Gleaming The Cube (1989) Blind Spot Review

Gleaming The Cube (1989) (aka A Brother’s Justice and Skate Or Die)

Directed by Graeme Clifford

Starring: Christian Slater, Steven Bauer, Richard Herd, Le Tuan, Min Luong, Art Chudabala, Ed Lauter, Micole Mercurio, Peter Kwong, Max Perlich, Tony Hawk, Christian Jacobs, Buddy Joe Hooker

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Gleaming the Cube featured Christian Slater as Brian Kelly, a 16-year-old skateboarder investigating the death of his adopted Vietnamese brother.

My Opinion:

I’m getting this month’s Blind Spot review out of the way so I can focus on reviewing 2018 releases & Oscar nominees in these two weeks before the Oscars. So, yeah – I’m reviewing an old Christian Slater movie before things like The Shape Of Water & Black Panther, both of which I saw last week. I really liked one of those. But I’ll get to them later…

These are the 2018 Blind Spot films I’ve watched so far, from least favorite to favorite:

4. Atonement
3. Gleaming The Cube
2. The French Connection
1. Citizen Kane

I honestly don’t have much to say about Gleaming The Cube. It’s quite dated, as I’d expected. I put it on my Blind Spot list since I’m an 80s/early 90s teen and I adored Christian Slater at that time but, for whatever reason, I never saw this film. As far as “skater boy” movies go, I’m sure it’s far from the best. The only other one I can think of that I’ve actually seen is Lords Of Dogtown (that was better). But I had fun with the sheer 80s cheesetasticness of this. Tony Hawk has a small part in this as one of Slater’s group of skater friends. There were loads of other skateboarders in the film (I’ve only heard of Hawk). Here’s the list from Wikipedia if you’re interested:

“The skating technical advisor for the film was original Z-Boy Stacy Peralta. Among the skateboarders who appear in the film as stunt skaters are Mike McGill, “Gator” Mark Rogowski, Rodney Mullen, Rich Dunlop, Eric Dressen, Lance Mountain, Mike Vallely, Chris Black, Ted Ehr, Natas Kaupas, Chris Borst, and Steve Saiz. Tony Hawk (Buddy) and Tommy Guerrero (Sam), then members of the Bones Brigade, appear in the film as members of Brian’s skate crew. Future lead singer of The Aquabats and creator of Yo Gabba Gabba!, Christian Jacobs, also appears in the film as Gremic.”

I love Yo Gabba Gabba! Okay, I’ll steal the “definition” of Gleaming The Cube from Wikipedia as well:

“The title of the film refers to the cryptic question “Have you ever gleemed [sic] inside a cube?” that Garry Scott Davis (GSD) asked Neil Blender in an interview in the December 1983 issue of Thrasher magazine. In the film, Christian Slater’s character defines “gleaming the cube” as “pushing your limits to the edge.””

The film follows Slater trying to find out the truth about his brother’s death, which was made to look like a suicide. In typical 80s fashion, this teen investigating what ends up being a smuggling crime ring isn’t exactly realistic and of course ends with a silly but fun chase scene involving skateboards and his group of skater friends. But it’s an enjoyable film and I’ve seen far cheesier. Definitely worth watching if you like Slater & movies of that era. I know I’d have really liked this if I’d seen it in 1989.

I’ll quickly add that there are some other likable characters in this besides Slater & the skaters (hey, that rhymes). The murdered brother, the brother’s ex-girlfriend (who Slater teams up with following the murder), and the cool detective who originally finds Slater & his friends a nuisance but who later predictably comes to Slater’s aid in his investigation. He was cool. He was in Scarface and then loads of other stuff but I think Scarface was one of his only really big roles. Here he is (Steven Bauer):

I know that Gleaming The Cube is no Citizen Kane but I like to fill my Blind Spot list with some of those “Why did I never see this movie that looks like my sort of thing?” films as well as worthy classics. It was worth finally watching this. It’s certainly not in the same league as Slater films such as Heathers or Pump Up The Volume, of course. It’s more along the lines of The Legend Of Billie Jean (but not as good as that – Billie Jean kicks ass)! I’ve added it to My Top Ten Christian Slater Movies list (it does make the Top Ten). Okay, I gotta go so I’m keeping this review short. I have stuff to do. I’m gonna go gleam that cube!

