For many film fans, this realization will be met with the usual impatient reaction of “can’t we just get to Fall and the good stuff already?” However, if I’m being completely honest, it’s somewhat surprising that it isn’t September by now. My year has been a blur; a frightening reminder that, though it may have moments of interminability, existence is ultimately finite and perpetually chugging toward oblivion, no matter how much I might’ve been entertained along the way.
But you didn’t click on this article to read my existential ramblings. What you really want to know is: what made up the best of the best of the first six months of 2014? Like every year, there was gold to be mined at the local cineplex, art house, on TV, VOD and via the numerous repertory lines established by studios to release their respective back catalogues. Sometimes the gifts are so great that an EOY list just will not suffice. You need a guide to the riches you might’ve missed during the first part of the calendar year as well. Thankfully, I’m looking out for your interests and have compiled the Bastards Guide to Entertainment — a fifteen slot list that details the superlative pieces of cinematic and televised entertainment this year has offered thus far. (more…)
Welcome to the first installment in our revamped “Retro Reviews” column, where we explore both the movies you know and love, as well as the oft overlooked gems you should be spending more time with. To kick off this nerdy canonical carousal, we bring you the ultimate rock & roll fever dream, Walter Hill’s Streets ofFire (1984)…
“Another Time. Another Place…”
This is the title card that opens Streets of Fire, Walter Hill’s absolutely bonkers “Rock & Roll Fable”. Blending the aesthetics of ’50s greaser gang films with the neon lit synths of ’80s arena rock, Hill creates a world that feels like a mirrored alternate dimension of our own. Streets of Fire is a teenager’s fever dream after taking acid and listening to too much Meat Loaf; our burly hero (Michael Paré) seeking his estranged, hair-tossing goddess of a lady love (Diane Lane), only to have her snatched away by a leathery lizard in patent leather overalls (Willem Dafoe) for the sole enjoyment of his nightmarish rulers of the city. Reality completely takes a backseat to aura-building, as Hill yet again confirms that pragmatism in filmmaking is truly overrated.
Everywhere you look these days there’s another 80’s action star making a movie, but do they still have the chops to pull it off? Two of the giants of the 80’s action movie, Stallone and Schwarzenegger, are both scheduled to be involved in numerous movie productions in the next couple of years.
Hopefully they can handle the rough and tumble action without breaking a hip, they are getting up there in age after all. Buckle up for some old fashioned action and old guy jokes. First one to say, “I’m getting to old for this shit,” Wins.
First up is Stallone starring in Walter Hill’s Bullet to the Head with Jason Momoa, Christian Slater, and Sung Kang (Ninja Assassin). The movie description is short and sweet:
After watching their respective partners die, a cop and a hitman form an alliance in order to bring down their common enemy.
Bullet to the Headhits theaters February 1, 2013.
Next up is Arnold Schwarzenegger getting back to his action roots starring in The Last Stand, directed by Kim Jee-woon (I Saw the Devil, The Good, the Bad, the Weird).
After leaving his LAPD narcotics post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with remorse and regret, Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) moved out of Los Angeles and settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction. But that peaceful existence is shattered when Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the western hemisphere, makes a deadly yet spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy. With the help of a fierce band of lawless mercenaries led by the icy Burrell (Peter Stormare), Cortez begins racing towards the US-Mexico border at 250 mph in a specially-outfitted Corvette ZR1 with a hostage in tow.
The Last Stand opens on January 18.
This reminds me a lot of Stan Ridgeway’s song Roadblock. If you’ve never heard it or listened to Stan’s music, take minute and give it a chance. The guy is a fantastic musician and story teller.