Clear and Present Danger

“You are such a boy scout!!”

The words, said by a weasel of the highest order, sting, but are dead-on, with Harrison Ford playing a man whose rigid posture owes to his spine being made of the strongest material.

Ensnared in a murky world, acting CIA Deputy Director Jack Ryan finds himself caught between vicious Colombian drug cartels and a compromised US president.

There are three ways out — sacrifice his morals, take a bullet to the temple, or hitch up his big boy pants and go in guns blazing.

This is Harrison Ford. You know which route he’s taking.

 

The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings

A solid extra-base hit.

Following ballplayers prevented from playing in the majors by the color line, this mix of humor and social commentary is a good day at the movie ballpark.

Teaming up before they later collected those sweet, sweet Stars Wars paychecks, Billy Dee Williams and James Earl Jones are the headliners.

But it’s Richard Pryor who steals every scene he’s in as a stat-obsessed player.

Bouncing along county backroads, not getting the respect they deserve, our heroes seize the day, turning what could have been a broken-bat single of a film into a solid double through sheer effort.

The Hunt for Red October

Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.

The only Russian seadog to speak with a Scottish burr (and what of it?), Sean Connery leads his men into a showdown with world-ending consequences in the first adaptation of Tom Clancy’s military thrillers.

Alec Baldwin is CIA analyst Jack Ryan, a part later inherited by Harrison Ford, then a parade of wanna-be’s, while the supporting cast is awash with Hall o’ Famers like Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, and James Earl Jones.

But it’s Connery, beard at full bristle, piloting his nuclear submarine into uncharted waters, who commands every scene.

Captain, my captain.

The Sandlot

“You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”

Is there a person alive who doesn’t enjoy this light-hearted romp?

How can you vote against a scrappy band of preteens filling their days with baseball, macking on Wendy Peffercorn, and discovering the horrors of mixing chewing tobacco with madly-spinning carnival rides?

If you do, you’re probably a crusty ol’ jerk who mixes their Wheaties with their momma’s toe jam, and should be avoided at all costs.

For the rest of us, we’ll be content to relive the summer of ’62, when Hamilton “Ham” Porter, Michael “Squints” Palledorous, and Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez ruled supreme.

 

Conan the Barbarian

Do you want to live forever?

Holding his sword like he wants to crush the steel with his bare hands, a young(ish) Arnold Schwarzenegger carves a path of revenge across the rocky countryside, chasing the snake king who cost him his parents.

Backed by the soaring music of Basil Poledouris, Conan finds love (or at least sex), redemption, and a few people he can trust as he moves relentlessly towards a showdown with James Earl Jones.

The voice of Darth Vader is appropriately creepy as the big bad, giving some legendary stink-eye.

At least until Captain Pecs starts flexin’.