Stream Police: It's a Cornucopia of Film!
I'm behind the wheel of the Stream Police this week, and boy are you in for a ride. We are going all over the cinematic world, so strap in, it's going to be a hell of a ride.
Clive Barker's Hellraiser is what would happen if Jamie Dornan from Fifty Shades of Grey was actually a demonic sadomasochist as opposed to just a millionaire sadomasochist. Pinhead is one of the most iconic characters of horrow, akin to Freddy or Jason, but is more fucked up because he lives to inflict sexual pain on those unfortunate enough to open up the Lament Configuration. The film solidified Clive Barker as one of horror's finest writers, along with introducing Pinhead to the pop culture lexicon. It's creepy, gory, and awesome all at the same time.
For fans of: BDSM, leather, unconventional horror movies
I always get bummed out when I think about the fact that Kurt Russell didn't become the biggest action star during the 80s. His turn as Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China is essentially a truck-driving Indiana Jones who fights supernatural Asian baddies below Chinatown in San Francisco. It's as awesome as it sounds, and it might not have been as great without the charismatic performance of Russell. The film is also classic John Carpenter with a kick-ass synthesizer soundtrack, awesome monsters, and style for days. It's one of Carpenter's best, and another amazing partnership between him and Russell.
For fans of: Indiana Jones, 80s action films, awesome one-liners
Before there was the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we had stand-alone films that didn't spend half their time setting up the next film in the series. The Punisher might be one of Marvel's most underrated movies, but it is definitely the most spot-on casting of any Marvel film. Tom Jane is awesome as the vigilante, even down to the gravelly, stoic voice he uses to dish out punishment. A hero is only as good as his villain, and surprisingly John Travolta turns in a truly memorable performance as Howard Saint, the man who kills the Punisher's family. The Punisher is better than all but two of the most recent MCU films, and I can keep hoping that they bring Jane back for the next iteration of Frank Castle.
For fans of: over-the-top violence, good superhero movies, heavy weapons
There is no dialogue for the first hour of this film, none whatsoever. Some will say that There Will Be Blood is P.T. Anderson being overindulgent, but I honestly think it's one of the best films I've ever seen. Daniel Day-Lewis turns in another career-defining performance as Daniel Plainview, the greedy, sociopathic oilman who will do anything for money and control of his assets. He is cold and calculating in only a way that Daniel Day-Lewis can be, and he carries the entire film. It's a slow film that builds to a head, but it's over three hours long and not for the typical movie-goer.
For fans of: Oscar-winning performances, period pieces, drinking milkshakes
The Naked Gun
Lieutenant Frank Drebin is Leslie Nielsen's masterstroke. While Dr. Rumack in Airplane! is pretty funny, and his turn as the President in Scary Movie 3 is great, Lt. Frank Drebin is hilarious and inept. He actually might be the dictionary definition of the word inept, but he always gets his man. He does very little right throughout the film, instead blundering along almost starting international incidents with the Queen of England. Ricardo Montalban also turns in a great performance as the villain who dogs Drebin throughout the film, playing a smarmy version of himself. It's one of the best comedies ever written, and it's chock-full of sight gags, one-liners, and general Leslie Nielsen goofiness.
For fans of: Airplane!, laughs by the minute, beavers