Archives for posts with tag: Patrick Swayze

Red Dawn poster

A shameless stain on the legacy of the 1984 John Milius classic, this insufferably p.c. 2012 remake pits a multiracial mix of forgettable youngsters against invading North Koreans. Chris Hemsworth has clearly been cast for a passing resemblance to Patrick Swayze, but neither he nor anybody else in the cast can redeem this erratic, soulless dreck. Gone are the gorgeous score, the memorable characters, and the sense of a real place and community that charged the original with such emotion and roused viewers to patriotic outrage. When, contrarily, all that the Wolverines stand to lose in their war is Barack Hussein Obama’s America, where are the dramatic stakes?             

2 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Red Dawn is:

3. Pro-miscegenation. Girls express disappointment that a strapping young black buck dismisses them as unworthy of him.

2. Multiculturalist. Celebrating the contributions of citizens of all colors, the remake makes sure to include an Asian-American soldier so as to counterbalance the negative impression given by the totalitarian North Koreans.

1. Neoconservative. A confused montage of news clips gets across the idea that the world is in the grip of a confluence of crises and that Obama’s presidency coincides with American decline. Among the broadcast snippets is an assertion that America’s military is overextended abroad; but, rather than being a reasonable caution against unnecessary overseas adventurism, this is likely included by way of panhandling for an even more bloated defense budget. The lame choice of invaders corroborates George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil” speech, and the additional revelation that the Russians are backing them goes along with the prevailing Zionist anti-Russian demagoguery spewed by the likes of Mitt Romney, who during his presidential campaign referred to Russia as “America’s number one geopolitical foe”.

PointBreak

Point Break (1991) *****  Point Break was this reviewer’s second Kathryn Bigelow movie after the underappreciated 1987 vampire horror Near Dark. Like that film, this one is a consistently inventive take on a standard genre, in this case action of the undercover and heist/caper varieties, that goes for a style-heavy approach that in no way detracts from the substance.

The cinematography, and particularly the overcranked (i.e., slow motion) work, is elegant and appropriate to the beauty the characters find in their various philosophically informed adrenaline rushes and passions of choice. The opening credits appear over intercut images of surfing and target practice – married pictures of recreation and violence – that capture the fun but dangerous tone and thematic concerns of the story as a whole. At times Point Break feels like an L.A.-flavored super-episode of Miami Vice, with its undercover operation, sun, and political cynicism – conveyed most creatively in its vision of American presidents as bank robbers, which underscores Point Break‘s constant relativistic tension.

Johnny Utah is an interesting part for Keanu Reeves, a transitional role bridging his 80s dude persona, as exemplified by Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Parenthood, with his later, more serious (but less noteworthy) turns in films like Speed and The Matrix. Reeves even does a little undercover work on the beach in Spicoli mode, acknowledging where he has been as an actor in the midst of cutting his teeth as a leading man of masculine weight.

Swayze is surprisingly scary and darkly charismatic here, and may prompt some viewers to wish he had essayed more antagonistic parts in his unfortunately short career. Busey is entertaining as always, as is Vincent Klyn (Cyborg‘s Fender) in his supporting gig as hardcore surfer hooligan Warchild.

This reviewer is tempted to place Point Break in the highest tier of 80s/early 90s action films. Point Break falls short of being a Conan the Barbarian, a First Blood, or a Running Man, but it is on a level with Red Heat or Shakedown and better than RamboCobra, or Death Wish 2. The absence of a Stallone or Norris in no way handicaps Point Break, an action-adventure-drama with a sensibility all its own. 5 stars, easy.

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