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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You can kiss your baby goodbye."
If you recognize the name Ellen Aim you know your cult sci-fi rock movies, or, as director Walter Hill called his 1984 film Streets of Fire, your "rock and roll fable[s]."
Ellen Aim and the Attackers are a band that plays in an alternate version of the eighties, or maybe an alternate version of the fifties. It's either the eighties that couldn't let go of Elvis and...
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by Found Highways

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Terrible Movie That You Can't Help But Love
Personally, I really like Streets Of Fire, but strictly speaking, it's terrible. The script is really bad and the dialogue is some of the worst I've ever heard. However, it can be very fun to watch. The cinematography is excellent, and the beginning and ending concert scenes are the reason I bought this dvd in the first place (I'm a huge Jim Steinman fan). It really is...
Published on Jan. 9 2002 by Logan Albright


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Terrible Movie That You Can't Help But Love, Jan. 9 2002
By 
Logan Albright "thellama73" (Marietta, Georgia USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Streets of Fire (Widescreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
Personally, I really like Streets Of Fire, but strictly speaking, it's terrible. The script is really bad and the dialogue is some of the worst I've ever heard. However, it can be very fun to watch. The cinematography is excellent, and the beginning and ending concert scenes are the reason I bought this dvd in the first place (I'm a huge Jim Steinman fan). It really is fun to grab a few friends and some snacks and just laugh at Rick Moranis and Michael Pare overacting their corny lines. It also has Elizabeth Daily, whom you may know as the voice of Buttercup on The Powerpuff Girls. I love her! She's a joy to watch. I was dissapointed in the lack of special features on the dvd, and somehow I don't think there will be a special edition version. But hey, it's always amusing to watch corny dialogue transform into corny French dialogue, right?
Simply put, if you're a fan of cheesy movies and you don't take things too seriously, you will probably get a kick out of this film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You can kiss your baby goodbye.", Feb. 24 2004
This review is from: Streets of Fire (VHS Tape)
If you recognize the name Ellen Aim you know your cult sci-fi rock movies, or, as director Walter Hill called his 1984 film Streets of Fire, your "rock and roll fable[s]."
Ellen Aim and the Attackers are a band that plays in an alternate version of the eighties, or maybe an alternate version of the fifties. It's either the eighties that couldn't let go of Elvis and pre-British Invasion rock and roll, or it's the fifties anticipating an urban underclass where everyone is on the edge of violence. Walter Hill loads the movie with a retro neon look, blending genres, similar to what he did in 1979's The Warriors, where he mixed the post-war social-issue movie with the seventies exploitation film, along with some ancient Greek history. (As Cyrus, the would-be savior of all the warrior gangs, booms at us, "Can you dig it?")
Michael Pare (as Tom Cody) stars in Streets of Fire. Cody's just out of the army in a what-if America that still has the social restraints from fifties Tab Hunter movies, but wallows in the corruption and depravity of Reagan's eighties. On this particular morning in America it's raining and everyone's on the verge of killing someone. Willem Dafoe's first appearance as Raven, the villain in black rubber, fresh from God knows what perversity, to the song "One Bad Stud" performed by the Blasters ("If he likes your baby, you can kiss your baby goodbye"), may be what got him typecast as a psycho in so many movies.
But in a fifties movie there has to be a love story. You can't have a guy without a girl. There has to be a Natalie Wood for James Dean, even if the romance is between James Dean and Sal Mineo. In Streets of Fire, Michael Pare's Natalie Wood is Diane Lane as singer Ellen, who Aims her Attack straight at your heart while she caresses one of those old round microphones that look like a hood ornament. Raven kidnaps Ellen and her old boyfriend Tom Cody (Buffalo Bill to the rescue) is called to save her. Unfortunately, Lane doesn't get to do much more than play the frail here.
