It’s Friday! So, you know what that means. Time for some Miami Vice! This week’s episode features a guest star, who everybody knows – Bruce Willis! It looks like this is the first time we had seen Bruce Willis in anything. He had some uncredited parts in a few movies. But, I believe this was his first speaking role. It was a year before Moonlighting came on the air. Let’s get into the episode.
This episode was directed by David Soul. Paul Michael Glaser had directed part 2 of Calderone’s Return”. Now, both members of Starsky and Hutch have directed a Miami Vice episode This episode was written by Charles R. Leinenweber and Maurice Hurley. This originally aired on November 9, 1984.
I’m getting used to this now. The episode begins with a stakeout. This time, the whole gang is there. Crockett, Tubbs, Switek, Zito, Gina, and Castillo. Well, it’s more of an operation than a stakeout. Crockett is in his car, pretending to be buying grenades from a couple of bad guys. He opens a briefcase, and when they let their guard down, Crockett grabs one of the guys by the arm and speeds off, while the other cops arrive and go after the other guy. That guy has a machine gun, and shoots his way out, narrowly missing Tubbs (who saved a woman from being shot as well). Machine gun guy got away, but they have the guy that Crockett grabbed. Tubbs is not too happy about being shot at by a machine gun. He is beyond angry, and grabs Crockett’s guy in a headlock. He looked and sounded just like an angry Richard Pryor. It made me laugh. Opening theme!
During the interrogation, the guy says that machine gun guy works for somebody called Tony Amato. So, they bug Amato’s house, and do some surveillance from Crockett’s boat. Then they get company in the form of the FBI. One of the agents starts snooping around the boat. Crockett says, “I wouldn’t do that.” The agent didn’t care, until he came across my buddy Elvis. I love how Tubbs cracks up laughing whenever somebody runs into Elvis. The FBI is also after Amato. Apparently, Amato just stole surface-to-air missles, and plans to sell them. So Crockett and Tubbs work with the FBI.
That night, they are keeping an eye on Almato’s house. We see Tony Almato (young Bruce Willis) verbally abusing his wife, then pushed her in a pool.
Tony leaves for a meeting, and while he’s out, his wife, Rita (Katherine Borowitz) makes a call to make a hit on Tony.
The FBI finds out that Tony has a meeting planned with a buyer. Coincidentally, the buyer looks a lot like Tubbs. So, Zito and Switek grab the buyer at the airport, and Tubbs replaces him.
In the meantime, Crockett hears Rita schedule a meeting with a hitman. So, he goes to where the meeting is to take place. He sees the hitman, and tells him to ‘beat it’, before Rita can see him. Then Crockett pretends to be the hitman for a little bit. Rita is second guessing herself, and Crockett tells her that he’s a cop, and they need her help to put Tony away.
Tubbs meets with Tony and a couple of his men, to get a demonstration of the missiles, then negotiate a price. Next, Crockett is watching the house again, where Tony smacked the shit out of Rita. He would have never done that to Maddie! This was all being done to the tune of “Stay With Me” by Teddy Pendergrass. The smooth, romantic sounds seemed kind of out of place in this scene.
Time for the final shootout! Tubbs meets Tony and his men to make the transaction. Meanwhile, Crockett was sneaking around getting into position, when the FBI arrives and goes on the loudspeaker telling the gang to surrender. That initiated the shootout. Tubbs was inside with Tony and one thug. He knocked the thug out and told Tony to freeze, while holding two guns to him. The shootout was pretty quick, but good. Then Crockett called Rita to say that they got Tony. She asked if he was dead. He wasn’t. But, while they were bringing him into the station, they were stopped by the FBI and some mysterious guy. They said that Tony wasn’t going to be charged, and to release him. As they were uncuffing him, Rita arrived, and saw that they were letting him go. Then we have a Law & Order style ending. You know how it goes. The bad guy gets off on a technicality, then is shot outside by a person they victimized. Well, Miami Vice did it first here. We don’t actually see it though. Crockett sees Rita pull out a gun, then screams “No!”, and starts to jump in her direction. But we get a freeze-frame of Crockett screaming, and we hear the gunshot go off. The End.
There were only two featured songs in this episode. But, man were they good ones!
“Stay With Me” by Teddy Pendergrass
“I Don’t Care Anymore” by Phil Collins
This was a pretty fun episode. There wasn’t as much action as I would have liked. But, Bruce Willis was awesome. I could see how this would launch his career. The episode went by pretty fast. The action was good at the beginning and at the end, and there were a few very humorous parts. This was another great episode.
Once again, I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode, or on Miami Vice in general.
Swifty: Kick his ass, Brewster! Don’t take that shit from this fungus faced toad sucker! Terk: [to Brewster] I’d tell that little punk that he shouldn’t be talking to me like that if I were you. Brewster Baker: He’s right, Swifty. Be polite, Mr. Logan here’s a very sensitive man.
[takes a few steps away and looks at Terk] Brewster Baker: On second thought, I got a good mind to turn this little kid loose and let him just whip your ass, Terk!
Happy 77th Birthday to Kenny Rogers!
