American Ninja: Mutoids

Strange observations, weird thoughts, and snarky rebuttals are the domain of Mutoids — Mutant Reviewers’ notated journey through the film of the week.  So what did we notice about American Ninja?

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  • This movie really, really needs an establishing text, because I have no idea where it starts out.  Wikipedia says Philippines, and who am I to argue?
  • Brooding loner with fancy butterfly knife skills… we have our lead!
  • Hackeysack is the official pasttime of the US Army
  • Army base doesn’t have its own airport, but must form a protective convoy just to get a single person to her flight.
  • The opening theme is so dang hyper — especially with that trumpet — that it cracks me up

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American Ninja: Ninjas in the 80s

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Jackson: Have you ever heard of ninjutsu sir?
Colonel Hickock: What’s that?
Jackson: The secret art of assassination.

It’s a well-known trope that pop culture ninjas, like pirates, are nothing like their real-world counterparts.  While there were indeed ninjas, they were assassins rather than warriors who chose to blend in, use underhanded weapons, and kill when the victim was least suspecting it.  Unlike the samurai, the ninja were seen to have no honor nor great status.

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American Ninja: Review

Justin’s Review: ninja1If you were to intentionally create the most stereotypically 80s action movie today, there’s no way you could top what’s already been done in American Ninja.

Largely responsible for the elevation of the ninja to near-mythical status, American Ninja is a hodge-podge of admittedly better 80s films, including The Karate Kid, James Bond, and probably anything to do with Chuck Norris.  Yet it pushes so hard the ninja aspect that instead of being mediocre today, it’s actually endured as a cheesy cult classic that features genuinely enjoyable (if ridiculous) action.

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Six iconic 80s movie soundtrack tunes

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Is it just me, or is the movie soundtrack in decline in pop culture?  It used to be that a movie could really launch a song into the stratosphere and that films would have robust soundtracks, but I am hard-pressed to think of the last major non-Chipmunks movie that sent a song to the Top 40s.  Perhaps the greatest era for the movie-tune partnership was the 80s, and today I’m going to list six memorable tunes and why they still mean a lot to me.

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The Lords of Discipline

lords-discipline-poster“I’d rather get my teeth kicked in than memorize the periodic table any day.”

The Scoop: 1983 R, directed by Franc Roddam and starring David Keith, Michael Biehn, and Judge Reinhold

Tagline: No tagline

Summary Capsule: Cadets at a military school that ISN’T the Citadel struggle with things like hazing, racism and whether to drink their mint juleps out on the veranda. Not necessarily in that order.

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