Pepsi or Coke? Choose your side

 

cola-warsCoke and Pepsi have been at each other’s throats for almost 3 decades,  competing for top cola of the USA. They have rallied back and forth with television advertisements and marketing campaigns, which took an interesting turn in the Eighties. Coke has been my favorite choice between the two. However, Prof Boles and I definitely agree that Dr. Pepper is actually the best cola ever…

  • But back to the eighties. Coca Cola had dominated the cola scene over Pepsi for most of the Seventies, but in the early Eighties Pepsi began rapidly closing the market gap between them. It seemed that the general public favored the sweeter-tasting Pepsi over the classic Coca Cola, especially after the the famous Pepsi Taste Challenge.

  • In response, Coca Cola launched a new product, Diet Coke, at a high-profile press conference in New York City on July 8, 1982. Reporters packed the Hyatt Hotel, where Coca-Cola USA President Brian Dyson announced that “the most significant new product introduction in the entire 96-year history of The Coca-Cola Company” would be available in the Big Apple within days.

Because, why not have a giant kick line? I wonder if the girls received free Diet Coke!

  • Pepsi came right back with the one, the only, Michael Jackson. He became the first international pop star to be a spokesperson for Pepsi and paved the way for other iconic endorsements of the Eighties like David Bowie, Tina Tuner, and Madonna.

Check out this commercial with our favorite Michael J. Fox!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlXff_UFgKI

  • With Pepsi’s raise to fame, Coca Cola couldn’t help but question their own formula. They reformulated the classic Coca-Cola and introduced New Coke in 1985.

New_Coke_can

  • The American public’s reaction to the change was negative and the new cola was considered a major marketing failure. The introduction of the original formula, re-branded as “Coca-Cola Classic”, resulted in a significant gain in sales. Hello? I feel like this was the most brilliant marketing ploy ever. ‘Let’s change our product, then introduce it back with a classic image!’

WHO’S SIDE ARE YOU ON?

1980’s cars

The 1980s was a great decade for cars and looking back it’s clear that there were many groundbreaking cars that started to come out.  These included the BMW 5 series, Honda Civic CRX, and Ferrari F40 and these cars might go fully unappreciated today, but their inventions in cars such as these are what broke the barrier of the newest cars today.

 

The top 10 cars of the 80’s are:

  1. 1985-1992 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z
  2. 1984-1991 Audi 5000
  3. 1981-1992 Toyota Cressida
  4. 1981-1984 Nissan Maxima (810)
  5. 1984-1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
  6. 1984-1996 Chevrolet Corvette (C4)
  7. 1983-1988 Ford Thunderbird
  8. 1984-1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E
  9. 1986-1989 Hyundai Excel
  10. 1986-1992 Mazda RX-7

thunderbird1

These cars were not only the most popular and most driven back then, but also helped form the cars that followed. For example, the Ferrari GTO was not only one of the most like but is still very popular model. The Ford Thunderbird is an iconic car that is known for its speed and stability, and the Mercedes Ben 190E helped Mercedes revolutionize their cars. All of the car companies on the list are still very actively making cars and remain popular with people even today. It depends where you were at the time but for if I was a teenager in the 80s, getting my license or permit at fourteen or fifteen, I would imagine I would want a Thunderbird for its reputation.

 

It is hard to say exactly which car was the ultimate best car for the 80’s however, in my opinion, you could not have gone wrong with the Ferrari f 40. It was built in 1987 and might not have ruled the entire 80’s but certainly made a huge impact when it first came out. This model was made for Ferrari’s 40th anniversary and they did a great job at making it. When it first came out it was $400,000 although there were people that ended up paying over a million dollars in order to obtain one of these cars. Overall there was a lot of great cars in the 80’s and they all laid the groundwork for subsequent models to turn into the nice revolutionized cars that we have today.