Cody's real emotional connection is with McCoy (Amy Madigan), another vet who makes Cody hire her to rescue Ellen. McCoy brushes off Cody's half-hearted passes with "You're not my type." McCoy wears greasy old clothes and fixes cars better than Cody so I think I get the point. Especially when McCoy leers at a female nude dancer at the club where Ellen is being held. It seems like the movie was going to be more explicit about McCoy's sexuality but chickened out.
I won't spoil the story but you know how it ends.

I have a soft spot for movies that are original, even if they're not entirely successful. The music's good, the look of the film pulls you into its unique world, and the story is one of those mythic restatements that move you even when you know they're corny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Grows on you kind of flick!", Feb. 29 2004
By 
Tracey L. Cordero "CrimsonDusk" (Abilene, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Streets of Fire (Widescreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
Ok...when I first saw this movie the first thing out of my mouth was..."Ok...what was that all about?" lol...but after watching it again...and being a really big (self-proclaimed) Michael Pare fan, I gave it another try, and was really suprised that I enjoyed it! It grows on you...it's a "You can't help but love it" kind of film! The more you watch it, it becomes a guilty pleasure! A must see...if you like the kind of movie that you can love, and still think..."WOW...I really like that?!?!?!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars soldier boy saves queen of the hop from leader of the pack, Dec 26 2003
By 
dice. (portland,maine,u.s.a.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Streets of Fire (Widescreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
"streets of fire",ive gathered was intended to be part of a trilogy by director walter hill[director of 'the warriors'],but poor box office sales,nixed that idea.
i saw the movie at a local cinema in my hometown in 1984 and less than two weeks later it was gone replaced by some'john hughes' schmaltz or someother dreck of that kind of 'teen 80's' ilk.
i thought 'streets of fire' was fantastic,an utterly compelling 'juvinile delinquint film noir western',complete with ravaging biker gangs,sultry rock'n'roll singers,surly hot rod gangs,poutng tuff chicks,glowering bad boys,swithblade knives,black leather jackets,tuff words in tense situations,street brawls with sledge hammers,chopped lowered hotrods,do-wop groups,sexy fishnet wearing strippers,sax honking rock'a'billy bands,burning motorcycles,gun totin' bad ass dames,you name it...this movie has it all.
amid flashing neon,wet city streets,screaming subways,foggy back alleys,menacing bikers,pseudo-tuff punk hotrodders,rough guys with big guns; the story unfolds with a local female rock'n'roll singing legand,ellen aim,played by diane lane,being kidnapped by raven shaddock,played by willem dafoe and his motorcycle gang'the bombers',and of course her ex-boyfriend is none other than tom cody,played by michael pare,local ex-bad boy turned sodier,who comes home thanks to his sister vera,played by deborah van valkenberg,and takes up the task of rescuing ellen aim from 'the bombers' clutches,with the help of a tuff chick mechanic played by amy madigan.
the movie has great sets,has a time period that may be the 50's and it may be the future and it may be another place all together,some of the sets look like chicago,while others look like brooklyn new york,it has a great dirty biker bar named 'torchie's',where 'the blasters' play rousing classics like 'one bad stud',while dancer marin jahin[jennifer beals body double in 'flashdance']shakes her stuff on the stage in front of the band.
the movie was lost in its original run in the theatres,but did well on cable later in the decade and has finally garnered quite a cult following and its rightly deserved; this movie is great fun,as well as a visually stunning masterpiece.
any fan of 'walter hill' or 'the warriors' or stylized 50's like biker hotrod delinquint badboy/bad girl movies or even anyone who just like a little rock'n'roll with there fables,should like this great flick.
so,to all you greasers out there,enjoy this true original ode to a great genre of film making.
plus,the soundtrack is really cool as well,two blasters songs,,two jim stienem songs,a great ry cooder score,diane lane lipsynching in tight dresses to meatloaf sounding songs...its all
pretty cool.
so,i hope you dig it,i know i did,i own 2 copies of the video,2 copies of the soundtrack and i cant wait to get the dvd.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Weird, unique, thrilling, rock opera adventure., Aug. 14 2002
By 
Thomas M. Sipos (Santa Monica, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Streets of Fire (Widescreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
This film bombed with reviewers and at the box office when it came out -- but I loved it! And its soundtrack remains one of my favorite lps/CDs.