My Rating: 6.5/10

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TAG – Five Flaming Hotties

I was tagged by blogger MIB (of MIB’s Instant Headache) to participate in the Five Flaming Hotties blog game thingymabob. So here are the rules as that’s a requirement and I don’t want a kitten to die or something if I don’t post them:

– Mention the name of the blog you were tagged by, as well as the creators of this game Realweegiemidget Reviews and Thoughts All Sorts, linking back to all blogs involved and including the picture above.
– List five of your greatest hotties from TV and/or film, i.e. crushes/objects of your affection, including musicians or sports stars too.
– Tell us how you were “introduced” to them and why you like them/what appeals.
– Add some appealing pictures.
– Tag seven bloggers for their Five Flaming Hotties.
– Post the rules.

Well, I’m not going to tag people but anyone who reads this is free to participate if they choose to do so. What can I say? I’m more of a dog person anyway. 😉

I must confess that I’m old and not exactly full of lust for any famous people anymore (other than Chris Hemsworth). And, lately, it seems like we’re finding out that a bunch of them are disgustingly horrible people (although we probably suspected that already), which makes doing a list like this even more difficult. I’m already thinking “Oh man, I listed The Cosby Show as one of my favorite TV shows in an old post on this blog as well as posting a Kevin Spacey Top Ten. Am I going to have to go deleting old posts now that we’re finding out that Hollywood is nasty???” I’d probably have to lose half my blog content. Just make good movies & be good people, dammit!

Okay – I’ll pick five hotties & I sincerely hope that they’re nice people in real life. Because, although it sounds like bullshit, what turns me on the most is 1) Someone who is genuine & honest and who can be trusted (my biggest pet peeves are arrogance, phoney people & backstabbers) 2) Someone with a great sense of humor and 3) Someone with a brain and common sense (number three seems especially hard to find these days). I also like laidback people who aren’t full of drama. Fucking chill, people! I feel like the world is completely fucking insane at the moment. Seriously – I’m struggling to do this post because I’m too annoyed lately to be able to do something lighthearted & fun like this.

Okay. Shut up, woman! Let’s just do this Hotties thing. I contemplated putting both men & women in this list as I find a lot of women very beautiful although I’m not attracted to them. But I’ll stick to men since that’s my thing. Unless they’re assholes – I’m not one of those girls who likes the mean guys. Instant turn off!

Wait. You know what? I’ve changed my mind. I’m going to list fictional movie characters I like based on personality as well as looks. I need to know a guy isn’t an asshole before I can decide if I actually find him attractive and that’s the honest truth. Fictional characters can’t let me down! Lloyd Dobler will forever be nothing but a sweetheart. So here we go…

5. Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles. Played by Michael Schoeffling.

As far as looks only, Jake Ryan was my ideal hunk as a teen. Brown hair, brown eyes, perfect face (although, looking at him now, he seems a bit too “handsome dull”). He’d have been higher on this list at one point but, although he was sweet to the nerd girl, his personality was a bit “handsome dull” as well. I’m also pretty sure that Jake Ryan was a meathead jock getting by on a C average and he didn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor. So, he was really only “nice” & “handsome”. There’s not enough going on besides the good looks but I’d be lying to myself if I excluded him from this list. All girls my age had a huge crush on the completely unattainable Jake Ryan. (Because, honestly – there’s no fucking way that a “Jake Ryan” would like the quiet nerd girl in real life).

4. Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything. Played by John Cusack.

THE perfect (and, of course, fictional) boyfriend. And, unlike Jake Ryan, he felt much more realistic. It felt like he could be MY boyfriend. But Lloyd Dobler holding that damn boom box over his head ruined boys for me throughout my teens & early twenties. No one could actually match up to that. I know there are some very nice guys in the world but I certainly wasn’t surrounded by any in late 80s/early 90s Midwest America. My school had no Lloyd Doblers! We had asshole versions of Jake Ryan (minus the insanely handsome thing).

