Road House (1989) Review

Road House (1989)

Directed by Rowdy Herrington

Produced by Joel Silver

Starring: Patrick Swayze, Ben Gazzara, Kelly Lynch, Sam Elliott, Jeff Healey, Marshall R Teague, Kathleen Wilhoite

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Road House is a 1989 American action thriller film directed by Rowdy Herrington and starring Patrick Swayze as a bouncer at a newly refurbished roadside bar who protects a small town in Missouri from a corrupt businessman. Sam Elliott also plays a bouncer, the mentor, friend and foil of Swayze’s character. The cast also includes Kelly Lynch as Swayze’s love interest, and Ben Gazzara as the main antagonist.

My Opinion:

SPOILERS!! This is one of those movies where I HAVE to talk about what happens in it because it’s just so horrendously awesome and I want to chat with any Road House-loving bloggers. I know you’re out there because most of you stopped by when my “review” of Steve Jobs turned into a Road House discussion instead as I’d just seen this cinematic masterpiece for the first time ever while wrapping some Christmas presents. I did watch it a second time while doing more present wrapping and my newfound love grew even stronger. Where have you been all my life, Road House?? You are amazing. I needed a postcoital cigarette after watching this movie. And I don’t even smoke!

I’ve never been a big Patrick Swayze fan as I mainly saw him as the Dirty Dancing guy and, let’s be honest, that movie is pretty fucking lame. Okay, Point Break is a favorite of mine but it’s mainly Keanu Reeves who I think of in that one. So I suppose I never even thought about watching Road House as it looked pretty damn bad. And, boy oh boy is it bad! Good bad. Awesome bad. It’s fucking ridiculous. I love it! I should’ve listened to hubby sooner as he’s been telling me for years that I should watch it. He knows me so well. Poor bastard – he married such a weird girl…

Anyway! I love how Road House starts out silly and crazy but is still a pretty straightforward story of your typical sexy, well-educated, philosophical, not-as-big-as-expected master tai chi bouncer in the skankiest, filthiest, trashiest redneck & slut bar imaginable (but with good live music, provided by Jeff Healey. the Angel Eyes guy?!).

So it’s nuts from the start but THEN, from out of nowhere, shit is exploding Michael-Bay-style and monster trucks are driving over cars and women are stripping and people are being stabbed and there are giant stuffed animals (like, real ones – not teddy bears) and polar bears are falling on people and Kelly Lynch is wearing loads of hairspray and a gingham tablecloth from a small-town cafe (and, later, apparently no panties) and throats are being ripped out (I had to rewind that bit as it was so totally unexpected) and Sam Elliott is a fucking stud as always & I’d totally sleep with his character (oh yes) and Patrick Swayze is trying to find his inner peace throughout all this bullshit by doing sexy, shirtless, glistening tai chi.

I still can’t believe it took me this long to watch the movie that’s so hilarious it causes Bill Murray & his brothers to call up Kelly Lynch’s husband every single time the Road House sex scene is on TV to say “Kelly’s having sex with Patrick Swayze right now. They’re doing it. He’s throwing her against the rocks.” But her character is a DOCTOR. Swayze’s sensitive bouncer wants a smart girl, not the skanks who strip in the filthy Double Deuce bar. Look at them “meeting cute” – they’re SO gonna fuck!:

See??:

He was really turned on by her tablecloth dress:

I admit that, while I never found Swayze sexy, he’s almost sexy in this movie. This role was great for him. He’s way cooler here than in that silly Dirty Dancing movie. (Yeah, I far prefer Road House to Dirty Dancing. I really suck at being a girl!)

But, although I admit that Swayze was good in this and that the role did really suit him, it’s Sam Elliott who steals the show. What a fucking stud. I already loved him from one of my all-time favorite movies (Mask) and, yeah, he’s pretty much playing the same sort of character in this movie as well. But that’s okay – it’s the perfect role for him.


Fucking Stud.

As if these awesome main three characters aren’t enough, though, we also get a wide variety of rednecks, sluts, blind musicians, and a corrupt small-town businessman who likes to hunt big game (why wasn’t America freaking out about Brad Wesley killing polar bears?! This polar bear should’ve been projected onto the Empire State Building!):


I told you a polar bear fell on someone…

Then there’s the big ‘ol slut always trying to screw Swayze even though she’s the property of the corrupt businessman. She does a striptease all around Jeff Healey at one point (who is really likeable in this – I didn’t know he’d done any acting!) and I have to say she has a pretty great bod. And big 80’s panties under her ugly 1981 prom dress:

I looked her up & she went on to be a stuntwoman & it looks like she was that tough, fully nude chick in the shower in Point Break (also with Swayze!). Really?! Huh! Anyway, the sluts and rednecks are great:

But nothing beats this prick:

Earring dude prick has a big manly man fight with Swayze toward the end of the film, during which he says…

Wait. What did he just say?? Never mind nobody putting baby in a corner – nobody says THAT to Patrick Swayze because he’ll rip your fucking throat out! He does! He did! Ripped it right out, Temple-Of-Doom-style!! I wasn’t expecting that in this 1989 film, even after seeing the 18 rating in the UK. Awesome. He should’ve ripped the throat out of the guy who knocked up Penny in Dirty Dancing. Dirty Dancing would have been greatly improved with throat-ripping & monster trucks.


The bigger the truck, the smaller the penis…

Summary:

Classic. This is the perfect “so bad it’s good” movie. You hear that phrase a lot but very few movies achieve that perfect balance. Watching this movie was seriously the most fun I’ve had watching a movie in a long, long time. ROAD HOUSE!!!!!

