Dick Ebert

La Bamba (1987)

Los Angeles teenager Ritchie Valens (Lou Diamond Phillips) becomes an overnight rock ‘n’ roll success in 1958, thanks to a love ballad called “Donna” that he wrote for his girlfriend (Danielle von Zerneck) whose parents didn’t want her to date a Latino boy. But as his star rises, Valens has conflicts with his jealous brother, Bob (Esai Morales), and becomes haunted by a recurring nightmare of a plane crash just as he begins his first national tour alongside Buddy Holly (Marshall Crenshaw).

Desperado (1995)

Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) plunges headfirst into the dark border underworld when he follows a trail of blood to the last of the infamous Mexican drug lords, Bucho (Joaquim de Almeida), for an action-packed, bullet-riddled showdown. With the help of his best friend (Steve Buscemi) and a beautiful bookstore owner (Salma Hayek), the Mariachi tracks Bucho, takes on his army of desperados, and leaves a trail of blood of his own.

Krush Groove (1985)

Russell Walker (Blair Underwood) has started a new hip-hop and rap label called Krush Groove, which features a stellar list of acts that includes Kurtis Blow and Run-D.M.C. However, Walker doesn’t have sufficient money to keep up the label, especially after Run-D.M.C. scores a big single. As he struggles to fund the label, more and more rap groups, like the Beastie Boys and LL Cool J, emerge in the New York City hip-hop scene. The film is based on the beginning of Def Jam Records.

Who’s Harry Crumb? (1989)

Harry Crumb (John Candy) descends from a long line of sleuths, but the well-intentioned private detective tends to turn the simplest case into a disaster. That’s why Harry’s maniacal boss, Eliot Draisen (Jeffrey Jones), selects him to investigate the kidnapping of a rich heiress; Draisen himself is behind the crime and he’s hoping that Harry will perform as dismally as he usually does. But, with more than a few tricks up his sleeve, Harry may end up cracking the conspiracy despite himself.

The King of Comedy (1983)

Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) is a failure in life but a celebrity in his own mind, hosting an imaginary talk show in his mother’s basement. When he meets actual talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis), he’s convinced it will provide his big break, but Langford isn’t interested in the would-be comedian. Undaunted, Pupkin effectively stalks Langford — and when that doesn’t work, he kidnaps him, offering his release in exchange for a guest spot on Langford’s show.

Cabin Boy (1994)

Once upon a time, there was a movie about an unlikeable fancy lad joining the unlikeable crew of a ship called The Filthy Whore after David Letterman tried to sell him a monkey, but at least it had Tim Burton as the director. Until it didn’t. This week, Shat The...

Hardbodies (1984)

Shat The Movies was made for movies like “Hardbodies,” a motion picture originally planned for the Playboy Channel but released in theaters because America needed boobs. This 1985 skin flick has all the tropes you’d expect: women in bikinis, beach parties, waterbeds and cheesy lines. But “Hardbodies” surprised us with...

Let It Ride (1989)

“Let It Ride” is a 1989 comedy starring Richard Dreyfuss as Jay Trotter, a perpetually unlucky gambler who, after overhearing a tip about a longshot horse, decides to bet all his savings on it. As Jay’s luck suddenly turns around, he finds himself on an exhilarating winning streak at the...