While I’ll fully admit a healthy diet of VH-1 Classic’s “Metal Mania” videos this morning put me in a perfect 80s mood, a time when rock & roll and action movies didn’t take themselves so seriously, Bullet to the Head maintained that mood with a perfect combo of unapologetically senseless violence and usually corny one-liners humor. Like the Expendables movies, a cool throwback to when popcorn movies delivered these escapist themes. Also a sad reminder Walter Hill, a director who helmed a good chunk of personal favorites through the years, hasn’t been behind the camera for anything besides an episode of “Deadwood” and the “Broken Trail” mini-series in more than a decade. I say, damn shame. Threedonia, what say you?
Hard Times — Charles Bronson as a Depression-era streetfighter and James Coburn. Do I honestly need an explanation for Hill’s directorial debut? Wellllll, OK.
48 Hours — The buddy-cop action/comedy by which I still judge all others. Even Lethal Weapon a thisclose second in my book.
Streets of Fire — Michael Pare, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Willem Defoe and others having a campy good time. Also features the above song, an all-time fave.
The Warriors — 1970s New York minus the above-mentioned Bronson as a vigilante. Cue the baseball bats …
Crossroads — In this category for the music — the glorious, glorious music — only. Memories of my high school crush on Jami Gertz probably doesn’t hurt, either.
Brewster’s Millions — Under-appreciated Pryor and Candy performances. Will always stop flipping channels and watch this to the end whenever on TV. Come to think of it, I really need to get this movie off my Amazon wish-list.
Not-quite classic (but close)
Last Man Standing — Liked it so-so when it came out, but has gotten much, much better with age.
Trespass — There are better things than assembling Ices T and Cube with William Sadler and Bill Paxton, with a script from Bobs Gale and Zemeckis. See above classics. Still a damn fine li’l popcorn movie, though. Even better being part of an audience opening weekend, the Porvaznik brothers the only honkeys in the theatre.
Bullet to the Head
Red Heat — Ummmm, I remember liking Jim Belushi, and that’s about it.
Geronimo: An American Legend and Undisupted — Like the other movie in this category, decent concepts with not-so-memorable deliveries.
Another 48 Hours — Not even the mighty Brion James could rescue Murphy and Nolte going through the motions almost as badly as Ghostbuster 2 ‘s returning cast.
Wild Bill — Wait, this has James Gammon in the supporting cast??? Need to get this on the “to-watch” list.
The Long Riders — Keaches and Carradines and Quaids and Guests? Oh, my, another for the “to watch” list.
The Getaway — So maybe he shouldn’t have had his name attached to the re-make, but the McQueen/MacGraw original’s a classic.
Aliens — This movie’s awesome rep well-deserved, but no offense to James Cameron, really curious how Hill would have directed instead.