Tag Archive: Patrick Swayze


Review by C.J. Bunce

Following up on The Toys That Made Us (previously reviewed here at borg), Netflix’s surprise hit documentary series leaning on viewers’ nostalgia with a look behind select high-profile toy lines of the past, this weekend the streaming provider added a new series based on the same formula.  The Movies That Made Us takes a four episode-per-season look at what someone somewhere thinks are important movies in the national consciousness.  The series arrives nicely timed, since season three of The Toys That Made Us already is showing signs the studio has run out of ideas.

Like The Toys That Made Us, the new series isn’t really about the subject of the series, instead taking viewers on a deep, dark dive into the business world of pop culture.  Like the first series, The Movies That Made Us has some fascinating gold nuggets.  It also has its problems.  The biggest issue being the odd introductory selection of movies, and the second, the glaring omission of key players viewers want to see interviewed for the stories.  As for the first issue, understandably the show is trying to appeal to a broad spectrum of viewers.  But it seems highly unlikely any single person, whether a movie buff or casual moviegoer, would put the following four movies on their list of must-see films: Dirty Dancing, Home Alone, Ghostbusters, and Die Hard As for the second problem, part of the issue is the series is too late to the table.  So many of the key players behind and in front of the camera in these films have died, like Ghostbusters writer/actor Harold Ramis, Dirty Dancing director Emile Ardolino and co-stars Patrick Swayze and Jerry Orbach, Home Alone writer John Hughes, and Die Hard actors Alan Rickman and Alexander Godunov and writer Roderick Thorp.  But people die and that shouldn’t hold up a good story, except that so many players that could have been interviewed who are living also didn’t participate.  A documentary about Dirty Dancing without star Jennifer Grey?  Die Hard without Bruce Willis?  Ghostbusters without Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, or Rick Moranis?  And the clincher… they couldn’t get Macauley Culkin, Joe Pesci, or Catherine O’Hara to say anything about Home Alone?

It really gets to the point of audience expectation.  Movie buffs will enjoy this series’ first season even if they didn’t care for the films, simply because it’s always going to be interesting for them to watch the wheeling and dealing of the studio machine told from the people who were there.  In that regard, the episodes about Dirty Dancing and Home Alone were entertaining by virtue of their tales of odd ideas that managed to emerge like the phoenix from dead deals to become major box office successes through a lot of luck and happenstance (told nicely in the episodes).  And the same was true for The Toys That Made Us, although after nine episodes an hour of the retired talking heads of Toyland has lost its luster.  To that end, the series should be called something more accurate, like The Making of the Movies That Made Us, etc.  But even that would set the expectation that you’d see more than talking heads interspersed with fuzzy snapshots from productions of the past.

Continue reading

Point Break 2015

The original 1991 theatrical release Point Break starred Keanu Reeves as an undercover cop with the lame name of Johnny Utah playing against free-wheeling surfer turned thief named Bodhi played by the late Patrick Swayze.  Directed by Katherine Bigelow (Hurt Locker) Point Break became on of those films like Road House–overplayed on Cinemax and HBO over the years so you couldn’t help seeing it at some point but usually not from beginning to end.  The film set up Reeves as B-movie action star, readying him for his big hit action film break three years later with Speed. 

As hard as it is to watch Reeves’ trademark stilted recitation of dialogue (which still defines the actor), Point Break was at least an easy watch, with an interesting group of thieves cleverly sporting the masks of past presidents.  But the film also cemented Patrick Swayze as the real deal as cool goes.

Original Point Break Swayze Neo

But Point Break wasn’t much more than a passing summer flick.  So why a remake?

The first trailer for the new Point Break is out, and the answer seems clear.  Someone wanted to make a James Bond movie.  The locations for the new flick look pretty spectacular.  The story spins similarly around an undercover cop named Johnny Utah, this time played by Luke Bracey whose only notable credit is playing the guy in the Cobra Commander suit in G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  Edgar Ramirez plays Bodhi this time around.  The problem?  These guys are pretty obscure to head up a big action film.  Why are we going to lay down ten bucks to see this in the theater?

Continue reading