Week in Review
This week I watched both Straight to Hell and Cakeboy. Straight to Hell was made by Alex Cox, starred Joe Strummer of The Clash and featured The Pogues and many other music types in the main roles. Courtney Love, before her music career, also showed up. Cakeboy was directed and written by members of The Vandals, and heavily featured the band No Use For a Name. It made me think back to my days with my punk friends in the late '80s when we killed time between shows by watching movies nonstop, often repeating the same ones.
It's been a while since I made a list type column, so here's one for you. This is the list of films that we made a big deal about back then. It's by no means definitive except in my personal group, but you should definitely give these a look if you have the chance.
Sid & Nancy (1986)
The great Gary Oldman stars as the enigmatic bass player for the Sex Pistols. This is why every emo boy and mall punk has the padlock on a chain around his neck.
Repo Man (1984)
Unfortunately I have quoted Emelio Estevez's line "I can't believe I used to like these guys" way too many times, but never while watching the Circle Jerks, who appear during that scene. One of the all-time best soundtracks of any genre.
I watched this film so many times, I learned how to walk in slow motion. Don't confuse it with the Eric Bogosian film. This was my favorite of the bunch. By 2001, I was living the life portrayed here -- and I hated it.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
There's nothing about punks in here, not the music, or the characters. But nonetheless, this Kubrick film was viewed many times as we worked on our fake accents, and it gave everyone of us a Halloween costume.
Decline of Western Civilization (1981)
There was only one copy of this in the entire St. Louis area, and it was broken. I've still never seen it, but have lied many times about watching it, so it makes the list. Sadly, like its two sequels, not available on DVD.
Another State of Mind (1984)
I remember the first time I saw this one, I felt like I had missed everything -- that I had been born a few years too late. If I had a time machine, I'd use it to go back and see a Minor Threat show.
The River's Edge (1986)
I remember seeing this film when it hit Betamax. Keanu Reeves' best film, The River's Edge christened Crispin Glover as our role model and hero. More of a metal film than a punk film, but we loved it anyway.
The Young Ones (1982)
We taped these off MTV. Back then, it was almost all videos and few shows. We watched them over and over. They were Monty Python's Flying Circus for punks. Yet another show for us with which to affect British accents.
These films came out later, but definitely would be in the mix today.
Romper Stomper (1992)
Russell Crowe as a brawling skinhead. Crowe doesn't play evil anymore, and it's a shame. He definitely has a Bad Guy face when he wants it.
SLC Punk (1998)
Matthew Lillard's career spiked sharper than a liberty spike with this film. I was laughing at the first few minutes, but the end really left me silently sad.
American History X (1998)
Edward Norton's role as a nazi skinhead is flawless. Edward Furlong and Fairuza Balk both contribute excellent performances as well.
Pick of the Week
There were some good films this week, but I didn't see anything that blew me away. I really enjoyed Bounce, the documentary about bouncers. I liked Lucky McKee's installment of the Masters of Horror series. I finally got around to seeing Basic Instinct, and thought it was good. The one that stood out was The Bounty.
I'm picking The Bounty, because it came out 22 years ago, and you most likely haven't seen it or haven't seen it in a while, and the performances are early shots of some of today's favorites. I think this film would do well today in a simple rerelease. All of the principal players are still relevant to today's viewing public.
I'm not much for the Sea Adventure flick, and this one has a very slow start, but the writing and acting are top notch. Hopkins faces off most often and to best effect with Mel Gibson, who at this point had been Mad Max twice but not yet in the Lethal Weapon movies that would really put him in the American public domain.
This is also before Hopkins became Hannibal Lecter, in Silence of the Lambs. His performance in this is much better, and in some ways, more evil as a meter of justice and unforgiving arm of the law. A pre-Schindler's List Liam Neeson has a small role, as does the pre-My Left Foot Daniel Day-Lewis.
I watched 14 this week. I had one on Monday, watched three both Tuesday and Wednesday, so I had half of them down by Thursday. 264 DVDs in 176 days. 236 DVDs left in the next 168 days for a pace of 9.83 per week.
I needed to get a little ahead, because I'm going to Comic Con for my other job. Comic Con is the big Nerd Festival of the year in San Diego. I have one coming on Monday, probably only one on Tuesday. I may not get many this week, depending on what I can do on Wednesday Night.