February 2016 in Review
29 Days in February this year allowed me to squueeezzeeee in an extra title. Works for me!
Ship Ahoy – Eleanor Powell tangles with spies and Red Skelton. Was Frank Sinatra singing with the Dorsey band?
The Trap – Early Oliver Reed flick for the Canadian Blogathon
The Assassin – Richard Todd thriller
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2010) – Remake of the seventies TV Movie isn’t as bad as I expected. A few thrills along the way with Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce in this production from Guillermo Del Toro. I wasn’t that big a fan of the original so I can’t sit here complaining about this being a travesty as we so often do on remakes.
The Swiss Conspiracy – Good seventies cast led by David Janssen mixing it up with hit men.
Nightmare In Wax – Campy fun with Cameron Mitchell’s career heading due south.
Fading Gigolo (2013) – John Turturro stars and directs this interesting film where through low key comical situations he allows his friend Woody Allen to convince him to take up the career of a gigolo. Woody in essence becomes the pimp and John services the likes of Sharon Stone and Sophia Vergara. Doesn’t sound that tough of a job I know. John injects the film with a good musical score and overall it has a heart. This isn’t a Rob Schneider Deuce Bigalow low brow comedy. It has a nice leisurely pace and John’s underplaying presence lifts it up.
Roar – Crazy flick that makes me shake my head when seeing footage of actors interacting with man eaters minus a chair and whip.
Princess O-Rourke – Miss Olivia fest day 1
Zoolander (2000) – With a sequel in the air I sat down to rewatch this after many years and still don’t get it though I admit to laughing along the way. It’s all hit and miss humor for me and personally nowhere near as funny as some of Stiller, Wilson and Ferrell’s other output. Not uncommonly, I found the outtakes funnier then the actual flick on the recent blu ray release metal case edition. An acquired taste? Perhaps.
The Dark Mirror – Miss Olivia day 2
Smokin’ Aces 2 (2010)- I kind of enjoyed the ensemble cast in the first flick from Joe Carnahan but the less said about this feature the better. Tom Berenger has of course seen better days and Vinnie Jones has become a staple of the quickly made low budget action flick. For the record, Michael Parks and Ernie Hudson turn up as well in this hard to stomach sequel/remake.
To Each His Own – Miss Olivia day 3
The Strawberry Blonde – Miss Olivia day 4 and a pure pleasure.
The Heiress – Miss Olivia day 5 and an Oscar for her work.
Snowpiercer (2013) – I had heard good things about this apocalyptic film with an international cast including Ed Harris and Tilda Swinton. Chris Evans leads a revolt on board a train that holds the remaining members of the human race after the world has turned to ice. Those at the front of the train are the “have’s”. Those in the back the “have not’s.” Good cast including John Hurt but I have to admit it wasn’t my thing when it was all said and done. Looks pretty but to preachy for me in the end. Thought for a second I was seeing the end of another title I never really grasped from 1979, Circle of Iron.
Love Finds Andy Hardy – Valentine’s Day entry
Moontrap – For the Bruce Campbell fans.
Hail Caesar (2016) – Worked for me though I did think the Coen Brothers latest flick surely left some film footage on the cutting room floor. I actually overheard people leaving the theater saying they didn’t like it. What that essentially tells me is they don’t know anything about the history of Hollywood and who folks like Danny Kate are. Or the power that Hedda and Louella seem to hold over studio heads. Not to mention the communist witch hunts. In the end this is a film made by movie fans for folks who watch TCM. People just like me!
Iceman – A forgotten 80’s effort
The Golden Fleecing – Gangster comedy circa 1940
Whiteout (2009) – In the end I guess I agree with most reviewers that this Kate Beckinsale thriller in the arctic landscape just isn’t all that thrilling. I kind of liked the plot device used to kick off the proceedings of murder and espionage but some truly atrocious CGI does it in. On the flipside, Tom Skerritt always a welcome sight.
The Man Who Turned to Stone – Silly fifties sci-fi fun
The Birdmen – Doug McClure TV Movie of the week
Barquero – Lee Van Cleef vs. Warren Oates western style
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) – I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this second of the reboot series. First off I’ll take Wrath of Khan over this any day of the week. Richardo Montalban still rules. I can’t help comparing the original cast to the new version. I have no issues with Chris Pine and kind of like his take on the Kirk role. It’s different while paying homage to Shatner. Simon Peg is a born scene stealer so works for me. It’s Karl Urban I really feel sorry for as Bones as all he gets to do is utter the same lines about being a doctor and giving us a dead pan imitation of DeForest Kelly. Film’s OK and made for today’s non stop action crowd where people are capable of super human feats thanks to the creation of CGI.
The Mad Executioners – German thriller dubbed to English and a whole lot of fun.
Showdown at Boot Hill – early Bronson flick.
Cyborg 2 (1993) – uh oh. Angelina Jolie meets Jack Palance. I’ll stop now.
Tracker (2010) – Ray Winstone tracks Temuera Morrison in the New Zealand outback. It’s like an aussie western version of The Fugitive and easy to marvel at the absolutely gorgeous location shoot. Not a bad flick where the hunter comes to respect the hunted and suspect the man just might not be guilty of the murder charge against him. Man vs. Man vs. Nature.
Obsession – Movie challenge of the month and a nice touch of Noir
Sheba, Baby – Any day is a good day with Pam Grier
Big Game (2014) – Samuel L. Jackson as the President? Yes sir. When air force one goes down in a dense landscape he becomes the big game. Think The Most Dangerous Game with the Prez as the prize. Sammy must team with a young boy who is attempting to kill his first deer and become a man. The Boy will have more than deer to contend with when Ray Stevenson hits the forest in search of his game. From the folks who gave us the highly recommended Rare Exports.
Double Feature with George Sanders as The Falcon – series entries 2 and 3
Mad Max : Fury Road (2015) – Been years since I’ve been on a roller coaster but watching the new Max from George Miller just solved that problem. Warped, imaginative, violent and some truly amazing set pieces (Metropolis like) and make up design fuel this road rage adventure. Tom Hardy does justice to the role and he makes it a brooding old fashioned tough guy character while Charlize Theron proves women can be just as tough as the boys. Great role for this Hollywood beauty who brings a vulnerability to her role that breaks your heart.
36 titles seen. 23 new to me and 13 revisits.