Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday 8/2

DDSDM - Different Day Same Damn Migraine

I know I previously described a migraine as if having the chestburster from Alien popping out of your head. Well, after day 3 of the same damn headache I am going to revise that statement: Getting a migraine actually feels more like your head is trying to give birth to your brain through your eye socket but your eyeball refuses to get out of the way... hell of a picture aint it?  Since virtually all of my migraines are weather and air pressure related, it makes the alternating thunderstorms we're having real fun! Coupled with the lack of sleep - today is going to be a LONG day. But I've got a lot of writing to do -book, blog, movie review so I WONT LET IT STOP ME NOW! - is that the weirdest segue to the main topic of the day you've ever read? Maybe I should put it in context. Enjoy some Queen everyone!
Alright, I know that song came out in like 79 - but that is almost the 80's and what defines the 80's better than some good old U.S. Russia Tensions? Go with me on this one. I didn't really have a topic to speak of for today and I didn't want to just repost the same old news that other sites already reported with my usual amount of wit and sarcasm. Plus a friend posted on Facebook about how the upcoming Russia hosted Olympics are steadily turning into a clusterF%^) - then you get the whole Snowden thing and their anti gay rights stance and BAM! - We're right back where we were 30 years ago; well minus the nuclear arms race and Reagan telling Gorbachev to take down his big concrete yard accessory. But what we did get in the 80's was a whole lot of butch manly action movies in the "US versus THEM" genre to get our red white and blue patriotic blood pumping. So with that, what better way to spend a Friday wasting time at work than watching awesome 80's action movie trailers? I'm gonna be fast and loose with these - not all of them will be Russians, Central America had its share of vague Communist bad guys in those days too - So without further ado, I get this trailer-athon going with RED DAWN!
I gotta say, I have more than a bit of love for this movie. It was one of the very few movies I was ever told by my Mom that I couldn't rent. So when it hit broadcast TV and she couldn't stop me since its content was edited for TV,  I ate it up! As a result I was kind of offended at the idea of a remake - I shouldn't have been, I was bored to sleep by that movie - but it's only fitting that it gets first billing. Plus it has Swayze and Sheen and one of the Corey's - It's tough to get any more American than that!

Well, that is until you check out Rambo III!
I know I could have used Rambo: First Blood Part II in here but come on? He only goes back to Viet Nam in that one and rescues a few POW's - in Rambo III he kicks the Russians out of Afghanistan single handed! Sure the Taliban rides in on their horses at the end and take out the tanks but Rambo blows up 2 huge helicopters all by himself with a bow and arrow and blue glow sticks in a cave!- that has to count for something!

You can't go full 'Merica without a little Chuck Norris action! Missing in Action that is!
 This movie is basically Rambo: First Blood Part II just without the budget. It's still fun and it spawned 2 sequels. Most of Norris' movies are actually pretty hard to sit through and take seriously, so the grand daddy of his collection has got to be:

Invasion U.S.A.
So yeah, this movie is somehow -still to this day- one of the best selling home video releases of all time! Not kidding, it's like third or forth on the list. Something like 1 in every 6 Americans owns a copy of this movie... I just so happen to have it on Laserdisc! About 90% of the action of this movie is relegated to a single city block in Miami - not the front steps of the Capital in Washington D.C. as depicted on the box art. But that's okay because Norris strides into fights with two Uzi's and he has a pet armadillo!

What better way to showcase how much more awesome America was in the 80's than show one of their own desire to defect in The Hunt for Red October!
I know this came out in 1990 - but the book was written in the mid 80's and it was filmed between 88 and 89 so it still counts! Plus it was immediately banned in Russia for fairly obvious reasons I think. But still, where else are you going to find a bad ass Sean Connery playing a Russian sub commander try and steal a top of the line Submarine and give it to the US as a peace token? No where!

How hasn't Eastwood made this list sooner? I give you Firefox!
This is a movie where Eastwood is recruited to infiltrate a Russian secrete military base and fly out their prototype sonic super jet that you control with your mind! I know I made it sounds kinda dumb but it's actually a hoot and you can tell Our Man Clint is enjoying the hell out of himself.

Maybe because he was from Austria and that is a border country to the Soviet Union, our dear friend Arnold Schwarzenegger never really got into the whole US VS Russians genre. But he did blow up a TON of Central American Communists that were threatening to overthrow the democratically elected President of some fictitious country in Commando!
Not only is this one of Arnold's best movies, it also features that great steel drum music score that made every 80's action movie sound like it was filmed in the Caribbean! That and Arnold entered the God Mode cheat code and has an unending supply of bullets, grenades, rockets, and knives, and bombs to blow up an entire army of bad guys all on his own! Sure there is a whole plot involving how the Commies are threatening to kill his kidnapped daughter. That's just the window dressing, I got a feeling Arnold would have blown these guys up regardless.

Another late 80's 1990 entry that can't go without being mentioned is Die Hard 2: Die Harder!
This time it's a battalion of rogue US Soldiers looking to stab our great country in the back by releasing a deposed communist dictator! To make the threat even more real, they're pulling this stunt on our most sacred of holidays - no not July 4th - Christmas! Those Bastards! Thankfully we have Bruce Willis and his receding hairline and super NYPD/LAPD skills to put an end to the terrorists' evil plot!

To end this post I have to give you what is perhaps the mother of all US versus THEM movies, the peak of the genre comes to us again by way of Sly Stallone with Rocky IV
After the Russian fighter kills Apollo Creed in the ring, Rocky travels to Jackson Hole Wyoming -er...I mean Siberia to train for the fight of his life. The whole theme "Us versus Them" is even outright stated on more than one occasion, but then we get Rocky preaching us a lesson that if he can change maybe we all can change as the Russian people chant his name to victory! Toss in around 4 or 5 music video montages inside of 20 minutes showcasing Stallone pulling a sled in the snow while the Russian fighter Ivan Drago gets steroid injections and you have the most entertaining entry in the Rocky Franchise and quite possibly the best of the 80's U.S. VS Russia action sub-genre!

While the staple of the Evil Russians invading the US and ruining the youth of America has been a theme in our culture since the 50's, it was never on better display than in 80's action movie cinema. Even though it came to a head with the fall of the Berlin Wall, it lives on in the hearts of every child that grew up in the 80's. Maybe that's why the vague Eastern European bad guys in the Taken and Bourn movies are so damned appealing? They may not be backed by a government, but they are hairy, speak an indiscernible language we have to read in subtitles, and they're a threat to freedom!

Well I hope you enjoyed this little tongue in cheek post. I found it funny as hell and I had a really damn hard time narrowing the list to just a few gems. Honestly, I think I would break Blogger if I did a full post on this topic. So with that Dear Readers, I wish you a happy restful weekend and I want to remind you that there is no shame in working out to the smooth tunes of John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band's "Heart's On Fire." It got Rocky in shape to fight the Russian, it will help you lift logs, chop wood, lift nets full of rocks, and do a billion sit ups while suspended from the rafters of some rickety old shack!

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