Category Archives: 1987

The Big Easy (1987)

Just relax, darlin’. This is the Big Easy. Folks have a certain way o’ doin’ things down here.

— Remy McSwain

The Big Easy is probably one of my favorite Dennis Quaid movies. It’s not because the movie is great, but this is the sexiest role that he has ever been in. There is something alluring about this gorgeous man having that New Orléans accent that hypnotizes you. Quaid is from my hometown of Houston, Texas so I wanna keep up with my fellow Houstonian.

The Big Easy refers to New Orléans, Louisiana and Det. Remy McSwain (Quaid) is being plucked from his bed, snuggling with a stuffed crocodile to be the first to response to a murder. A man is found facedown in a fountain. McSwain’s boss, Captain Jack Kellom (Ned Beatty) tells him that it might the start of a gang war between the mob guys. They call them wiseguys.

Assistant District attorney Anne Osbourne (Ellen Barkin)  is assigned to the case, but she is also looking into the deep corruption in the police force. There are accusations of bribery, tapering with evidence, extortion and murder. Remy uses his charms to woo the bloodhounds from off their backs. He says that it’s the New Orléans way of doing things. Sometimes you have to bend the law to get the job done.

Anne tries not to fall for his charms, but he slowly lowers her defenses until she is ready to pounce. He pounces hard. She is reluctant to get involved with him, but the passion outweighs any code of ethics. Everything is fine, but Remy gets caught in a hairy situation that he might not get out of.

The movie is eye candy first. There is nothing deep and meaningful about this movie for me. There is a mystery element that was brushed to the side until the end of the movie. It felt like an afterthought. There were some points in the movie that I wanted to slap Anne to say that he is not good for you, girl. You gotta admit that he is sexy as hell.

Judgment: You get the chance to watch Dennis Quaid stripped down. Nuff said.

Rating: 6.5/10

The Untouchables (1987)

I want you to get this fuck where he breathes! I want you to find this nancy-boy Eliot Ness, I want him DEAD! I want his family DEAD! I want his house burned to the GROUND! I wanna go there in the middle of the night and I wanna PISS ON HIS ASHES.

— Al Capone

I was so excited that The Untouchables was being shown on BBC America over the weekend. I have not seen the film in a while. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. This is the movie that brought Sean Connery the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Some people think that Brian De Palma is a hack director, but you cannot tell that the shootout in the train station was not an exercise of tension, suspense and keeping the audience at the edge of their seats.

The Untouchables is the big screen version of the 1950s television series that explored the adventures of Special Agent of the Treasury Department, Detective Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) abiding by the laws that he swore to uphold.

He has trouble doing this because 1930s Los Angeles is filled with corruption, violence and murder. The main culprit is the notorious gangster Al Capone (Robert De Niro) that has the police department and the judicial system on his payroll. Ness believes that he has the intel on a shipment of Canadian whiskey ordered by Capone. It turns out to be a ruse and Ness has egg on his face.

Ostracized at the force, Ness has a chances meeting with a beat cop named Jim Malone (Connery) who turns out to be a mentor to him. Ness wants to form a new task force with some unlikely characters like a mousey accountant that was hired to look into Capone’s books, Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith) or a fresh recruit that has a dead on shot, George Stone (Andy Garcia). They form the titular team.

They begin to taken down Al Capone’s liquor hideouts. Capone is not happy and wants to make Ness’ life a living hell.

I am a sucker for period action films with gangsters, liquor and tommy guns.

Judgment: This movie is perfect for me. I think this is a guy film like The Shawshank Redemption and Fight Club.

Rating: 8/10

Raising Arizona (1987)

We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter.

— H.I. McDunnough

Raising Arizona was probably my favorite comedy of theirs growing up. This was before I became the movie snob that I claim to be today. You know my track record with the Coen Brothers. Some times they could deliver absolute masterpieces and others are mindless pieces of dreck that would ever be put on celluloid. I believe that my previous love of this movie has waned a bit.

Convicted convenience store robber, H.I. McDunnough (Nicolas Cage) comes in and out of jail, because he wants to flirt with the officer that takes his mug shots, Edwina (Holly Hunter). After he gets paroled for the umpteenth time, he proposes to Edwina. They quickly marry; Edwina quits her job at the station, and the couple moves into a mobile home in the middle of the Arizona desert.

Things seem to be great, but Edwina desperately wants to have a child. The couple exhaustively tries to conceive without any success. Edwina learns that is barren. It devastates them. They try to the adoption without success, because of H.I’s long rap sheet.

They think their prayers have been answered when a news report reports about “The Arizona Quints.” Local celebrity Nathan Arizona (Trey Wilson) and his wife, Florence (Lynne Kitei) took fertility treatments to get their quintuplets. H.I. read is in the papers that Nathan was quoted in saying that the quints are a handful. The McDunnoughs come up with the idea of kidnapping one of the kids.

