After the jump, you'll find the SPECIAL 50th EPISODE of the Travis Bickle on the Riviera movie podcast. We made 50 of these and no one's stopped us yet.
This week we don't have traditional time-coded shownotes because that would give away how the show plays out. This week we did a bracketed tournament of 80s and early 90s action movies, focusing on: American macho bullshit. Caveats and rules implied by that - no movies after the "Die Hard in a BLANK" format, no martial arts or tournament movies even super 80s ones like Bloodsport or Silent Rage, no Hong Kong movies, no Luc Besson or John Woo (even after they came to America), nothing after Pulp Fiction, Mission Impossible, and Heat changed the game completely, which is a shame because we lose Long Kiss Goodnight. Because of what we're doing next episode and to make it interesting: no John Carpenter movies in the running, because, lets face it, he'd win against almost everything.
What it does mean, though is - lots of Schwarzenegger and Stallone, good Eddie Murphy, John McTiernan, Shane Black, James Cameron, Tony Scott, Paul Reiser, buddy cops, guys getting shot, explosions, and everything that we love. I am going to go super deep with the credits this episode just to show how crazy incestuous and amazing these movies are with one another.
Movies discussed include:
48 Hours (1982), directed by Walter Hill, written by Hill, Larry Gross, Roger Spottiswoode, Steven E. Desouza, and Jeb Stuart, produced by Joel Silver. Starring Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, James Remar, Sonny Landham, David Patrick Kelly, Jonathan Banks, Brion James, and Kerry Sherman.
Joel Silver had a rule about films being structured around 13 action scenes, Die Hard, Predator, 48 Hrs, Lethal Weapon, Ricochet and The Last Boy Scout were born out of this format, and these films are the definition of satisfying pacing, which is perfected with Die Hard. And here is a splash page by John Romita Jr. from Uncanny X-Men #206 where he took a composition from 48 Hrs. 1980s Romita Jr has the best taste in shitty movies of all comics - his Phoenix is based on Susan Sarandon in The Hunger.
Aliens (1986), written and directed by James Cameron, starring Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Michael Beihn, Jenette Goldstein, William Hope, Mark Rolston, and Carrie Henn, special effects by Stan Winston, music by James Horner.
Here's the 3 hour making of documentary on Aliens from the Quadrilogy box set.
Beverly Hills Cop (1984), directed by Martin Brest, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, starring Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Ronny Cox, Jon Ashton, Jonathan Banks, Bronson Pinchot, Paul Reiser, Michael Champion, and Damon Wayans.
Beverly Hills Cop 2 (1987), directed by Tony Scott, produced by Simson/Bruckheimer, starring Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Ronny Cox, Paul Reiser, Jon Ashton, Brigitte Neilsen, Jurgen Pronchow, Allen Garfield, Dean Stockwell, Paul Guilfoyle, Gilbert Gottfried, Chris Rock, and Tiny Lister.
Here's Ronny Cox's Random Roles, with Beverly Hills Cop 3 trivia.
Cliffhanger (1993), directed by Renny Harlin, written by Sylvester Stallone and Michael France, starring Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, Rex Linn, Paul Winfield, Bruce McGill, Janine Turner, Caroline Goodall, and Leon.
Here's Renny Harlin talking about Cliffhanger last month.
Cobra (1986), directed by George P Cosmatos, produced by Golan/Globus, written by Sylvester Stallone, starring Stallone, Brigitte Neilsen, Andrew Robinson, Reni Santoni, and a whole mess of giant bodybuilder motherfuckers. Cobra was Stallone's original script for Beverly Hills Cop, which he took with him when he left.
Commando (1985), directed by Mark L. Lester, produced by Joel Silver, written by Steve E. Desouza, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Dan Hedeya, David Patrick Kelly, Bill Duke, Alyssa Milano, Vernon Welles, Bill Paxton, and James Olsen.
Conan the Barbarian (1982), directed by John Milius, written by Milius and Oliver Stone, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman (who Bob Fosse reccomended to Milius), Max Von Sydow, Mako, and another set of huge bodybuilder stuntman motherfuckers.
The reason all other fantasy movies (except maybe Legend) are shit is because Milius did not write them. Every time someone starts talking to you about Game Of Thrones, remind them John Milius didn't write that shit so you don't need to watch it.
