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Stars Wars sequel releases second trailer: You ... will ... get ... chills

The Force is strong with this trailer, the second one released for the new Star Wars movie by J.J. Abrams.

One thought: Does the opening scene, presumably a landspeeder racing across the desert in front of an Imperial starship, remind anyone of Abram's Star Trek reboot? You know, the scene where Kirk drives his motorcycle by the place where they're building Federation ships?

A second thought: Han Freakin' Solo!

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The original 'Bad Boys' ... no, not the Sean Penn movie

Yesterday we covered solo George Michael, so on Throwback Thursday, let's take it all back to where it started with Wham! UK and Bad Boys.

In 1983, I remember seeing the video for Bad Boys from a bunch of posers called Wham! UK. After a couple of viewings, I dismissed the group figuring them for an English flavor-of-the-month. By the end of 1984, Wham UK! changed to just Wham! and started their world domination with iconic songs like Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and Careless Whisper.

As the years have passed, I've come to terms with Wham! and even enjoy listening to Bad Boys now. The song was their first ripple on the U.S. charts and only peaked at No. 60. The video for Bad Boys was an attempt to promote the rebellious image of the up-and-comers as like the song lyric goes, George Michael was only 19 years old when he wrote this song about staying out late, defying parental control and breaking all the rules. …

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Jon Cryer turns 50, no longer a short, horny, hopeless dork

Duckie turns 50 years old today. That's Phillip F. Dale to you, scumwad. Actually, it's Jon Cryer to most of us. But seriously: John Cryer is 50 years old! Born Jonathan Niven Cryer in NYC on April 16, 1965, the actor will probably forever be known first as Duckie Dale from 1986's Pretty in Pink. (Something he reinforced this week with his amazing performance on the Late Late Show.)

Oh sure, TV fans will cry out and say, "What about him playing Alan Harper on Two and a Half Men for a billion years now?" What about it? I'm sure it's a nice paycheck, but '80s fans are a funny bunch of squirrels. We like our Cryer firmly stuck in the '80s.

TOP 5 MEMORABLE '80s ROLES FOR JON CRYER:

5. SUPERMAN IV - THE QUEST FOR PEACE (1987): "The Dude of Steel! Boy are you gonna get it!"

4. NO SMALL AFFAIR (1984): "Sometimes it seems like nothing ever works out. What's worse is sometimes things almost work out then fall apart. If this is the way life is how do people stand it?"

3. MORGAN STEWART'S COMING HOME (1987): "I've been free-basing Clearasil."

2. HIDING OUT (1987): "I used to be just like you: a short, horny, hopeless dork."

1. PRETTY IN PINK (1986): "We don't have none of this stuff in the boy's room! Wait a minute! We don't got none of this... we don't got doors on the stalls in the boy's room, we don't have, what is this? What's this? We don't have a candy machine in the boy's room!"

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And you thought you knew all the George Michael hits...

In the ‘80s, nobody put baby in a corner, except George Michael and his underrated slow melt A Different Corner.

Whether it's been his scrapes with the law for substance abuse and indiscretion or just the cheesiness of some of his ‘80s material, George Michael is not always put on the ‘80s pedestal like some of his contemporaries. While the radio still plays many of his hits as a solo artist and with Wham!, I can not remember the last time I heard A Different Corner.

While listed as a George Michael single, the timing of A Different Corner was in between the dissolution of Wham! and his massive solo career. To confuse everyone, the song was included in Wham!'s farewell album Music From The Edge of Heaven  (that was only released in the U.S. and Japan), but promoted as a solo Michael single. It is on the same album that also includes now holiday classic Last Christmas that is credited as Wham!. Confused? That makes two of us. …

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Watch Duckie recreate Pretty in Pink's Tenderness dance with James Corden

Jon Cryer reprised his Tenderness dance as Duckie from Pretty in Pink with James Corden on the Late Late Show on Tuesday night.

Well here's... here's the point, '80s nation. I'm not particularly concerned with whether or not you like Pretty in Pink, because I live to like Pretty in Pink and... and I can't like you anymore. So... so when you're feeling real low and... and dirty, and your heart is splattered all over hell, don't look to me to pump you back up 'cause... 'cause... 'cause maybe for the first time in your life DUCKIE WON'T BE THERE!

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New 'Vacation' movie releases first cast photo

Clark, you don't look so happy. But the rest of the Griswold clan, including Rusty (now played by Ed Helms) looks thrilled in this first cast photo for the new Vacation movie.

