Back in January, AV Club started a series called "A History of Violence", which discusses the most groundbreaking action films, year by year, starting with Bullitt in 1968. Last week after ten entries, they have finally circled back to the car chase film and arguably one of the peaks of the genre: Walter Hill's The Driver. [more inside]
"To be a Warrior would mean running all night, every night, through the sweltering summer streets of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. It would mean showing up for work at six in the evening and not wrapping until the crew could see the sun rise over the East River. It would mean hopping subway turnstiles and enduring the taunts of the local street gangs. The line separating art and life would become blurred, the making of the film an adventure in and of itself." Jackson O'Connor of the Village Voice on the 1979 cult classic "The Warriors."
As brutally stylish as it is when the fists and baseball bats are flying, the underlying themes of family and perseverance are what make The Warriors stand out from the rest of the "grim future" epics of the period. - Celluloid Dreams
From the Salon review: "There [is] all kinds of pop culture iconography floating around in Walter Hill's "Streets of Fire": rock stars; outlaw biker gangs; neon marquees; Dick Tracy-style police cars; diners that serve up coffee in Syracuse china; silent, tough-guy heroes; bars that are rowdy dives and bars meant for quiet, solitary drinking; leather; a battered wallet photo of someone's sweetheart; lovers' reunions; lovers' breakups; dusters; convertibles; pompadours; guns. "Streets of Fire" is nothing but iconography, an attempt to boil down 30 years of pop to its familiar essence and then contain the whole thing in a comic-strip B movie... If chrome could bleed, it would look like the colors that run together in the streets of this movie." [more inside]
Streets of Fire (part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) is a 1984 film directed by Walter Hill and co-written by Hill and Larry Gross. It was described in previews, trailers, and posters as "A Rock & Roll Fable." It is an unusual mix of musical, action, drama, and comedy with elements both of retro-1950s and 1980s. ... The film was promoted as a summer blockbuster but failed critically and commercially, grossing only USD $8 million in North America, well below its $14.5 million budget. Its dynamic musical score by the likes of Jim Steinman, Ry Cooder, and others, as well as the hit Dan Hartman song "I Can Dream About You", however, has helped it attain something of a cult following among fans.
Concept art for the Alien 3 that never was - Before the Walter Hill version was shot, entirely in brown, by David Fincher there were many iterations of the Alien 3 script. One of the more exotic ones was the Vincent Ward & John Fasano "monks in space" script, illustrated here. [via io9]