Our Top 5 Defining Childhood Movies – Episode #20

We skip the lessons learned this week and instead discuss our individual top 5 defining childhood movies.  Interestingly, at least to us, our lists only overlapped on one movie… and it was our #1 choice!  Get ready for some fun ’80’s movie talk.

Sky’s #5: Return of the Living Dead (1985 – horror)

Dusty’s #5: Red Dawn (1984 – action)

Sky’s #4: The Last Starfighter (1984 – sci-fi)

Dusty’s #4: Predator (1987 – action)

Sky’s #3: The Transformers: The Movie (1986 – animated)

Dusty’s #3: Ghostbusters (1984 – comedy/sci-fi)

Sky’s #2: Spaceballs (1987 – comedy)

Dusty’s #2: Commando (1985 – action)

Sky & Dusty’s #1: The Goonies (1985 – action/adventure)

Let us know what you think of our list, and tell us your Top 5 Childhood defining movies.  We’d love to hear them, especially if they’re non-1980’s movies.  Just comment below or you can visit out Watch and Learn Facebook Page and comment there.

Dusty has chosen our #1 movie, The Goonies as the next movie we’ll learn from.

If you missed it, last week we discussed lessons learned from Bad Times at the El Royale.

Weird Science Movie (1985) – a nostalgic walk through the fun, sci-fi 80’s

weird science

Weird Science isn’t exactly “weird”, but it’s a classic 80’s comedy we grew up with and still find super enjoyable. Kelly LeBrock is a mega babe and Anthony Michael Hall with Ilan Mitchell-Smith are great as the nerdy, girl-oggling, horny best friends.

Watch the movie here: https://amzn.to/308U3a1

Listen to our episode on Weird Science

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Life Lessons Learned from Weird Science

Sky: Self confidence is built through overcoming challenges.

  • Lisa gives them a challenge with the crazy future dystopian bikers… and it works! They show how badass they are when they save Deb and Hilly.

Kelly LeBrock solves all the problems of these two geeky, no-girlfriend losers.

Dusty: Stand up for yourself and have confidence.

  • It was great seeing Wyatt and Gary finally take a stand against one of this movie’s many bullies. And you can see the good effects of growing a pair like this did for them.

Chet is one of the most memorable characters of all time, played expertly and hilariously by Bill Paxton.

Sky: Do not date bullies.

  • Max and Ian are jerks, the girls even know that if they see Lisa, it’s over for them.

Dusty: Don’t be like Chet.

  • Speaking of bullies, Chet’s the worst. They might think they’re respected, but it’s just fear. Eventually the fear will dissipate and you will have just created an enemy for life.

Who’dve remembered that RDJ was in this one?


Rotten Tomatoes scores:

  • The Audience: 69%
  • The Critics: 57%


  • A+ from Sky
  • B+ from Dusty

Check out the IMDB page for more info.

Check out last week’s episode on My Blue Heaven.

The Running Man – man-hunting action and great one-liners from the ’80’s

Video coming soon!

The Running Man is still a lot of fun. Campy at times, but good stalker killing action, Schwarzenegger and Maria Conchita Alonso and a dystopian future make for a great watch. Plus, without this movie we would’ve never gotten, “Here is Sub Zero. Now… PLAIN Zero”. Schwarzenegger one-liners for the win!

SPOILER ALERT!  Watch the movie before proceeding.

Listen to our episode on The Running Man

Coming soon!

Life Lessons Learned from The Running Man

Dusty: Use a stick and poke him in the eye. 

  • Never get close to a bad guy laying on the ground. And Dusty does this same thing (like Homer Simpson) and pokes his shot deer in the eye.

The perfect prop to take away from The Running Man… Arnie’s Hawaiian duds!

Sky: Nobody likes a liar. 

  • Everyone seemed to like Killian as the show host. He was up there telling everyone he loves them, smooching gilf’s and pretending to be a good guy giving convicts a fair chance. But, as soon as he was exposed as a fraud, everyone turned on him and enjoyed his death.