The 1980s car obsession

So it seems that a rather alarmingly large number of television shows and movies that came out in the 1980s revolved around a car. We’ve already explored the fact that a teen movie without a minor role being played by an automobile did not exist. The Ferrari in Ferris, the Rolls Royce in Sixteen Candles (two in that movie actually if you count Jake’s Porsche), the Yellow bug in Footloose, ect.

I find this pretty strange because its not like the automobile was a new invention… there had been decades of bigger- than-boat cars before the 80s. I think the most bizarre example of this trend was the Knight Rider. We didn’t have cable when I was a kid so I watched what ever was the antenna could pick up and a gem I remember vividly from my childhood was a TV show that starred David Hasselhoff and his chest hair

knight

Here is the weird thing…. in my memory the car was totally a girl and most likely David Hasselhoff’s girlfriend. In my memory it went something like this:

Her name was KITT. She had a weirdly electronic but sultry voice and flashing red lights. Her body was sick. He was a lucky man.

DavidsKITT

She kind of nagged him a lot, but when she was pissed she went into her special crazy “attack mode” and then you had better watch out.

attackkittfront

She meant business and she didn’t mess around when it came to her man.

This is not right…. memories are fickle weird things that are obviously bad with facts. So KITT was a man. I went back and watched some youtube clips and learned this the hard way. Definitely a man. The voice is a bit feminine but that might just be the English accent. So my whole memory of this show is very strange now because maybe KITT and the Hoff were just buddies? I find this super disappointing, but regardless there was a television show that essentially starred David Hasselhoff’s hair and a black sports car…. It does not get weirder than that.

Take a look at a great example of the love affair that was Michael and KITT:

 

 

STAR WARS EPISODE VII

Aside

star-wars-episode-7-posters-fan-3

In case you have been living under a rock for the last year, YES there is a new release of one of the most popular series in movie history.

Star Wars episode VII is scheduled to be released December 2015

Though there are many rumors of a cast and plot all we know for sure is the return of the cast from episode VI

Director: J.J. Abrams

Harrison Ford- Han Solo

Carie Fisher- Leia Solo

Mark Hamill- Luke Skywalker

Peter Mayhew- Chewbacca 

Kenny Baker- R2-D2

Anthony Daniels- C-3PO

There are rumors of adding two more female characters as well as a male lead to fill the roll of Han and Leis’s son.

But as of right now most is mere speculation. There has been many changes on what the plot may be. Nothing has come out to confirm what the plot may entail. What is thought to be a major part is the inclusion of a younger Jedi, brought up by Han Solo and Leia. There are thoughts of this new Jedi being trained to learn the ways of the force with the Guidance of uncle Luke. But during this training there is thought to be temptation with the dark side of the force.

There is another rumor of twins. A brother and sister tandem of Han and Lei who will also be taught the ways of the force by Luke. In this rumor it is thought that the male lead will be tempted by the dark side of the force and it up to the sister as well as Han, Lei, and Luke to work to make sure there is balance in the force.

But as I’ve stated this is merely speculation and we will not know for a couple more months into production.

Harrison Ford was asked about the upcoming film on Conan

Harrison Ford asked about Star Wars episode VII on Conan

What did the actors say about being in the new film? 

 

A Gentlemen’s bet! HuZZAH!

The Tale of the Tape:

Louis Winthorpe III and Billy Ray Valentine vs. Mortimer and Randolph Duke

Having lived a privileged life, Louis, more commonly referred to as Winthorpe by the Duke brothers, has not encountered much adversity and runs the commodities firm for the Dukes. After Billy, a con man from the streets played by Eddie Murphy, knocks over Winthorpe, Dan Aykroyd, and goes to hand back Louis’ briefcase, he freaks out saying he is being mugged and calls for the police, a harmless action misinterpreted.

Billy runs around with the briefcase through the ritzy restaurant where the Duke brothers see him being arrested and come up with a wager: Billy can run the company just as well as Winthorpe

Billy tries to act all hard for the guys who are harassing him by stating he is a black belt and he is just waiting for his ladies to bail him out of jail.

The Duke brothers pay for Billy’s release and tell them of their intensions and setup Winthorpe to be arrested! BUM BUM BUM!

