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Your '80s Movie Guide to Better Living (Volume) (Volume 1) Paperback – August 25, 2016
About the Author
Bryan Krull has been teaching history at the secondary and college level for the past 15 years, since earning his Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He previously authored the award-winning historical novel Lil' Choo-Choo Johnson, Bluesman and currently lives in New York with his wife and two children. Evan Crean has been a film critic in Boston, Massachusetts for over seven years. He has written hundreds of articles about film for Starpulse.com and for his own site ReelRecon.com. He is also a founding member of the Boston Online Film Critics Association (BOFCA) and a co-host of the weekly film podcast Spoilerpiece Theatre. He currently lives in the Boston area with his fiancé. Bryan and Evan met at Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut, where Bryan was Evan’s history teacher and the faculty advisor to his ‘80s Movie Club. Their continued friendship and mutual appreciation for films from the 1980s inspired them to create Your ‘80s Movie Guide to Better Living.
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Top customer reviews
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Alas, I'm not part of that target audience – as a film critic I *reviewed* many of those movies. Coming at this from a different angle, I enjoyed seeing those movies in a new way. The book is a collection of breezy essays on some aspect of the decade's output, like the horror/serial killer movies which are dissected in an early chapter which then, naturally, gets several sequels.
Some chapters work better than others. My favorite was the one on Patrick Swayze movies, which successfully argues that he plays the same character throughout his '80s films which is a neat trick since they run the gamut from “Road House” to “Dirty Dancing.” A chapter on what makes a successful teacher discusses movies as different as “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Dead Poets Society” to draw some interesting lessons. Likewise a discussion on facing life after college compares “The Big Chill” with “St. Elmo's Fire” to show how the decade's movies addressed the issue.
For Gen Xers, this should hit the sweet spot. For this Baby Boomer, it was a chance to revisit the movies of the 80s, many of which I hadn't thought of in some time.
The premise that there is going to be a "Volume Two" is interesting, as I am not sure what more there could be, but I am excited to be reminded!