Red Heat (1988)

redheat_10Red Heat (1988)
AKA Red Bull

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Peter Boyle, Ed O’Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Gina Gershon, Richard Bright, J.W. Smith, Brent Jennings, Gretchen Palmer, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Mike Hagerty, Brion James

Directed by Walter Hill

Expectations: Moderate.

twohalfstar


Rising to fame during the 1980s, it was only a matter of time before Arnold Schwarzenegger was cast in a buddy cop film. Studios were green-lighting buddy cop movies in the ’80s like I wolf down tortilla chips (which is to say, nearly constantly and compulsively). Red Heat follows the classic buddy cop structure as well, taking two cops with very different styles and smashing them together against their will. One of the cops is usually out of their element, too, leading to laughs and/or misunderstandings that endear the characters to us. But while Red Heat hits all the buddy cop hallmarks, it’s still just an OK buddy cop movie. Yes, even with Arnold in the lead role.

As I see it, the main problem is Jim Belushi. He plays Chicago cop Art Ridzik, a reckless, insufferable asshole — I don’t think there are many actors better at this than Belushi — but he’s not a likable, insufferable asshole; he’s just insufferable. He doesn’t mix well with Ivan Danko, Arnold’s character, either. It’s like a romantic movie without the spark. You never get the feeling that Danko and Ridzik gives two shits about each other, so when we get to the end of the film and suddenly there’s some buddy-buddy feelings, it’s really hard to buy into.

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About this Movie…

MPW-47461About Last Night is a rockin’ ’80s film. The movie is based off of David Mamet’s play Sexual Perversity in Chicago (which I know nothing about, so I will not discuss). ALN is a sweet love story. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy gets scared and starts making bad choices, boy breaks up with girl, boy wants girl back. Boy and girl try to work it out.

First let me get it off my chest… the ’80s were so TUBULAR. There are a few noteworthy things in this film. A fan-fucking-tastic ’80s movie has a few great components. No need to ask twice, here they are.

  1. Fricking social scene: cigarettes, bar scene, beer, sexism
  2. Fantabulous Music
  3. Bitchin’ Colors
  4. Bangin’ Clothes
  5. Bangin’ Sex scene
  6. Douche-ass friend, (peer pressure) and a BFF
  7. Scamming (with the tongue)
  8. Awesome male ass shots, not just female
  9. Airhead sidekick
  10. Tight-ass Dance scene

About Last Night (ALN) had eight of the “must haves” in an ’80s movie. The plot is about a couple falling in love. This is movie is hilarious. I love the way it opens with the back and forth banter between Belushi and Lowe. I also love the consistent use of “broad,” “Humpin’ and bumpin’”, and “…so, I’m fucking her.”

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About Last Night… (1986)

aboutlast

Starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, James Belushi, Elizabeth Perkins, George DiCenzo, Michael Alldredge, Robin Thomas, Donna Gibbons, Megan Mullally

Directed by Edward Zwick

Expectations: Moderate.

threestar


About Last Night kicks immediately into its frank dialogue about sexual escapades and it can be a little jarring. Maybe it’s just me, but I expect a movie to wine and dine me a bit before we’re talking about fucking in air force flak jackets and setting the room on fire both figuratively and literally. But once you get accustomed to About Last Night‘s scandalous nature, it is a pretty entertaining relationship movie.

The film centers around two pairs of friends who meet at a company softball game. Demi Moore can’t stop looking at Rob Lowe, and vice versa, so they quickly strike up a relationship based on their mutual, intense attraction. Their friends don’t take it so well, though, and the film develops into something a little more complex than your average rom-com.

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Jingle All the Way (1996)

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Robert Conrad, Martin Mull, Jake Lloyd, James Belushi, E.J. De La Pena, Laraine Newman, Justin Chapman, Harvey Korman, Richard Moll, Daniel Riordan

Directed by Brian Levant

Expectations: Low. This can’t be good. I’m just hoping for some good Arnold lines.


Fifteen years. Fifteen years it took to wear me down enough to accept the idea of watching this one. When Jingle All the Way was released in 1996 I was fifteen, and there was no way in hell I was going to watch my most favorite action star sliding around a department store in a battle with Sinbad for a stupid Power Rangers rip-off doll. No way, no how. These days I feel somewhat different about the whole thing. I don’t watch Arnold films hardly at all anymore and he’s been out of the Hollywood scene for several years so there hasn’t been anything new to entice me. Over these years I’ve slowly grown more and more desperate, willing to watch anything he was in, if only to hear him say stupid lines in that wonderful accent I love so well. During one of my more exuberant Arnold moments, I found myself watching as many Arnold quote compilation videos on YouTube as I could get my mouse on. One of these featured Arnold’s famous line from Jingle All the Way, “Put the cookie down! Now!” remixed into a techno song. This, coupled with a newfound enjoyment of Power Rangers, led me to say yes to Turbo Man and give Jingle All the Way a go.

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The Ghost Writer (2010)

The Ghost Writer (2010)

Starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams, Kim Cattrall, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton, James Belushi, Eli Wallach

Directed by Roman Polanski

Expectations: Low. As much as Polanski is a great, this looks like it will be so-so.


 

The Ghost Writer, the new film from Roman Polanski, is a thinly veiled tale about Tony Blair Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), a British ex-Prime Minister who is being accused of war crimes, specifically of turning terrorists over to the CIA so that they could be tortured. One of the terrorists died and now while the shit hits the fan, ghost writer Ewan McGregor must come in and help Lang finish his memoir. Lang’s previous ghost writer was found washed up on the beach, a belly full of booze and the cause of death questionable. McGregor gets down to business and over the course of the film uncovers some information his unfortunate predecessor was investigating when he died.

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