Streets of Fire

While I was walking down the street, some stranger asked me if I had Warriors tickets. These people have seen me at sports events and recognize me. I went out and worked on some math problems. I returned home to have lunch and watch Walter Hill’s “Streets of Fire.” It was a strange movie that seemed like it took place in the 1980s, but some of the people had 1980s hairstyles. One good thing I saw in it was The Blasters. I guess Bruce Springsteen was an influence, but he didn’t want some jerks singing one of his songs. The predominant image in the film was the street wet with rain, and there were a lot of neon signs, too. Most of the action took place at night. I could see the connection between this movie and “The Warriors.” You’ve got a ragtag group going into enemy territory and trying to return. The hero is supposed to be Michael Paré as a guy named Tom Cody. He was a real nondescript type. I forgot all about him after the movie was over. He was known primarily for “Eddie and the Cruisers.” Diane Lane was Ellen Aim, rock singer who gets kidnapped. I remember Diane Lane for “The Outsiders,” although her career seemed like it was going to be so much more than it turned out to be. It sounded like she was belting out dopey anthems written by idiots. Maybe she was trying to imitate Pat Benatar. The really strange bit of casting was Rick Moranis as Bobby Fish, Ellen’s agent. It was impossible to take him seriously. I thought he was very weak doing drama. He was good in “Ghostbusters.” In this movie, his character was grating, and I couldn’t believe that Moranis wanted to play his character like that. Amy Madigan was Cody’s sidekick, a woman who could handle a gun and drive a getaway car. It was hard to accept her in this role after seeing “Alamo Bay.” Ellen’s kidnapper is Willem Dafoe, who really looked wacky. He would play Jesus Christ four years after this movie in “The Last Temptation of Christ.” That was pretty hard to believe. I saw Ed Begley, Jr. and Robert Townsend in small roles. This was supposed to be some type of rock and roll fable, but the music was mostly a weakness. The extras in those concert scenes were not believable. How could they cheer so much for such insipid songs? It’s like they were suffering from mass delusion. “The Warriors” and “48 Hrs.” were such big hits for Walter Hill. The studio probably gave him the green light for this movie too readily. I will say that the main problem for this film’s failure at the box office was the lack of a real star to play the main character. This guy did remind me a little of Brad Pitt. You can’t have a main character who is dumb and a loner and expect audiences to get excited about him. It seemed like everyone went through hell to get Ellen back, and what was it all for? Ellen needed to revamp her act. First to change should have been her choice of songs. She was totally lacking any judgment about music. Cody and Willem Defoe predictably face off against each other at the end. I couldn’t believe that Cody threw down his weapon after Defoe dropped his. I kept wondering where all the normal people in this city were. They were probably asleep. Walter Hill liked characters who make jokes in tough situations, but I didn’t notice that anyone here had any sense of humor, including Moranis. Walter Hill seemed like he was going to become an important director based on “The Warriors,” but then “Southern Comfort” made no sense at all. “Streets of Fire” was originally the first of a trilogy, but after the bad box office results, the next two films were scrapped. Money is too precious to waste on uninspired projects. I read through the Roger Ebert review from 1984, and he actually gave it three stars. He praised the opening scene with Diane Lane. “Streets of Fire” got swallowed up by “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.” One of the real mysteries of “Streets of Fire” was why Walter Hill kept the title even after Bruce Springsteen withdrew his permission to use the song in the film. I went out to teach my class, which was just answering some questions before the final exam tomorrow. One of my students asked me if I would miss everyone in the class. I could say that I won’t miss everyone. I’ll still see some of them for the next year or two. I returned home to listen to the Warriors game. They managed to win by four points. I got a home call about my money. I wonder if I’m making the right decision there. The delay was due to a typo of my name, apparently. That was extremely annoying. If I can gain five percent of my money every year, then I can double it in fifteen years. I think there is a question of whether I’ll still be alive in fifteen years, however. There is no guarantee. I didn’t go out to buy any food. I should have treated myself to something good. I listened to the “Let It Be” single that I bought. The sleeve wasn’t in great condition and the idiot who owned it wrote his name on it. I saw Mark Harmon on his show and thought about how much he’s aged since the 1980s. I was trying to stay awake in order to see Bill Murray on the Letterman show. I wished that I could retire, too. I was getting tired of everyone at work. My daydream is that I could say goodbye to everyone and relax forever. The cost of living here is too high, though. I’m going to be sad if it comes down to a choice of staying or moving someday. Some of the people who died on May 20 include Clara Schumann (1896), Gilda Radner (1989), Stephen Jay Gould (2002), and Robin Gibb (2012). Today is a birthday for Bronson Pinchot (56) and Cher (69). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 20, the Young Rascals’ “Groovin’” was the Number One single in 1967. In 1994, “Maverick,” starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner, was released. In 2012, Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees died at age 62 from liver and kidney failure resulting from cancer. In 2013, Ray Manzarek of The Doors died at age 74 of bile duct cancer.

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