3. Kyle Reese in The Terminator. Played by Michael Biehn.

Where the hell can a girl find a cute, sensitive virgin willing to risk his life and travel into the past to save her from a killer robot? Is that really too much to ask? We all deserve a Kyle Reese! And a Dwayne Hicks who will try to protect us from aliens even though we’re kick-ass ladies who can protect ourselves from those bitches…

2. Mark Hunter (Hard Harry) in Pump Up The Volume. Played by Christian Slater.

Hard Harry was one of my absolute biggest movie crushes when this movie came out. I wanted to be Samantha Mathis in this movie & to make-out with sweet, shy, sensitive Mark BUT, at the same time, I identified more with Mark and wanted to be a female version of his quiet teen who came out of his shell while raising hell as an unknown pirate DJ.

Honorable mention: Christian Slater’s Adam in Untamed Heart. Where can I find a sensitive boy with a baboon heart who brings me Christmas trees?!?

1. Chris Hemsworth. In anything & everything. Played by a hot Australian.

Okay, sorry. He’s not fictional. But he’s so damn pretty. Look at him!!! I could stare at him all day. I’m so shallow. I was pretending I’m not shallow! To be fair, he seems like a nice guy. Like most people, I watch enough celebrity interviews to get an idea of what these celebrities are like (there are plenty I can’t stand). Hemsworth seems very laidback & is always sweet about his family. So I’ll assume he’s perfect and nice and funny (not sure about brainy, though?). And, as a bonus, he’s FLAMING HOT! 🙂 Oh, here’s my Thor: Ragnarok review. I sooooo love funny Thor…. ❤️🔥

Music Video Friday: Descendents – Weinerschnitzel

Today’s video is Weinerschnitzel by the Descendents. Which doesn’t actually have a video… That’s okay – I’m the only one who likes my Music Video Fridays anyway! 😉

Yesterday was Christian Slater’s birthday (I posted My Top Ten Christian Slater Movies HERE) so I wanted to post a song from my favorite Slater movie today. My number one was so close between Heathers & Pump Up The Volume and, while I think Heathers is his best film, there’s just something special about Pump Up The Volume which speaks to me & makes me choose it as my favorite.

I won’t go into my love for Pump Up The Volume since I’ve already reviewed it but one of the many things that makes it so great is the awesome soundtrack. The soundtrack includes artists such as Concrete Blonde, Ivan Neville, Liquid Jesus, Pixies, Brad Brains With Henry Rollins, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth & Cowboy Junkies. However, like so many official soundtracks, it doesn’t include my very favorites from the film! These are the Leonard Cohen songs Everybody Knows & If It Be Your Will (the soundtrack only contains a cover of one of these) & Richard Hell And The Voidoids’ Love Comes In Spurts (a song title that I adore). Then there are the great clips played by Slater’s pirate DJ: Dad, I’m In Jail by Was (Not Was) & the 13 second Weinerschnitzel by the Descendents.

Ah, the Descendents! I’ve gone through a lot of phases in my life when it comes to music. I’ll have a favorite band for a while but then I’ll completely forget about them & never listen to them again. The Descendents are this way for me. But for a good couple of years in my early twenties, I played the above “compilation album” to DEATH. I don’t know why I’ve abandoned most of the bands that I listened to through the Nineties but I really have the urge to dig this CD out right now. Any other Descendents fans here? No? Probably not. And I doubt this clip will convince you to check them out… 😉 Well, their most famous song was Suburban Home so HERE’S a link to that one. And here are the lyrics to Weinerschnitzel:

“Welcome to Der Weinerschnitzel, may I take your order please?
Yeah I want:
Two large cokes, Two large fries
Chili-cheese dog, large Doctor Pepper
Super deluxe, with cheese and tomato
You want bill sperm with that?
NO!”

WTF is bill sperm?? Well, here’s the clip if you have a spare 13 seconds!

My Top Ten Christian Slater Movies

Happy Birthday to Christian Slater, who turns 47 today!

