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Movie Jibber-Jabber Vol. 5: The F***, Yeah! Film Fest

by on July 18, 2016
 

Let’s Jabber
Showdown Insdie

The First Annual F***-Yeah Film Festival:

This weekend, fellow Yappers Nick Rogers, Joe Shearer, Sam Watermeier and I held our first Fuck, Yeah! Film Festival. Nick curated a selection of action films largely from the late 1980s to early 1990s, anchored by the Landmark Keystone Arts Cinema’s midnight showing of “Road House” on Saturday night. He also selected trivia prior to each film. It was a good time. Most of the movie were terrible. Rather than reviewing each of them, I’ve created a few categories to help share what I felt was special about some of them.

The Lineup

Friday Night: “Double Team,” “Showdown in Little Tokyo,” “Blind Fury”

Saturday: “Ricochet,” “Black Dog,” “Tango & Cash,” “Red Heat,” “Marked for Death,” “The Last Boy Scout,” “Point Break,” “Road House”

Sunday: “Lethal Weapon,” “Lethal Weapon 2,” “Lethal Weapon 3”

The First Annual FYFFFYC

(Fuck, Yeah! Film Fest For Your Consideration)

Best Hero: Dalton (Patrick Swayze) in “Road House” is the obvious choice, one of the best “honorable men with a dark past and little to say” in cult action-movie history. Runner-up? Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) in “Point Break,” a stand-out performer as always.

Best Villain: Jack Palance in “Tango & Cash,” who was clearly told the title of the movie and then given free reign to say whatever the hell came to mind. So he did. With relish. Half the words he says make up some mixture of “Tango,” “and,” and “Cash,” as creatively as possible.

Worst Character, Period: James Belushi as Art Ridzik in “Red Heat.” A tough-talking Chicago cop who mostly spouts dumb, racist jokes for an hour-and-a-half while complaining about literally everything. Given that Schwarzenegger’s Agent Danko is a straight-faced Soviet agent, Belushi has to carry the entire movie. Instead he just drops it in the toilet after forgetting to flush. Sam Watermeier fell asleep and snored through almost the entirety of “Red Heat.” He got off easy.

Best Sympathetic Villain?: Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) in “Point Break” is a bad, bad dude whose beautiful blue eyes and soft features mask a dark nature. You can understand why Johnny Utah falls in love with him. I did, too.

Best 80’s Action Movie Homoeroticism “Tango & Cash” is so overtly about two men falling in love that I could barely believe it. When will we get a remake that doesn’t shy away from it? Is the “gay buddy cop” genre something we’ll see come to the fore in the next few years, given that we’re finally moving into a more openly progressive place for mainstream action films? Is the appeal the same? Thoughts to think, I guess.

Tcash Inside

Best Villainous Plot: John Lithgow as Earl Talbot Blake in “Ricochet,” with a character assassination plan so absurdly complex as to be comical. Blake is obsessed with hero cop Nick Styles (Denzel Washington) to the point of wallpapering his jail cell with pictures of him. And no guards notice. Nobody notices him throughout the movie, really, even though he has bright red hair and a constant look of crazed insanity. Great lines, though. Great lines.

Best Dialogue: “Showdown in Little Tokyo” is probably the most singularly schlocky movie we watched all weekend (if not tied with “Blind Fury”), and boy, does its dialogue sing. Chris Kenner (Dolph Lundgren) isn’t much to write home about, but his partner, Johnny Murata (Brandon Lee), is the most enthusiastic cop no matter what he’s talking about. Witness killed in the interrogation room? “That was nuts!” About to go into a showdown? “And when we get back, we’ll eat sushi off those naked chicks!” About to die? “Kenner, just in case we get killed, I wanted to tell you, you have the biggest dick I’ve ever seen on a man.” Pure gold.

Best Climatic Showdown: “Double Team,” which features villain Stavros (Mickey Rourke) luring hero Jack (Jean-Claude van Damme) into the Roman Colosseum, which he has filled with landmines AND A TIGER. Which Van Damme kicks in the face. Awesome.

Best Death Sequence: In “Marked for Death,” Steven Seagal decapitates the villain, only to find out the villain has a twin brother, whom Seagal then kills, like, six times in rapid succession. Like some kind of “Mortal Kombat” finishing move. The movie itself is a little slow and more than a little problematic, but holy fuck are the last five minutes worth it.

Best Soundtrack: “Lethal Weapon,” which we watched toward the end — after having seen a whole genre of rip-offs. The jazzy Clapton soundtrack is so absurdly expressive as to be corny, but it works wonders in the first movie. It’s iconic. Memorable. Awesome.

Worst Soundtrack: “Lethal Weapon 3.” Like everything else in “Lethal Weapon 3,” the soundtrack became heinous to the point of self-parody. The addition of Sting didn’t help. What a turd.

You should definitely watch: “Point Break,” “Road House,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Tango & Cash,” and “Showdown in Little Tokyo.”

You can skip forever: “Lethal Weapon 3,” “Red Heat.”

That’s it for this round of Movie Jibber Jabber!

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