Have you heard about this Charlie Sheen guy and how he’s gone batsh** insane? Here are a few Charlie movies that will help you remember quieter, less psychotic times, all available for your nostalgic pleasure on Netflix Instant.
One of Oliver Stone‘s best (and certainly most personal) works, Platoon stands proudly alongside Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter as one of the best Vietnam War movies ever made. Stone the Crazy Conspiracy Theorist (and Stone the Radical Political Activist) isn’t lurking around these parts; this is a simple morality play, told and performed with a gritty, unapologetic honesty. Charlie Sheen is quite good as the kid who dropped out of college and actually signed up for this madness; Tom Berenger, as the brutal Sergeant Barnes, and Willem Dafoe, as the compassionate Sergeant Elias, are both excellent as the two men fighting over his soul. A powerful, moving film, even if it is a bit short on subtlety (hey, it is Stone, after all) — you also get a pretty amazing supporting cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Keith David, John C. McGinley, Kevin Dillon and even lil Johnny Depp.
Did someone say something about being a bit short on subtlety? Another morality play, Oliver Stone’s Wall Street trades the jungles of Vietnam for the streets of Wall (heh) as Charlie Sheen trades in his army fatigues for a sharp suit and his M-16 for a briefcase. The Machiavellian figure after his soul this time around? Gordon Gekko, a white collar villain/anti-hero for the ’80s if there ever was one, played by the Oscar-winning Michael Douglas. In fact, Douglas seems most at home in this almost over-the-top melodrama; he’s obviously relishing the nice clothes and juicy dialogue, if nothing else. Sheen seems a little lost at sea here and delivers a decidedly underplayed performance, and Daryl Hannah has the thankless role of the superficial trophy girlfriend, but who cares? It’s the Gordon Gekko show all the way, and the show — like greed — is good.
Did you like Hot Shots? Then you’ll probably like the sequel, too. While nothing will probably ever top Airplane! or The Naked Gun for this kind of everything-and-the-kitchen-sink spoof humor, the Hot Shots movies sometimes come pretty close of getting in the same room with those two titans. Charlie Sheen proved he could be pretty funny with his cameo in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and his turn as Rick ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn in Major League, and he continues to show off his knack for comedy in these good-natured riffs on Top Gun and… well, anything else the screenwriters might’ve been thinking about at the time while writing it. Sheen’s character, Topper Harley, is first seen in this sequel all Rambo-crazy… foreshadowing harsher times in the real world, perhaps? Nah…
As tasteless and ultraviolent as only an action movie released in 1990 could be (the year that brought us Die Hard 2, RoboCop 2 and The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, among others), The Rookie nevertheless remains watchable thanks to the usual workmanlike direction by Clint Eastwood — and a particularly amusing “grizzled old guy” performance by him as well. For those who may not remember, this is the one where Clint is tied to a chair and raped by a coke-crazed Sonia Braga… and while you’re picturing and/or recalling that image in your head, let’s also give props to Charlie Sheen as Clint’s partner, the “rookie” of the title who manages to actually look pretty cool whilst running through the streets of L.A. chasing the evil Raul Julia. This movie once held a world record for having over twice as many stuntmen as actors — lots of cars chases and things ‘sploding and dudes leaping across rooftops in this one.
As obsessed with period detail as only a John Sayles movie can be, Eight Men Out is a sobering look at the 1919 Black Sox scandal, in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox conspired with gamblers to throw the World Series. Charlie Sheen plays Hap Felsch, one of the White Sox players who started making glaringly noticeable mistakes during the games leading up to the Series, much to the outrage of loyal Sox fans who had never been more betrayed in their entire lives — Hap responds with out-of-control, incoherent rants broadcast over the radio (just kidding). Unfortunately, Eight Men Out is also as dry and… well, as kinda boring as only a John Sayles movie can be, but that doesn’t keep it from scoring points as an exhaustively researched and ultimately skillful account of one of the most heartbreaking chapters in American sports history.