Monday, June 12, 2017

7 Days in May | Zorro vs Zorro

Streets of Fire (1984)



I've had this on the To Do list for a while now, because I wanted to watch it and then listen to the Cult Film Club episode about it. I loved Streets of Fire back in the day when I was working at the video store and could take it home as often as I wanted. I have no idea how many times I watched it. And I had no idea whether or not it would hold up.

Turns out, it does. There's a level of cheese to the dialogue that may be intentional, but that I didn't pick up in younger days. It works with the tone of the rest of the movie though, so if you lean into it, it's not a flaw. And the rest of the movie is all good stuff. The setting is a fun mix of 1950s and '80s. The songs are a great mixture of '80s rock anthems and rockabilly with a little Motown mixed in. And the characters are all memorable and cool, with Willem Dafoe being especially so. And I love how the plot - while simple - never goes exactly where you think it's going to.

They Came from Beyond Space (1967)



I almost like it. It's a decade late though and the goofy space invader plot would have been more charming in black-and-white and with '50s fashions. I had a hard time staying interested, but there's some fun stuff in it, to be sure.

The Mark of Zorro (1940)



I've seen it before, but never in such close proximity to the silent version or the Disney show and certainly not since reading the novel it's based on. And I'd kind of forgotten a lot about it, because I was shocked at how much it deviates from the book. It's not a faithful adaptation at all.

It's much more focused on Don Diego and I was also surprised at how little Zorro there is in it. When Diego does put on the costume it's exciting, but it kind of reminded me of superhero shows from the '70s where 90% of the show is the secret identity and then you'd get a couple of big scenes with the hero to make it worth watching.

Not that the Diego stuff is boring. There's a lot of drama and intrigue and some great character stuff. And the swords fights are extremely good, even when no one in them is wearing black.

Zorro (1957-61)



After wrapping up the Richard Anderson/Jolene Brand plot in a really lovely way, Season 2 abruptly and unceremoniously returns the main cast to Los Angeles in time for a few episodes with Cesar Romero as Don Diego's shifty, gold-digging uncle. There are still multi-episode storylines, but they don't flow from one to another the way earlier episodes did and there are a few that are just completely standalone.

I'm still digging the show; the cast makes sure of that and Zorro is as cool and swashbuckling a character as ever. I'm just not as blown away by it was I was in the first season.

The Return of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs



David and I have been listening to the Tarzan series on aubiobook as sort of extracurricular activity for Greystoked. Return of Tarzan is still one of my favorite Tarzan novels. I love how it shifts settings and even genres in the same story, going from romantic thriller to spy story to jungle adventure and on to fantasy. It introduces Tarzan's arch-enemy Rokoff as well as the Waziri allies and the infamous La of Opar.

I asked David if he wanted to take a break and listen to the Star Wars radio dramas (since they came up on the last Dragonfly Ripple), but he wanted to go right into Beasts of Tarzan. It makes sense. He was literally jumping up and down in his seat and laughing in glee at the final confrontation between Tarzan and Rokoff in Return.

Jam of the Week: "Make You Crazy" by Brett Dennen

Smooth and summery with a hint of reggae.


Make You Crazy by Brett Dennen on VEVO.

3 comments:

emma bruce said...

I haven't seen Streets of Fire since about 1998 (I think). I remember very little with the exception of Amy Madigan, Michael Pare, Lee Ving, and Willem Dafoe - the name and THE costume, you know the one.

I don't really remember liking the movie but I've never forgotten the movie - and I usually forget most everything I dislike unless I think it's really horrible. Who knows what that means ...

GrayPumpkin said...

Diane Lane looked great but was mostly unconvincing in her part, especially when she was singing and dancing. Defoe was great and creepy.

I had that same edition of Return of Tarzan as a kid

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I LOVEs me some Streets of Fire. Love the soundtrack. Love the weird but cool world it creates. Michael Para was on the cusp of being a major action star and Diane Lane has never been more beautiful. She is the girl you would live and die to rescue. His final decision is a great act of love from a real hero. Cody was the man.

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