I’ve loved Slater ever since the top three movies on my list (but especially number one). It’s unfortunate that he’s been in some huge stinkers since (like Alone In The Dark) but he was in some absolutely fantastic movies in the late 80s/early 90s. Oh well… I still love you, Christian Slater! I still wish I was Samantha Mathis in my number one movie on this list. And I’d never break your sweet, baboon heart.

So here are My Top Ten Christian Slater Movies, counting down to my favorite:

**Updated February 2018 to add Gleaming The Cube & the Nymphomaniac movies**

17. Alone In The Dark
16. Very Bad Things
15. Hard Rain
14. Dolan’s Cadillac
13. Nymphomaniac: Vol. I & Vol. II
12. Kuffs
11. Broken Arrow

Top Ten:

10. FernGully: The Last Rainforest

9. Bed Of Roses

8. Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves

7. Gleaming The Cube

6. Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

5. True Romance

4. The Legend Of Billie Jean

3. Untamed Heart

2. Heathers

1. Pump Up The Volume

Not Seen But Want To:
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

The Legend Of Billie Jean, Less Than Zero & Private School Movie Reviews

Welcome to my 80’s Quickie Movie Review Special! I’m catching up on reviewing the things I’ve watched the past couple of years and, since these three were from the same decade (the BEST decade), I’ve decided to stick them together. One is a film I saw at the time & really liked but hadn’t re-watched in years, one is a throwaway film that was exactly what I expected for its sort of genre, and one is a film I’d badly wanted to see for years & found to be a big disappointment after finally seeing it for the first time now. Here we go!

The Legend Of Billie Jean (1985)

Directed by Matthew Robbins

Starring: Helen Slater, Keith Gordon, Christian Slater, Peter Coyote, Yeardley Smith

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A Texas teenager cuts her hair short and becomes an outlaw martyr with her brother and friends.

My Opinion:

I did watch this on TV several times in the 80s & I really liked it but it never became an all-time favorite like other movies from the era (even though Christian Slater, one of my big teen crushes, was in it). It was a lot of fun watching it again with the hubby several months ago, though, and it’s gone up in my estimation due partly to nostalgia and partly to being older & able to appreciate things such as the female empowerment going on (which will have gone straight over my head when I first saw this at the age of 13 or so). It reminds me a bit of the same sort of theme running through the little known 1982 Diane Lane film Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains and the two would make a great double feature. Any female bloggers want to come over to my place for a movie night? We’ll watch these two. Bring lots of popcorn! No pillow fights, though – we’re not going to feed any male fantasies. They can just go watch Private School (review below). 😉

I love Helen Slater (she’s a definite girl crush) and it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Billie Jean. I like the City Slickers connection with both Slater & Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson) also being in that together (love that movie!). I also like that this movie has a period scene on my list of My Top Ten Period Scenes In Movies & that I get to link to that post again. Ha! There are great songs in this like Pat Benatar’s awesome Invincible (the movie’s theme song) & Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell. Oh, that plot synopsis above is pretty crap so here’s a bit more if you’re curious: Basically, Slater & Slater (no relation IRL!) are a poor brother & sister in small town Texas. C. Slater’s motorbike is trashed by local hoodlums & H. Slater demands that the (rich by small-town standards) father of the main hoodlum boy pay for the repairs. After the father instead attempts to rape H. Slater, C. Slater accidentally shoots the asshole in the shoulder. The siblings & their friends then go on the run & H. Slater’s Billie Jean ends up a media sensation & heroine outlaw to all those who believe in how she stands up for what’s right. Through it all, her only demand is that her brother’s motorbike repairs be paid for by the prick responsible. It’s actually a great, simple story & I can see why it has achieved a sort of cult status.

I do really like The Legend Of Billie Jean even though it’s not one that I watched 1,582 times as a teenager. It’s a must see if you love movies from this era but somehow missed out on it. I’m not sure how a younger generation might feel about it but it has aged slightly better than some other movies from its time so it may be worth checking out if you like the sound of it.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Less Than Zero (1987)

Directed by Marek Kanievska

Based on Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

Starring: Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey Jr.

