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Here's Some Rear-commendations For Weekend Viewing

(These are all currently on Prime.)

RUNAWAY TRAIN (1985). Back in the mid-'80s after his memorable turn in THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE, Eric Roberts appeared destined to be Hollywood's Next Big Thing. A year later, he earned a Best Supporting Actor nom for his peformance in this underseen, underrated frosty thriller about two esacped convicts and a rail worker who are the only people aboard a, you guessed it, runaway train. Co-starring John Voight (nominated for Best Actor) and Rebecca De Mornay (who does a 180 after RISKY BUSINESS), this is sort of an UNSTOPPABLE meets THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and the original screenplay was written by Akira Kurosawa in the '70s. As for Roberts (who has 577 acting credits on IMDb)? Yeah, that didn't go as planned and this great article breaks it all down. Instead, it was his kid sister who became the Next Big Thing after PRETTY WOMAN hit paydirt. 

AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN (1982). From my Tweet in April: A handsome guy and his buddy try to become jet fighter pilots while balancing their love lives. No, not TOP GUN. The is the good movie with that similar plot. Hollywood newbie Richard Gere got stiffed out of a Best Actor nomination in some of the best work of his career as an emotionally damaged man trying to complete flight school while seemingly sabotaging his relationship with Debra Winger (nominated for Best Actress). But Lou Gossett Jr. almost steals the film as Sgt. Foley and was rewarded for his work by becoming the first Black male to win a Best Supporting Actor in Oscar history. Robert Loggia and David Keith turn in outstanding work as, respectively, Gere's batshit crazy father and his aforementioned buddy.

SOUTHERN COMFORT (1981). Legendary director Walter Hill directed and helped write this flick about a Louisiana National Guard unit on a routine maneuvers excercise in the bayou that goes soon goes FUBAR when the unit funs afoul of the local Cajuns. The 'regular guys vs. rednecks' plot earned comparisons to DELIVERANCE at the time but that's simplifying things because the Cajuns had a valid beef and weren't savage rapist hillbillies. With a lot of young, soon-to-be-familiar faces that happen to be great actors and tight direction from Hill, this is cool little movie that was also underseen.

TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016). Another train movie but this one is much different. A zombie apocalypse breaks out just as a father and daughter are boarding the eponymous train from Seoul. An infected person boards, eventually leading to a bullett train that is getting slowly zombie-fied en route to Busan. I know what you're probably thinking---"after 'The Walking Dead' ran it into the ground, I'm good on zombie shit"---but trust me when I say that TRAIN TO BUSAN is well worth the watch. This terrific thriller has more heart than most zombie movies and you might even find your heart in your throat at some points.

STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN (2002). As a kid growing up listening to Motown, I'd often wonder about the musicians who supplied the beats, strings, and horns behind the mega-star vocalists who got all the pub. Well, STANDING tells you exactly what happened to The Funk Brothers, the session musicians at Motown behind those many hits, in this excellent, heartfelt, toe-tapping documentary. Interspersed with new versions of hit songs, the doc interviews surviving musicians and shines on a light on the guys who made those many hits happen.