May 2016 In Review
The close of April came on such a high note with my attending the TCM Festival in Hollywood but it was back to the real world as May kicked off and as many of you know a low point in the home having lost our dear pet, Samson the Saint Bernard remembered here in a gallery of celebrities and their canine pals. Funny how life keeps us on an even keel.
On to the films of May.
Madhouse – Vincent Price Meets Peter Cushing or perhaps versus might be a better word.
Passage West – John Payne on the range at odds with Dennis O’Keefe.
Rancho Deluxe – Nice cast here around leading man Jeff Bridges.
The Hole (2009) – So-so Joe Dante directed terror aimed at the youth market. Moving into a new house a couple boys find a locked trap door out in the garage that once opened is sure to release some terrors upon this world and totally freaking out cameo star Bruce Dern. Dern was my main reason for checking this out and I wasn’t surprised to see a cameo by Dick Miller in here either.
In Enemy Hands (2004) – Small budget cable flick that offers an intriguing premise and top performances by William H. Macy and Til Schweiger. It’s a WW2 tale of German submarine commander Schweiger taking aboard U.S. survivors of a ship he has sunk. Difficulties are enhanced when plague breaks out inside the sub forcing the two leads to set aside their countries differences and join their men together as one unit or perish at the bottom of the sea. Worth a look for something a bit different.
Come Live With Me – MGM teams Jimmy Stewart and Hedy Lamarr.
The Ruthless Four – What’s not to like when Van Heflin tangles with Gilbert Roland and Klaus Kinski?
Homefront (2014) – Jason Statham flick offers plenty of action in this Sylvester Stallone penned script. He is of course playing a variation of the same role. That of a retired undercover drug enforcement agent who finds himself in a world of trouble when he and his daughter move to a tiny bayou town run be James Franco. Flashy role for Franco as he gets to chew the scenery and act mean alongside Winona Ryder. Nice to see Clancy Brown in here as well. Totally watchable when looking for an action packed night at the movies.
Sunset – James Garner as Wyatt Earp and Bruce Willis as silent star Tom Mix hunt a killer in silent era Hollywood.
The Boys From Brazil – Featuring Gregory Peck in his one and only bad guy role. A real despicable one of the Nazi variety.
Moonwalkers (2015) – I had a great time watching this black comedy tale starring Ron Perlman as a late 1960’s CIA agent sent to England to hire renowned filmmaker Stanley Kubrick to secretly film a phony landing of man’s first trip to the moon in case the real spacecraft doesn’t make it. Perlman who is having plenty of Vietnam flashbacks finds himself in deep trouble when he gives the suitcase full of cash to a couple of impostors. Funny but oh so violent. Alongside Perlman is Rupert Grint looking like he really does belong in London of the 1960’s. Can’t say enough about Perlman in this one and loved his acid trip. Had me laughing out loud as did much of the film.
Wait Until Dark – Alan Arkin scares the hell out of both, Audrey Hepburn and yours truly in this recommended thriller from 1967.
Solitary Man (2009) – Michael Douglas once again proves to the movie going public that he’s capable of having sex with leading ladies of all ages. He’ll chase anything in a skirt this time out as a high end car salesman hitting bottom who’s burned too many bridges. Susan Sarandon is in here as his ex and long time pal Danny DeVito as well. Not quite what I expected but a nice cast. Douglas always seems to make it work so in the end it wasn’t too bad.
Tip on a Dead Jockey – It’s Robert Taylor time.
Detonator – A pre-Bond, Pierce Brosnan as an agent of some sort tracking Christopher Lee.
Audrey Rose – Nice job by Marsha Mason tackling reincarnation and Anthony Hopkins.
Flaming Star – For me, the best Elvis movie and directed by Don Siegel to boot.
A Walk In the Woods (2015) – Robert Redford teams with Nick Nolte for a long hike through the Appalachians allowing Nick to steal practically every scene throughout. I’ve actually read this Bill Bryson novel and realize liberties have been taken but what the heck. It’s Grumpy Old Men on the hiking trail and it’s funny. Emma Thompson and Mary Steenburgen turn up for a little support as well.
Whirlpool – Gene Tierney gets caught in a web spun by Jose Ferrer while Richard Conte and Charles Bickford do there best to unravel the whole mystery.
Elevator to the Gallows – French Noir like effort from Louis Malle.
Shamus – Burt Reynolds doing that Philip Marlowe thing.
Moon of the Wolf and Scream of the Wolf – A couple of seventies thrillers involving werewolves and aging actors.
The Nice Guys (2016) – My quarterly trip to see a new release at the cinema. Or so it seems. Noir like tale with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as a couple of P.I.’s in 1977 trying to solve the death and or disappearance of an adult film star. Plenty of laughs and violence mixed in here but most importantly is the fact that Crowe and Gosling have some good chemistry on screen leading one to think if the film makes any money we are sure to see a sequel.
A Town Called Hell (1971) – I had fully intended to write a full post on this spaghetti production featuring a top cast but when I don’t have too much good to say I prefer to leave things alone. Robert Shaw, Martin Landau, Telly Savalas and Stella Stevens headline this Robert Parrish flick that seems to have been made to show plenty of brutality on screen and very little plot for long stretches at a time. A disappointment to say the least when top actors are wasted. The most surprising thing of all was hearing a rather catchy version of Johnny Horton’s The Battle of New Orleans played during a saloon scene. A missed opportunity? You bet.
Godzilla Vs. Biollante – I never get enough of the Big G stomping those oversized model cites.
The Mad Magician – Vincent Price loses his sanity……. again …… and goes on a killing spree.
27 titles in total and 17 new to me.
If I could recommend a new to me title let’s go with Wait Until Dark for an older film and Moonwalkers for a recent one.
As for a rewatch how about suggesting you check out that nasty Gregory Peck in Boys From Brazil.