West Side Story

It’s a rumble on the dance floor.

Mixing racial hatred, doomed romance, and epic song-and-dance scenes which beg for a really big screen, this 10-time Oscar winner still stands mighty tall.

Documenting life during (inner-city gang) wartime, it follows the Jets and the Sharks as they scrap for a hunk of NYC turf, while lovebirds cross into the danger zone, starting a forbidden romance.

Leads Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer are fine — though others do their singing — but it’s Rita Moreno who blows the hinges off the door.

She’s the real deal, and sizzles from start to finish.

 

Rumble in the Bronx

Welcome to America.

Jackie Chan was already a battle-hardened movie vet in 1995, but when this hit American theaters, it introduced him to a whole new fan base.

What they got to see was a dude who did all of his own stunt work, combined knock-down brawls with comedy, and was as resilient as they come.

Chan badly injured his leg jumping onto a hovercraft during shooting (as seen in the outtakes at the end of the film), but kept on going, wearing a cast designed to look like a tennis shoe.

Death to a tendon, birth of a legend.

 

Sea of Love

Is that a murder weapon in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?

Returning after a four-year absence from movies, Al Pacino gets back in the flow of things as a fast-talking, angina-causing NYC cop hot on the trail of a killer.

The slayings all seem to lead back to Ellen Barkin, exuding maximum sultry heat as a woman fond of answering lonely hearts ads in the local tabloids.

A combustible duo under any circumstances, they dance a naughty tango, while Pacino remains ever-aware he could be the next victim.

No worries, he brought protection — a .38 snubnose.

The Secret of My Success

He was the voice of a generation.

For ’80s teens, I can’t think of a more-beloved actor than Michael J. Fox.

Back to the Future is the biggie, with Family Ties an underrated part of NBC’s comedy juggernaut, but our guy also made a lot of films like this one about big city life.

It’s not a landmark by any means, just a pleasant throwback to a time when yuppies ran wild and Mike was the slick-talkin’, fast-walkin’ king of the light comedy genre.

Toss in Supergirl’s Helen Slater, and this is worth buying the ticket in the Wayback Machine.

Nobody’s Fool

There are actors, and then there are movie stars.

Except, sometimes the two can co-exist.

Paul Newman was an epic movie star, but that didn’t prevent him from being one of our finest actors.

This film, a small slice of joy about a man ambling through life, is a perfect example.

There are no big plot twists, and not much really happens.

But we care about the lives depicted because we care about the lovely exchanges between Newman and Jessica Tandy.

Or Newman’s flirty banter with Melanie Griffith.

If a movie could be a smile, this one fits the bill.