Tag Archives: Robert Davi

The Set of 400: #159 – My Favorite Super-Duper Chocolate Eruption

Today! Because if you don’t bring those kids back I’m going to commit Hare Krishna!

The Goonies (1985)

Directed by Richard Donner (x4)

Starring Sean Astin (x2), Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen, Jonathan Ke Quan, Josh Brolin, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Anne Ramsey (x3), Joe Pantoliano (x4), Robert Davi (x2), John Matuszak, Mary Ellen Trainor (x5), Lupe Ontiveros, Keith Walker, Steve Antin

The ’80s were the heyday of kids on adventures in the movies, or at least it seemed that way when I was a kid, in the ’80s. Maybe every decade plays this way when you’re young – maybe that’s how they’ve designed it to feel! – but back then it seemed like we couldn’t hunt down kid-centric action peril flicks from much further back than the Carter administration, and so it all felt like a new concept. And the first time I ever remember going to a drive-in movie – at the glorious Circle Drive-In in Dickson City, still in operation as of this writing! – was to see the Ethan Hawke classic Explorers paired with Richard Donner’s rip-roaring, hilarious treasure hunt The Goonies.

Didn’t make the list, but I’ve got pretty fond, vague memories of Explorers, too

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The Set of 400: #223 – My Favorite Christmas Debate

Today! Because now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho –

Die Hard (1988)

Directed by John McTiernan

Starring Bruce Willis (x2), Alan Rickman (x3), Bonnie Bedelia (x2), Reginald VelJohnson, William Atherton, Hart Bochner, Paul Gleason, De’voreaux White, Alexander Godunov, James Shigeta, Robert Davi, Grand L. Bush, Rick Ducommun (x2), Mary Ellen Trainor (x4)

I’ve got a couple disparate ideas on the first Die Hard, none of which talk too much about how great the movie is, so let’s get that out of the way right off the bat. It’s an almost perfect action movie. It’s got a great villain, great little twists, great continually escalating stakes, some pretty funny moments, and the dad from Family Matters at his peak. As it became the template for so many action movies over the next few decades, I don’t think I need to recount the plot, or really anything else about this movie. Die Hard is a masterpiece.

But as the ways to adapt this concept into other action movies ran out long ago – Die Hard on a plane! Die Hard in space! – isn’t it about time we come all the way around to “Die Hard in a Die Hard!” Hear me out – taking footage from the original as the backbone, we have De’voreaux White’s limo driving Argyle (now played by, I don’t know, Brandon T. Jackson) dealing with an entirely different locked-in terror crisis in the parking garage, while John McClane sorts out the Nakatomi Plaza terrorists above. I know, this would require some retconning of story elements from Die Hard, but hey, it’s better than the “Let’s ignore all the sequels and make a new first sequel” idea that has become so popular. Maybe there’s a Russian drug running scheme from a van on level 3! Maybe there’s a secret under-underground human trafficking operation! And the limo driver is our only shoot-’em-up hope! Okay, this might be dumb. Or, is Argyle Hard so dumb it might be great??

And obviously the bear comes to life as his sidekick

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