Dirty Harry (1971)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This is such a well known movie I hesitated recommending it. I’m going to go ahead and tell you about Dirty Harry because I seriously love this film, and I think there’s many younger people that have never seen it.

Here’s two fun facts: this film was a major influence on all the Italian police action (Poliziotteschi) films after it, and was inspired by the Zodiac murders which were still ongoing at the time of it’s release. This killer is called The Scorpio, and is flawlessly played by Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser 1 & 2, Star Trek DS9). Robinson is so unhinged and despicable in this film it still blows my mind. Get ready for a grim, violent, blast of a movie, with beautiful cinematography and kick ass music by Lalo Schifrin. I’m green with envy for any of you that will be seeing this for the first time.

Available on Blu-ray from Warner Home Video.

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Blade of the Immortal (2017)

Streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

This marks Takashi Miike’s 100th film. Crazy. I certainly hope he makes much more of his unique brand of cinema. Here we have an enjoyable samurai action movie that is based on a manga series. It’s comic origins show, as the movie is even less realistic than the director’s 13 Assassins. That’s all right though. Blade of the Immortal is a lot of fun to watch.

Available on Blu-ray from Magnolia.

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Starsky and Hutch – Pilot (1975)

Streaming FREE on YouTube | imdb | no trailer available

If you are not interested in ‘70s TV cop shows you will want to skip this recommendation. I don’t normally talk about television series here, but the feature-length pilot of the this gritty old cop drama was too irresistible. Please note the following important features: Dirty old LA, Richard Lynch as an uncredited hitman, a scene in a porno movie theatre, an appearance by a young Gordon Jump from WKRP, music by Lalo Schrifin (Mission Impossible, Enter the Dragon, Dirty Harry) and Hutch / David Soul’s sweet-ass leather jacket. I was impressed by the quality of the film-making too. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that it was helmed by Barry Shear, who also directed Across 110th Street.

I used to watch this show as a kid and had never seen this pilot. Obviously it was a lot of fun for me. I think anyone not into ‘70s TV crime shows would think it was just an old police action movie with all the blood and nudity cut out. I understand but I still can’t believe this was broadcast to every home from coast to coast. Starsky and Hutch seems to have begun with the idea that they would push the limit of what network censors would tolerate as much as possible. It really was a different world back then.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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Headshot (2016)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

You: “Hey Jonathan, I want to see a Netflix movie that is pretty much non-stop fist fighting for two hours.”

Me: “Headshot. It’s kinda dumb but… Headshot.”

Available on import Blu-ray from Arrow.

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Hell or High Water (2016)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

This was written by Taylor Sherridan, who wrote Sicario, so I knew it’d be good. Good? Nope, it’s excellent. While not as action-packed as his previous film, this is a tight, well-made drama with some shocking bursts of violence. It’s a shame I never hear anyone talk about this film. It is not to be missed.

Available on Blu-ray from Lion’s Gate.

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