This starts his downward spiral to get back Billy after hitting rock bottom

Billy and Winthorpe devise a plan that makes them rich while bankrupting the Duke brothers and insert a HILARIOUS train sequence that involves interspecies relationships with a gorilla and boom! You got yourself a comedy, “Right BILLY RAY?!”

NOOOO!

YES!

“Oh see, I made Louis a bet here. Louis bet me we both couldn’t get rich and put y’all in the poor house at the same time, he didn’t think we could do it. I won.”

“I lost… ONE dollar!”

“Thank you Louis.”

 

The Heat is on!

 

Trailer

Beverly Hills Cop, a movie from the year 1984, displayed a story about a Detroit police officer who doesn’t quite fit in with the culture in Beverly Hills when dealing with a murder case.

Before this film, Eddie Murphy was not really well known, but this movie definitely increased his popularity and portrayed his comedic genious persona.

The cop has this kind of cocky, but funny personality that amuses the audience. Murphy exudes this cheeky character, but manages to compliment this behavior with comedic instances that really entertain anyone who watches this film.

Hilarious scene from movie

In addition, like Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop also has a soundtrack that became extremely popular in the 80’s and even today. When I heard the opening song to this movie, I could not believe this was where the song came from. I have heard it in recent movies and in games, but I would have never assumed it originated from this film. The song has this mixture of pop and like techno, which is odd, but it somehow manages to be really catchy (allowing it to still be popular today).

Theme song

The song is really uplifting and fun.  It’s got a tune one can easily sing and hum. The beats and tune allow it to be really different from other songs at the time, but it also becomes a bit messy and entertaining. Sort of how the main character of the film is. The theme song of this film really resembles that to Axel’s character.

It’s a shame, because I feel like Eddie Murphy’s talent is so visible in this movie and now it seems to have died down. The movies he makes today are no comparison to Beverly Hills Cop. Today, I think a lot of people would agree that this film has to be one of the best and most entertaining cop films.

 

Who you gonna call?

Ghostbusters!

There is no doubt that this 1984 supernatural comedy film has become popular throughout the world. The tale of these three unemployed professors who go on to catch ghosts in the city of New York  is a success in using these two genres to entertain the people at the time.

When I chose to watch this movie, I had no idea how funny or entertaining it would be. I always thought that it looked corny. However, the blend of special effects and comedy really makes this film a fun movie to watch.

Bill Murray’s first big role

I was a little confused when the essence of evil took form into a giant marshmallow man, but it still managed to work for the film, and essentially, set it apart from all the other films at this time.

Marshmallow of evil

In addition, with the success of the movie, came the success of one of the most famous songs in the 80’s. As the line goes, “Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” really portrays the true success of the film. Everyone is similar with that phrase.

With the release of the movie, the release of the main theme of the movie came out. Ray Parker Jr., the composer of the music for this film, actually had a lot of trouble writing the theme for this film. The issue was resolved when he saw an advertisement on television. He wanted the song to take a catchy tune like advertisements did. As a result, the song was #1 on the charts for 3 weeks straight.

Theme song

The success of Ghostbuster’s continues on even today. The theme for the music can still be heard on the radio, at theme parks, etc. The movie was even able to get a show to come about about after the movie was made. Universal Studios even had a show dedicated to the movie that visitors can go see when visiting the parks.

Show Intro

Consequently, this film was so successful in the 80’s that even today we are aware of Ghostbusters.

“I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman!”

Imagine you’re on a date and just leaving the midnight showing of Skyfall. It’s dark, cold, and you’re walking to your car. As the crowd disperses, a few men start walking behind you as you walk across the empty parking lot. As you get closer and closer to your car, you notice the group is walking faster and getting awkwardly close to you two and your car is the only one is sight. As you go to open the door they push you against the car and demand for you money and pull out a knife. You fumble and pull out your cash, dropping it on the ground. There’s a whoosh of material and sound of struggle. You look up and the thieves are on the ground writhing in pain. You notice in the corner a dark figure and you lock onto eye starring back at you. You turn your head to look at your date and next thing you know, whatever was there is gone. Could it be? Is it really? I had to be… Batman…

Batman originally appeared in the 1930’s and was known to have the comedic “BOOM! POW” with Adam West. Tim Burton’s Batman now takes a darker spin filled with Prince being played in the background and sets up the Batman Anthology that ran into the late 90’s.