And here is my favorite Kenny Rogers song, which is from this movie:
The Return to the ’80s Movies series continues, with a look at one of the best soundtracks of the ’80s. If you’d like, you can go back and check out the review of the Top Gun. Today, Robert is going to discuss the awesome music, which is a vital part of the movie. Take it away, Robert!
Top Gun – Part 2, the Soundtrack
Yesterday we took a look at the blockbuster movie Top Gun; now let me turn your attention to the soundtrack of the same Top Gun. This soundtrack serves as an excellent example of what many ‘80s movie used as a clear, intentional, and clever promotion. It is clear that this combination was and purposeful way to flood the pop culture market through multiple means of exposure.
Top Gun is an excellent soundtrack that works extremely well in enhancing the movie. The songs are used to make the aerial sequences more exciting and the love scenes more romantic. The film only features a few of the songs with more than just snippets or as background music. Unlike Footloose, Top Gun is not music based, therefore does not rely on the songs to represent character’s traits or emotions. The songs in Top Gun also provide no clear connection to the theme of the film. Ultimately though, this is a solid soundtrack with good songs that are easy to listen to. There are no real dips in the quality of the songs and most of them clearly fit the tone of the film.
Like the film, which was the most successful one of 1986, the soundtrack also sold well. It reached the top of Billboard’s album charts for a total of five weeks (although they were not consecutive weeks). During the months of August through October Top Gun battled with the likes of Madonna and Lionel Richie for album supremacy. All told, the soundtrack sold nine million copies, making it not only one of the top albums of 1986, but the twentieth best selling album of the decade. The album also spawned four Top 40 singles, with Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” reaching all the way up to #1.
Yes, Kenny Loggins is back and making another appearance on an ‘80s soundtrack, strengthening his legacy as the soundtrack king. This song was a massive hit on the radio and was in high rotation on MTV. The song is perfectly placed (several times) during the film’s aerial sequences. It has the right amount of guitar and builds nicely. Lyrically the song matches the action of the film as well, “Highway to the danger zone / Gonna take it right into the danger zone.”
There is never a problem with Cheap Trick making an appearance on any soundtrack. This songs strikes me as being very similar to “Danger Zone” – good energy, driving guitars, and lyrics that sound like planes speeding across the sky. These aerial scenes is exactly where this song is used.
Here we have yet another appearance by Loggins and the final single released from the soundtrack. This song has been beat up a bit due to it’s placement in the film. It is paired with the volleyball scene where Maverick and Goose take on their rivals in a sand volleyball match. Take the chorus of this song and three very well built men without shirts, and the jibes are easy to figure out. The song is upbeat and fun. It may not be one of Loggins’ best, but it is a good song that has an intensely catchy hook.
This is the first track that could be considered more of a dance song. There are some clear rhythm guitars that help connect to the other songs, but it is clearly not a priority. It surfaces in the film during an evening out in the clubs, so it is fitting.
This is easily the biggest hit on the soundtrack, a breakthrough song for Berlin, and one of the best love songs from the ‘80s. Obviously, it is used in the scenes that feature Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. The song is played nearly in it’s entirety the first time, but an instrumental version is used throughout the second half of the film. Berlin had a moderate hit before this song with “No More Words” and would follow with “Like Flames“, but none of their other songs would reach the heights of this one. The most memorable part of this song is that killer bass line – within three or four notes the song is easily recognized and the swaying starts.
– After achieving wild success in Holland, this band was gaining strength here in America. While this song was never released as a single, the Latin influenced rhythms make it recognizable as the same band who hit with “Conga” and “Bad Boy“. This song helped build their reputation and lead the way for future hits like “Rhythm is Gonna Get You“.
Full disclosure: I am a huge Loverboy fan. This is great song that, I feel, should have been a bigger hit. It is clearly in the shadow of the big love song “Take My Breath Away”, but it does deserve it own recognition. It has the classic Loverboy sound with strong vocals by Mike Reno and solid guitar work by Paul Dean. This song showed up on every mix tape that I made for my girlfriend. It is a simple love song, but it did work, capturing a simple, powerful sentiment, “In your eyes, I want to see your love again / In your eyes, I never want this feeling to end / It took some time to find the light, but now I realize / I can see the heaven in your eyes.”
On a strange note: this song was listed in the closing credits, but was never played in the movie – I checked (twice) – and this is a fact. It is a good guitar driven song – too bad they could not find a place for it in the final cut of the movie.
I am pretty sure this instrumental has the most film time; it is played in multiple scenes, most of them containing some sort of plane. The song has an excellent guitar based theme and builds to a fantastic climax. It is one of those instrumentals that you hum constantly after hearing it just once.
As a junior in high school I loved both the movie Top Gun and the soundtrack Top Gun. I clearly remember watching the movie over and over after I bought it on VHS. It was one of the first movies to be released on VHS for an affordable price due to a commercial being placed before the feature presentation. I also clearly remember listening to the soundtrack over and over – quickly memorizing it. Now, nearly thirty years later, I think the soundtrack stands up to the test of time as does the film.