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Streets of Fire: Collector's Edition (1984) - Blu-ray Review

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Steets of Fire (1984) Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Review

5 beersConfession time, Boils and Ghouls!  I grew up  - even as fat as I was – wanting to be Michael Paré’s cool as a cucumber Tom Cody from Streets of Fire.  Most my age wanted to be cracking shit with a bullwhip and making off, just like Indiana Jones,  with golden idols and, while I was keen to play along with them in my dad’s leather jacket, I hid a darker desire deep within me.  And it stemmed from an unnatural love for the movie Shout Select has seen fit to just issue on glorious 1080p, Streets of Fire.

You see, by the age of 12, I already wanted to be cruising through the neon, rain-soaked streets looking for another Willem Dafoe-type of fool to topple.  Streets of Fire was the "it" movie for me.  Bring on the Hells Angels, man.  I didn’t care.  I also wanted to be Diane Lane’s leading man and she was all of 18 years old at the time of the movie’s release.  So, yeah, I blame a lot of life’s disappointment on writer/director Walter Hill. 

But, man, this movie – originally released in 1984 – is the goddamned certifiable Bee's Knees of genre-busting, cycle-cruising, gut-wrenching, shotgun-wielding action flicks to ever combine a serious rock and roll swagger with the grit and grain of a Howard Hawks western.   The movie is a glorious mesh of genres and, operating as a tough-edged b-movie, it absolutely delivers a grimy tale of heroism in an alternative universe; one where the fashion and attitude of the past collides together to produce something wholly fresh and exciting. 

And don’t even get me started on how great this supporting cast is – including Amy Madigan (The Dark Half) as Cody’s sidekick, the tough but feminine wisecracking ex-soldier McCoy, Rick Moranis (Ghostbusters) as the manager and current boyfriend for pop star Ellen Aim (Lane), and Deborah Van Valkenburgh as Cody’s sister and owner of a juke joint called The Blackhawk – throughout the aggressive and stylized theatrics of the movie.  With appearances by Bill Paxton, Elizabeth Daily, and Rick Rossovich, the cast perfectly melds with Street's of Fire's timelessness.

Streets of Fire doesn't give a one flying fuck if you don't "get" it.  

Opening with a glorious celebration of all things rock and roll, Streets of Fire sees an entire town getting ready for the homecoming concert of Ellen Aim and The Attackers.  They aren’t let down.  Pink and red neon splashes down onto the stage as (a very lovely and) dark-haired Aim sashays and flounces while singing her new hit song, “Nowhere Fast” and, yes, it sets the tone for the chaos that follows as Raven Shaddock (Dafoe, in his first Hollywood film) and his gang, The Bombers, enter and proceed to shove their way toward the front and center.  They wind up kidnapping Aim, trashing the town, and causing an epic riot in the rain-splattered streets that forces Reva Cody (Valkenburgh) to seek assistance from her soldier-for-hire brother, Tom. 

And there won’t be anything the same once he gets done bustin’ heads with The Bombers. 

With fierce and stylized edits throughout, Streets of Fire is an unforgettable comic book treatment of the western BEFORE such things were the norm in Hollywood.  It features a blistering rock soundtrack thanks to original songs written by Jim Steinman, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty and Ry Cooder and performed by The Blasters and The Fixx.  It’s also a totally visceral experience of sound and vision.  The movie isn’t bloody by any means as no one really gets killed, but its gritty street gang action is stylized and energetic, making this flick a full-throttled race to temper the flames spreading throughout the Chicago pavement. 

Written by Hill and longtime collaborator Larry Gross, Streets of Fire should have been a worldwide hit.  It was not.  It was a colossal flop which, given Hill’s run from The Warriors to 48 Hrs., turned out to be a big shock for a lot of people.  Critics didn’t “get” it and they crucified it with ink and paper.  The trailers never pinned it down perfectly either.  Obviously, it was way ahead of its time.

While there were several people who celebrated the movie at the time of its release, the cult following that it now enjoys was earned through repeat viewings, midnight matinees, and a belief in cinematic vindication.  We, the faithful fucking fans of Streets of Fire, are mighty.  And WE aren’t going anywhere.  Hell, to quote Lane’s Aim, “there’s nothin' wrong with goin' nowhere, baby, but we should be goin' nowhere fast.”  Amen, sister. 

Streets of Fire remains more MTV than the station EVER was.

Steets of Fire (1984) Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
93 mins
Director
: Walter Hill
Writer:
Walter Hill, Larry Gross
Cast:
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis
Genre
: Action | Crime
Tagline:
Tonight is what it means to be young.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Oh, you're dumb. And, you're short. Real short."
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 1, 1984
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 16, 2017
Synopsis: Amid a brooding rock & roll landscape, the Bombers motorcycle gang, led by the vicious Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe, John Wick), kidnap diva Ellen Aim (Diane Lane, Man of Steel). Her hope for rescue lies with unlikely heroes: soldier of fortune Tom Cody (Michael Paré, Bad Moon) and his sidekick, the two-fisted beer-guzzling McCoy (Amy Madigan, The Dark Half). Joined by Ellen's manager, Billy Fish (Rick Moranis, Ghostbusters), the trio plunges headfirst into a world of rain-splattered streets, hot cars, and deadly assassins..

Steets of Fire (1984) Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- May 16, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Region A

Our efforts to get this flick back in the limelight have finally paid off with Shout! Select’s 1080p release of the film, newly scanned in 2K from the original camera negative.  Presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with a crisp and clean transfer.  The depth on this one is pretty amazing.  Colors pop like never before and all the nighttime driving sequences – either by bus or motorcycle – have thick defining lines.  The neon splashes on the rain-soaked streets are intense.  Overall, the picture’s clarity is worth the upgrade.  Rich in details and colors, there really is nothing to complain about even if this is a neglected feature film from Universal.  The sound is presented in a solid DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  None, but wait….

Special Features:

…as the supplemental items, featuring the feature-length NEW documentary about the making of the movie, Hotguns & Six Strings, MORE THAN makes up for the lack of a commentary.  It features incredible NEW interviews with with Director/Co-writer Walter Hill, Producer Lawrence Gordon, actors Michael Paré, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, Richard Lawson, Elizabeth Daily, Lee Ving, Screenwriter Larry Gross, and many more.  It definitely should not be overlooked.  Following that is a SECOND feature length documentary about the making of the movie.  Vintage featurettes follow with a lot of EPK stuff from the DVD release.  Overall, this is a release you MUST OWN if you are a fan of cult cinema.

  • Hotguns & Six Strings: The Making of a Rock N Roll Fable (100 min)
  • Rumble on the Lot: Walter Hill's Streets of Fire Revisited (82 min)
  • Vintage Featurettes (11 min)
  • Music Videos (9 min)
  • Still Gallery (10 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer

Steets of Fire (1984) Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Review

 

 

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