Music by Thomas Newman

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film stars Andrew McCarthy as Clay, a college freshman returning home for Christmas to spend time with his ex-girlfriend Blair (Jami Gertz) and his friend Julian (Robert Downey, Jr.), who is also a drug addict. The film presents a look at the culture of wealthy, decadent youth in Los Angeles.

My Opinion:

I didn’t see this movie at the time as I suppose I was a little too young for it but then I just never managed to catch it on TV or anything. Anyway, it’s a movie from 1987 starring big 80’s actors so I’ve of course been wanting to see it for almost 30 years now (yikes! I’m old). I also loved the big song from this movie (a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s Hazy Shade Of Winter by The Bangles) and I saw that video full of clips from the film so many times that it almost felt like I had seen the film. Was the movie worth the long wait? No, it wasn’t. Damn – what a disappointment. I was surprised to find it quite boring, especially as the novel is from such a controversial author. I think it was one that needed to be seen at the time as it’s not at all shocking nowadays.

The film is about rich California kids & Robert Downey Jr is a drug addict whose friends try to help him when his family give up on him. Downey Jr was fine as was McCarthy, I suppose (I never liked McCarthy – he’s so boring & bland. He’s like an American Hugh Grant). I’m a fan of Gertz mainly because of my love for The Lost Boys but she feels the most miscast of the three. None of them feel quite right in their roles, though, and the story isn’t very hard hitting for one about drug addiction. The story just kind of meanders & the sex scenes with McCarthy & Gertz felt awkward – talk about less than zero chemistry.

I’ve never read a Bret Easton Ellis book so can’t compare this movie to the novel but I don’t like the film American Psycho & what I’ve read of the book sickens me while I absolutely hated The Rules Of Attraction film & found it extremely offensive. I’m not normally easily offended (I’ll get into this a bit more with Private School) but, considering how much the author’s other adaptations have pissed me off, you’d think Less Than Zero would at least have some balls. This is probably the most tame “drug addiction” movie I’ve seen. Very disappointing. I watched this several months ago & barely even remember it now. Good soundtrack, though! I do remember appreciating that.

My Rating: 5.5/10

Private School (1983)

Directed by Noel Black

Starring: Phoebe Cates, Betsy Russell, Matthew Modine, Michael Zorek, Ray Walston, Sylvia Kristel, Kathleen Wilhoite

Music by Rick Springfield

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Private School is a 1983 teen oriented sex comedy film. It follows a teenage couple attempting to have sex for the first time.

My Opinion:

Being the age that I am, I saw plenty of teen sex comedies while growing up. It’s difficult to watch them nowadays without cringing. I suppose it was a very different experience to be a girl watching them in the 80s as opposed to a boy. It’ll seem strange to females nowadays but, in my day, we didn’t give teen sex comedies much thought. It’s amazing that we didn’t find them offensive & I’m happy that they’re, for the most part, a thing of the past. Private School certainly isn’t a “good” movie but, if you really love 80’s sex comedies, it’s worth a watch. It’s better than crap like Porky’s and the girls (whose boobs we see plenty, yes) are fairly decent characters instead of just feeling like victims for the horny male characters (like in movies such as Revenge Of The Nerds with its rape scene that would never be allowed in a movie nowadays. Yikes). I didn’t find Private School offensive & there’s certainly enough nudity in it for horny males everywhere so I think it gets the right sort of balance for both sexes to be able to watch it. But, of course, we get no male nudity. No surprise there!

***WARNING: SOME BOOB PICS BELOW****

Yes, we get a guy spying on the girls in the showers. But, nowadays, he’d take pictures & stick them online. 80’s sex comedies usually don’t feel sinister in the same sort of way that the few modern day films do. We also get the guys dressing up as girls & sneaking into the girls’ dorm. They’re so obviously boys, though, that the girls just have fun messing with them. Especially the below girl, who surprises everyone with a topless ride on a horse. I’m sure it was a very popular scene with young male viewers.

