Thursday, March 07, 2019
Thursday Movie Picks: Cold War
For the tenth week of 2019 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We venture into the subject of the Cold War. A period from the aftermath of World War II to the end of 1991 that ended on a whimper was a period of tension between two superpowers that was the U.S. and the Soviet Union where if one country struck at the other. World War III would’ve happened and there were moments that it almost did happen as here are three films that represent this troubling period as they’re from the 1980s:
1. Red Dawn
John Milius’ war film about a possible invasion from the Soviet Union on American soil with the help of Cuba prompting a bunch of teenagers and a former high school football quarterback to fight back against the Soviets. It’s a film that is this pro-American, anti-Soviet film that does bear the elements of 1980s patriotism on steroids but it’s still a fun and entertaining film thanks in part to the ensemble cast that would include lots of future stars like Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, and pre-dumb-fuck Charlie Sheen.
2. Spies Like Us
John Landis’ comedy about two lowly intelligence agents who are trained to become spies as part of a secret mission for an experiment by a couple of American military officials. Starring Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd, it’s a typical 80s comedy with a lot of hijinks, shenanigans, and all sorts of funny shit yet it manages to work with Aykroyd as the straight man and Chase as the dim-witted one. Add a bunch of cameos from Joel Coen, B.B. King, Sam Raimi, Terry Gilliam, Costa-Gavras, and Bob Hope as well as a ripping title song by Sir Paul McCartney. What else could you ask for in a fun 80s comedy about the Cold War?
3. Rocky IV
OK, this film was obviously a propaganda film made by Sylvester Stallone that has Rocky Balboa seek vengeance to fight the Soviet fighter Ivan Drago in the Soviet Union. It’s a film that is 1980s cinema at its best and at its worst but it’s so fun to watch for how cheesy it is. Even with its usage of montages and MTV-editing style that includes a lot of the music of the times. It’s seen as a product of its time as well as that message that America is better than Russia where capitalism triumphs over communism. Yay capitalism… *blech*
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