POINT BREAK
1991, Intermedia Film Distribution Limited, 120 min, USA, Dir: Kathryn Bigelow

Pure adrenaline from director Kathryn Bigelow, with Keanu Reeves as an FBI agent convinced by his partner (Gary Busey) to go undercover in the surf community to infiltrate a gang of bank robbers wearing masks of ex-presidents Reagan, Carter, Nixon and Johnson. Reeves soon finds himself falling under the spell of the gang’s philosophical and charismatic leader, Bodhi (Patrick Swayze). The L.A. surf/crime action movie! “There's enough high-octane, heart-racing excitement for a dozen movies.” – Derek Adams, Time Out (London); “Bigelow is an interesting director for this material. She is interested in the ways her characters live dangerously for philosophical reasons. … Bigelow and her crew are also gifted filmmakers. … Surprisingly effective.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.


LETHAL WEAPON
1987, Warner Bros., 110 min, USA, Dir: Richard Donner

Two mismatched LAPD detectives - on-the-edge Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and 50-year-old family man Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) – are assigned to investigate a death that leads them to a heroin smuggling ring. The quintessential buddy-cop film, LETHAL WEAPON launched a hugely successful franchise, kick-starting Shane Black’s career as an action screenwriter and giving Gary Busey one of his juiciest roles as menacing heavy Joshua.


STRAIGHT TIME
1978, Warner Bros., 114 min, USA, Dir: Ulu Grosbard

This adaptation of the novel No Beast So Fierce, the crime-fiction debut of ex-con writer Edward Bunker (written while he was in prison), is one of the most underrated and least seen of Dustin Hoffman’s 1970s performances. Reformed Los Angeles junkie and thief Hoffman comes up against the gritty realities of a smugly unfair parole officer (M. Emmet Walsh) and the limited employment opportunities for ex-convicts. Although the bitter, frustrated Hoffman finds love in the form of Theresa Russell, his institutionalized resentments gradually suck him back down into the company of lowlife companions (Gary Busey, Harry Dean Stanton) and a life of crime. This was a project close to Hoffman’s heart - he initially began directing the film himself but turned it over to director Grosbard after the first few days.


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