My Rating: 8/10

Here’s the trailer, which I just watched with a big dumb grin on my face:

And here are all the Road House bits from an episode of Family Guy that Emma told me about. Haha! Thanks, Emma! 🙂

**FYI – I’ve quickly done this review as the next three days I’ll be posting my end-of-year Top Ten lists & this movie has made My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2015 list. Come back tomorrow to see where it ranks! 🙂

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V For Vendetta (2005) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Mike of Screenkicker!. Thanks for joining in on this, Mike! 🙂 Now let’s see what he has to say about V For Vendetta, IMDB rank 164 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE.

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Ever since Blade was released in 1998 we’ve seen a huge resurgence in the number and quality of comic book movie adaptations.  Despite all the great attempts at bringing the world of comics to life one respected author’s creations seemed destined to be mishandled completely.  Alan Moore is the mastermind behind classic graphic novels like Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen however the transition from page to screen of his work had been mediocre at best.  The film version of League is almost a lesson in how not to adapt the medium and From Hell isn’t much better.  So does V for Vendetta break the curse?  Yes and no.

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V tells the story of Evie played by Natalie Portman a young woman living in a near future fascist Britain who through a series of events comes to be associated with a masked anarchist named V whose goal is to overthrow the government.  With V’s help Evie finds the strength to confront almost impossible odds.  Fans of the source material won’t find much to grumble about apart from some changes to the main character.  He’s less of a straight-up terrorist and more of a righteous revolutionary.  One of the best things about Moore’s comic was the vision of the UK he created.  It was written in the 1980s and was massively influenced by Britain governed by Margaret Thatcher, making its near future version of London believable and not too far from our own world.  V director James McTeigue’s adaptation on the other hand portrays a very strange city which never feels real, its recreation of London looks old fashioned and seems more quaint than dystopic.

The movie starts by setting the scene and at first is jarring when we first meet V.  This is one of those common situations where comic book dialogue sounds silly when spoken aloud with V’s introduction eliciting childish sniggers from me the first time I saw it.  He’s seems far from the dangerous, determined force of nature from the book and later when he has emotional scenes it can pull you out of the action.  Basically the first half of the film jerks along at an uneven pace leaving you ambivalent to what’s actually happening.

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I know what you’re thinking – this armchair critic hated the film.  Well you’re wrong!  There is a lot to like about it and it really is greater than the sum of its parts. There’s a good performance from John Hurt and despite a slightly dodgy English accent, Natalie Portman gives it her all.  And once the plot kicks into gear properly the film finds its feet. Stephen Rea plays a policeman investigating V’s attacks and how his snooping unfolds is expertly told with a brilliant montage towards the end showing all the parts of V’s plans falling into place.  The crowning moment though is the entire section where Evie is captured, imprisoned, and finds a letter from a previous inmate.  Acting, editing, music, and visuals all come together to produce an extremely emotionally affecting and memorable scene which will stay with you and is worth watching the movie for.  From this part to the end of the film it’s worthy of the title and you forget about the slightly dull first half.

Intriguingly V is the first Alan Moore adaptation that he wouldn’t let producers put his name on and it turned out to be the best at least until Watchmen was released.  It’s a good story, well told with good acting, action and a couple of absolutely brilliant sections so it’s definitely worth a watch if you’ve always dreamt of sticking it to the man.  It really is V good.

7/10

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The Matrix (1999) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Chris of Terry Malloy’s Pigeon Coop. Thanks for the review, Chris! 🙂 Now let’s see what he has to say about The Matrix, IMDB rank 18 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE. See the full list & links to all the films that have been reviewed HERE.

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Few films over the past 20 years or so have had as big an impact as The Matrix. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the most important films of all time.

Yeah, I went there.

Some people might not like it, but I don’t think anyone can argue over its cultural significance. It’s a bit like me and The Beatles. I get why they were so big and so important but I actually think much of their music is pretty crap.

I went there again.

The premise of film is that everything we know and see around us is a lie, an artificial reality known as the Matrix created by machines who use our bodies as fuel. Only some people are aware of this and have been freed to live in the ‘real world’, although they are in a constant war against the machines. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) are freedom fighters of sorts and have recognised Neo (Keanu Reeves) as someone who could fulfil a prophecy and bring peace between the humans and machines.

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It’s a pretty crazy-ass plot and can take a quite a while to get your head around, but what an absolutely phenomenal concept; the kind of idea that only comes along every so often. Think Metropolis, 1984, Blade Runner; an idea so revolutionary that it inspires people to think differently. Not many films do that.

When we first see the ‘real world’ with the scary Giger-esque machines farming thousands upon thousands of humans all sealed away in little pods, it’s simply awe-inspiring and it just gets better and better from there on in.

Just think about it. There are so many standout, memorable and groundbreaking scenes and lines that it’s almost inconceivable they’re all from the same film. The first time we see bullet time; the lobby shootout; the subway fight; the meeting with the Oracle; even the notion that deja-vu is a glitch in the Matrix; all of these are scenes that have since become engrained in cinema’s pop culture, and there are many more besides. You only have to look at how many other films have taken clear inspiration from or have parodied The Matrix to see the effect it’s had.

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It even made Keanu Reeves look like a good actor. That might be slightly unfair but there’s no denying that Reeves was absolutely perfect for the role of Neo, and there have been few cooler moments in cinema seeing Neo kicking ass.

Unfortunately, The Matrix’s legacy has been tainted somewhat by two tremendously disappointing sequels. Both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions were totally unnecessary and whilst they had some fun moments were just far too complicated and self-indulgent. Despite the sequels, The Matrix remains one of the most original, groundbreaking and influential films of all time.