80s bangers, is unbelievable. Without THIS IS SPINAL TAP, maybe we would never have seen ‘The Thick of It’, ‘The Larry Sanders Show’, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, or ‘The Office’. I’m going to add some more Rob Reiner movies to the list.