If you’re looking to find the backstory of how Batman is developed, this isn’t the movie for you. You are immediately immersed into action with the bad guys fearing “The Bat!”

Bruce Wayne may look like a pushover, but rest assured, this glasses wearing, tuxedo sporting millionaire has deep hatred in his blood for those evil-doers and his solution is a  glove covered back fist! Played by Michael Keaton, who starred in Gung Ho and was fresh from another famous Tim Burton film, Beetlejuice, had the right attitude and innocence to pull of the role.

Jack Napier, who is turned into Joker, is played by Jack Nicholson. Being known more for his role in The Shining, Nicholson is able to play the nuisance role superbly

Accompanied by the BEAUTIFUL Vicky Vale, Kim Basinger, this movie is able to not only pit Batman versus Joker to save Gotham, but the damsel in distress. Just like all the movies from the 80’s, this one has the potential to make your night at home just as nostalgic.

Make sure to check this out and see what inspired the Batman Animated Series.

 

Tron

Quote

After seeing Tron: Legacy, I have been wanting to see the 1982 version of Tron for quite some time. Interestingly enough, I always thought that it was ridiculed for its special effects, but the acting and story line was what made it such a cult classic. However, I know now that it’s the exact opposite. The entire movie was essentially a green screen, and the effects that made it so video game-like were astonishing for its time. My personal favorite was when a young Jeff Bridges first becomes part of the game: his entire body turns into a blue grid, and piece by piece he is digitally sucked into his own game. I do wish I had seen the original film first, because I felt like I wouldn’t have as harsh a critique on it if I wasn’t already used to Joseph Kosinski’s digital world of Tron. Once you get used to the graphics of the 1982 film, it really is quite spectacular because you forget what the technology of today can use and you truly appreciate how great the effects were for that time. It was also semi-nostalgic, even though I was not born in the 80’s, I could still tell that the 3-D world of the grid still maintained its classic arcade game style.

On the other hand, it was very hard for me to get “old school Power Rangers” out of my head. Between the clunky costumes and the awkward interactions between all the video game characters, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they made up a couple of one-liners like “Go go Power Rangers!” while jumping through a digital explosion. The bad guys weren’t very believable, because they couldn’t really keep an eye on their opponents for long, and they were easily beat.

When comparing the 1982 and the 2010 version, I personally don’t think that Tron: Legacy blew Tron out of the water. Obviously, people might prefer the newer one because it’s more modern, but there are only a couple of differences that make the newer one a bit more enjoyable, despite the 1982 film being a cult classic. First of all, the soundtrack in the old one reminded me of cartoons, like when Elmer Fudd is going after Bugs Bunny. It was partly childish, like there was no threat of death or defeat going on. Daft Punk did the entire soundtrack for the 2010 version, and I thought it was perfectly in sync with the Tron world. Also, the story line was a bit easier to follow in the newer version. Even with seeing the 2010 version before, I still had difficulty following along in the beginning in Tron. It took me a while to figure out what was what and who was who, while in Tron: Legacy, it was clear from the start, even for somebody who didn’t know much about it beforehand. Overall, I believe both versions are worth seeing for different reasons. The 1982 version is known for its special effects for that time, and I feel like it is one of those films that you have to see in your lifetime, while the 2010 movie is just a good time, with up-to-date graphics and an interesting plot.

80’s Breakdancing meets Kung Fu

Link

The Last Dragon

Who doesn’t like Kung Fu movies, romance, 80’s music and Bruce Lee? In this adventure, “Bruce” Leroy Green, the quirky socially awkward teenager, is trying to become the ultimate martial arts master who searches for the mystical “Glow.”