The film, set for a July 31 release, reportedly focuses on Rusty now, as he takes his family to Walley World on an epic family vacation. It's not known how often Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo (reprising their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold) will appear in the movie.

The movie also stars Christina Applegate (as Rusty's wife) and Leslie Mann (as Audrey). Filming began last year in Atlanta.

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Hey, Ringo: Flesh for Lulu wants their song title back

Believe it or not, but Ringo Starr has just put out a new album entitled Postcards from Paradise. My first reaction was that it was a remake of the Flesh For Lulu songs, but the Ringo songs is all original, but that reminds us that we need to pull out our ‘80s Postcards From Paradise.

Flesh for Lulu was another oddly named English band and in 1987 they caught attention for Postcards From Paradise. While the song never charted it was thought well enough of that it has been covered by artists such as Paul Westerberg and The Goo Goo Dolls.

The name Flesh For Lulu was born when one of the band members had a girlfriend with the name of Lulu and one day she walked in front of a movie poster for Andy Warhol's Flesh For Frankenstein and a new band name was created. (It's Alive!)

Flesh For Lulu released six albums and EPs in the ‘80s before their finally pulling the plug.

 

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Thirty years later, detractors of 'Ladyhawke' are still bird-brains

Thirty years ago this week, Ferris Bueller (okay, Matthew Broderick) was just a troublemaker with a bad accent. And Rutger Hauer was … well, Rutger Hauer is always the man. The two would meet in the fantasy adventure flick Ladyhawke, released April 18, 1985.

Richard Donner directed Ladyhawke, a tale of a cursed couple (Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer) who can no longer be together in flesh. By day, Pfeiffer is a hawk. By night, Hauer is a wolf. It takes the unlikely combination of a teenage thief (Broderick) and disgraced monk (Leo McKern) to find a way to reverse the curse and allow the couple to be together again.

The movie lately is getting some buzz thanks to the Ernest Cline book Ready Player One, which is about to be made into a movie by Steven Spielberg. In the book, Ladyhawke is referenced constantly by the characters who are trying to solve an '80s-themed challenge left behind by a deceased billionaire programmer.

Ladyhawke gets a respectable 67 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with one reviewer remarking: "We need more fantasy like this: high adventure, brilliant swordplay, convincing magic, three-dimensional characters, arresting cinematography, and best of all, a good story."

If you have a dry eye at the ending, which we won't give away, then you, my friend, are definitely NOT stuck in the '80s.

TOP 5 MEMORABLE LINES FROM LADYHAWKE:

5. "Sir, the truth is, I talk to God all the time, and, no offense, but He never mentioned you."

4. "I am sorrow."

3. "Wisdom is beyond price, my son. Be grateful that you have it."

2. "I believe in miracles, Marquet. It's part of my job."

1. "I should have known better; every happy moment in my life has come from lying."

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The '80s had an anti-National Siblings Day act: Gene Love Jezebel

The Internet is wonderful for learning about events that you never knew existed, like last week's "National Sibling Day," which crowded Facebook pages all across the web. One ‘80s band that probably did not celebrate National Siblings Day last week was Gene Loves Jezebel as we remember their lost song Heartache.

Identical twins Jay and Michael Aston headed the English rock band Gene Love Jezebel and while they never broke into the Top 40, their most successful ‘80s album House of Dolls yielded several recognizable songs in 1986 such as Desire and Heartache.  Even though they are identical twins and share vocals, thanks to the miracle of ‘80s hairstyles, we can detect that Jay has the dark hair and Michael is the blonde in the video for Heartache.  …

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Eddie Murphy to receive Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Buckwheat. Uncle Gus. Gumby. Achnell? Achwell? Axel? Go tell Miss Summers that the man who created all these characters, Eddie Murphy, will be the next recipient of the Mark Twain Prize For American Humor, Deadline.com reports. The ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will be held Oct. 18.

The Mark Twain Prize honors artists whose contribution to American society reflects the work of the novelist/essayist Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain. Other '80s era artists previously named as recipients include: Richard Pryor (1998), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008) and Bill Cosby (2009).

"I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Kennedy Center and to join the distinguished list of past recipients of this award," Murphy said in an prepared announcement.

In unprepared remarks we hope he added: "Goonie Goo-Goo!"

