The Tulsa area is in the midst of a massive ice storm. You know how the local media always have to ramp it up like we’re all about to die? Well, one channel is calling it “Ice Assault 2007”. I haven’t left my house or yard in more than two days (the photo is of my house taken a few minutes ago and that's 3 inches of ice on the ground, not snow). At least I have power and all the technologies connected to that. So, I’ve been dedicating “Ice Assault '07” to serious couch time and movies. Here’s what I’ve watched the past few days.
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot: One of the last Clint Eastwood movies I’d never seen is this goofy heist 1974 film set in Montana as a group (Jeff Bridges also stars) attempt to rob an armored car vault they’d robbed a few years earlier. The film has a quirky vibe to it that is pure ‘70s—regular readers know I love ‘70s cinema. It’s manic, silly and a bit raw. Eastwood is almost too big to be in this as his “Clintness” nearly overwhelms whatever is taking place—either in the story or with other actors. Michael Cimino directed this and it has a lot of muscle cars blaring over highways and fields, a robbery, double crosses and a streak of goofy humor running through it.
Streets of Fire: I’ve been trying to see some Diane Lane films I’ve never seen and this one from ’84 not only has Lane but Bill Paxton (I’m a fan of his too) in a small role and the director is Walter Hill, who is another favorite. Hill, normally as lean and mean as you’ll see in a Hollywood director, gets to show a flashier side in this film. I couldn’t figure out if it was a period film in the ‘50s combined through an ‘80s blender or if this was in the future. I kind of think it’s set in the future because of the neon lit wet streets, leather outfits, atmospheric poverty and other little things on display was just a little over the top. Streets of Fire is like a 90 minutes video with Lane belting out songs with lots of quick cuts and stylized violence as local bad boy takes on a motorcycle gang. It’s kind of a frivolous film with some cheesy moments and bad dialogue that doesn’t really have much tension yet I liked it because it is so earnest in its genre sensibilities. I’m just a fan of Walter Hill movies and hadn’t seen him do something so atmospheric and splashy. Guilty pleasure.
Good Morning, Night: A few weeks ago I watched the epic Italian film The Best of Youth and was blown away by it. I also got a bit of a crush on Maya Sansa so I’m renting some of her films on Netflix. I’m not sure an Italian movie about radicals kidnapping and killing a hostage for political reasons is the kind of film to watch when you haven’t left the house for days because the city is entombed in ice—but that’s what I had from Netflix so I watched it. Sansa—still have a crush, it’s growing—while the movie is a somber piece of Italian drama that was good but not as good as it might have been had I not been cooped up in the house due to ice for days on end.
The Family Stone: To counter balance the earlier film I watched this sub-par family comedy that is as predictable as the day is long. I knew how this would end 10 minutes into it. Sarah Jessica Parker is among the cast and she’s film poison for me. Every scene she was in I was on the verge of cringing. Only recommended if you are in the midst of an “Ice Assault” and just watched a downer of an Italian film.
Ice Assault ’07 continues for another day as work was called off and I’m sure I’ll watch one or two more things today—I’m thinking of venturing out of the house for The Curse of the Golden Flower and am planning on watching The Treasure of Sierra Madre on the couch.