In the Line of Fire

“We can’t have monsters roaming the quiet countryside, can we?”

John Malkovich and Clint Eastwood stare each other down in one of the best ’90s thrillers, with the former a deranged assassin and the latter a carved-from-granite Secret Service agent.

The President of the United States is the one in the gun sites, but it’s the personal battle between two of Hollywood’s most-imposing thespians which rules the day.

Speaking with his customary growl in place, Eastwood is a man haunted by past failures, but damn sure he’ll stop at nothing to bring down his rival.

Wanna make his day?

 

Dirty Harry

Speak softly and carry a big gun.

Clint Eastwood hefted a .44 Magnum while issuing a flinty “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?”

Playing San Francisco cop Harry Callahan, he launched a film series, while causing half the world to dither about the film’s supposed “dangerous, fascist” views.

Which, when your hero throws his badge away at the end of the film after exacting violent retribution, makes sense.

Love it, hate it (I’m in the former crowd), you have to admit one thing — 50 years has not dulled Eastwood’s, or this film’s, snarl.

 

Tightrope

Long day’s journey into night.

Few movie stars are as willing to expose the cracks in their character’s psyches as Clint Eastwood.

Detective Wes Block is a good cop, but maybe a bad human being — haunted by dark thoughts, way too comfortable living in a twisted world.

Pursuing a serial killer with a similar bent, he has to overcome his fears and prejudices to save his own soul.

Eastwood can do the stuff with guns and growls in his sleep.

Here, once again, he proves he can go far deeper, even when it doesn’t make him look all that great.

Hang ’em High

It’s not the kind of job you leave half-finished.

But the dumb cowpokes who string up Clint Eastwood fail to dot their I’s and cross their T’s — or at least properly tighten the rope — and come to regret it.

Mistakenly marked as a cattle rustler, he returns the favor, all guns blazing, in this American answer to the success of spaghetti westerns.

Eastwood’s dead man walking snaps on a badge, but, even as a card-carrying member of the law, is prone to delivering frontier-style justice in the form of a swiftly-propelled bullet or two.

Would we expect any less?

 

Far Alamo

Come out all guns blazing.

A who’s-who of cinematic gunfighters, from Clint Eastwood and John Wayne to Charles Bronson and Richard Widmark, line up to do battle with the kill-happy bugs from Starship Troopers in this memorable mashup.

Edited with precision, the short film has the outer space marauders launching an attack on the Alamo, only to be met by tons o’ firepower.

The human fighters hail from a whole ton of movie classics, with everything from Once Upon a Time in the West to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly represented.

Let the bodies hit the prairie.