Tuff Turf : Required 80s Film Viewing

So, one of the shows I produce in my regular rotation of event television is The American Cinematheque Tribute. I’ve worked on the past 3 specials that honored Julia Roberts, Samuel L. Jackson and Matt Damon. The Cinematheque is a wonderful film preservation society that runs some fantastic film programming at The Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. I really enjoy working on the show and THIS year’s honoree is Robert Downey, Jr.

One of the perks is that we get ALL the films from the honoree’s body of work to make notes on what clips we plan on cutting together and how we are going to thread them into themes.

Well, I can tell you that when you watch one actor’s ENTIRE library of films, you run across some gems you might normally not think to watch. And last night, I found one such gem. A diamond actually.

Tuff Turf (1985)

The film stars James Spader as the new kid in a rough school. Spader is a preppy who has had great opportunities, however he’s a misunderstood troublemaker who has squandered those chances. And when he falls in love with a gang leader’s girl (played by Kim Richards, who is currently a Real Housewife Of Beverly Hills), he’s in for a ruff time. This is, after all, tuff turf.

RDJ plays a rebel punk at the school who befriends Spader. He even gives him his first switchblade. That’s the kind of friend you need around these tuff parts!

The film’s tone is all over the place. It wants to be funny, then serious, then violent and then…a musical? There is actually a somewhat coordinated dance scene in the film.

It’s also a great slice of 80s Los Angeles life. Enjoy the trailer. Then get the movie.

Avengers Assemble…Sort Of.

Our friends over at Walt Disney Studios had this photo and bit of information to share with you today:

“Production has commenced today in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated movie “Marvel’s The Avengers,” directed by Joss Whedon (“Serenity”) from a screenplay by Whedon. The film will continue principal photography in Cleveland, Ohio and New York City. Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) returns as the iconic Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) as Thor, Chris Evans (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Captain America, Jeremy Renner (“Thor,” “The Hurt Locker”) as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are Alright”) as Hulk, Scarlett Johansson (“Iron Man 2”) as Black Widow, Clark Gregg (“Iron Man,” “Thor”) as Agent Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) as Nick Fury. Set for release in the US on May 4, 2012, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the first feature to be fully owned, marketed and distributed by Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009.”

Today also marks the the release of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on DVD. You can pick up both volumes at major retailers everywhere and let me say that the series does not disappoint.