It’s a man hitting a bear
Patrick Swayze – one of the greatest tough guys of them all – finally got done by the dreaded cancer, bless him. He was only 57. As, weirdly, was his father when he died prematurely of a heart attack. But what a 57 years for young Patrick. He starred in three movies that would probably make an Interestment Top 20 of All Time – Point Break, The Outsiders, Dirty Dancing. Plus he enjoyed an enormous moment in the sunshine after the sexy pottery scene in Ghost. Not to mention his awesome performance in Skatetown USA. He shall be missed, hence we thought we’d get him a parting gift, so we all lined up on potters wheels and began very slowly seducing one another, whilst discussing presents, until it boiled down to a toss up between a song recital from his back catalogue, or a cool t-shirt of a man punching a bear – something Swayze in his prime would probably have done, the maniac. In the end we got him both. Rest in Peace, Patrick. Two… three… four… She’s like the wind…
Tom Stade on India
And it’s another enormous day for Hollywood, as yet more fine actors plan an evening of vodka jelly, moon pie, hash cakes, egg sandwiches spiked with Acid, and, of course, the world famous Birthday Song. Ed Norton, Christian Slater, Robert Redford, and Roman Polanski will all be wearing the sparkling cone hat and tearing into big parcels. As will Patrick Swayze, who is turning 56. And what a 56 years so far. He’s starred in two of the finest films of our time – Point Break, as a surfer with serious philosophical leanings (“fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true”, “if you want the ultimate, you’ve got to be willing to pay the ultimate price”, “back off Warchild, seriously”) and Dirty Dancing, in which he instructed a very confused middle-aged father to never allow his daughter a corner seat. Dancing ensued. Dirty Dancing. Hence, we thought we’d get him a gift, one part Happy Birthday, and another part wishing him luck against the dreaded cancer, and after a very serious sit down conversation it boiled down to a toss up between a ceramic duck or a clip of Canadian funny man Tom Stade talking about India. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Patrick Swayze!
Radiohead, 15 Step Overdub
Harry Dean Stanton is one of those actors who everyone has seen, but no one can ever remember where. So allow us to remind you. He was the put-upon world weary dad in Pretty In Pink – Ringwald‘s finest moment – he was a repossession agent in Repo Man – Estevez’s finest moment – and he enjoyed Swayze’s finest moment in Red Dawn. He’s certainly been around the block a few times, and today he’s turning a very impressive 82, so we thought we’d buy him a present. After about nine small bottles of French beer, we thought it would be completely hilarious to get him a kitten called Rover, or a brilliant overdubbed Radiohead clip spotted by friend of the site Andrew. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday HDS!
Some really great ones just missed out
What a decade, the 1990s. It came directly after the 1980s, and featured a gigantic backlash against massive earrings, AIDS, and big feathery haircuts. Instead, everyone just necked magic mushrooms and sat around pretending to be from Manchester. That’s right, Manchester. Or as it was known then, Madchester. Because everyone was mad for it. And the cinema was a whole different kettle of fish too. You couldn’t smoke down the left hand side anymore, and shiny films like Mannequin were replaced by intense social studies like Boogie Nights, Falling Down, and Edward Scissorhands. It was a magnificent decade for films, so coming up with the four that most encapsulate it was a very emotional, sometimes heartbreaking exercise. Die Hard 2, The Big Lebowski, Scream, Basic Instinct, Jacob’s Ladder, and Goodfellas all fell at the very last hurdle. Our top four ended up looking like this…
1. Point Break
One of the finest films ever made, this has it all – big waves, bank jobs, Gary Busey, and Keanu Reeves career peaking throughout. It is amazing. Reeves plays a young FBI agent attempting to infiltrate a gang of bank robbers lead by the peerless Patrick Swayze, who is on dynamic form as Keanu’s male crush, Bodhi – a big blonde man who fears nothing, not even his own watery death. “If you want the ultimate, you’ve got to be willing to pay the ultimate price – it’s not tragic to die doing what you love,” he deadpans at a beach party, sort of killing the vibe.
