July 2015 in Review
Taking a cue from a favorite blogger I thought I’d post a monthly review commenting on more recent titles that I get around to watching or even older ones I haven’t actually wrote up for a daily take. Just another way of keeping track of what I have seen and sharing some thoughts in the process. I’ll also link back to those that I did take the time to write at length about. Hopefully there’s something in here to catch your interest. So please give these “takes” a look.
Escape Plan – Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up to find away out of a high tech prison that they meet up in. As I’ve pointed out before the importance of a film like this is that these two screen icons actually got together and made a film. Years from now we’ll look back and realize that alone is what makes the film worth while. Overall it seems like the script had some issues but at least it has Sam Neill in their pitching support. Both Jim Caviezel and Vinnie Jones play the baddies to the bone in fine fashion.
3 Days to Kill- Kevin Costner in a somewhat comedic role as an aging agent with a license to kill. Amber Heard turns up looking quite sexy and leading Kevin by the nose to do her nasty work. All this while Costner is trying to back off the violence and reunite with his estranged wife and daughter played by Connie Nielsen and Hailee Steinfeld. I say comedic yet the film was still on the violent side with some serious overtones. Not bad but I was hoping for more.
Frankenstein Unbound – Part of the John Hurt Blogathon
The Final Terror – This early 80’s slasher flick is another “don’t go down to the lake” flick. No big deal but it’s a chance to see a pre stardom Daryl Hannah, Rachel Ward and Joe Pantoliano turning up for the bloodcurdling festivities. It’s all relatively tame by the standards of the slasher films that were making the rounds during the era. This early film from Andrew Davis turned up on blu so I gave it a shot.
John Payne Double Bill – King of the Lumberjacks and Kid Nightingale
Wanted – I knew from the outset this was going to be a trial to get through. Certain bits of CGI can really turn me off and this one came close to a bullseye. i stuck it out mainly because of Morgan Freeman and Terence Stamp to be honest. Angelina Jolie is prominently displayed on the DVD sleeve yet she wasn’t the focal point of the film which caught me a bit off guard. Not really to my liking.
Variety Girl – Part of the blogathon dedicated to films of 1947.
Beneath the Darkness – Imagine Dennis Quaid re-inventing Norman Bates. Quaid plays a rather weird funeral home director with murder on his mind and a dead wife in his bed. Weird it may be but I got a kick out of it. Typical teen thriller for the video market with a surprisingly well known actor.
Black Sea – I thought the trailer for this Jude Law flick looked good. The film itself wasn’t bad but I was hoping for more. The plot involves Jude and a crew aboard a submarine treasure hunting a downed U-boat from WW2 containing millions in Nazi gold. Shares would be sure to increase if some men don’t make it back to the surface. Watchable but a missed opportunity I believe.
42 – Finally got around to this feel good story of Jackie Robinson breaking into major league baseball. Feel good in the sense that it’s the triumph of the human spirit yet there are some downright uncomfortable racist scenes. A winning story with Chadwick Boseman in the title role and an almost unrecognizable Harrison Ford as the owner who takes it upon himself to challenge the color barrier.
Son of Rambow – I just wasn’t feeling the love of this indie flick where a couple of young kids become star struck by Stallone’s First Blood and set out to film a reenactment of the movie in their own style around the local neighborhood. Perhaps there was more there than I realized because I’ve generally heard good things about this one.
The Blues Brothers – I had the opportunity to revisit this cult favorite at the local theater that caters to fans like me by playing something from the past on occasion. Hard not to repeat many of the lines here while watching with about fifty other people. Then there is the music. What’s not to like with Ray Charles, Aretha, Cab Calloway and company. How about the likes of Charles Napier and Henry Gibson on the war path. A super young John Candy and for the Star Wars crowd, Carrie Fisher. Kathleen Freeman as “The Penguin” always delights. Plain and simple it’s just a whole lot of fun.
“We’re on a mission from God.”