September 2017 in Review
In between discovering the TV show Impractical Jokers and subsequently watching a series of episodes with Number 1 and 2 sons Ethan and Kirk of which we have yet to stop laughing and getting caught up in the thought provoking American Ripper on History Channel I continue to do my best watching various movie genres of the past. Oh, and a wedding in the family kept me off the computer as well. Of course it’s nearly impossible to see all that is recent but I always try to see a few of the newer titles from this century that have so far eluded me. The roll call begins…..
Cannon Fodder Part 2 – A trio of titles from the now defunct studio. X-Ray, Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood and Ten Little Indians
Zero Hour! – Where it all started ……. I refer to 1980’s Airplane. “And don’t call me Shirley.”
In a Valley of Violence (2016)
Ethan Hawke fits right into a western setting in this spaghetti influenced oater that also has John Travolta in it. It’s from Ti West who I admire behind the camera but don’t think he’s found the right vehicle just yet to put him in the admirable position of being an A List director. It’s a revenge flick with Ethan taking up the gun to wreak havoc upon a gang of wannabe badasses that are NOT led by Travolta. His role wasn’t quite what I expected here. Still I can’t say I liked the film overall. Like other West films it comes up short for me as a whole.
What the Peeper Saw – Britt Ekland! That’s who!
The Crooked Way – Classic Noir with John Payne
Cry Of the Innocent – Overdue for a Rod Taylor film?
Mechanic : Resurrection (2016)
Fronted by a script I could have written on washroom breaks while working at the office we find Jason Statham nearing the Steven Seagal portion of his career if he doesn’t get out of these brainless flicks and as a Bronson fan, I’m quite sure Charles is spinning in his grave over this piece of cinema ——- . For those unaware, Bronson starred in the memorable 1972 film that this movie takes it’s lead character from. HEY! I like Statham so it’s even harder to say this. It’s a perfect example of what’s wrong with the basic action film today. Phony, lame, written by a two year old and starring some familiar faces. Michelle Yeoh is wasted, Jessica Alba looks great as always and to be honest the film’s highlight is Tommy Lee Jones in a minor role as an arms dealer. Jones at least looks like he’s having fun and probably got the paycheck to make it just that for a few days work in a warm sunny climate.
Smart Money – Jimmy Cagney meets Eddie G. Robinson for the one and only time.
Lifeforce – The force of Mathilda May never fades
Little Big Soldier (2010)
Jackie Chan period piece adventure of early China and warlords vying for territories and power. Chan is a lowly soldier who finds himself capturing a Warlord General of the opposing force following a battle that leaves them as the only two survivors. The two will begin a trek back to Chan’s territory where a friendship builds despite their opposing opinions and viewpoints. When a third and fourth faction want the General’s head on the end of a stake, both the action and the drama will peak in a fine effort from Chan. Downfall? I was surprised to find he was dubbed for the English language version. Plus side? It’s much better than the second Chan film I tuned into this month.
Bloodhounds of Broadway – Mitzi Gaynor delivers in this fun musical.
Laser Mission (1990)
Run of the mill VHS era action film that allowed me to put a check mark next to it on the long list of Ernest Borgnine credits. Strictly for fans of Ernie (me) and Brandon Lee who takes the lead role.
Night Game – Roy Scheider takes on a non swimming killer
A Trio of Ray Milland Terrors – Black Noon, Cruise Into Terror and Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby
The Amityville Horror (2005)
Behind as always I finally had a look at this “New” version of the old story. Honestly I never thought much of the original and this one is no classic either. Not so much a haunted house movie as it is a demon flick starring Ryan Reynolds as the possible host. This one even squeezed a bit of torture porn into the proceedings of which I am not a fan off. For the Ryan fans I suppose or those that want to see a little girl making her film debut by the name of Chloe Grace Moretz.
Critic’s Choice – Bob Hope and Lucille Ball in their 4th teaming
Eat My Dust – Ron Howard goes to work for Roger Corman and the rest is history.
Burke and Hare (2010)
Disappointment rules the month here. By that I mean I’m truly disappointed this didn’t seem to find an audience. I LOVED IT! John Landis captures a wonderful blend of black comedy and grave robbing with Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis hilariously taking the title roles. The pair are the famed duo from British history who were supplying dead bodies to Dr. Knox played by Tom Wilkinson. A wonderful turn here as well from Tim Curry as a competing doctor to Wilkinson in the early days of research on the human body and even cinema ICON Christopher Lee makes an appearance as a victim to the money hungry Burke and Hare who by this time have graduated from grave robbing to outright murder. Lee pretty much played the role of Burke in the 1958 Karloff flick, Corridors of Blood. Highly recommended and I am hoping that in time this one will find an approving audience.
I Bury the Living – Richard Boone against type in a horror pic.
Hell Bent For Leather – Stephen McNally makes Audie Murphy’s life a living hell.
Johnny Knoxville subs in for Owen Wilson as director Renny Harlin attempts to turn this Jackie Chan flick into a box office hit. In the end it’s rather tired and too gimmicky with the camera that only makes it feel far too phony for a Chan movie which leaves one feeling cheated. Yes I know Jackie is getting old so we shouldn’t expect films like Police Story. But Jackie is still making them so what am I supposed to do. It’s got some funny bits with Chan the cop bringing Knoxville in to testify against a crime lord that he has witnessed committing a murder. The same crime lord who killed Jackie’s partner years ago. Jackie is convinced that with Knoxville’s testimony he’ll finally be able to bring down his arch nemesis. Knoxville of course has other ideas.