Kick Fast, Kick Newark: Moving Target (1999)

Last year, I was impressed by the unexpected historical resonance of Bobby Guions’ 2005 low-budget action-thriller Dinner with an Assassin, with its great opening scene on the roof of the Divine Hotel Riviera. So I thought I’d check out his 1999 debut, Moving Target.

Alas, a seller on Amazon to whom all b-movies titled Moving Target must seem the same sent me this:

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let’s just not talk about Billy Dee Williams being in this, it’ll make us all feel sad

Much love to Michael Dudikoff—as a kid, I loved American Ninja 1, 2, and 4 (the Dudikoffless 3 being redeemed only by the presence of the great Steve James), and I’ll still rep for Albert Pyun’s postapocalyptic Radioactive Dreams, but there’s no denying, by the 90s, Dudikoff was the poor(er) man’s Michael Biehn, cranking out dreary, formulaic dreck, and this Canadian gangster jam appears no exception (I got to keep it, with a refund, but not sure I’ll ever watch it, unless someone lobbies hard on its behalf). Also, this was the wrong movie.

Point being, it took me a while to get my hands on this:

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But wow, talk about being worth the wait: white VHS! I didn’t even know this was a thing (based on a quick google search, I’m not alone—600 people have watched this mystified dude ponder the immortal question “My Destroy All Monsters Tape is white. WHAT THE FUCK”). Is this the video-nerd equivalent of colored vinyl? Continue reading

A Paul Mazursky Newark Cameo/Visions of an Airport: Harry and Tonto (1974)

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This is Newark Liberty International Airport, as seen in Paul Mazursky’s Harry and Tonto (1974). It doesn’t add much to our cinematic archive of Newark, but since Mazursky just passed away, it seemed a fitting way to pay tribute.

To be honest, I’ve never loved Mazursky as a filmmaker. He made one great film, his first: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), easily my favorite Hollywood movie to grapple with the sexual revolution, and a smart, funny, sexy, genuinely humane take on the complexity of relationships, with one of the all-time great closing scenes in mainstream American cinema, IMHO (not sure how it plays out of narrative context, though). Continue reading