By the way – in looking for pics for this post, I discovered that the topless horse rider (Betsy Russell) is Jigsaw’s ex-wife in the Saw films. Speaking of movies that I find offensive, I find stuff like the Saw films far more offensive than 80’s sex comedies. Yet movies with excessive violence are more readily accepted by society while the briefest flash of a nipple starts riots (way to go, Janet Jackson!). It’s a fucked-up world. Private School is a pretty forgettable film (unless you’re a 13-year-old boy) and it sure as shit isn’t very good but at least the female characters are treated like human beings & have personalities. They’re actually stronger characters than the boys, who are quite dull.

Oh! And Kathleen Wilhoite (in the above photo with the lovely Phoebe Cates) is in this. She’s such a “hey, it’s that girl”. She’s also in Road House. God I love Road House! Road House is “good bad”. Private School is just kind of “meh bad”. I love that I got a Road House mention in here.

My Rating: 5/10

Love these songs!!! Soundtracks from the Eighties are the best. And you get clips from the movies as well. 🙂

My Top Ten DJs/Disc Jockeys In Movies

I’ve always loved disc jockeys in movies. There should be more movies featuring DJs! Well, there probably are – I’m sure I’ve missed some on this list.

I first thought about doing this list after watching the “meh” movie We Are Your Friends starring Zac Efron as an EDM DJ. But I never got around to doing it. Then I thought about it again after watching Clint Eastwood as a DJ with a stalker in Play Misty For Me. But I still didn’t do the list. Well, I noticed that today would’ve been Robin Williams’ birthday so I figured I’d finally post this list as he was so great as Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam. (R.I.P. Robin Williams) 😦

This list is a mix of real & fictional DJs. The order is, hmm… Roughly based on how “cool” I think the DJ character is (but don’t take the order too seriously). There are also a lot of movies I haven’t seen so I’ve listed a few at the end.

Here are My Top Ten DJs In Movies:

10. Adrienne Barbeau as Stevie Wayne in The Fog

9. Wolfman Jack as the DJ in American
Graffiti
& The Midnight Hour


8. George Clinton & Martin Lawrence as DJs in House Party

7. Steven Wright as DJ K-Billy, host of Super Sounds Of The ’70s in Reservoir Dogs

6. Clint Eastwood as Dave Garver in Play Misty For Me

5. Cleavon Little as Super Soul in Vanishing Point

4. Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam

3. Daft Punk as “Masked DJs” in TRON: Legacy

2. Lynne Thigpen as the DJ in The Warriors

1. Christian Slater as Hard Harry in Pump Up The Volume

Honorable Mentions:

– Howard Stern as himself in Private Parts
– Samuel L. Jackson as Mister Señor Love Daddy in Do The Right Thing
– Zac Efron as Cole in We Are Your Friends
– Skrillex as the DJ in Wreck-It Ralph (I had no idea he was in this until I started looking up movies I may have missed for this list. Cute! Here he is):

Movies Not On The List Because I Need To Re-Watch Them:

– The Truth About Cats & Dogs
– Trick Or Treat
– Airheads

Movies Not On The List Because I Haven’t Seen Them:

– Pontypool (really want to see this)
– Pirate Radio (aka The Boat That Rocked)
– Talk To Me
– Talk Radio
– FM

I’ll leave you with a clip from The Warriors. If you haven’t seen either this or Pump Up The Volume, I highly recommend them as they’re both absolute favorites of mine.

True Romance (1993) Blind Spot Review

True Romance (1993)

Directed by Tony Scott

Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken

Music by Hans Zimmer

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Clarence marries hooker Alabama, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood, while the owners of the coke try to reclaim it.

My Opinion:

*This is my fourth Blind Spot review after An Education, Summer Wars & Natural Born Killers.

When choosing my Blind Spot movies for this year, True Romance was the first one I thought of as I’d been meaning to watch it for years but, for some reason, just never got around to it. I like Tarantino and love both Christian Slater & Patricia Arquette so I was really excited to finally make myself sit down & watch this. I ended up with two Blind Spot movies written by Quentin Tarantino as I also added Natural Born Killers as kind of an afterthought and wasn’t even really looking forward to watching that like I was with True Romance. However, I was very surprised to find that I was slightly disappointed with True Romance while I actually thought that Natural Born Killers was the much better film.