Iconic stalkers Fireball, Buzzsaw, Dynamo and Sky’s favorite, Subzero.

Sky: Being exasperating may help you get beyond authority. 

  • The Hawaii-bound ticketing agent let Richards and Amber through because he was holding up the line. Sky got out of a speeding ticket once because the cop was frustrated that he couldn’t produce his registration which was trapped in an unforgiving glove box.

Dusty: Don’t be a hypocrite and a jerk like Killian.

  • Another example: the cancelled tyrant named DeGeneres.

I blame his jerk-ass parents. What do you expect your kid to turn into when you name him Damon Killian?!


Rotten Tomatoes scores:

  • The Audience: 60%
  • The Critics: 63%


  • A from Sky
  • A- from Dusty

Check out the IMDB page for more info.

Check out last week’s episode on Commando.

Commando Movie Review – The Ultimate ’80’s Action Movie (1985)

Commando is Schwarzenegger at his action ’80’s best! He’s a killing machine as works his way through mercenaries and an entire army in an effort to save his daughter. He also prevents an evil military coup in the process. We love it!

SPOILER ALERT!  Watch the movie before proceeding.

Listen to our episode on Commando

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Life Lessons Learned from Commando

Dusty: Have guns everywhere.

  • You gotta protect yourself, especially if you’ve developed loads of enemies like being the hero of a revolution.

The early father-daughter montage really showed Matrix’s love for Jenny (Alyssa Milano).

Sky: Let sleeping dogs lie.

  • Matrix is the best of the best, so why the heck are you getting him involved?! He would’ve never defeated the army and prevented the military coup if they didn’t kidnap his daughter. Dumbass ’80’s villain.

Rae Dawn Chong as Cindy was great in this movie. Shooting rockets, flying plains and comedic moments?! Give me more RDC!

Dusty:  Never quit.

  • Matrix would stop at nothing to save his daughter Jenny. And even Jenny decided to try and escape when she stopped feeling sorry for herself.

A dad-bod doesn’t make for a worthy Schwarzenegger adversary.


Rotten Tomatoes scores:

  • The Audience: 67%
  • The Critics: 71%


  • A+ from Sky & Dusty

Check out the IMDB page for more info.

Check out last week’s episode on Three Amigos!

The Karate Kid – we review a classic ’80’s movie we loved (1984)

the karate kid

the karate kid

The Karate Kid holds up and is maybe even more enjoyable now than when we were kids. Dusty’s seen it 4x with his kids and Sky loved it again. Great life lessons from Mr. Miyagi, bullies getting what’s coming to them and Daniel-san winning the tournament. What’s not to love? And don’t forget, Elisabeth Shue!!!

SPOILER ALERT!  Watch the movie before proceeding.

Life Lessons Learned from The Karate Kid

Listen to our episode on The Karate Kid

Sky: Listen to those with experience.

  • Kids nowadays don’t listen to their elders (have they ever?). Your elders have “been around the block a few times” and experienced more, so they’ve got more insight. If a Mr. Miyagi comes around and tries to impart knowledge, you’d best listen.

Everyone needs a mentor like Mr. Miyagi.

Dusty: Don’t turn away a girl when you are hurt. 

  • Just like in Back to the Future (Lorraine taking care of injured George/Marty), women love taking care of you. Let Ali dote over you, Daniel-san!

Kreese and Johnny are unforgettable baddies.

Sky: Balance is key.

  • Not just physical balance, but also balance between all of our roles in life.

Dusty: Never wear a towel around your neck and under your jacket.

  • You look like a tool (Ali’s dad coming back from the club). Also, avoid popped collars and scarfs when NOT in season.

The final moment! Love that balance and the Crane Kick to the face.

The Karate Kid crane kick (screen grab) Credit: Columbia Pictures


Rotten Tomatoes scores:

  • The Audience: 82%
  • The Critics: 88%


  • A+ from Dusty
  • A from Sky

Check out the IMDB page for more info.

Check out last week’s episode on The Hunt.

