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Posts Tagged ‘Bubba Smith’

Stroker Ace

Thursday, June 29th, 2023

July 1, 1983

STROKER ACE is one of the many Burt Reynolds movies directed by stunt legend Hal Needham. Before this he’d been second unit director for the car chase in THE LONGEST YARD and then directed Burt in SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, HOOPER, SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT II and THE CANNONBALL RUN. This one’s not nearly as good as Hooper, but at least not as broad as CANNONBALL.

Burt (in his followup to BEST FRIENDS) stars as Stroker Ace, undisputed regional champion of smarmy womanizing, also a legendary NASCAR driver. There’s a prologue where he’s a little kid and seems to gain his love of driving fast by experiencing a police chase while getting a ride home from his friend’s dad, who’s a moonshiner. The kid they have playing young Stroker is really good, chewing gum and repeatedly checking his hair in the rear view mirror. (read the rest of this shit…)

Black Moon Rising

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

I’ve been curious about BLACK MOON RISING (1986) – and many of you have recommended it to me over the years – for the specific reason that it’s based on a script by John Carpenter. According to the book John Carpenter: The Prince of Darkness by Gilles Boulenger, he wrote it in 1974 and sold it in late 1975 to producer Harry Gittes (GOIN’ SOUTH, ABOUT SCHMIDT), who does not have a credit on the movie. A decade later it ended up being directed by Harley Cokeliss (BATTLETRUCK, studio second unit director of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK) and rewritten by Desmond Nakano (BODY ROCK, LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN) and William Gray (THE CHANGELING, PROM NIGHT, HUMONGOUS, THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT). They used Todd Ramsay, editor of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and THE THING, but otherwise it’s not any of Carpenter’s crew. Still, there aren’t too many fresh Carpenter-related projects out there for me to experience, so I went for it.

And I’m happy to report that it’s much more like a John Carpenter movie than THE EYES OF LAURA MARS, while having enough of its own thing going on to not feel like a Dollar Store knock off. It’s elegantly simple, using some standard thriller ideas but not the usual good guys, and it has that precious quality of feeling edgy and slightly futuristic by the standards of a long past era. Most of all it has 1986 Tommy Lee Jones as a cool, mysterious anti-hero who seems all alone, hated by his bosses and former colleagues as he works as a “freelancer” one last time. It was Jones’s follow up to THE PARK IS MINE and Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” video, where he plays “a real estate novelist who never had time for a wife” (unless IMDb is wrong and that’s just a guy who looks like him). (read the rest of this shit…)