First of all, I’ll say that this movie has plenty of what Tarantino is good at: cool characters & fun dialogue. It also has another thing he’s sometimes good at: a messy plot. Normally, I don’t really mind that so much as long as everything else is good but I did find the messy story a little distracting with this one. I admit I watched this late at night & was very tired but did I miss whatever happened to Christopher Walken? It seemed like he was introduced & that he was important but then he just disappeared? I also thought the big finale felt a bit forced & silly. I wonder if the movie would be much different if it had actually been directed by Tarantino as well? This came out after Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs (although I think it was written before?) but Reservoir Dogs is the much better film overall.

Don’t get me wrong, though – this movie is fun & I did enjoy it. It’s surprising I never watched it as I was totally in love with Christian Slater in those days thanks to Heathers, Pump Up The Volume & Untamed Heart (shut up – I adore Untamed Heart!). And he’s good in this but the true star is actually Patricia Arquette. I’ve really liked Arquette ever since A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors but have missed out on a lot of her movies (I recently did a top ten list of her movies HERE in which I kind of had to cheat to make it up to ten). I’ve never understood why she wasn’t in more movies so am glad she got recognized with an Oscar for her role in Boyhood. True Romance is surely her most defining role, though.

As with any Tarantino-related film, the cast they got together for this is super impressive. Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, and…. Balki from Perfect Strangers?!? Okay, Bronson Pinchot felt out of place (plus it’s a fairly big role compared to some other big names!). Shall we have a look at those with much smaller roles? Hmm. Chris Penn, Tom Sizemore, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Rapaport, Saul Rubinek, James Gandolfini… so many well known names & faces in this! Although some weren’t as huge when this came out, I suppose. Such as Brad Pitt, who is adorable as a total stoner.

The two who really stand out in smaller roles, however, are Dennis Hopper (as Slater’s dad) & especially Gary Oldman (as Arquette’s evil pimp). I really miss Hopper – I always found him entertaining. He was loads of fun being a crazy bastard most of the time in things like Blue Velvet & Speed but I liked seeing him in a more straightforward role here & in a memorable scene with Walken.

I also like Gary Oldman (doesn’t everybody?) but, at the same time, I’ve never really noticed him all that much. He’s just one of those rare actors who is so different in every single role. For example, I love Jack Nicholson but always feel like I’m watching “Jack Nicholson” when I watch one of his movies. Oldman becomes the characters he plays and his role here, although far smaller than I thought it would be, is easily the most memorable thing about the whole film. I think James Franco clearly watched him in this before doing Spring Breakers. Oldman really deserves more recognition than he gets (but that’s probably because he’s so often unrecognizable!).

I suppose I was a bit tough on this film in my opening paragraph but, as is obvious from what I’ve spent the whole time talking about, the strong characters are what I assume make this film such a fan favorite. And it certainly feels like the films that Tarantino went on to direct himself due to the characters, the conversations, and of course the copious amounts of violence that I had to turn away from (one scene involving Arquette was a bit too intense for me). Shockingly, I found this more violent than the super violent (yet anti-violence) Natural Born Killers.

The thing that works the most, though, (for me at least) was the actual “romance”. I loved Slater & especially loved Arquette and wanted them to live happily ever after. These two had amazing chemistry in this! You just knew their characters had really hot sex. And, hey – they first meet in a movie theater & bond over a similar love of movies: that’s the perfect way to start a romance in this movie blogger’s opinion! Did they date in real life after making this like most stars do when they make films together? I have no idea but they should have. Hey – are they both single nowadays? I think they should hook up! Arquette totally should’ve married Slater instead of Nicolas Cage. Although I can’t blame her for marrying Thomas Jane. He’s a hottie.

Summary:

Well, I’ve said all I really need to say about this. True Romance is a really fun film thanks to Tarantino’s way of writing great characters & their interactions with one another but I was still a little disappointed that the story itself was weak. I also thought the scenes involving Elvis talking to Slater’s character didn’t really work & felt out of place. But I’d most definitely recommend this if you’re a fan of either Tarantino or Tony Scott or of the many big name stars in this movie. Like most of Scott’s films, this has a little bit of the gung-ho American action movie thing going on but it still mostly feels like a Tarantino movie (and it sure as hell is a lot more violent than Scott’s other work). I’m glad I finally watched this and the main things I’ll always remember are the fantastic performances from the likes of Arquette, Oldman and Hopper plus, of course, the romance itself. Slater & Arquette are perfect together.

