Patrick Swayze

roadhouse

The late 80s and early 90s were a golden age of ridiculous action movies that were so cheesy and bad, to look at them with modern eyes makes one wonder just what was going through everyone involved’s heads when they made them. For whatever reason the world was hungry for action during that period though, and the more faux badass the hero was and the more unbelievable the violence was, the better. Perhaps the ultimate example of late 80s, early 90s action cheese was director Rowdy Herrington’s (yep, real name) 1989 Patrick Swayze-starrer, Road House. It had everything that a so-bad-it’s-good action movie needed to be a success at the time: macho posturing, homoerotic fight sequences, random female nudity, throats getting ripped out, you name it. Despite the fact that Road House wasn’t really good enough to be remembered because of actual merit, years of ironic viewings on college campuses and late night repeat airings on TBS have kept it alive in the hearts and minds of movie fans, to the point where you can probably refer to it as a cult classic. And for some reason MGM seems to think that’s reason enough to try to capitalize off its notoriety with a remake.

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point break skydive

“90 seconds Johnny. That’s all I ask for, just 90 seconds of your life, Johnny, that’s it. This is our tactic, is we strike fear. Once you get them peeing down their leg, they submit. Also about fear, fear causes hesitation, and hesitation causes your worst fears to come true.” – Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) As Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty is about to be released (limited opening this Wednesday) and is already getting lauded as a masterpiece, it is difficult not to take pause and think of her past works. Sure, The Hurt Locker won a Best Picture Oscar, but, it is hard to argue that any of her films have struck such a resonant chord in the hearts of film nerds and pop culture at large as Point Break. The movie features Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves at the peak of their physical beauty. It has dozens of quotable quotes, ranging from “Vaya con dios, brah” to “Little hand says it’s time to rock ‘n roll.” There are also not one, but TWO skydiving sequences. More important than anything else, though, Point Break is a legitimately great film. Bigelow’s action sequences are shot to perfection and the grandiosity of testosterone-infused bromance and is downright awe-inspiring. Also, poor Keanu Reeves gets a lot of flack for being a bad actor, yet as Point Break more than proves, when used properly, Keanu can be very effective. His Johnny Utah can emote with the best of them, perform the hell out of any action […]

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Drinking Games

Forget the North Koreans. It was the Soviets with their Cuban and Nicaraguan allies that once posed a real threat to this nation. After all, it doesn’t take much to establish a beachhead in Washington State, as depicted in the Red Dawn remake due out in theaters this week. Real hardcore Communist armies invade from the center of the country, as seen with the occupation of Calumet, Colorado in John “Madman” Milius’s original 1984 film. The new film’s explosions may be bigger, and the actors may be more recognizable to today’s audience (though possibly not, considering the original starred Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Gray, Harry Dean Stanton, and Powers Booth), but Milius’s Red Dawn is perfectly primed for a stiff line of drinks. Re-live the action of this right-wing 80s war film, recently released on Blu-ray.

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Over Under - Large

Kathryn Bigelow is the sort of director who’s been defying perceived gender limitations her entire career. The biggest of those accomplishments came when she became the first woman in history to win the Oscar for Best Director. Her Oscar-winning film, The Hurt Locker, was a tense look at military bomb defusers that created more movie chills than 99% of the horror films that get released in any given year. And it showcased a strong performance from Jeremy Renner that essentially made his career and catapulted him toward being one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Before she ever won her Oscar, however, she was already defying expectations by shattering the myth that a woman couldn’t direct kick-ass action movies. Her 1991 film Point Break is probably one of the most manly movies ever made. It’s about extreme sports-loving adrenaline junky bank robbers, and it stars Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze as the cops and robbers. But, despite the fact that Point Break has a cult audience, it’s viewed by most as being a guilty pleasure, a relic of the early ’90s when cheesy action movies ruled the day. Maybe it’s because Keanu is milking his dense, surfer persona for all it’s worth, or because the movie is so unapologetically an action film, but people just don’t take Point Break seriously these days. And that sucks, because it’s really well-made.

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If I was a different sort of person, the advent of a Facebook game for Dirty Dancing would send me into fits of rage, during which I’d say that Lionsgate was destroying my childhood with this little 16-bit diversion that involves Patrick Swayze’s gorgeous face or Jennifer Grey’s doe-eyed mug telling players just how to earn “romance waves” and “watermelon currency” – but, wait, did you read that right? It’s a 16-bit game that features Patrick Swayze’s gorgeous face or Jennifer Grey’s doe-eyed mug telling players just how to earn “romance waves” and “watermelon currency” – that’s just intrinsically amazing. We already know that Lionsgate is launching a remake of the film (to be directed by original choreographer Kenny Ortega from a script by Maria Maggenti), but the new game doesn’t just nod to the 1987 classic starring Swayze and Grey, it’s almost totally rooted in the trajectory of that first production. If Lionsgate is trying to keep up buzz for their new flick, they’re doing it, and doing it while paying serious homage to the original. Now that’s how you make fans happy.

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If movies are to be believed, it’s easy for couples to meet in some cute way, fall in love, and tumble right into the sack without any trouble in the world. Yes, some films address the clumsiness of lovers’ first times together, but by the end of the scene they have figured out each other’s ticks, pleasures, and even kinks. No matter how long the on-screen couple has dated, their comfort with each other develops quickly, never leaving the audience time to question their accelerated level of intimacy. It’s as if they know each other perfectly or had a well-paid sex choreographer on retainer. But, truth be told, steamy intense intimacy doesn’t always need to involve gyrations.

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Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, “Aaaaaaah?” Former college quarterback Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is a rookie FBI agent in the 98th percentile of his class at Quantico. On his first assignment, he’s sent to L.A. County – bank robbery capital of the world – to bust the notorious Ex-Presidents. This unstoppable gang of thieves has hit 27 banks in three years, working with speed and surgical precision. Pappas (Gary Busey), Utah’s veteran partner, suspects they’re surfers. Obviously, Utah is going to have to learn how to surf so he can go undercover, get the girl, and bring the bad guys to justice. Whoa.

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Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema: now with zero Trans fat! It may not add inches to your waistline, but recent research indicates that reading this column can cause a layer of processed cheddar to coat your cerebrum.

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turnedon-trannies

Fantastic Fest is a time of Asiansploitation, kooky genre films, and titillating images galore. Taking a short break from this week-long bender to think about gender-bending has been especially tough, but I believe it to be important nonetheless. Here’s why….

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swayze-ghost

Patrick Swayze died yesterday after a battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of fifty seven. But we all know that actors live on in their work, frozen forever at different stages of their lives and their careers. Some of them, like Swayze, are imprinted on our minds in roles that make them larger than life.

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dirty-dancing-header

In an attempt to show the world that remakes will be the downfall of cinema as art, the folks at Lionsgate appear to be working on yet another useless rehash — a remake of the 1987 romance classic Dirty Dancing.

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thebeast_pilot_swayze_crazyeyes

Patrick Swayze ditches the pottery lessons of Ghost for a handgun and a snazzy suit as he tackles The Beast in defense of his country.

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thebeast_swayze

Get ready for your shot to win some awesome Patrick Swayze swag in celebration of his turn on the small screen in A&E’s new FBI Drama The Beast.

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Sometimes when I prep for this column, I scrounge to find ideas. However, there are also weeks when entertainment news is so filled with stupid stories that I can’t help but gather them together. As a New Year’s present, I offer you this hodge podge of WTF stories from the past week.

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Vote for Point Break 2!

Total suck and total awesome in one package. Now all we need is Chuck Norris to make an appearance, and we’ll be golden.

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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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