TOP 5 FAVORITE EDDIE MURPHY MOVIE ROLES OF THE '80s:

5. THE GOLDEN CHILD (1986): "My dear, sweet brother Numsie!" …

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A forgotten hit by a supergroup? Forgive my bad English on 'Forget Me Not'

If you were making a list of best guitarists in the ‘80s, I wonder how many people would put Neal Schon at the top of the list. Never one to lack self-confidence, I am sure Neal would explain that if you are ranking the best, then best Forget Me Not.

Schon's resume in the ‘80s is staggering and today's posting of Bad English's Forget Me Not marks the fourth visit of Schon to Lost and Found videos as he has previously appeared with Journey, HSAS and Schon-Hammer. In 1989, Bad English rocked the "supergroup" label as the band consisted of John Waite, Jonathon Cain and Schon of Journey along with Ricky Phillips (bass) and Deen Castronovo (drums).

Their first single Forget Me Not stalled just shy of the Top 40 when it peaked at # 45. The video for Forget Me Not captures Waite in big-hair mode and Schon playing up his guitar god persona with solos in the driving rain with some reincarnation T&A thrown in for good measure. Bad English would strike gold when their next single When I See You Smile would hit number one and stake its claim to one of the most popular power ballads of the late ‘80s. …

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Richard Dysart, 'L.A. Law' senior partner, dies at age 86

Richard Dysart, the award-winning face of L.A. Law's Leland McKenzie, died Sunday after a long illness, CNN reports.  He was 86.

L.A. Law aired on NBC from 1986 to 1994. Mr. Dysart won an Emmy for best supporting actor in 1992. One of the few actors to appear in every episode, Mr. Dysart played the slick Leland McKenzie, the founder of the law firm of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak.

The acclaimed TV drama wasn't his only work in the '80s. Mr. Dysart also had memorable roles in The Thing, The Falcon and the Snowman, Mask, Wall Street and War & Remembrance. His final acting credit was for playing, naturally, Leland McKenzie in the 2002 TV movie of L.A. Law.

Eighties fans will also remember his as "barbed-wire salesman" in 1990's Back to the Future III.

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Twisted Sister to call it quits after one final tour

Okay, start the cliches: "They're not gonna take it anymore." That's an obvious one. "They DON'T wanna rock." Okay, I'll allow it. "Leaders of the Retiree Pack." Pushing it. Anyway you want to stack it, '80s hair metal gods Twisted Sister have officially called it quits.

It's too late in April now for an April Fools Day joke, right?

TMZ first reported the news, saying Dee Snider and the boys had been planning a farewell tour for 2016 before drummer A.J. Pero died in late March from a heart attack. (Snider's taking the news hard, calling Pero's death "unfortunate reality of irresponsible adult behavior.")

The final tour will go forward with drummer Mike Portnoy handling the sticks. Several tribute concerts for A.J. are also in the works. But afterward, the band will retire for good, the website says, quoting a band representative.

Aside from TMZ's announcement, little has been said from the band. Twisted Sister's Facebook page shows the TMZ article, though, so that will have to serve as confirmation. …

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Another lost '80s gem: Go West (the band, not the song!)

If you were craving polished pop music in the ‘80s, all you had to do was Go West to find it.

Go West was the English duo of Peter Cox (lead vocals) and Richard Drummie that scored had several minor US hits in the ‘80s including We Close Our Eyes that hit No. 41 on the singles charts in 1985. The video for We Close Our Eyes is a Godley & Crème special with Cox in his best wife-beater dancing with a giant pipe wrench around ascending numbers and dancing wooden figures. In 1990 Go West would have their greatest success when King Of Wishful Thinking was included in the blockbuster Pretty Woman and made the Top 10.  

Go West is still together, releasing material and playing live. http://www.gowest.org.uk/

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Actor Geoffrey Lewis of 'Night of the Comet' and other '80s classics dies at age 79

Geoffrey Lewis, best known as frequent acting collaborator of Clint Eastwood and the father of actress Juliette Lewis, died Tuesday (April 7) at age 79.

Mr. Lewis had a slew of acting credits in the '80s, but might be best known as Carter in 1984's Night of the Comet and Lucas Crosby on TV's Falcon Crest.

Other acting credits include appearances on The Fall Guy, Spencer: For Hire, Mama's Family, After MASH, Gun Shy, Flo, Magnum P.I., Fletch Lives, Pink Cadillac, MacGyver, Heaven's Gate and Any Which Way You Can.

All told, he had more than 60 credits during the '80s.

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