It's a weird tale of a biker gang leader (William DaFoe) who kidnaps a rock singer (Diane Lane). Her nebbish manager (Rick Moranis) hires her ex-soldier/ex-boyfired (Michael Pare) to rescue her. He hires a sidekick, ex-soldier Amy Madigan.
What makes this film so weird is -- you wonder WHEN it's taking place. It's full of anachronisms. The art direction looks 1950s (the malt shop, some of the costumes, the old police squad cars, the teletype). Yet you have female soldiers, and an integrated police force. And the biker gang leader looks like he's dressed for an S&M leather party, in a black leather farmer's overall bid. Very strange.
The dialog is also strange. Very stylized -- to the point of parody. Women are "skirts." Everyone's sarcastic, snarling zingers at each other. Even the bit players. The film feels like everyone in town, from street punks to cops to young girls, is a badass with a bad attitude. And half the zingers seem to end in fights. Very very strange.
The subtitle is: A Rock & Roll Fable -- whatever that means. Don't try to understand this film. Just let it wash over you. You're in a strange netherworld. Accept it, and you'll enjoy the ride. Especially if you like the music...
Some of the music written by Jim Steinman -- if you thrill to the bombastic sounds of Bonnie Tyler and Meat Love, you'll love this soundtrack. There's also a song written by Stevie Nicks, sung by Marylin Martin -- who sounds exactly like Stevie Nicks.
The sort of bizarre film where many will gawk and wonder: What were they thinking? Others will emrace it with the love that cult films attract. I did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Rock & Roll Fable, April 7 2002
This review is from: Streets of Fire (Widescreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
This is an intense film that really draws you in, Walter Hill(48 HRS.) directed this & it shows, the film begins at a concert that is about to get underway, once it does, you actually feel as if your in attendence, Diane Lane absolutely shines as the lead singer, the opening song is fast-paced & powerful as Lane is convincing in her performance, this film is reminicent of the 50's in that a motorcycle gang led by a younger Willem Dafoe, is on the prowl to kidnap Lane & succeeds by crashing her concert, the film then progresses to the opening where we are introduced to Michael Pare' as Lane's former boyfriend who is hired by her manager Billy played by Rick Moranis who looks as geeky as ever, to get her back, Pare' is still smitten with Lane but stubborn about their seperation, he later teams with a two-fisted hellraiser in the form of Amy Madigan who helps him get Lane, they soon head that way, Willem Dafoe who would later go on to superstardom is perfectly cast as Raven who apparently has a crush on Lane, the obvious reason for kidnapping her, Pare' & Madigan soon storm his place & retrieve Lane, Pare' & Dafoe soon meet face to face in which Dafoe declares that Pare' is a dead man, this could easily be a movie about motorcycle gangs, but Hill avoids making it to obvious, there is love overtones with Lane & Pare' who have great chemistry, you almost want them back together, but know it won't likely happen, the showdown between Dafoe & Pare' is neat in itself, the music here is awesome with a 1950's feel & 80's sound, Lane's closing song is powerful in that it catches the attention of Pare', you know he still loves her but can't be with her simply because it is not his style, Dan Hartman's "I can dream about you" is here as her opening act, I finally got this on DVD & it is awesome, it is the best picture of this movie that I have seen, although many cast members went on to bigger things Pare' however never got better films, best known as Eddie in "Eddie in the Cruisers", his last best known role was Sandra Bullock's cheating husband in "Hope Floats" in which he has maybe 10 minutes of screen time, Pare' is really an under rated actor that like many never got a fair chance, hopefully he will make a comeback.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A True Guilty Pleasure, April 20 2001
This review is from: Streets of Fire (Widescreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
I first saw "Streets of Fire" at the end of it's run in theaters. A bolt of lightning had knocked out the electricity in my apartment, and there was nothing to do but go to a movie. I guess you could say that my discovery of this film resulted from an act of divine intervention.