They break into the Arizona house while they are there and take almost all of them out of their shared crib. Some of the kids crawl away towards the door. H.I. hears that somebody is coming and leaves. He is scolded by Edwina to take one of the babies. He goes back to take Nathan Jr. (T.J. Kuhn Jr.) and raise him as their own.

Naturally, Nathan Arizona issues a $20,000 reward for his safe return. A bounty hunter that looks like he stepped off Mad Max, Leonard Smalls (Tex Cobb) takes up the slack that the inept police force couldn’t do. There is also H.I.’s cellmates, Gale and Evelle (John Goodman, William Forsythe) break of the same jail, Shawshank style. They come to the McDunnough’s trailer to spend the night, which complicates matters that the police will be after them soon.

There is blackmail, betrayal, kidnapping and redemption in this movie. I should feel like I did when I was a kid, but I didn’t. I understand that this movie was supposed to be over the top, but I think the Coens should have dialed it back a thousand percent. I still enjoyed the ridiculous action set pieces like the extended convenience store robberies with the barking dogs, the hand cannon and the Pampers, the fight between Gale and HI and also the climatic scene. Other than that, it was too much for me to handle.

Judgment: I can’t imagine enjoy this film, unless you want to make fun of white trash.

Rating: ***

Full Metal Jacket (1987)


The deadliest weapon in the world is a marine and his rifle. It is your killer instinct which must be harnessed if you expect to survive in combat. Your rifle is only a tool. It is a hard heart that kills. If your killer instincts are not clean and strong you will hesitate at the moment of truth. You will not kill. You will become dead marines and then you will be in a world of shit because marines are not allowed to die without permission. Do you maggots understand?

— Gunnery Sargent Hartman

Full Metal Jacket is my favorite of Stanley Kubrick’s films. Granted I have not seen all of his films, but this #88 movie of All Time on IMDb I have seen a couple of times over the years. I know almost all of the dialogue. That should tell that I still love it.

Based on the novel “The Short-Timers” by Gustav Hasford, the story mostly centers on smart-alecky Pvt. Joker (Matthew Modine) when he was at Marine Corps boot camp in South Carolina called Parris Island. He gets a dose of reality when Gunnery Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Emery) tries to reel his attitude in.

The next two months are grueling for the grunts that are in training for going out to Vietnam. Joker is promoted to squad leader and has to help a portly fellow affectionately nicknamed Gomer Pyle (Vincent D’Onofrio). Pyle is a constant target for Hartman who thinks that he is a worthless piece of shit.

Joker wants to help Pyle with the daily grind of learning how to dress himself, making up his bunk, conquer the obstacle course, disassemble and reassemble his rifle. Pyle tries to do his best, but he has minor fuck ups that cause Hartman to punish the platoon for not making him better.

The 3092 platoon has been punished one time too many for Pyle’s mistakes that cause the platoon to turns against him. In one single brutal act, Pyle snaps. He seems like he became the perfect soldier like Hartman wanted, but slowly unravels from within.

On the last night of boot camp, Pyle reached his breaking point when Joker patrols the barracks and finds him in the bathroom with his rifle.

Fast forward to Joker is deployed to Vietnam as a writer for Stars and Stripes. He travels with a photographer, Rafterman (Kevyn Major-Howard). He reconnects with Cowboy (Arliss Howard), a fellow grunt that survived. Cowboy’s a part of The Lust Hawk Squad with trigger happy, Animal Mother (Adam Baldwin), Eightball (Dorian Harewood), and Doc Jay (John Stafford).

When the team is lost going to their designated checkpoint, the team have to navigate some dangerous waters.

The last sequence of the movie makes me laugh; you would never expect it for this movie. I love the haunting score by Abigail Mead. It still gets to me. I wonder, what happened to Matthew Modine? He was so good in the movie. He has been in a few movies in the past couple of years. Nothing major. It makes you wonder.

Judgment: The ultimate lesson is that war will fuck you up physically and mentally.

Rating: *****

Spaceballs (1987)

This is a movie that I have loved since I was a kid, Spaceballs. It’s a spoof about all the films that space geeks cream their panties. The core of the film is a send up of “Star Wars”, but their are also elements from “Star Trek”, “Jewish humor, etc.

From the brilliant mind of Mel Brooks, I like his brand of spoof movies that Monty Python. I guess, I have a Jewish sensibilitu about me. I don’t know.

I love this story about Lone Starr, Princess Vespa, Barf, Dark Helmet and of course, Yogurt.

The story is hilarious. The lines are classic. There is one line that I love. It’s when Princess Vespa is in the middle of a fire fight.

Lone Starr hands Vespa a laser gun.

She says, “I ain’t shooting this thing, I hate guns.”

A guard shoots at her hair.

“My hair. He shot my hair. Son of a bitch!”

She begins mowing down all the guards. She bows the smoke from the gun.

I love this movie.

My rating: ***1/2 stars.

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