Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Warriors - Basement Matinee

This week's movie... The Warriors...

There are some movies... that when you hear about them, they sound awesome and makes you want to see them... then there are ones when you hear about them... they forever remain on the 'eh I'll see it later' list

For example the plot of this week's film... The Warriors...

Just going by how the plot is listed on IMDB... In 1979 a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down to kill them.

Doesn't really sound all that interesting does it? Well for me, it certainly wasn't a priority on my 'must watch' list... sure I knew about the the phrase 'Warriors Come Out And Plaaa-ay' bit, it was engraved in pop culture... and the 'Can you dig it, Sucka' basically kept pro-wrestler Booker T popular and made him a Hall of Famer.

Also this film does tie into something I talked about a few weeks ago, as the Chief on the game show 'Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego' was played by Lynn Thigpin, who was also in this film.

But I digress...

I recently sat down to watch The Warriors... and I'll admit, it's decent... not great by any means... but its certainly enjoyable. While mostly taking place at night, it is shot very well and it does capture the seedy, corrupt dangerous nature of New York. I get why viewers find themselves rooting for the Warriors to make it 'home', cause it was a frame up gig, and you want to see the crew survive when everyone from rival gangs to the police is out to get them. The action sequences are well staged, and the film has a form of down and dirty, gritty style that we don't see much in films today, which are can be a bit too 'polished' and clean for their own good.

That said... the film has its problems... I don't get the gimmick nature of the various street gangs... which is saying something considering the over the top gimmicks of the various gangs in Saints Row III is what makes that game so fun to replay... and the acting is a bit... stiff... hell, for a lot of the cast, this was their film, so don't get my wrong in thinking I'm calling their performances bad, cause some would go onto to give better performances.

Then there area of course some of the head-scratching moments. For example the 'pride' of The Warriors keeping 'colors' instead of simply taking them off to head through The Orphan's turf is puzzling... and that's followed by Mercy joining with the Warriors when she was the one who helped provoked the confrontation. But hey, it's clearly a 'long night' and strange things happen as our 'heroes' get separated, some get captured, they get attacked... and through it all... then end up coming out on top, particularly when the truth of them being set up is revealed. It's also a surprisingly slow paced film, in that with it's 90+ minute run time, it's over 'too soon'... as a subplot between the characters of Swan and Mercy goes seemingly nowhere.

Which makes this where I should mention that this movie is adaption of a book from 1965 and also is the inspiration for the 2005 smash-hit video game from Rockstar Games, for those wanting more to go with the film. But I'm trying to stay on topic here...

So... what's my recommendation for this film from 1979? Well... it's certainly worth checking out at least once, because you will see why it has become a cult-classic. It's been released on DVD and Blu-Ray over the years, or, check your favorite streaming service that features movies.

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