If you step back from it and really see it for what it is, "Streets of Fire" is a pretty hokey movie. The leader of a motorcycle gang gets a big, hot thing for a beautiful rock singer and carries her off. Then her old boyfriend returns home and rescues her. Boy rescues girl. Boy gets girl. Boy walks out on girl. Big deal! Nothing new here. So, why have I watched it about 30 or 40 times over the years, enjoying it so much that I recently bought it on DVD. I even own the soundtrack album, and on vinyl to boot.
I really can't explain it. Maybe it's the juxtaposition of styles and eras. It seems to throw characters and props from seemingly different times and places together. Maybe it's the way Amy Madigan, playing a part originally written for a man, steals the movie. Maybe, it's getting to watch Michael Paré play the fearless hero and wondering why he never really made it in Hollywood or seeing a young Willem Dafoe, on the verge of a career that would keep him working right up to the present, as the villainous Raven. (Raven. What a great name for a villain.) Maybe it's really about being able to spend 90 minutes with the exquisite Diane Lane, who a few years earlier reportedly had Francis Ford Coppola suffering from puppy love on the set of "The Outsiders". Maybe, it's Rick Moranis, a good but not great Rock score, the knowledge that the outdoor settings were actually filmed entirely on a sound stage, or the sight of "Flash Dance" body double, Marine Jahan, dancing once again. Maybe it's just everything combined.
If you haven't seen this film, do yourself a favor. Rent, buy, or steal it. (Somehow the last choice seems appropriate.) Throw some Orville in the microwave, and then crank up the volume on your TV or, even better, Surround Sound if you have it. Then say goodbye to reality, and let the movie take you to "Another Time and Another Place". And, if you have seen it, it's probably time to see it again.
Now that I think about it, tonight might be a good time to watch it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars People are either passionate or indifferent about this film, Jan. 23 2001
This review is from: Streets of Fire (VHS Tape)
I'm passionate. I can watch it over and over again. It has a simple story, with mythical/fable overtones, and it uses the same overtones as westerns, samurai films, etc. I think that the acting seems poor, because Hill wants his characters to be archetypes rather than people. This is a clever, elegant translation of classical elements to a world that is part Blade Runner, part Fifties New York.
It's also damn good fun. The opening sequence shows sinister leather clad figures infiltrating a crowd at a concert, and standing motionless, until their leader gives the signal to kidnap the singer. The action sequence where the hero retrieves the singer is better than the climax of many films, but it's really only the beginning of this one. Then towards the end, the characters become people rather than caricatures, as they start to interact with each other, and the ending fits together very nicely.
This is a satisfying film, because so many elements blend together well. The biker hangout is a post-industrialist roadhouse, set on the margins of a rundown neighbourhood ("The Battery") that is straight out of Edward Hopper. But it's the story that keeps me coming back to this film, even when you know the ending, the ride is a huge amount of fun, and there is always something new to appreciate, or something forgotten to savour again.
By the way, you may not want to hear this, but if you like the ambiance of this film, you may like "Barb Wire", which, Pamela Anderson apart, is quite a clever re-working of "Casablanca" in a post-Holocaust setting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A rock and roll fable, Oct. 14 2000
By 
Alan Tate (Thames New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Streets of Fire (VHS Tape)
after watching the film for the first five minutes i knew it was one of those films that would travel through life with me. The sound of Diane Lane( fire inc) singing on the stage at the begining of the film is one that i will truly never forget. Towards the end of the concert ellen aim( Diane lane) is kidknapped by a gang of bikers and held hostage. At the concert is one of ellen aims old flames`s sister. She then sends a telegram asking for help and soldier boy arrives and plans to resuce Aim with the help of Amy Madigan and paid by Billy fish (rick moranis). If you like the 50`s era and rock and roll music then this is one film you must have. The feeling of the film is like nothing i`ve seen before or since and i doubt you will be disapointed with this purchase, maybe if the film had big stars at the time then it would have been a box office smash although this is no bad thing.The film is set predominately at night which sets the mood of things but you really need to see the film because words cannot describe what an experience this is
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4.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS FILM TOO MUCH!, June 19 2000
By 
Zorikh Lequidre "Zorikh" (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Streets of Fire (VHS Tape)
I first saw this movie during my formative teen years, and it has affected my sense of style and taste in music and movies ever since. Though I would not go overboard in saying that it is a "very good" movie, but it is a "great" movie.