Early on, Leroy is harassed by Sho’Nuff, the clearly well dressed martial arts master, and his cohorts in a movie theatre located in the rougher part of town. The scene is a bit far fetched with everyone talking, throwing popcorn and at one point, break dancing! A huge fight ensues with movie goers taking on Sho’Nuff. They try the typical one on one scenario, only to decimated by quick blows for Sho’Nuff is “the baddest Mo’Fo no doubt in this town!” Leroy having enough jets in the chaos.

Of course, Leroy just so happens to save Laura, the host of 7th Heaven the place to be for rad music and newest freshest moves, after goons try to kidnap her because Laura turned down an offer from Eddie Arkadian.  Just like any good Kung Fu movie, Leroy lays the smack down in typical neck chopping elbow striking fashion to save the day! This scene could not complete with a cool and collected hero taking care of his defenseless woman.

Eddie then has Rock, his head henchman, successfully lure Laura from the 7th Heaven studio into a mobile truck and kidnaps her while Leroy meditates on a crate. Seriously? Enter the cheesy PSA about getting into cars with strangers. Of course, Rock drops a clipboard with Eddie Arkadian productions slapped on front of it. Leroy dawns a ninja costume and breaks into Eddie’s apartment beating up everyone in sight only to have Eddie get the drop and take off Leroy’s mask, surprise surprise! You can beat up a group of thugs, but a fat balding man can get the drop on you!
This compromises his secret identity, allowing Eddie to track him down. OH NO! Eddie then hold a tryout for the scummiest men in Harlem. Okay okay, some guy barks and bangs breaks a table with his head. A bit ridiculous but totally necessary for this movie to be authentic! After Eddie pieces together his team, he approaches Sho’Nuff to take care of Leroy and kidnaps not only Laura, but Leroy’s brother Richie. Gasp! This leads to the ultimate epic battle between Leroy’s ragtag dojo and Eddie’s goon squad. Yes, a little kid opens a can on a few grown men, allowing the two masters to go at it.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg-dg2tmcE4)
Having enough, Leroy final reaches the ultimates level, enter horrible CGI and watch him pick apart Sho’Nuff.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWVhiIisH30)
This film is a much see for the awesome break dancing, round house kicks, teased hair and neon colors. Mix in a few “WAAAAAHS!” and enjoy!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

James Cameron really out does himself with The Abyss. I honestly had no idea what I was in for when looking at the trailer, but I can say that I am not disappointed. The setting for the movie itself is the best. A lot of people fear the ocean; it’s size, it’s darkness, it’s lack of familiarity. All of these aspects really make it a well done movie.

When this submarine encounters aliens, we know that something new and unexpected is coming to the screen. The pictures, some of the shots, and the situations not only make this film intense, but it also makes it an enjoyable watch.

This movie brings all of people’s fears into play; claustrophobia, death, the unknown, betrayal, etc. Not only does it make it a suspenseful journey to see the outcome of our beloved characters, but it also highlights on emotions that later affect the audience.

James Cameron focuses on all these situations and encounters that people fear, therefore, making The Abyss a haunting and stressful movie experience. But it definitely shows how film making progressed into themes that delved more into human emotions and just advancement in new ideas.

No one ever considered the abilities of going underwater, talking underwater, etc. Cameron wanted to set the level in developing new ideas for the film industry. It was far from being one of his big accomplishments, however, he managed to do something others didn’t even think about doing. That’s what makes this film so enjoyable  to watch. I wish he would have continued making more movies like this instead of Titanic, but oh well.

I found a video of Cameron talking about this movie and I think it really sums up the amount of experience and knowledge he gained from making a movie like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZGMH_5i4N0&feature=related

I also read that the movie has an alternate ending that is available on one of the DVD’s. Cameron had to change the ending to fit the Hollywood idea of a happy ending; but from what I hear, the original ending is what really makes this movie so distinct from all the other movies in the 80’s. I haven’t seen it, but I definitely plan on it.