Demolition Man (1993), directed by Marco Brambilla, produced by Joel Silver, written by Daniel Waters, Robert Renau, and Peter M. Lenkov, with an uncredited rewrite by Fred Dekker, starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, Andre Gregory, Benjamin Bratt, Jesse Ventura, Nigel Hawthorne, Dennis Leary, and Rob Schneider.
Here is a video of Fred Dekker talking about his work on Demolition Man.
Die Hard (1988), directed by John McTiernan, produced by Joel Silver and Lawrence Gordon, written by Steven E Desouza and Jeb Stuart, cinematography by Jan De Bont, starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Al Leong, William Atherton, Reginald Veljohnson, Mary Ellen Trainor, Alexander Godunov, Bonnie Bedelia, Robert Davi, Grand L Bush, and Paul Gleeson.
Check out John McTiernan, edited from commentaries, on how he was inspired by Paul Verhoeven's camera movement and editing, to the point where he hired his cinematographer and editor for Die Hard, and the kind of lenses he and Tony Scott used.
First Blood (1982), directed by Ted Kotcheff, written by Sylvester Stallone, Michael Kozoll, and William Sackheim, produced by Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna, cinematography by Andrew Laszlo, starring Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso, and Jack Starrett.
The Australian movie Tucker mentions is Wake In Fright, which was just rereleased.
The Last Boy Scout (1991), directed by Tony Scott, written by Shane Black, produced by Joel Silver and Michael Levy, music by Michael Kamen, starring Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Taylor Negron, Danielle Harris, Halle Berry, Bruce McGill, Chelsea Field, and Noble Willingham.
Here's Shane Black in 2007 talking about Last Boy Scout and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang at a screening hosted by Edgar Wright.
Lethal Weapon (1987), directed by Richard Donner, written by Shane Black, produced by Joel Silver and Donner, starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan, Mary Ellen Trainor, Tom Atkins, Darlene Love, and Al Leong, music by Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton, and David Sandborn.
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), directed by Richard Donner, written by Shane Black, Warren Murphy, and Jeffrey Boam, produced by Donner and Joel Silver, starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Joss Acklund, Patsy Kensit, Mark Rolston, Mary Ellen Trainor, Jenette Goldstein, and Dean Norris.
Passenger 57 (1992), directed by Kevin Hooks, starring Wesley Snipes, Tom Sizemore, Bruce Payne, and Elizabeth Hurley.
Point Break (1991), directed by Kathryn Bigelow, executive produced by James Cameron, music by Mark Isham, starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C McGinley, Lee Tergesen, and Tom Sizemore.
Predator (1987), directed by John McTiernan, produced by Joel Silver, Lawrence Gordon, and John Davis, written by Jim Thomas, John Thomas and maybe Shane Black, mmmmmaybe James Cameron, with special effects by Stan Winston, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Kevin Peter Hall, Elpedia Carillo, Richard Chaves, and RG Armstrong.
Also - the film was originally meant to be called Hunter and star Jean Claude Van Damme as a completely different ant-looking creature, which you can see pictures and footage of here along with interviews with Stan Winston, McTiernan, and Kevin Peter Hall.
Predator 2 (1990), directed by Stephen Hopkins, produced by Joel Silver, John Davis, and Lawrence Gordon, written by Jim and John Thomas, starring Danny Glover, Bill Paxton, Rueben Blades, Gary Busey, Robert Davi, Maria Conchita Alonso, Adam Baldwin, and Kevin Peter Hall.
The Busey role was offered to Lithgow first. Here's the Ice Cube song we mentioned. Bill Paxton is the only actor ever to be killed by a Predator, an Alien, AND a Terminator, rendering all other metrics of quality worthless.
Rambo: First Blood 2 (1985), directed by George P Cosmatos, written by James Cameron and Sylvester Stallone, starring Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Steve Berkoff, and Julia Nickson.
Here's the Weird Al Yankovic parody of the movie in UHF, which is an entirely accurate re-telling like the Gus Van Sant Psycho. They also do it in Hot Shots Part Deux. Also we talk about Rambo IV, which is horrifyingly violent while still being the same dumb movie.
