The Media Section: What to ingest
Just like many of my fellow Neonetizens, I have very poor taste. And now it's time to show what exactly is the best of the worst, when it comes to Movies, TV, Anime, Games, Books, and whatever else I feel like putting here. Continue at your own risk.
WarGames is proof that a kid that is good at Galaga can lose at tic-tac-toe and avoid the Cold War. It also features a defense computer named after a hamburger, a science teacher that doesn't get along with his wife, and a nice game of chess. The only winning move is to play this movie.
Wayne's World (1992)
The Film Wayne's World could be described as entertaining, whimsical yet relevant, with an underlying revisionist conceit that belied its emotional attachments to the subject matter...NOT! This movie is so dumb that I've rewatched my copy on VHS over a dozen times. The perfect move for those Fridays at 10 o'clock. Party on.
The Goonies (1985)
The Goonies is a good movie, not only because it had a great soundtrack, fantastic cast, and wonder special effects, but because of the plot: A group of neighborhood kids look for pirate treasure while Thanos and a crime family chase after them. Also, Sloth. This movie is perfect in my eyes. It is one of the few classic films that will "never say die".
Short Circuit (1986)
I'll give my honest input here - this movie isn't super emotional or profound. It really tries, but it ends up being too robotic to connect with me on a personal level. However, Johnny 5 is a very charming lead character, the special effects are very, very cool, and even El DeBarge himself sings the main song. Just go in remembering this:"It doesn't get sad, it doesn't get happy, It just runs programs!"
Real Genius (1985)
An overlooked 80's comedy. Val Kilmer's (IMO) best performance. A soundtrack that didn't even make it to cassette. I mean, really? This movie had goddamn Everybody Wants to Rule the World as the end theme and there wasn't a single release. This is a tragedy. However, this movie is one of the less romance-more comedy movies of the 80's, and it really shines. Like a better version of Revenge of the Nerds.
Can I Sing? (Masayoshi Takanaka, 1983)
Mr. Takanaka had a real banger in this one. The guitar performances in each song are definately a heavier taste than other related albums, but it still retains that cool summer vibe i'll soak up sitting in a darkened room.
Big Wave (Tatsuro Yamashita, 1984)
Tats made this album for a weird surf movie. He sang every song in english, and even did some Beach Boys covers on there. I would personally consider this his masterpiece, taking everything that made his previous songs so great and giving it that kicked back surfer's flair. Fun fact: the main theme for Big Wave was adapted from Mahou wo Oshiete, a song worked on by Tats and Taeko Ohnuki.
Touch And Go (Toshiki Kadomatsu, 1986)
Kadomatsu is best known for his After 5 Clash album and the hit song If You (Wanna Dance Tonight), and rightfully so. That album is fantasic, with songs like Midnight Girl and Airport Lady. However, I feel that Touch And Go is less mellow and romantic than After 5 Clash, and it's just more fun. You can easily put both of these albums on a CD, and you're all set for a sweet night on the town.
Cool Night (Paul Davis, 1981)
Cool Night reminds me a lot of Marvin Gaye's Midnight Love in how it does an 80's take on an artist's original style. It's easy to hear the difference between the early work of Davis and the tracks on this album. The leading song, Cool Night, along with the song '65 Love Affair are catchy and smooth, and are prime examples of good Yacht Rock.
Hooked on Classics (Louis Clark and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, 1981)
This album has always reminded me of A Fifth of Beethoven by Walter Murphy and Night on Disco Mountain by David Shire, both songs on the Saturday Night Fever album. The combination of disco and classical is much less integreated than these two songs, however, as Hooked simply puts a beat over the classical score. Despite this simple change, it is quite effective. It was so effective they made five more afterwords. Not a revolutionary album, but it certainly is a unique one.
Navigator (Carlos Toshiki & The 1986 Omega Tribe, 1986)
I once again dip into the far side of City Pop for one of my favorite City Pop albums. I think this is another album that really encapsulates the summer swimming feeling, but as Big Wave was a surf themed album, this album goes beneath of the surface of the water to a tone that I associate with deep sea reefs. The album is dark, in that it really does feel like a darkened aquarium. Probably because the third song on the album is Aquarium in Tears. It really is an 1986 album, a product of its time. I fall asleep to it often.
The Moog Cookbook (The Moog Cookbook, 1996)
I love the synthesizer sound. The perfect notes can make a good song great. However, I really don't really care for the rough-around-the-edges, dirty, different feel of Alternative Rock during the 1990's. Roger Manning and Brian Kehew formed a group that probably felt similarly, and tried to "wreck" the popular Alt-Rock hits by incorperating a cheesy Moog synth instrumental, and making them catchy and upbeat. As parody songs, they do fantastic work adapting these songs into a different genre. I'd like to think that the fans of the original songs were pissed when they heard this EP. Gets a thumbs-up from me.
Dare to be Stupid ("Weird Al" Yankovic, 1985)
It was very hard for me to pick my favorite Weird Al album. I mean, every album has at least one song I love, but which album is the one I would go to first? I settled on Dare to be Stupid, because I believe it's the closest to perfect that Al has ever gotten to a perfect parody album. Out of 11 tracks, 10 are wonderful, can't cut them. The titular song, Like a Surgeon, I Want a New Duck, One More Minute, This is the Life, and an all 80's Polka Medley. The only thing that ruins it is the extremely lame "Girls Just Want to Have Lunch", which is pretty much the most maligned song of the Weird Al discography due to the record label forcing him to do it. The whole song is phoned in, and it leaves a nasty stain on the album. But otherwise, this stuff is Al's best.
Daytona USA (Sega, 1993)
Do do do do do do dwee da. Daytonaaaaa. Daytonaaaaa. Let's go away. Sega created a NASCAR game without NASCAR. Running on the Model 2 Arcade hardware, Daytona USA packed more of a punch than Virtua Racing did. The gameplay is good, but this game has been cemented into time for having one of Sega's best soundtracks. Rolling Start and Let's Go Away deserve to play at the real DAYTONA 500. You hear me NASCAR? This game also needs a Switch port pronto.
Tetris DS (Nintendo, 2006)
I'm a Tetris Fanatic. I've played so much Tetris that I can pull off a full, 4-line Tetris clear without thinking about it at all. My Tetris skills are all thanks to Tetris DS. I played Marathon mode until I could beat it. Then I played Endless mode until the counter stopped counting past 999. This game has been renowned for being the best example of Modern Tetris, and I completely agree. Without this game, I believe there never would have been a Tetris 99. The other modes are less than fantastic, but some of them can hold my interest for a while, like Push and Mission. Somebody come and play Online with me!
Dance Dance Revolution Extreme (Konami, 2002)
Legally, I never should have been allowed to play this game in the arcades. The history of DDR here, like many other commodities from Japan, has its roots in bootlegging and importation. DDR Extreme was only supposed to be sold in Japan, but arcade owners in the west would import them illegally. This contributed to the popularity of DDR in the States, and that popularity continued to grow. This game is very nostalgic to me, as it was one of the games I was drawn to when getting into an obsession with these kinds of things. The soundtrack is great, with a perfect mix of music stemming from that Early 2000's J-pop scene, which really differentiated it from the official U.S. DDR Cabinets with the addition of more popular western music. If you want to play at home, I recommend beware's DDR Extreme simulation.