Back to the Future Movie – a Truly Perfect Movie and MUST WATCH! (1985)

Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Back to the Future is a perfect movie and it’s still as fun today as it was when we first watched it back in 1985. The McFly family saga is one you CANNOT miss.

SPOILER ALERT!  Watch the movie before proceeding.

Life Lessons Learned from Back to the Future

Listen to our episode on Back to the Future

Sky & Dusty: Stand up to bullies. 

  • Marty and George both stand up to Biff and fight back with awesome results. Help others fight back if they can’t do it for themselves. Be compassionate and help others.

Biff (played by Tom Wilson) is the quintessential bully and it’s exciting seeing both George and Marty stand up to him.

Dusty: Use the right tools.

  • It helps to have a scientist like Doc Brown on your side to know the right tool. In this movie, Doc Brown used the flux capacitor, a Delorean, the special wrench, the model to explain the system and a well-timed lightening bolt. Bad tool: McFly’s weak binoculars 🙂
Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox were perfectly cast in the roles of Doc Brown and Marty McFly.

Sky: Don’t let insecurities stand in the way of your dreams. 

  • Marty and George both said, “What if they don’t like it” about Marty’s music and George’s book idea. They also both say, “I don’t think I can take that kind of rejection.” Like father like son but they both overcome this insecurity.

Marty helps George “get the girl”.


Rotten Tomatoes scores:

  • The Audience: 94%
  • The Critics: 96%


  • A+ from Dusty and Sky

Check out the IMDB page for more info.

Check out last week’s episode on Brigsby Bear.

Tango & Cash (1989) | Spoiler Review and Lessons Learned

Tango & Cash is a straight-up FUN 80’s action buddy cop flick. Interesting and moving story, great action, lots of humor and the lusciously flowing hair of Kurt Russel. We love it!

SPOILER ALERT!  Watch the movie before proceeding.

Life Lessons Learned from Tango & Cash

Listen to our episode on Tango & Cash

Dusty: Get an amazing haircut like Cash (Kurt Russell).

  • If you got it, show it off! We would if we could.

Sky: Cut your hair when you’re on the run from the law.

  • Showing up with hair like that and everyone will notice you, Cash.

Look at those flowing locks!

Dusty: Get away from danger fast.

  • Tango wanting to stay in prison to avoid Matt’s potential trap makes no sense. Get to gettin’ while the gettin’s good!

Sky: Wear your seat belts. 

  • Face and his buddy had plenty of time to buckle up (even criminals need safety) before Tango “forced” them to stop the truck and fly through the windshield.

“Out on the streets, this pig and his cop friends, broke my ribs, my leg and my jaw.” – Face (Robert Zdar)


Rotten Tomatoes scores:

  • The Audience: 52%
  • The Critics: 30%


  • A- from Dusty
  • B from Sky

Check out the IMDB page for more info.

Check out last week’s episode on The Wrong Missy.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Movie Review (1986) Starring Matthew Broderick

Ferris buellers day off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is probably the #1 80’s movie we’d both recommend. Still funny with lots of heart and we picked up on so many new aspects we overlooked in all our prior viewings.

SPOILER ALERT!  Watch the movie before proceeding.

Lessons Learned from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Listen to our episode on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Dusty: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

  • There’s no better life lesson than this one.

Sky: Keep your nose in your own business.

  • When you worry about what others do, like Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) does with Ferris, it only causes bitterness and envy.

Shake it up, baby!

Dusty: You can never go too far.

  • Be a rule breaker and take it to the limit. That’s what Ferris did and look at the incredible day he and his friends had.

Sky: You must say “no” to stay sane.

  • “No” allows you to skip out on all the crappy things in life: funerals, boring dinner parties and having your dad’s prize Ferrari destroyed.

Cameron wanted Ferris to take out the car, even if he didn’t know it.

Dusty: Never love a possession.

  • Cameron’s dad loves the car more than his family, and it causes heartache and resentment all around.

Sky:  Know your audience.

