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Today’s example of a great Oscar-winning song comes from the era when cross-promotional use of songs from popular artists was perhaps at its peak in the movie/music business. Just take a look at the nominees and winners of the Oscar for Best Original Song starting in 1977 and stretching until the Disney renaissance took hold in 1989. What you’ve got here are songs meant to market the movie and at the same time maybe piggy back on a successful film for added exposure. Sure, this still happens every now and then (last year’s Bond song seems to fit this description), but the sheer dependability of top chart success for so many of the songs throughout my childhood and into my first year of college points to shifts in how the songs have been voted on.
Just about as successful as any song to ever win the award was the recording of the Giorgio Moroder tune “Take My Breath Away” by pop band Berlin for the Tom Cruise blockbuster Top Gun.
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Tony Scott, brother of Ridley, was known for making splashy action movies. In the mid-eighties, he had back-to-back hits with Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop II. Then in 1990, Scott helmed back-to-back disappointments, Revenge and Days of Thunder. Writer Michael Angeli visited the director on the set of his next feature, The Last Boy Scout, for an interview that was included in the December 1991 issue of Movieline magazine.
In the mid-eighties, Kelly McGillis was a rising star. Early in her career, she had a couple of hits one of which turned out to be one of the most iconic movies of the entire decade. Top Gun made Tom Cruise a mega-star. But McGillis’ career went in a different direction. A few years after her star-making role, McGillis became dissatisfied with Hollywood. While McGillis has continued working steadily. she has largely avoided the spotlight.
What the hell happened?
It doesn’t happen very often. Less so now than in the past. But every now and then the right actor finds the right role in the right movie at exactly the right time and magic happens. A star is born! In the June 1996 issue of Movieline magazine, Virginia Campbell and Charles Oakley took a look at some star-making roles.
Oh so 80s. Listen and get images of flying fighter jets and Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis.
But aside from their contribution to one of the biggest blockbusters of the era, that was it for Berlin right? Not quite.
Yesterday, Jeff the Wild Man posted a thoughtful article asking the timely question “Why Must Blockbusters Be Dumb?” Jeff made several good points about the ways in which the summer blockbuster has come to dominate Hollywood’s release schedule year-round. I actually have quite a bit to say on the subject, so I decided to post an article as my response rather than limit my thoughts to the comments section.
That’s right. It’s a sequel. We’re doing another WTHH with the one and only Val Kilmer.
I know. We’re shocked too.
So, first off, why does Val need another WTHH when LeBeau has covered it so well? A couple reasons, one is Val really doesn’t need one, but I think it would be fun to provide an alternate perspective. I’ll get it out of the way now and admit to being in the running for biggest Val Kilmer fan out there. That being said, I’m also an honest and objective person, I can see his career for what it is. I love Val enough that I can make fun of him, lament his decisions, and hope that he’s able to right some in the future. The fact is I’m something of an expert when it comes to the Val, so I have a different perspective, some other insights, and some funny things to talk about and say when it comes to the Iceman. So let’s get into it.
In the 80’s, Val Kilmer was Tom Cruise’s rival both on-screen and off. Top Gun launched the actor to super stardom and Batman cemented his status at the top of the A-list. But then, Kilmer’s career spiraled out of control. Today, the former sex symbol is considered by many to be a bloated tabloid joke and his movies go straight to video.
What the hell happened? Read the rest of this entry