Tuesday, September 15, 2009

He's like the wind.....Swayze 1952-2009

Throughout the 80's and early 90's, Patrick Swayze was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. In later years his popularity waned, but we will always remember him for being an extremely charismatic actor that left us some truly memorable entertainment on the big screen. Here are some of the films that I feel best represent his impact.

The Outsiders

If you were a teenager during this decade, then you no doubt saw him in 1983's "The Outsiders" playing Darrel the oldest of three brothers struggling to keep his family together after the death of their parents. He didn't have the biggest part in the story, but Outsiders was more of an ensemble piece anyways with guys like Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, and blink or you'll miss him Tom Cruise all contributing to what is still a fantastic film.

Red Dawn

In 1984 he played a former high school football star turned guerrilla in "Red Dawn." I remember Dawn for being one of the first PG-13 movies. It's a violent tale of kids rebelling against a Russian invasion of the U.S. that seems outdated now a days, but if you just consider it a "what if" story, it still holds up as a fine action film. I hear rumblings that it's going to be re-made, and that means that it will probably suck. Why tarnish the classic image of C. Thomas Howell standing on the hill with his AK-47 shouting out the name of their school mascot.........."WOLVERINES!"

Road House

One of my favorite guilty pleasures of his era was 1989's "Road house." A total redneck fest that reminded us of simpler times when men wore mullets and settled their differences with their fists instead of guns. Swayze plays Dalton, the all wise uber-bouncer who is hired to clean up a shit hole bar and maintain the peace so the local hillbillies can booze it up in peace. Throw in Sam Elliot as the older wiser mentor and you have youself a knucklebusting good ole time! Who can forget that final duel between Dalton and Evil-neck? Evil-neck has Dalton seemingly down for the count and delivers one of the greatest machismo bad guy taunts ever......."I used to fuck guys like you in prison"......classic! Swayze retaliates and delivers one of the great all time bad buy dispatches with the deadly throat rip........double classic! See the fight for yourself and suck in all that testosterone bitch!


So basically the guys responsible for "Airplane" and "The Naked Gun" were going to make a romantic supernatural thriller starring Swayze and Demi Moore? I questioned whether Jerry Zucker was the right director for this, but all of my doubts were quickly dispatched when I saw the final product. 1990's "Ghost" was a great date movie almost guaranteed to get you laid afterwards. Swayze plays Sam Wheat, a man who is murdered and must track down his killer from beyond the grave. This movie had a little bit of everything going for it. Whoopi Goldberg provided a lot of laughs, Demi provided hotness, and Tony Goldwyn was a great bad guy. There's a reason this film made over half a billion dollars in world wide box office, it's that frigging good.

Point Break

Another action role and Swayze delivered again with 1991's "Point Break." As Bodi, the surfer turned bank robber, it was great to see him switch roles and play the villain of the piece instead of the hero. Bodi was an adrenaline junkie who enjoyed taking his friends and enemies to the edge of death and back. When he finds out that Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is an undercover F.B.I. agent on his tail, he gets an even bigger rush out of the cat and mouse game that ensues. Action fans can catch the waves and really hang 10 with this one!

I know.......I know........I failed to mention "Dirty Dancing," but clever people will see reference to that in the title of the post. With the passing of Patrick, we lost another great entertainer whose body of work remains to make us smile for years to come. "the love inside you.........take it with you!".........Sam Wheat

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