  • When you’re trying to communicate an idea or get somebody to go along with you, know who you’re talking to. Ferris could always get Cameron (Alan Ruck) to follow along, but there’s no way those high school students were retaining anything those teachers were speaking on.

Dean Rooney, a man you love to hate.


Rotten Tomatoes scores:

  • The Audience: 92%
  • The Critics: 80%


  • A+ from Sky
  • A+ from Dusty

Check out the IMDB page for more info.

Check out last week’s episode on Coming to America.

Coming to America Review of the Movie with Eddie Murphy (1988)

Coming to America is still a great fish-out-of-water comedy. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are a perfect comedic duo and we loved their multiple characters (especially Randy Watson of Sexual Chocolate and Reverend Brown).

SPOILER ALERT!  Watch the movie before proceeding.

Lessons Learned from Coming to America

Listen to our episode on Coming to America

Dusty: Get In Good with the father or best friend (as Hitch would say).

  • They aren’t the ultimate decision maker, but they could positively influence your love’s feelings for you.

Sky: Don’t judge a place by its name.

  • Queens… real crap whole (apparently). Hawaiian Gardens in LA… crap hole for sure.

We loved Akeem’s ever-positive and wise nature (played perfectly by Eddie Murphy).

Eddie Murphy as Prince Akeem in Coming to America

Dusty: Don’t go to bars to find a good woman.

  • Good call here. Find wholesome women like at bowling alleys, church and Whole Foods.

Sky: Don’t pop the question unless you know she’ll say yes.

  • Don’t be a dumb-ass like Daryl and try to sneak the engagement in via Mr. McDowell.

Let us know in the comments below if you met your soul mate in a bar. Maybe someone like this…

Arsenio Hall playing "Extremely Ugly Girl" in Coming to America

Dusty: Your first reaction is usually the correct one.

  • Your natural reaction speaks to how you really feel about something.

Sky: It’s good to be the king. 

  • King Jaffe Joffer can change the traditions if he wants. “Who am I to change it?” C’mon buddy, you da king! You can do what you want.

Man, we love King Joffe Joffer’s lion stole (played by the legendary James Earl Jones)

James Earl Jones looking especially regal with a lion stole in Coming to America


Rotten Tomatoes scores:

  • The Audience: 85%
  • The Critics: 67%


  • A from Sky
  • A+ from Dusty

Check out the IMDB page for more info.

Check out last week’s episode on Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Top Gun (1986, Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer) | Episode 17

Top Gun 1986 podcast review, reminiscence and lessons learned

Top Gun is a quintessential, must-see ’80’s movie.  We really enjoyed revisiting this and learning some great lessons.  We discussed ’80’s music, actors and of course… Hot Shots!

Lessons Learned from Top Gun

Never leave your wingman.

  • You’ve got each other’s backs and your lives in each other’s hands.  There’s got to be absolute trust there for everyone to come home safely.

Follow orders. Military, work, wife… follow orders.

  • If they have more knowledge than you, a wider perspective or more information than you, do what they say.

Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise

Don’t live your life dangerous and foolish.

  • It’s good to think outside the box and test boundaries, but you need to do things sensibly.

Personal hygiene is important. Nobody likes a stinky person.

  • Keep yourself clean.  Clean = smells nice = have friends.
Cruise and McGillis: yep, she’s taller

Talent can only take you so far. Hard work, dedication, and perseverance is required to be great.

  • Even those without much talent can compete if they put forth more effort than the talented ones.

Let go of your ego, it can ruin you. You make others shine, you shine as well.

  • Supporting your team leads to everyone’s success.  “There’s no “I” in “team””.

Check out the Top Gun trailer:

Let us know what you think of the movie or any lessons you learned that we missed by commenting below.  Or, you can visit out Watch and Learn Facebook Page and comment there.

Learn more about this movie from IMDB.

Wow, another classic movie where the critics scored it way lower than the audience on Rotten Tomatoes.  Critics at 54% and audience at 83%?  We’re on the audience’s side.

Dusty has chosen Venom as the next movie we’ll learn from.

If you missed it, last week we discussed lessons learned from Peppermint.