Streets Of Fire (1984) Review

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Streets Of Fire (1984)

Directed by Walter Hill

Starring: Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, Bill Paxton, Elizabeth Daily

Music by Ry Cooder

Running time: 93 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB):
A mercenary goes after his ex-girlfriend, a singer who has been kidnapped by a gang.

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My Opinion:

Streets Of Fire is one of those movies I always regretted not seeing back in the Eighties. Then, after watching The Warriors a couple of years ago and absolutely loving it, I knew I should finally watch Streets Of Fire as it was also made by Walter Hill. But I still didn’t get around to it! I finally decided to check it out after watching Diane Lane in the great little obscure 1982 film Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. Unfortunately, this is definitely not as good as The Warriors and even The Fabulous Stains is better in a lot of ways. This has a cheesy sort of appeal, though, and I’m sure it has its fans amongst those who saw it at the time & grew up with it. But it probably won’t connect with anyone watching it for the first time nowadays whereas I think The Warriors continues to gain new fans.

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As the poster says, this was apparently marketed as “a rock & roll fable”. There are a lot of songs in this and I think whether or not you buy into the movie will depend on if you like the music. A lot of the music was by Ry Cooder and I can’t say I remember any of it after a first watch even though it wasn’t long ago that I saw it (except for I Can Dream About You by Dan Hartman since I already knew that song. That was stuck in my head for days afterwards!). The songs by Diane Lane’s band in the film were a bit bland & reminded me of something Meat Loaf might sing. The movie is a very odd mix of the Fifties rock ‘n’ roll thing and the early Eighties style-wise & musically. I’ve never really been a fan of the Fifties rock ‘n’ roll thing so that may be why the movie didn’t work so well for me. Also, I just couldn’t really take the two main male characters seriously when they wore their pants so high. Seriously! This is NOT a good look. Especially whatever the hell Willem Dafoe is wearing here:

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Hilarious! The hot one in the stupid suspenders there is Michael Paré, the film’s hero. I don’t think I’ve seen him in anything else and as I watched this I thought “he’s cute but he’s a pretty damn bad actor – no wonder he wasn’t in anything else”. Then I looked him up on IMDB and he’s been in 126 things & he’s still going strong! What?! What are all these movies Paré has been in? This dude’s career has completely passed me by – I knew of him & that he was in Streets Of Fire but that’s all. Huh. Hopefully his acting improved? I suppose he worked as the sexy but dumb hero that women want to sleep with…

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Diane Lane’s character was a pretty big disappointment, especially just after seeing her in The Fabulous Stains where her character had far more personality & depth. She’s nothing but a pretty “damsel in distress” in Streets Of Fire. Luckily we got two better female characters with Amy Madigan’s soldier who helps Paré to rescue Lane & Deborah Van Valkenburgh, who was also great in The Warriors, as Paré’s sister. I’ve already mentioned Dafoe & his silly pants – it was funny seeing him in this as I didn’t know he was in it (he plays the main bad guy & kidnapper). Rick Moranis was also a surprise as was Elizabeth Daily once again starring with Lane in a slightly bigger role than she had in The Fabulous Stains. Plus we also get Bill Paxton once again looking like a total douche in an Eighties film! I miss good old douchey Bill Paxton from the Eighties. He was more fun than leading role Bill Paxton of later times. He’ll never top his Weird Science role! Remember when he was in that Fish Heads video? Am I going off on one of my tangents again?

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Summary:

I clearly don’t have much to say about this film so I’ll just wrap this up. These are the kind of movies I find most difficult to write about: the “meh” ones. I can get a little passionate when I really love (or hate) a movie but have very little to say when I don’t really care. I know I’d like this a lot more if I’d seen it at the time but, despite it trying for a bit of a Fifties feel, it’s a little too stuck in 1984. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll always like a mediocre film from 1984 a million times more than a mediocre film from today and I did enjoy this a lot more than I’ve made it sound. I just feel bad because I really wanted to like it more than I did. I thought I might be discovering yet another little gem from my favorite era just like The Warriors & The Fabulous Stains. Oh well – two out of three ain’t bad. Hey, that’s a Meat Loaf song!