Ricochet (1991), directed by Russell Mulcahy, produced by Joel Silver and Michael Levy, written by Fred Dekker, Steven E Desouza, and Menno Meyjes, starring Denzel Washington, John Lithgow, Ice-T, Kevin Pollak, Lindsay Wagner, Jesse Ventura, Mary Ellen Trainor, and Jon Amos.
I first heard of Ricochet when Seth Hurley told me about it, because he's the man.
Road House (1989), directed by Rowdy Harrington, produced by Joel Silver, cinematography by Dean Cundey (John Carpenter and Steven Spielberg's favorite guy), starring Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch, Ben Gazarra, Sam Elliot, and John Doe, music by Michael Kamen.
Here's Kelly Lynch talking about Bill Murray on Access Hollywood, meaning I finally got Access Hollywood into the show notes.
Road Warrior (1981), directed by George Miller, written by Miller, Terry Hayes, and Brian Hannant, starring Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Virginia Hey, Michael Preston, and Emil Minty.
Here is the behind the scenes of Road Warrior video.
Robocop (1987), directed by Paul Verhoeven, written by Ed Neumeir and Michael Miner, starring Peter Weller, Miguel Ferrer, Nancy Allen, Kurtwood Smith, Ronny Cox, Ray Wise, Paul McCrane, and Jesse D Goins.
Here's the video of Peter Weller introducing Robocop to an audience who is completely blown away/confused/mystified by fine arts phd Weller, especially when he calls the whole room homophobes.
Running Man (1987), directed by Paul Michael Glaser (yeah, Starsky), written by Steve E Desouza, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Dawson, Jesse Ventura, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jim Brown, Yaphet Kotto, Erland Von Lindthe, and Mick Fleetwood as Ludacris.
Terminator (1984), directed by James Fucking Cameron, written by James Cameron and Will Wisher Jr. and Gale Anne Hurd, produced by Gale Anne Hurd, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michel Beihn, Linda Hamilton, Bill Paxton, Paul Winfield, and Lance Henriksen.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), directed and produced by James Cameron, written by Cameron and Will Wisher Jr, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Joe Morton, Jenette Goldstein, and Xander Berkley.
Top Gun (1986), directed by Tony Scott, produced by Bruckheumer/Simpson, starring Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironsides, and Meg Ryan.
John Carpenter turned down directing Top Gun because he felt the entire movie was going to be shot by the 2nd unit, and would have only done it if he could have shot from the planes himself.
Total Recall (1990), directed by Paul Verhoeven, written by Ron Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, and Gary Goldman, produced by Shussett, Mario Kassar, and Andrew Vajna, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Ironsides, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Michael Champion, Rachel Ticontin, Dean Norris, Mel Johnson Jr., and Marshall Bell; and special effects by Rob Motherfucking Bottin.
There was an unused David Cronenberg script that he was maybe supposed to direct that never happened, he writes about it in Cronenberg on Cronenberg in a really interesting way - here's some concept art for it. He had wanted to do a psychological mindfuck movie, Shussett wanted to do Raiders of the Lost Ark in space, Verhoeven wanted to fucking kill every human being who stepped in front of the camera. We know who won.
Outside of the tournament: also discussed this week: CSI being good for science education, Beloved, 12 Years A Slave, Warrior, Hellraiser 1 & 2, what merchandising meant for 80s/90s ultraviolent movies with toys, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Dexter, the Tales From The Darkside movie, Stakeout, Running Scared, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, Uncommon Valor, the sculptures in Scanners and Castaway, Apocalypse Now, Babe: Pig in the City, Roman Polanski, what Titanic did for American moviegoing, Hard Boiled, Children of Men, Gravity, Speed, Chaser, Saving Private Ryan, Come and See, Mission: Impossible, and way more stuff.
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We would like to thank you for listening to these shows for the past year, we really love doing this show and we want to keep continuing on with it until they run of movies. And we'd like to extend a thank you to everyone who has appeared on the show as a guest for helping us keep this show going, and for all the great conversations. To everyone, keep coming back, we'll keep making them.
Our outro music this week: will be determined by the victor.
NEXT WEEK: Skip week, the week after: an All John Carpenter Halloween Spooktacular, the week after that: a regular episode? We used to do those? WHO CARES THAT'LL BE NOVEMBER, god can't see things that happen in November.