Today’s Screening: “Bullet to the Head”

ImageSly Stallone still has a few miles left in the tank as far as this career second wind goes.

An action picture shipped to the first weekend in February tells you it’s not that many miles — outside of his retro “Rocky/Rambo/Expendables” franchises.

“Bullet to the Head” has moved around on the release calendar, rumors of Stallone re-cutting the thing.

But the guy he’s recutting used to be one of the best. I spent much of my grad school life researching the films of action auteur Walter Hill. From “Hard Times” and “The Driver” to “Southern Comfort” and the blockbuster “48 Hours,” Hill ruled hard-nosed man’s man action movies, a regular Howard Hawks of the ’80s.

Check out “Johnny Handsome” if you want a quintessential modern film noir, or “The Warriors” for a stylized gang epic back before that meant Crips vs. Bloods. His “Wild Bill” is one of the great unsung Westerns, a classic and a Jeff Bridges turn that makes even his Oscar honored work in recent years seem tame.

Hill hit hard times, pulling his name off one sci-fi picture  (“Supernova”), not finding work beyond the Wesley Snipes corner of movie making in recent years. But his TV based revival — “Deadwood” and “Broken Trail” — suggests the just-turned-71 Hill has something left to offer as well.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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