Streets of Fire -1984-

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Directed by Walter Hill. 93 mins.

 Worth my time? Yes. (Watched on DVD)

 Whoa, this movie totally sucker-punched me. I didn’t know anything about Streets of Fire going into it, but I certainly wans’t expecting a rockabilly Western with notes of Grease and The Phantom of the Paradise. While it may not be my favorite film thusfar in the Hillmography, it’s definitely the Most Totally Awesomest™.

 Leading man Michael Paré may actually be the movie’s weakest link. Hill clearly miscalculated the actor’s capacity for badassery (and wearing suspenders with a sleeveless shirt is hilarious, not intimidating). Luckily, he spends most of his time sharing the screen with one of a bucket o’ great co-start: Diane Lane, Amy Madigan, Rick Moranis, and a young (but still super-creeper) Willem Dafoe. Hell, even Lee Ving from FEAR shows up in a biker gang. What more do you want?

Oh, you want more? Well, in that case, you also get Bill Paxton, Robert Townsend and Elizabeth Daily (better known as Dottie from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure).

 Like The Warriors, Streets of Fire feels like a self-contained universe. The action takes place in a huge city that seems to be only four square blocks (not knocking it – I had a similar feeling when watching Eyes Wide Shut). And, of course, the musical numbers of this self-proclaimed “Rock & Roll Fable,” courtesy of Jim Steinman, are as catchy as you would hope and expect.  

 Next up in the Hillmography: Brewster’s Millions.

 (Seen and originally written on 2013-01- 29)

To Live and Die in LA -1985-

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Directed by William Friedkin. 116 mins.

Worth my time? Yes. (Watched on DVD)

Between this movie, Manhunter, and Miami Vice, being a cop in the 1980s must have been the sexiest, coolest career choice of all time. I had a ton of fun watching this: William Friedkin’s just as good as Michael Mann when it comes to glitzing up his twilight cityscapes, and William Peterson is reliably cool. Willem Defoe fans will especially be in for a treat (and the presence of John Tuturro and Dean Stockwell does not go unappreciated).

Like most cop movies, this is a morality play at its heart, and luckily the plot developments are thought out much more closely than your average Street Kings.

PS: Never before did counterfeiting money look so goddamn sexy.

PPS: I may have actually enjoyed the big chase scene in this film more than I did in The French Connection. It’s probably sacrilege to say it, though.

(Watched and originally written during Summer 2010 when I was on a real movie bender)