In The Line of Duty: Blaze Of Glory (1997, directed by Dick Lowry)

In 1997, NBC’s series of In The Line of Duty movie went out in a blaze of glory with Lori Loughlin and Bruce Campbell!

Lori and Bruce play Jill and Jeff Erickson, an attractive couple who finance their perfect life by robbing banks.  Jeff wears an obvious fake beard and, because he’s played by Bruce Campbell, it is easy to initially treat his crime spree as being a big joke.  Jeff and Jill use their money to buy a big house and to open up their own used bookstore.  Their robberies start to get bigger and more elaborate and Jill goes from being a passive observer to an active participant.  Jill gets such a rush from the robberies that she can’t stop.  While the press treats the two of them like a modern day Bonnie and Clyde, FBI agent Tom LaSalle (Bradley Whitford) tries to bring them to justice before someone gets killed.

Blaze of Glory is based on a true story.  The crime spree of Jill and Jeff Erickson also inspired another film, John McNaughton’s Normal Life, which starred Luke Perry as Jeff and Ashley Judd as Jill.  Normal Life is told almost entirely from the point of view of the bank robbers while Blaze of Glory, like all of the In The Line of Duty movies, is firmly on the side of law enforcement.  Both films tell the same story and stay fairly close to the facts of the case but it’s interesting to see how behavior that was presented as being romantic and tragic in Normal Life is portrayed as being dangerous and arrogant in Blaze of Glory.

Bruce Campbell and Lori Loughlin are the two main reasons to watch Blaze of Glory.  Campbell plays Jeff Erickson as being a slightly smarter version of Ash.  Jeff may enjoy running his used bookstore and talking to people about literature but he simply cannot stay out of trouble.  He has the confidence necessary to rob a bank but he’s also so reckless that he doesn’t think much about what he’s going to do after he puts on his fake beard and fires his gun at the ceiling.  Lori Loughlin, having finally escaped from Full House, gives an uninhibited and sexy performance as Jill, who is never happier than when she’s helping her husband to rob a bank.  Eventually, she turns out to be just as reckless as her husband and even more willing to fight her way out of a police chase.  Campbell and Louglin are so good that it’s too bad that half of the movie is Bradley Whitford as the lead FBI agent and Brad Sullivan as his father.

After sitting out Kidnapped, Dick Lowry returns to the director’s chair for the final In The Line of Duty and it’s one of the best of the series.  The action scenes are exciting and Campbell and Loughlin burn up the screen.  Blaze of Glory was the finale of In The Line of Duty but what a way to go!

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Nicolas Roeg Edition

4 Or More Shots From 4 Or More Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today would have been the 94th birthday of the great and enigmatic director, Nicolas Roeg.  As both a cinematographer and a director, Roeg was responsible for some of the most visually striking films ever made.  Today, we honor his legacy with….

4 Shots From 4 Nicolas Roeg Films

Walkabout (1971, dir by Nicolas Roeg, DP: Nicolas Roeg)

Don’t Look Now (1973, dir by Nicolas Roeg, DP: Anthony Richmond)

The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976, dir by Nicholas Roeg, DP: Anthony Richmond)

Insignificance (1985, dir by Nicolas Roeg, DP: Peter Hannan)

Live Tweet Alert: Come Watch Steele Justice With #MondayActionMovie

As some of our regular readers undoubtedly know, I am involved in a few weekly live tweets on twitter.  I host #FridayNightFlix every Friday, I co-host #ScarySocial on Saturday, and I am one of the five hosts of #MondayActionMovie!  Every week, we get together.  We watch a movie.  We tweet our way through it.

Tonight, for #MondayActionMovie, we are watching Steele Justice!  Selected and hosted by @Bunnyhero, Steele Justice features the one and only Martin Kove as John Steele!  According to the film’s poster, “you don’t recruit him, you unleash him!”  Also according to the poster, John Steele has been unleashed to take on the Vietnamese mafia.  The film co-stars Sela Ward and Ronny Cox.  That means that the film features at least three actors who have appeared in films nominated for Best Picture!  So, it has to be good, right?  

That’s really all I know about Steele Justice.  I plan to find out more tonight and I invite you to join me.  If you want to join us, just hop onto twitter, start the film at 8 pm et, and use the #MondayActionMovie hashtag!  I’ll be there tweeting and I imagine some other members of the TSL Crew will be there as well.  It’s a friendly group and welcoming of newcomers so don’t be shy.  And a review of this film will probably end up on this site at some point this week.


Music Video of the Day: Wake Up Dead by Megadeth (1987, directed by Penelope Spheeris)

In this video, Megadeth performs behind a wire fence while their fans attempt to get to the band.  It doesn’t have much to do about the song, which is about a man sneaking back into his house after cheating on his girlfriend.  But it probably is a fair representation of what it was like to be in a popular thrash metal band in the 80s.

Directing this video was Penelope Spheeris, who has previously celebrated metal in the documentary, The Decline of Wester Civilization Part II.  Spheeris would later direct the film for which she is best remembered, Wayne’s World.