Balladeer’s Blog presents another edition of “Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead.” This time around it’s to Wang Chung, for their memorable soundtrack for the INCREDIBLY underappreciated movie To Live and Die in L.A.
The movie was from some of the creative team behind Miami Vice and was often described as “Film Noir Meets MTV.” After a teaser depicting Secret Service Agent Richard Chance and his partner saving the U.S. president from a Muslim terrorist the main story focuses on the often-neglected role of the U.S. Secret Service: fighting counterfeiters.
Ironically the movie features top scenes from the novel it’s based on, yet presents the story with the exact opposite meaning that the novel offers. Both are enjoyable but in entirely different ways – the film as flash and the book as substance.
And Robert Downey SENIOR has a small role for you trivia buffs.
THE WILD WILD WEST REVISITED (1979) – Frontierado is this Friday, August 7th.
A better title for this Wild Wild West telefilm would have been Night of the Half-Assed Reunion Special. (For non-fans of this old Robert Conrad show let me explain: every episode of The Wild Wild West bore the title “Night of the Such and Such”, just like every Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode was titled “The Such and Such Affair” and every Friends episode was called “The One with Such and Such.”)
The original 1965-1969 television series starred the athletic and charismatic Robert Conrad as Jim West, a Secret Service Agent in the 1800’s American West. His cover was that he was a high-stakes gambler/ gunfighter who traveled in his own private train car. Ross Martin portrayed his hammy professional actor sidekick, Artemus Gordon.
The Wild Wild West was a genuine classic, combining James Bond/ Napoleon Solo spy antics with the gunplay and mis en scene of the best Westerns. Jim West was forever saving the country – and sometimes the world – from a long line of suave or at least colorful villains. Those villains inevitably had sultry female accomplices, about eighty percent of whom seemed to be played by Michelle Carey. Continue reading