February 2017 in Review
Westerns, John Wick, fun retro VHS horror movies and Canada’s own Stompin’ Tom Connors filled my viewing time this month and I DID make a concerted effort to watch some newer titles for a change. And of course the Oscars which turned into a fiasco while on the plus side, presenter Salma Hayek still looks gorgeous to me.
A Murder of Quality (1991)
A British TV production with the wonderful Denholm Elliott starring as John Le Carres’ George Smiley. It wasn’t all that enthralling but did feature Joss Ackland, Glenda Jackson and a youngster who has become one of the major players in film today, Christian Bale. Elliott is called into a small town to investigate a murder which in turn leads to another while he goes about nosing around the community. Also appearing and hard to recognize as a bag lady is Billie Whitelaw. An actress who terrified me in childhood dreams for her turn as Miss Baylock in The Omen.
Sunday In the Country – Ernest Borgnine torments a gang of killers with his own brand of justice
Across The Land With Stompin’ Tom Connors – A Canadian icon stars in his own concert movie that I contributed to the Canadian blogathon.
The King and Four Queens – Gable proves he’s still King in this entertaining western.
The Land That Time Forgot – Seventies fun with giant dinosaurs tangling with Doug McClure
The People That Time Forgot – Seventies sequel adding heroic Patrick Wayne to the mix of McClure and dinosaurs.
The Martian (2015)
Hard to dismiss this one. It’s far funnier than I expected and Matt Damon delivers a great solo performance as the stranded astronaut, left to die on Mars. Can the likes of Jessica Chastain, Sean Bean and Michael Pena figure out a way to retrieve him before death takes hold. Jeff Daniels is also in here as the head of NASA and one can never be to sure if he’s wholeheartedly behind the rescue mission or not. Very Hal Holbrook like I thought. A fine addition to the catalogue of Ridley Scott features that had me believing Damon is really on Mars.
Who’s Got the Action – Dean Martin tangles with gambling, Walter Matthau and sultry Lana Turner but Eddie Albert steals the show.
Avalanche – Low budget disaster flick from Roger Corman. What else should one expect?
Death Rides a Horse – Loving me some Lee Van Cleef. Go get yourself some.
The 39 Steps – Kenneth More tackles spies in the Scottish countryside while remaking Hitchcock.
The Centerfold Girls – Andrew Prine plays it Norman Bates style chasing after those who’ve bared their breasts for money and fame.
John Wick : Chapter 2 (2017)
A trip to the theater for some rip roaring shoot’em ups and plenty of violence. It’s almost like watching a video game at times with the amount of idiots that run into Keanu Reeves line of fire. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. Plenty of action and a wonderful elongated cameo by a character actor I welcome in any movie, Peter Stormare. He’s only in it for the first ten minutes or so but easily steals every second. With a villain I found rather weak it had me wishing Stormare had been cast as the main baddie. Nice to see Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne and even Franco Nero pop up as well though it could have used just a bit more of John Leguizamo.
The Ghost Goes West – Makes me think I need to see more Robert Donat films.
The Mysterious Monsters – A time capsule from the 70’s that has to seen to truly be appreciated.
Deliver Us From Evil (2014)
Anytime one watches a movie of demonic possession, it’s just impossible not to compare it to the benchmark. And no, that’s not fair. This feature stars Eric Bana as a police officer wallowing in the low life people he deals with day in and out who begins to see a trend in happenstances that have him questioning his faith and starting to believe an unorthodox minister that evil lurks and their is in fact a demon wreaking havoc in his precinct and threatening his own family. Far better than one might think with just enough scares to keep it creepy. Just don’t think of that 1973 flick.
Man With the Gun – When don’t I try to sneak in a Robert Mitchum film?
Woman They Almost Lynched – The women take center stage for this western tale of vengeance and jealousy.
The 33 (2015)
Sure I know how it ends. As a matter of fact I recall being at my office in front of a TV to see a miner exit the carrying tube and step into the sunshine for the first time in months. A good movie here to share with others when looking for a feel good. A perfect showcase for Antonio Banderas as the lead character of 33 men trapped beneath the earth’s surface with little hope of ever seeing a blue sky or family members ever again. Also a good role in here for Lou Diamond Phillips who I don’t see much anymore. A few other faces sprinkle the story and I’d recommend this one.
Killer Fish – One can never get enough films from the exploitation market. And besides, it’s got James Franciscus in it.
Purple Noon – My monthly challenge was a great one. Alain Delon here in this wonderful, mysterious French film.
Chinese Zodiac (2012)
A letdown from the magical Jackie Chan. I know he’s getting on in years but I felt the stunts were trying to trick me too often with fancy camera work and a cranked up camera. Kind of an Indiana Jones tale about lost statues that Jackie and a group of youngsters are trying to recover. For the good of archaeology or personal gain? Jackie won’t let us down and yes that is Oliver Platt in here as a nasty. Just a little too cute for me I guess. Sorry Jackie.
The Night Stalker – Number 2 son asked if I wanted to watch….. takes me less than two seconds to say yes. LOVE this flick.
A collection of VHS era horror titles, 5 in total. Check’em out for a whole lot of campy fun.
The Last Voyage – Robert Stack gets all heroic on us in this Titanic like tale.
Lined up for next month? Warren Oates, John Garfield, Kirk Douglas and Don Knotts. Good days ahead!