It has been said that this is the '50's movie set in the '80's Walter Hill always wanted to make, and he succeeds in catching that feeling. The people are clad in '50's garb, the cars are glorious pieces of Detroit steel or Studebakers, the biker gang lives the dream of Link Wray's music and the threat of Brando's "Wild Ones," the music is at times fast and urgent, like youth racing to an exciting finish, or moody and atmospheric, catching tension, sorrow, and romance. The production value is first-rate, every rain puddle in place, glorious neon colors, and a literally "ripping" scene disolve.
Hill has created a complete world here. The story takes place in a city that is so huge a wanderer (such as Amy Madigan's or Michael Pare's characters) can pass through a "district" the way an old west drifter would pass through a town (not the only similarity to westerns this movie has). One can drive all night, passing through several of these districts, each with their own distinctive character, without finding the end of it. There is a run-down residential area, a nightlife strip, a spooky industrial area, even a southern style district with racist cops! The character of these districts is expressed everywhere, from the production design to the music to the costumes, so you can really catch the flavor of it. I felt that the costumes especially should be commended (hello, academy), not only because they were well produced and looked good, but also each costume expressed the character of the people wearing them and the district they resided in.
The main action of the movie follows the pattern of a less serious version of "The Warriors": our heroes must find their way home against great odds. They must take trains, steal cars, fight cops, and hide from their pursuers. Instead of the run-down griminess of a city on the edge of collapse, however, there is the sense of urgent vibrancy of a thriving culture.
Loving this movie so much, I have accumulated way too much trivia about it. The name of the biker bar, "Torchies" is used in "48 hrs" "The Driver," and "Brewster's Millions." The stripper in the bar is played by Jennifer Beales' double from "Flashdance." She was also in a rock video in the early '80's. The racist cop from the Ardmore is the Action News reporter from "Brewster's..." The train conductor was the DJ in "The Warriors." Robert Townsend can be seen as one of the doo-wop combo, but does not have a single line, unless you count him lip-psynching the songs. They used such light-sensitive film in making the movie that some of the neon was too bright and they had to paint it in.
The music, as has been said before, is great. Ry Cooder (a frequent Hill colaborator) does all the incidental music covering such works as "Get out of Denver" and "Rumble," as well as creating some original pieces. It's a shame none of it wound up on the soundtrack album. The Blasters hit their high-water mark of mainstream popularity with their performance at Torchies (this was my first exposure to them and they have been my favorite band ever since). The Jim Steinman anthems, though not his best, are very appropriate for the theme of misspent youth that the movie has. I don't understand what The Fixx was doing on the closing credits, but it's a good song.
About the acting: it seems acting skills are in inverse proportion to matinee-idol attractiveness, but that's OK, because the beautifully attractive leads don't have to do much (and Diane Lane is more beautiful here than in any other movie before or since). The less attractive secondaries get the good banter , and the stoic cop and the evil villain play their roles to the hilt.
Sure the plot is predictable, corny, even. So is the dialogue. That's part of what makes it so cool! Corniness comes from tradition and universality, so what makes it distinctive is the style, and what style! And its worth noting that the final showdown is one of the most exciting fights in cinema, and has a unique and thrilling esthetic.
So pop a brew, pour that tequila, get some chips & salsa, cuddle with your honey, and crank up your stereo big-screen TV (hopefully you've got a widescreen version too). This is fun, thrilling, and great, and if you're not smooching by the end, get another honey!
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Streets of Fire (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
Streets of Fire (Widescreen) (Bilingual) by Walter Hill (DVD - 2013)
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