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Friday Film Fest: James Spader

David (Martin Hewitt) enjoys the company of his girlfriend Jade's (Brooke Sheilds) family while having fun with her brother Keith (Jimmy Spader)

David (Martin Hewitt) enjoys the company of his girlfriend Jade's (Brooke Sheilds) family while having fun with her brother Keith (Jimmy Spader)

Endless Love- 1981


You may not remember Christmas Eve 1982, but it was a warm night in the great white north and those with ON TV (or an illegal box) were treated to this movie. The warm evening was much better.

David (Martin Hewitt) is dating Jade (Brooke Shields) and crashes her field trip to the planetarium where her classmates gossip about the couple and later that night, David heads over to her house to have dinner. This particular evening has made it mandatory to dress up, so for him it's a tuxedo shirt and jacket and she dresses like a bride to be.

During dinner, a bunch of kids come over and soon an impromptu party starts that lasts well into the early morning hours.

As Jade's mother Ann (Shirley Knight) looks for a book, her father Hugh (Don Murray) asks who started a fire and she tells him that they did since they were cold. Little do the parents know that this is the prelude to Jade losing her virginity.

The two make it seem like David is leaving and she goes upstairs and quietly slips back downstairs. Ann, not being able to sleep heads downstairs and sees the couple in the throes of making love. In a very creepy move, she watches the two for a few minutes and heads back to her room.

Slowly, Jade's grades begin to sleep, and Ann tells Hugh that David has been spending the night and sneaking out at the crack of dawn. At first, he doesn't believe her, but one morning sees him leaving and Jade breaks into his office to get some sleeping pills because she wants to get some sleep.

They have a big fight which wakes up the other family members and Jade is forbidden to see David for the next thirty days.

David is heartbroken and one day while in the library, overhears Jade's older brother Keith (Jimmy Spader) talking with one of his friends. He tells his friend about a party that he's having, and his friend asks about Jade. Keith tells him that Jade and David have broken up.

Later that night, David lurks around the house looking into the windows as Jade seems to be having a good time.

Once the party ends, David wets down some newspapers on the porch and sets them on fire. According to his friend Billy (Tom Cruise) who burned down a house, the smoke was supposed to give the illusion of a fire, but, after David sets the fire, the wind carries some sparks over the porch and the house does catch on fire.

He bangs on the door to alert the family but since they're not responding, he breaks a window and unlocks the door. Thankfully the family is saved, but not after he and Keith have a fight on the landing, and he takes a tumble. Hugh happens to see David laying at the base of the stairs and saves him.

David is given five years' probation if he successfully completes some time at a psychiatric facility. One of the conditions is not to have any contact with the family, which he ignores.

Upon his release, his father (Richard Kiley) tells him that he and his mother (Beatrice Straight) have been separated for the last six weeks and he understands about being in love, since he already has someone new in his life.

Again, David ignores the court order and leaves Chicago and heads to New York where the family had moved to.

He looks up Ann and she fills him in on what's happened the last two years and about her divorce. She confesses to have watched the two make love and she hits on him, which of course he rebukes since he's still madly in love with Jade.

When he sees Jade, she's all grown up by wearing her hair in a bun and when the two get together, she spouts wisdom about life (at this point she's only seventeen) and when we see her again, she's matured by wearing slacks and letting her hair down.

Look for Jamie Gertz as Patty, one of Jade's friends and Ian Ziering as Sammy, Jade's other brother.


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Morgan Hiller has an ally in Jimmy Parker (Robert Downey) as a gang targets him

Morgan Hiller has an ally in Jimmy Parker (Robert Downey) as a gang targets him

Tuff Turf- 1985

New kid on the block Morgan Hiller has some problems and after his family loses their fortune, they find themselves living in a low to middle class neighborhood in California.

As a loner, Morgan spends time riding his bike around town and one night while's he's out, he becomes a one-man vigilante force as he takes on a gang. It's not cool since these thugs go to school with him (a fact that neither know about until the next day) since his jacket was ripped by an antenna.

Inside the school, Jimmy (Robert Downey) asks Feather (Catya Sassoon) about Morgan, and she tells him that Nick Hauser (Paul Mones) is after him and Jimmy asks for her blade.

During a film in history, Jimmy tells Morgan about Nick and his gang and gives him the blade.

Outside, Nick is riding around on the bike with his girlfriend Frankie (Kim Richards) riding side saddle as the two taunt him, while Mickey (Panchito Gomez) sits revving Nick's car. Bored, Nick and Frankie give him the bike back, but Mickey guns the engine and destroys the bike.

At home in his room, Morgan is fixing the bike when his mother (Claudette Nevins) comes in with fresh clothes. The two get into an argument when his father (Matt Clark) comes in to see what the commotion is all about. His mother tells him that everything has started up again.

Fed up with his family, Morgan goes to a warehouse where everyone goes to hear Jimmy's band.

With his bike tire bent, he ends up walking and then steals a Porsche, which Nick ends up stealing from him. This ultimately gets him locked up for a few days.

Morgan comes out from the house on a Friday afternoon and finds his older brother (Bill Beyers) having wine and a lively conversation but won't let him borrow his car. He tells Morgan that he'd better clean his act up because their parents are tired of everything that he's put them through.

