So, Road House hit shelves yesterday. I've had it marked down on my list for a while now. It was in the first wave of titles I looked to get when I first entered the format, and finally it's been released. I had such a blast watching it again. Straight through, no cuts, no edits, no commercials, no PG-13 rating getting in the way, none of that. Just a pure, balls to the wall, guy movie. This is a movie painted with a VERY broad brush, one with a few isolated stray bristles that dribble a little outside the lines. It's like a comic book set to the screen. A gleeful sequence of video shot panels on the pages as you turn them, complete with splash pages and gratuitous testosterone charged sentiment. Or an Anime, if you will. Heroic poses, uncompromising principles, clearly defined problems and even more clearly defined solutions. Some of the dialogue is wince inducing, here and there, but so what? A lot of the scenes are great, the characters are clearly defined, and the result is a fun flick. And balancing some of the bad lines are some great ones. Is it great art? No. Is it a classic? You bet your ass. They don't make movies like this anymore. They just don't. These days, a flick like Road House wouldn't have the imagery Road House uses, and wouldn't have the subject matter either. The smoking for one, action heroes don't get much call to smoke for effect on-screen these days. The blood and flesh shots, likewise would be gone gone gone. No room for them in a watered down PG-13 version of an action movie. I liked xXx well enough for what it is, but it's a kiddie movie compared to the more mature level of storycraft Road House employs. Why are R movies sometimes better? Because they make the story better, because they make the movie better. Because sometimes the R lets you use language and images to produce effects you can use. The hero can say "Leave me alone" at PG-13, but at R he can growl furiously "Go F yourself". PG-13 the hero chopsockies his way through bad guys with hardly a scratch to him or them, and everyone takes a staged punch and drops. With R, the hero enters the final act blood splattered, injured, and with a trail of corpses behind him if necessary. At PG-13, the hero chastely kisses his love interest and we cut to the next scene; in R, their hands roam passionately over one another's bodies removing clothing. Does the blood, does the nudity, does the language, make a movie better? Sometimes. Sometimes no. Sometimes very much yes. It's a tool to be used when shaping the story and the images. xXx offered none of the above and is cartoonish in addition to being mindless (though possessing a few good moments). Die Hard is a changed movie if John McClane doesn't quip into his radio "Yippie Ki Yay, MotherFer", changed for the worse in my estimation. Road House is a simple flick that takes advantage of how movies used to be done. Action used to be for guys, for MEN (not boys, literally), and the flicks were at a certain level as a result. The modern wave of PG13 has all but stolen this from us in the frustrating Hollywood-wide desire to tap Teen Movie Dollars. God Bless MGM for putting it to DVD. This is why I'm in this hobby. Because I can kick back with a great flick and have an awesome time.