2. Groundhog Day
Of many fine Bill Murray performances, this is the finest. The tale of a man reliving the same day over and over again, it features Bill descending into madness, before realising his deep inner love for Andie MacDowell. It’s beautiful, and hilarious, as he goes about correcting his mistakes, killing himself, robbing people, and – presumably – spending three or four days slowly explaining to MacDowell how annoying she is. The comedy of the decade, just above Kingpin.
3. Pulp Fiction
Without a doubt, this is one of the greatest cinema films ever made – by which we mean, it should be watched in the cinema. It was a close call, with Reservoir Dogs, True Romance and Jackie Brown all super-excellent films, but in Tarantino’s strongest decade, this was his real masterpiece. In a single stroke, he managed to dig up Travolta’s career rotting remains from a Hollywood roadside, as well as make Samuel L Jackson the coolest man on the planet. It also just keeps Goodfellas off the top four, as the best ensemble film of the decade.
The high point of Elizabeth Berkley’s career, this is one of the most preposterous films ever – and one of the most fantastic. Berkley plays a lapdancer climbing the Vegas showgirl ladder, selling little bits of her soul along the way, as well as thrashing around sexually in a swimming pool in the greatest intercourse scene ever filmed. It just beats Basic Instinct – another tale of lust and deception – to the fourth spot. An underrated gem.
Eric Carmen, Hungry Eyes
Excellent, Thursday’s here. Regulars will know that Thursday is the official day of love and sensuality, so take a few moments to unbutton your blouse to an acceptable level, dim the office lights, and explain to your colleagues how there may or may not be a guy out there who really knows how to correctly smear lotion into all of your erogenous zones. To help you get in the mood, here’s Eric Carmen singing on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. It’s an ode to future sexual partners, and how they can really build up an appetite in your eyes during those early throws of hysterical licking.
Young, dumb and full of…
Such is the crippling nature of this recession that you shouldn’t be surprised to see your boss – once so suave, so classy – feverishly licking the insides of a discarded Pot Noodle, desperate for nourishment. And to think he used to satisfy his aggressive hunger with baked oysters and truffle mash. Such hard, worrying times. Which is why we scream hysterically and start clapping our hands whenever we hear of a great bargain. Just last night, good friend Jim was telling us over a pint of the warm stuff about a brilliant film he stumbled across. “New films just don’t seem to cut the mustard,” he slurred, weirdly, “but I found Point Break in the charity shop down the road! What a movie!” Jim’s right, it is an excellent film. For those who haven’t been carressed by Point Break‘s gentle beauty, it’s the tale of an FBI agent – stunningly played by Keanu Reeves – on the trail of some bank robbers, who may or may not be surfers. Patrick Swayze also stars as an ace surfer/modern philosopher called Bodhi, who says things like: “If you want the ultimate, you’ve got to be willing to pay the ultimate price”, and “they only live to get radical”. It’s completely brilliant. So come on, Jim, how much for this masterpiece of modern cinema? “One pound!”
It’s all politics, man, politics
What a great time January is at the pictures. It’s when all of the serious, po-faced, Oscar contenders are dusted down and wheeled out, so that important men in half-moon spectacles can judge whether they’re socially conscious enough or not. This also means that studios like to unleash their most childish screwball comedies at the same time, for those who can’t take watching Kate Winslet pretending to be a Nazi, or Benicio Del Toro mutely embarking on a revolution – this year, cheaper thrills include Sex Drive, and Role Models.
Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when the Academy can get it all embarrassingly wrong, so in the run up to The Oscars, we’ll be occasionally prodding a fat sweaty finger into the mix to complain about their past mistakes. First up, 1990.
It’s going to be intense, 2009
Well, we pretty much messed up all of the promises we made to ourselves in 2008. There are no visible abdominal muscles, there isn’t anything in the savings account, and The Yeti (pictured) is still out there, hunting down people to eat. He should be dead, damn it. Hence, we decided that this year we’d keep it reasonable, and in amongst the giving up coffee after 10pm, and no cheese before lunch, were these four promises:
1. We must watch this film
It’s called Skatetown USA, it’s about rollerskating, romance on wheels, disco music. It stars Bugsy Malone and Patrick Swayze, and it’s described as “the greatest story ever rolled”. A must, then.