My Rating: 7/10

Question Of The Month: Best Movie Quote

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I’ve answered another great “Question Of The Month” from Luke over at Oracle Of Film. Click this link HERE to go check out lots of great answers to this month’s question: “What is your favourite movie quote of all time?“. Yes, my answer has to do with the above picture, although it’s only one of MANY favorite quotes of mine. Luke asked a pretty impossible question for us movie geeks! 😉

Thanks for letting me join in, Luke! I look forward to the next question. 🙂

CPD Classics: Pump Up The Volume (1990) Review

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Pump Up The Volume (1990)

Directed by Allan Moyle

Starring:
Christian Slater
Samantha Mathis
Mimi Kennedy
Scott Paulin
Cheryl Pollak
Annie Ross
Ahmet Zappa
Billy Morrissette
Seth Green
Robert Schenkkan
Ellen Greene
Andy Romano
Anthony Lucero
Lala Sloatman
James Hampton

Running time: 105 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Christian Slater, known only as Hard Harry to his fans, runs a pirate radio station from his parents’ basement because he’s a teenager and full of ANGST! He’s also cool as hell and smokes a lot, talks dirty, plays awesome music, and likes to wear no shirt.

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Why It’s A CPD Classic:

TAKE COVER, ARIZONA!

I’ve been obsessed with this movie since my mid/late teens. It’s even one of the 8 films I chose to have on a desert island with me for Tyson’s Desert Island Films over at Head In A Vice. I loved it in 1990 and I love it still.

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I was quite shy as a teenager and the thought of anonymously running a pirate radio station from my parents’ basement really appealed to me. Hell – it still does. I want to have a pirate radio station! But I live in England now & we don’t have basements so I guess that’s not going to work out. Plus I’m no longer a teenager and don’t need to be all anti-establishment and “stick it to the man” by exposing my high school’s staff as being a bunch of knobheads. But, even at my age now, I still think this movie is cool as hell. As is Christian Slater as Mark Hunter aka Hard Harry aka Happy Harry Hard-On. And Samantha Mathis is a great strong female character as Nora Diniro aka The Eat Me, Beat Me Lady.

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This is a “smart” teen movie, which I love. I also love that it’s a wee bit naughty. The line I quoted at the beginning about Arizona? Haha! If you’ve not seen this, I won’t spoil that line for you… A lot of the language in this was, I suppose, pushing the boundaries for 1990. It’s not quite up there with Heathers in terms of the material they got away with but I do often think of the two together in my mind (Yes, Heathers is a future CPD Classic too!). Christian Slater’s character is great and I love how shy he is in public and then how cool he is when he’s the anonymous “Hard Harry” and just lets loose. And Samantha Mathis is the wild girl desperate to find out who Hard Harry really is. Honestly – I wanted to be a combination of both these characters in my teens (Okay, I admit it – I still totally want to be them. Anyone in England have a basement I could borrow?).

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I can’t finish this review without mentioning the AWESOME soundtrack. I mean, he runs a pirate radio station so he has to play some music in between bitching about how “everything in America is completely fucked up” so it was important to get the songs in this right. I think they got them VERY right – I love the soundtrack & it fits in so perfectly with the movie’s message & feel. From Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows & If It Be Your Will to less serious songs like Richard Hell’s Love Comes In Spurts (I love that title) and Dad, I’m In Jail by Was Not Was. Even a Descendents song (WeinerSchnitzel)! And the Bad Brains version of Kick Out The Jams! (I’ll shut up now. Just saying – I loooooove the songs in this).

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I love everything about this movie. It’s SO quotable (D-D-D-D-David Deaver!), the music is great, the characters are cool, and Christian Slater has never been so sexy. I’ll always love Pump Up The Volume, which is why it’s a CPD Classic. So be it.

My Rating: 9/10

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