Music Video of the Day: A View To A Kill by Duran Duran (1985, dir. Godley & Creme)


That turned out to be longer and more of a rollercoaster for my mind and body than I expected. After all the side effects of the meds and the subsequent withdrawals, it didn’t help the chronic cough. On the plus side, I now own a second dog named Elke. Whether she’s named after Elke Sommer or not, we don’t know. Regardless, since Lisa was kind enough to cover for me, it means I need to watch Lisa And The Devil (1973) with Elke Sommer. On the downside, I watched 70 films since my last post, which means I will have more stuff to sift through at the end of the year. Oh, well.

Rest in peace, Roger Moore.

To my knowledge this is the only music video that has Roger Moore in it–even if it is only in footage from the film. Speaking of which, you will notice two things immediately when you start up this music video:

  1. It is silent for a little over a minute.
  2. The video quality isn’t very good.

At first I thought my iPhone was glitching on me. It’s not like the iOS YouTube app is perfect or anything. I scrubbed forward, and the song kicked in. I didn’t notice the video quality was low until now. I have a theory about why it is silent during the opening film footage and is of low quality throughout.

This isn’t like Romancing The Stone by Eddy Grant. Yes, they tried to integrate him into the footage from the movie, but it’s easy to edit that out, and they did just that for a separate version of it. This video heavily integrates the film footage into the music video. You really can’t separate them, and expect to be able to put this up. My best guess, is that behind-the-scenes, a deal was struck that so long as they muted the opening part and reduced the quality, then whoever currently holds the license to the film would let them post it. Also, seeing as directors Godley & Creme integrated Duran Duran into the movie footage, you also couldn’t treat them differently. Thus, the whole thing is the way it is. That’s my theory.

If you pay attention to the music video, then you might notice a little Easter Egg in it. That of course being the female model having pictures taken of her. You guessed it. Godley & Creme directed the music video for Girls On Film.

In addition, you can say that the use of iris shots is a nod to Rio, and visually makes Duran Duran perfect to have made a Bond theme song. Finally, the name Simon Le Bon not only lends itself to being a stand-in for the famous “Bond, James Bond” line, but Roger Moore played Simon Templar on The Saint before becoming James Bond.

Wikipedia has an interesting backstory on how the band and John Barry worked together to write the song. I suggest going over there and reading it.

Lexi Godfrey produced the video.

I’m sorry it took till your death, Roger. But I need to go see how you managed to be in a movie called Gold (1974), the same year as you were in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)–if for no other reason, than it being my favorite Bond film

Wait a second, you also played both Sherlock Holmes in 1976 and Inspector Clouseau in 1983. You sneaky devil. I’ll miss you.

A Movie A Day #135: Missing in Action (1984, directed by Joseph Zito)


Chuck Fucking Norris, man.  Is there anything this man can not do?

In Missing in Action, he plays Colonel James Braddock, an army intelligence officer.  For a career military man, his long hair and his beard are definitely against regulations but who is going to tell Chuck Norris to get a haircut?  Ten years ago, Braddock escaped from a POW camp in North Vietnam.  Haunted by nightmares and still convinced that there are American POWs in Vietnam, Braddock is inspired by an episode of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends (I am not joking!) to accompany a U.S. Senator on a fact-finding trip to Ho Chi Minh City.  It’s there that Braddock uncovers evidence that American soldiers are being held prisoner by the evil General Trau (James Hong).  With the government refusing to help him, Braddock is forced to go to Thailand, where he hooks up with an old friend, a former soldier turned black marketeer named Tuck (M.  Emmett Walsh).  Braddock and Tuck head into the jungle, to both rescue the POWs and to remind the world that, no matter what a bunch of pointy-headed lefties might say, Americans never lose a war!

A blatant rip-off of the Rambo films, Missing in Action was one of Cannon Films’ most financially successful movies.  Seen today, Missing in Action is borderline xenophobic and it takes forever for the action to really get started.  I was surprised by the number of scenes that were devoted to Braddock looking for evidence that the POWs were still in Vietnam, as if there was ever any real suspense about what Braddock would find.  (No POWs = no movie.)

On the positive side, once it finally starts, the action is exciting.  Joseph Zito was a veteran genre director and he know how to handle a battle scene.  Unfortunately, in this one, Chuck does most of his fighting with a machine gun instead of his hands.  This is also one of the first movies where Chuck Norris has the full beard going.  The beard serves to distract from what a stiff actor Chuck Norris usually was and it does its job in Missing in Action.  When it comes to picking a Chuck Norris film to watch, it’s a good idea to see how much facial hair will be featured.  If Chuck has a beard, definitely watch.  If Chuck only has a mustache, proceed with caution but, if there’s nothing else to watch, give the movie a chance.  If Chuck is clean-shaven and Bruce Lee is nowhere to be seen, throw the movie back and never speak of it again.

