Never before, and perhaps never again will America experience a decade so outrageously full of excess, free wheeling drug use, and jingoism mixed into such a perfect storm as to create a whirlwind of films so awesome that people like me will continually punch the air whilst writing a tribute more than 30 years later (currently 25 air-punches in just thinking about it.)
For instance, here is an actual conversation Hollywood movie pitch that probably went down like this in the 80's:
Person walks into Warner Brothers studio executive's massive office where the exec is face down in massive pile of cocaine. Person says, "Hey, I have an idea for a movie."
Studio exec momentarily lifts head from giant pile of cocaine and returns a quizzical look.
Person replies, "We should totally have a movie about a truck driving, arm wrestler, and have Stallone star in it, and give him $12 million dollars."
To which the studio exec replies, "YES! That is EXACTLY what we should do!"
They both high-five and bury their faces in cocaine...
|...and thus a classic was born.|
In literally no other decade could this have happened.
Just think about it, most of the best classic action films to have ever been made, have been made in the period from 1980 to 1989 including: Die Hard, Aliens, Conan, Predator, Terminator, Total Recall, Big Trouble in Little China, Lethal Weapon, First Blood: Part II, and perhaps the best movie ever made, RoboCop. Hell, more than half of them only needed the first five years to do so.
Even the bad ones were good. Movies like Cobra, Bloodsport, They Live, Kickboxer, and the king of movies so awesome you want to die, Commando.
1985's Commando stars quite possibly the most ripped onscreen version of Arnold Schwarzenegger you will ever see as John (mother fucking) Matrix, a soldier so good at ass-kicking that the army repeatedly sends high-level officers to his house to ask him to kick more asses for them.
Matrix tells them to fuck off, happy with his retired life of living with his daughter Alyssa Milano and being a cigar smoking lumberjack.
|That pitch right there could have been enough.|
|Thank you for providing dialogue to the film.|
Thats just about the first half hour or so, the rest is Arnie absolutely smoking any and every person who comes on screen for the next 90 minutes. Culminating in the most visually one sided, but still awesome end fight scenes, which itself culminates in the best movie one-liner ever uttered:
FUCK YES. Did you see what he did there? With the steam? And the pipe? That scene is perhaps the perfect encapsulation of the best decade in cinema history for making you so patriotic and excited that you want to punch George Washington right in his fucking wooden teeth. I mean just look at Bennett, who ever thought that mustachioed, doughy, Australian chain-mail wearing twat was ever gonna beat walking American Dream Arnie? Nobody, nobody ever did. You know why? Because America, that's why.
Why, you may ask yourself, is this not a lament for a bygone era? Well, one, it is not in the 80's action spirit to whine about things, but to celebrate them. Second, we can recreate it America, and it wouldn't even be that hard. Here's what we gotta do:
- Elect a president that doesn't give a shit about anything or anyone except corporations. You will probably find them in the Republican party, let's call them Schmonald Schmeagan for now.
- Deliver every Brooks Brothers suit you can find right to the steps of Wall Street, the bigger shoulder pads the better.
- Strike a deal with every drug cartel to deliver the biggest truckloads of cocaine the world has ever seen to both Hollywood and New York City.
That's it, the cocaine and rampant greed will do all the work for us. The muscle bound men will be beckoned. Sure, everything for everyone who is not a corporate banker will suck, but you will have the best movie escapism you have ever seen.
Don't thank me now America, thank me later.
Hey, remember Interpol? Remember how much you used to like Interpol, but then you forgot about them like the myriad other bands that came into your life when you were 20 and then disappeared off the face of the earth? Well, that's the thing about time, it lasts for a while, and sometimes bands come back, then you remember them. Interpol is back, and they know we might have forgot, so they made sure to sound exactly like they used to. No complaint here, let's rock.
Death From Above 1979
So, the first line of this song claims that somehow he was "born on a highway in a trainwreck." How would this happen? Did a train wreck and the tracks were near to a highway, causing the train to spill over into the lanes? Is "highway" Canadian for "train tracks?" It doesn't even really matter, because this band is so much of a pairing of legit rock stars, that they can write lines like that, and then sell them like hell to you. Well done.
Ka has gotta be the closest thing we will ever get to having a real life Ghost Dog, and we should thank him for it. Most of this video I was waiting for him to pull out two pistols and start going to town on some mafia scum. It doesn't matter if this happens or not, because they nailed the vibe completely.
I know that by now I should (gladly) accept that my favorite rapping redhead from Florida isn't going to disappear overnight, leaving me to wonder if she ever really was in fact real. This was my intense fear when I discovered then Kitty Pryde (now shortened to avoid suit). Then she continued to hang around, and also improve upon her sound, settling eventually with a half rapped/half sung style that fits her cool persona very well. It also helps that she teams up with dope producers like Chrome Sparks, and can make a compelling video by riding a neon fixie and standing in front of ambulances and Chinese massage parlors. Don't ever leave me Kitty.
A bunch of the music this band has made in the past few years I have thought of as total shit. This song breaks that maddening trend. Come for the laid back vibe, stay for the keyboards halfway in. Good shit.
Blood Orange Feat. Skepta
It is always great when you get a video to a song from a while ago that was great, but you may have forgotten. Especially when it makes you remember a rapper like Skepta, who I foolishly meant to check out and then somehow buried. I now am in the process of devouring all of Skepta's work I can find. I mean in a few lines he makes both a Mega Drive (Sega) and Mad Dog 20/20 reference. FUCK. Come on!
Tour of Adam's Workshop
Come on a little trip, and tour the workshop of the one half of the duo who have the best job in the world- The Mythbusters. Adam Savage will take you around in this extended look and show you the things that all of us want to have in our basement, even if we have no idea what to do with them.
If you want to accurately judge the advancement of a society, look no further than the genius of how they plug in their electronics. Judging by this metric, Britain has us all beat. Trapdoors, safety measures, fuses, all built into something as seemingly simple as a three prong plug. Learn a bit of history while you secretly weep for American ingenuity you prole!
Sopranos GTA Intro
Take one of the best shows of all time, and recreate the intro inside of one of the best games of all time. Damn Internet, you never run out of ideas.
Video games are cool. Delicious food is cool. Cool things like geodes and shark teeth are cool. Put them all together while recreating absolutely classic game over screens, and you have PES's latest stop motion treat. I always knew Pacman would be a pizza if he could be any food.
That's all you jabronis. Come on back next week for your home of 80's action cinema, Funday.