Rockie Juarez writes for Isle of Cinema(www.isleofcinema.com) and works at the great Vulcan Video in Austin, Texas. A very cool dude. He can be found on twitter @RockieWarAntz.
Bad Boys(1983; Rick Rosenthal) - Troubled juveniles clash in the streets and in a juvenile detention, more like a boys prison, in Bad Boys. Innocence will be lost! This is that film your older sibling shows you way too early forever ruining your world view of your own peers. For me, it was the first time I saw actors Sean Penn, Clancy Brown, AND Esai Morales in a film. Let me just say that Esai is so good in this film that La Bamba was ruined for me because I constantly thought of his twisted teen in Bad Boys. I can't recall a film seen in my youth that had such brutal beatings, let alone that mean streak found in the best revenge stories. And it's a film that showed me it's rude to put your boogers in someone's food.
Double Dare(2004; Amanda Micheli) - "You have to start somewhere." Common phrase. Heard primarily in the shark tank that is movie making. Here we follow two powerful women, an up and comer and a seasoned veteran, as they show us how rough and tumble it can be breaking into the industry let alone staying in Hollywood. Zoe Bell(Uma Thurman's body double on Kill Bill and the crazy gal on the hood of the car in Death Proof) is trying her damnedest to get noticed and seeing her meteoric rise to get to Jeannie Epper's level is exhilarating. Made me want to flip off of my couch into some pillows or something.
House Party(1990; Reginald Hudlin) - Entertainment factor through the roof. 90s rap duo Kid N Play star in a film that has every money making genre film out now rolled into one thing. Dance movie, party cinema, sex comedy, and teen coming of age bases are covered in this gem. Endlessly quotable, especially the late Robin Harris, House Party is a film that has aged rather well. The film also has amazing safe sex messages and most importantly is mad respectful to the ladies. A police office calls Kid 'Eraserhead' using the David Lynch character/film to describe Kid's skyscraper tall flat top. Huge laughs every damn time.
Dead Man's Shoes(2004; Shane Meadows) - Paddy Considine plays a soldier who returns home to put the screws to a group of baddies that messed with his brother. Only this soldier is a little demented and is willing to take his damn time making your life hell. Lesson learned. Never mess with a smaller guy because his brother could be batshit with a military background. The less you know the better you are with this one. Intense, with two good reveals that keep the film separate from other family revenge yarns, Dead Man's Shoes is a cold and mean movie. And I am happy as sunshine to recommend it.
Miracle Mile(1988; Steve De Jarnatt) - I loved Cloverfield mainly because it reminded of this underrated and unsung gem. Miracle Mile is about the world ending in 70 minutes via nuclear war. What do you do? And where do you run? If you were separated from a loved one, would you run back into hell to recover them? Miracle Mile asks all of these questions and never cops out with a weak answer. Often times those answers you get are painful and would be too real to handle if you were there. And the final 5 minutes of this ride, it's a gut punch and a half, man. This could happen type of thriller with a relentless pace. Worth all of your time.
Universal Vault Series New Releases
59 minutes ago