Criterion Year Week 5: The Killer and Old School Video Stores

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Week 5:

The Killer

Spine Number: 8

Director: John Woo

Genre: Hong Kong Action


There was a time when I thought America knew how to make an action movie. We had some great one, really we did. Little did I know that on the other side of the world there was a group of insane visionaries who were churning out some of the most amazing, gorgeous, violent works of cinema imaginable. Names like Woo, Lam, Hark, Chan, Li, Jing, and Fat were working on movies that would, for a certain group of filmmakers and film lovers, define the aesthetic of what action/crime movie would soon become.

They were The Beatles for a generation of filmmakers. You might not know or like their music, but your favorite band... they do. Or your favorite band's favorite band. In some way the work that was don in Hong Kong in the mid to late 80's and into the 90's is a fundamental part of the DNA of modern American film making. You like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction? Then you like Ringo Lam and John Woo. You like El Mariachi and Desperado? Then you like John Woo and Tsui Hark.

If you knew about these movies and people before... congratulations, you're one of us. You had a local video store that wasn't a Blockbuster of Hollywood Video that was a huge part of your life. You knew the satisfaction of watching a hard core bootlegged video that still had the "play" and "record" graphics on the beginning of it. You have watched movies that had ads for soy sauce and karaoke machines instead of previews. You were there, man!

So, join us in our first of two weeks of exploring the wonder of John Woo and the video store culture that is so sorely lacking from today's landscape.

And join us next week for some totally over the top, ape scat action that you are not ready for!

Next week:

Spine Number 9: John Woo's "Hard Boiled"

Also, check this out.
Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.
It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.
You have an 8 screen theater.
Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.
Then you compete against other theaters in your league.
It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

You can also click on one of our sponsor links below and THEY will pay us. That's right. You won't have to pay a PENNY extra, and Amazon/Onnit/Teefury will give us a little taste.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

Jim out.

Share | Download(Loading)

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App