At the bus top, Morgan is chased by Nick's car and is relieved when it's just Jimmy behind the wheel. The two-go cruising the streets of Los Angeles and they run into Frankie and Ronnie (Olivia Barash) who has the major hots for Jimmy.

Morgan takes the three to a country club and slowly, he chips away at the block on Frankie's shoulder and invites her to dinner to meet his parents.

That's all fine and good since Frankie is looking to clean up her act, but her plans fall through when her dad (Lou Fant) comes into her room with Nick. He tells her that there's a celebration in order since Nick asked for Frankie's hand in marriage.

Jimmy tells Morgan about the engagement, and she reassures him that she's still coming for dinner, which Mickey overhears.

At the Hiller's during dinner, Frankie makes some dinner faux paus and when Mrs. Hiller suggests doing something with her and her mother, Frankie spills some wine and Morgan tells her that she was being insensitive because her mother had died the year before.

Ashamed, Frankie leaves and tells Morgan that she has to meet Ronnie at Woolworth's to pick out an engagement ring.

While she walks the streets, Nick and his friends pull up and they go driving around looking for Morgan's father's taxi.

When he spots the cab, he sends Frankie to go get some money from him by giving her his watch. She heads toward him and after realizing who she's about to take down, returns to the car and tells Nick that she can't do it, because she bought him the watch. He forces her out and she runs to tell him that he's in danger.

Later, a broken-hearted Nick goes to the liquor store that Frankie's father owns and beats the two up and threatens her life if Morgan doesn't show up at the warehouse, because someone is going to leave in a body bag.

Be sure to watch at the warehouse when Morgan and Frankie (and again later) are dancing, since Richards' double is wearing the most god-awful wig known to mankind and there are two things you have to wonder about this.

The first, since Richards had such long hair growing up, how it doesn't get tangled up in the bike spokes is a miracle, and when her double is dancing in it, how she didn't get confused and knock herself out when it's flying around her face.

That's true Hollywood magic!


Rip will go to any lengths to keep his customers hooked on drugs and sex

Rip will go to any lengths to keep his customers hooked on drugs and sex

Less Than Zero- 1987


Six months after high school graduation doesn't seem like a long time for people to change, but when Clay (Andrew Mccarthy) returns for Thanksgiving, he realizes just how much people can change.

As he's returning home for Christmas, his thoughts go to Thanksgiving when he discovered his best friend Julian (Robert Downey, Jr.) in bed with his girlfriend Blair (Jamie Gertz). And her phone call that morning only seemed to make it worse.

Upon arriving home, he goes to his room and picks up his messages (one from Blair) and goes through his mail, where he has an invitation to Alana's Christmas party. Blair's message also tells him that she'll see him there.

For as many times as I've seen this movie, I've always thought that it was Julian who was having the party, but now that I know, it does answer the question as to why the three leave the party and go out clubbing.

Anyway, at the party, low level drug dealer Rip is busy selling drugs to the guests and is after Julian since he owes him fifty thousand dollars. I guess Rip's a drug lord if he can loan out that much cash.

Rip follows them to one of the club's and gives Julian some drugs and it's not as though he's already high, but Julian has become a junkie and thrown out of his house. He's been living with Blair off and on, and while she's concerned about him, Clay tells her that he didn't come home to talk to Julian. He wants to take Blair back with him to school.

She doesn't want to go back East since she's getting top modeling jobs and if she leaves, she won't be able to find work.

The one thing that she knows for sure is that Julian needs help and he disappears for lengths of time and when he does return, he acts as though it's no big deal. She knows that his drug habit has gotten uncontrollable, and she doesn't know about the loan from Rip.

Julian hopes that his Uncle Bob (Michael Greene) will invest in a nightclub with him, but he turns him down. He tells him that it's too much of a risk and later that night, Rip tracks him down and forces him to go to a party where he's pimping him out.

While Rip's number one henchman Hop (Michael Bowen) is on the phone with Rip, Julian manages to get away and heads over to Clay's house.

Clay talks to him and he finds out about the loan to Rip. He tells him to stay there as he goes to talk to his father (Tony Bill) about a loan. His story involves having gotten Blair pregnant.

During his talk with his father, Julian sneaks into the house and steals some jewelry. After Clay finds out about it, he and Blair go looking for him and are unsuccessful as are Rip and Hop.

When they get back to Blair's loft, they find Julian and they stay up all night with him as he goes through withdrawals. The next morning, Julian goes home to talk to his father (Nicholas Pryor) about coming home. His father asks if he can stay clean for a week, and he tells him that he can.

Before this Christmas miracle can happen though, he leaves a message on Blair's answering machine and tells her that he's going to Palm springs to talk with Rip. Unbeknownst to him, Rip has trashed Blair's loft.

Blair and Clay head to Palm Springs to get Julian and they find out that Rip has a suite at a nearby hotel, but Rip won't take no from Julian and forces him to have sex with one of the guests, after Hop lights up the crack pipe enticing him.

Clay goes to Rip's suite and catches Julian in a sexual act and takes him out of the room where Rip and Hop track them down to the party that they were originally invited to.

It's somewhere at this party that an unknown extra by the name of Brad Pitt is at, but I've never really been able to find him. I may have spotted him a couple of times, but I'm not sure.

While this movie wasn't a blockbuster, I've always thought it was a really good movie and you really kind of hope that it didn't end the way it does.

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