Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated Action/Adventure - JT Lindroos ""

Friday, September 12, 2014

Underrated Action/Adventure - JT Lindroos

JT Lindroos is a Finnish-American designer and writer. He currently reviews mostly european comics for Bookgasm, and designs book covers and occasional dvd releases. Formerly the owner of Point Blank Press, he published two volumes of Glenn (DVD Savant) Erickson's writings, as well as three books by film director Josh Becker (or Thou Shalt Not Kill… Except 'fame'). His portfolio on pinterest, hosting sharpie caricatures of Barbara Stanwyck, Warren Oates and Sam Fuller among other work, is as good a place to start as any:
Also, he just recently did an underrated westerns list for RPS which you should check out:

Mountains of the Moon (1990) d. Bob Rafelson This knockout sleeper from 1990 directed by Bob Rafelson seems largely forgotten today, but I loved it from the moment I saw it on vhs in the early 90s. A fantastically realistic old-time adventure, describing Burton & Speke's (Patrick Bergin and Iain Glen) journey to central Africa in search for the source of the Nile. The sense of true adventure and wonder of the early days of exploration is captured in a way that's exceedingly rare. Absolutely recommended. 

Black Robe (1991) d. Bruce Beresford Another visceral and neglected modern adventure film, this time set in the Canadian wilderness of the 1600s. A young Jesuit priest (Lothaire Bluteau) is sent from a settlement to locate a Catholic mission deep in Huron territory. What makes this film so striking is not just the magnificent locations or the stark snow covered birch forests and the freezing rivers, but it captures a vision of reality that resonates for me years after seeing the film. It's exciting, downbeat and dramatic, with bursts of violence. Much as I loved Michael Mann's LAST OF THE MOHICANS, this spectacular little film by Bruce Beresford headbutted that modern classic on its knees. For me. 

Peking Opera Blues (1986) d. Tsui Hark I'm not sure this is underappreciated as much as the first two, but the fact that it still remains unavailable in the US on dvd or blu-ray means it might be forgotten. It shouldn't be, as this is likely one of the finest examples of prime era Hong Kong cinema. It's the movie that got me interested in the genre back in the late 80s when I caught it on the big screen. It's screwball comedy with startling violence, smartly executed human drama, littered with magnificent stunt work set in the luridly colorful world of the Peking Opera of 1913. Spectacular fun with Brigitte Lin, Cherie Cheung and Sally Yeh. 

Breakout (1975) d. Tom Gries Let's change the pace a bit. This is a humorous prison-escape featuring Charles Bronson and his most exuberant catfish mustache that never gets mentioned when people discuss his films. It's funny on purpose, and features one of my favorite Bronson performances. The supporting cast is ridiculously good: Robert Duvall, John Huston, Sheree North, Randy Quaid and the great Emilio Fernandez. It's shot by Lucien Ballard and scored by Jerry Goldsmith. And as intentionally funny and exciting it is, the outrageously shocking ending boggles the mind. Am I the only one to love this film?

Arabian Nights (1942) d. John Rawlins And finally, earlier and lighter fare, but no less full of wonder. Featuring the tag-team of Maria Montez, Jon Hall and Sabu, with Shemp Howard as Sinbad the Sailor, this is pure giddy technicolor fun set in that djinn-infested exotic city of magic, Bagdad. Full of spectacular sets, abundant action punctuated by "boin-n-n-g" sounds when the chubby fella knocks down villains with his protruding paunch, and terrible jokes, this exuberant gem captures true movie magic in a little golden lamp. Rub it.

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