Missing in Action was shot back-to-back with what eventually became known as Missing in Action 2: The Beginning.  Originally, The Beginning was meant to be released first and Missing in Action was intended to be a sequel.  However, once the execs at Cannon saw the footage, they deemed The Beginning to be unreleasable and instead sent Missing in Action out to theaters.  (A movie so bad that even Cannon was hesitant to release it?  It boggles the mind.)  Missing in Action was such a box office success and The Beginning was subsequently released as a prequel.  However, when it comes to Norris/Cannon films, Invasion USA is the one to watch.  That one has a bearded Chuck and Richard Lynch!

Music Video Of The Day: Clocks by Coldplay (2003, directed by Dominic Leung)


For the longest time, I’ve had a fantasy about the collapse of civilization.

It goes something like this: The Left and the Right in America have finally realized that their true enemy is the deeply entrenched, deeply authoritarian, nonideological government.  The people have finally risen up.  Rioters are in the street, attacking both each other and their oppressors.  With the police proving either incapable or unwilling to try to control the riots, the National Guard has been called in.  Tanks roll down Main Street.  Helicopters hover above burning building.  Disembodied voices announce that anyone caught violating curfew will be shot.  It started with a burning city but now the entire country is on fire.

I see all of this as I sit in back of the limo that is carrying me and a few of my loved ones to the airport.  At first, I feel sad that America is collapsing but, as we get closer to the airport, that sadness is replaced by hope.  As bad as things are, at least we’ve got somewhere else to go.  At least we can start again, hopefully without any of the bullshit that led to the collapse of civilization in the first place.

There’s a private plane waiting for us.  We take our seats.  As the plane takes off, I look out the window and I can see that the tanks and the rioters have just arrived at the airport.  Our plane is the last one to take off.  We are the last ones to escape.  As the plane flies us to our new home (sometimes it’s Ireland, sometimes it’s Italy, sometimes it’s Spain, sometimes it’s an island off in the middle of nowhere), I looked out the window and I see the city burning below.

And, during all of this, Clocks is the song that’s playing in the background.  Seriously, it’s great escaping music!

As for the video above, it was filmed in London, at the Docklands Excel Building.  The audience was largely made up of local college students.  It’s actually a rather simple video but that’s okay.  It’s perfect for the song.

Enjoy!

(Val should be back and handling music video duties tomorrow!)

A Movie A Day #134: America Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989, directed by Cedric Sundstrom)


Is an American Ninja film still an American Ninja film if it doesn’t feature the American Ninja?

That is the question posed by American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt.  Michael Dudikoff, who played Joe Armstrong in the first two films, is nowhere to be found.  Instead, he has been replaced by Doug Bradley.  Fortunately, the movie does not try to pass Bradley off as being Joe Armstrong.  Instead, he is a new character, CIA agent Sean Davidson.  Sean’s father was a martial arts champion who was killed by gangster while Sean watched.  Sean later went to Japan where he was trained in the ways of the ninja.  Sean is an American ninja, even if he’s not the American Ninja.

He also happens to be best friends with Jackson (Steve James), who previously appeared in the first two films and who never comments on the coincidence of having two best friends who both happen to be American ninjas.  Jackson, along with sidekick Dexter (Evan J. Klisser) and lady ninja Chan Lee (Michele B. Chan), team up with Sean after Sean’s sensei is kidnapped by a terrorist known as The Cobra (Marjoe Gortner).  The Cobra, who has a team of his own ninjas, has developed a poison that he wants to test on Sean.

The plot makes as much sense as the previous two American Ninja films and, somehow, everyone forgets about finding the sensei before the movie ends.  As an actor, Doug Bradley is no Michael Dudikoff (which is saying something) but he’s good in the fight scenes and that is the only thing that really matters.  The whole film is nearly worth it just to see former child evangelist Marjoe Gortner in the role of The Cobra.  Dudikoff is missed but at least his absence meant that Steve James got to do more in American Ninja 3 than he did in the first two films.  Sadly, just three years after this film’s release, James died as the result of pancreatic cancer.  He was 41 years old.

Screwball Comedian: Joe E. Brown in ALIBI IKE (Warner Brothers 1935)


cracked rear viewer

We’re about a quarter of the way through the baseball season, so let’s take a trip to the ballpark with Joe E. Brown in ALIBI IKE, a 1935 comedy based on a story by Ring Lardner, one of the best baseball writers of the early 20th Century. Brown, known for his wide mouth and comical yell, is an admittedly acquired taste; his “gosh, golly” country bumpkin persona is not exactly what modern audiences go for these days.  But back in the 30’s he was one of Hollywood’s top box-office draws, specializing in sports themed comedies  revolving around wrestling (SIT TIGHT), track and field (LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD), swimming (YOU SAID A MOUTHFUL), polo (POLO JOE), football ($1,000 A TOUCHDOWN), and racing (boats in TOP SPEED, airplanes in GOING WILD, bicycles in SIX DAY BIKE RACE).

ALIBI IKE is the final chapter in Brown’s “baseball trilogy”. The first, 1932’s FIREMAN, SAVE MY CHILD, found him…

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