New Releases: Blockbuster Edition


Steven Spielberg may have established the modern blockbuster with Jaws (1975), but Hollywood’s commitment to producing high-concept, big-budget pictures really took hold during the 1980s. These new additions from the Roy Faires Collection revisit many of the decade’s most quintessential films, from Die Hard (1986) to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). Featuring interviews with some of the biggest-name actors, directors, writers, and producers, the collection offers an enjoyable look back at one of the most iconic eras in American cinema.

Roy Faires worked at KVUE-TV, Austin’s ABC affiliate, from 1976 to 1989 as a news reporter, anchor, producer, and special project director. His most prominent role, however, was arguably entertainment reporter and film critic for the channel’s daily Good Morning Austin program. Faires regularly attended press junkets for movie releases, later incorporating his footage of interviews into reports on and reviews of particular films.

While the collection itself represents a relatively small time frame—1986 to 1988—its interviews relate to some of the biggest hits of the entire decade. Faires talks with cast and crew from films including Aliens (1986), Lethal Weapon (1987), Fatal Attraction (1987), and The Untouchables (1987). In this interview, actor Tom Hanks discusses his leading role in Big (1988). The movie not only succeeded at the box office but also established Hanks as a major Hollywood talent.

The 1980s saw its fair share of flops too, many of which are reflected in Faires’ interviews. (Anyone remember Wildcats (1986) or The Believers (1987)? Anyone? Bueller?) Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), however, is quite possibly the biggest critical and commercial failure of the lot. One can already sense actor Christopher Reeve’s dissatisfaction with the film in his sit-down with Faires.

Hanks and Reeve are just two of several Hollywood stars featured in the collection. Faires speaks with everyone from Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers to Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg to Rob Lowe and Steve Guttenberg. His interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger about Predator (1987), however, is one of Faires’ best. The reporter departs from the usual questions to ask a cardigan-clad Schwarzenegger about the similarities and differences between acting and bodybuilding. 

While the decade produced a number of bankable stars, arguably no one defined 1980s cinema quite like producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson. The duo was responsible for a string of hits, including Flashdance (1983), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), and Top Gun (1986). In this 1987 interview with Faires, the producing partners discuss their formula to making a successful film. 

Watch these and many more films from the Roy Faires Collection here!