My Rating: 6.5/10

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Uncle Buck (1989) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes, once again, from my BFF Eric of The IPC (although I’m thinking of finding a new BFF after this review. any takers??). 😉 Kidding, Eric! Thanks again for agreeing to watch all these movies that don’t contain blood or guts or (many) boobs! Now let’s read Eric’s thoughts on Uncle Buck… 🙂 😦

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UNCLE BUCK

In the story of my life, one thing is certainly true: it never fails that I’ll be sitting somewhere, minding my own business, trying to do a good job and not bother anyone and I’ll get yelled at… Whether I was a kid sitting all alone in my room reading comics or playing with my toys, unsuspectingly, my mom would bust into my room and scream at me for something I didn’t know or remember that I did. Or when the co-worker across the hall gets mat at people on HER team – I get yelled at. Or old girlfriends… I’d just be sitting there, watching TV or something and BLAMMO!!! Screamed at. I’ve never understood. “Why do you bother us with this bullshit again, Isaacs???” you scream. Because, just this morning, I was sitting here in my office, eating some cantaloupe from the Hippie grocery store I go to now when I got this email from Cinema Parrot Disco. (The replies are clipped to take up less space).

CPD: WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO SEND ME UNCLE BUCK???!!!??
IPC: Uhhhh… oh shit!! I forgot!! I totally suck!
CPD: SEND IT OVER YOU STUPID FUCK!!!
IPC: Um, well, I can tr-
CPD: OR YOU’RE OUT OF FUCKING LUCK!!!!
IPC: I’ll do m-
CPD: ALL I HEAR IS “CLUCK CLUCK CLUCK”!!!!!
IPC: What ar-
CPD: JUST. GET. OFF. YOUR. ASS.

Of course, that didn’t happen…. right…. right…..

*crickets*

So I rented it up and dodged some meetings and gave it a watch. Now – I’ve seen this before, when it came out in the theater and I remember it being funny so I had high hopes. Oh yeah – who hasn’t seen this? There’s no point in going into a deep plot synopsis because everyone knows about this one. A loud, obnoxious, unemployed fat dude goes to babysit his brother’s kids when he has to go out of town unexpectedly. Hilarity and hi-jinks ensue!! Right?? Right??

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I started it up and was not really enjoying the 1989-ness of it. The dialogue was kind of dopey and forced and the clothing and hairdos…. UGH. Oh – and McCauley Culkin…

And then… at around 30 minutes in, I started to get really bored… so I kind of stopped watching and just did some listening and twirled around in my chair looking for something in my office to entertain me…

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Not there….

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Nope… so then I started taking notes in case I got too bored and might forget what the hell was going on.

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And then that got boring so I made one last note, went outside for some fresh air and then came back resolved to finish this fucker.

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And finish it I did. And I don’t think I laughed once. Not even the Uncle Buck dancing part. The two youngest kids were too sappy and honey drippy cutesy, Uncle Buck was an obnoxious burden of a man, I HATED the teenager, I hated “Bug” and I hated the big warm’n-happy ending. I was slightly amused again when he had to go piss at the elementary school and he was to big for the urinals but that passed quickly. I think I liked this about as much as Zoe liked Ferris… which is Not Much. It’s not SHITFEST worthy but…. YEESH what a bore. Oh well….

THANKS FOR HAVING ME OVER ALL THOSE TIMES MUTANT!! Your blogathon has been EPIC!!
Internet hugs!!

BYE!!!

Love,

Eric

P.S. In the opening, if you can’t read my shitty handwriting… WHY was the dog in the closed clothes dryer when the kids got home from school???? Is that where he sleeps during the day?? Does he see the kids off to school and then slip into the laundry room, open the dryer with his finger and thumb and then close it when he’s in???

Also – if Uncle Buck has to microwave Maizy’s socks because he can’t open the washing machine… couldn’t he just stick them in the dryer?? Even the dog can open the dryer.

P.P.S. In that scene where Culkin is looking through the mail slot trying to see who’s ringing the bell and he sees those three dudes looking back at him. Is that supposed to be some reference to or foreshadowing for that Home Alone movie?