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January 2018 In Review

Kicked off the year with a John Wayne rewatch on New Year’s day morning so I figure I’ve started 2018 off on a good footing. Not only that but I saw a newer film that will easily make the highlights of 2018 when I look back one year from now. So here we go with my monthly recap which is the only time of the month that I bring snap reviews to Mike’s Take on newer films from the year 2000 forward.

The Ugly Dachshund – Debuting the new monthly feature … Brando’s Pick of the Month

Terror Train – Jamie Lee Curtis screams her way through this ride on the rails.

Backtrack (2015)

I kind of liked this thriller with Adrien Brody trying to piece together a childhood incident that haunts him into adulthood involving a train wreck that he may have been responsible for. Ghostly images haunt him and Sam Neill turns up to help to offer some assistance  in unravelling the mystery. Yeah it’s got some less than stellar CGI but you just know that if a train wreck was filmed for real, the budget would explode resulting in no film. Takes a few twists and turns on more than just the rails and worth a look if you get the chance. Seen it already? What did you think?

Still of the Night – Roy Scheider and Meryl Streep enter Hitchcock territory.

Firecracker – (1981)

All you need to know is ultra sexy Jillian Kessner kicks ass and as it’s a Philippines location, Vic Diaz makes his customary creepy appearance.

The Guns of Navarone – Always a pleasure to revisit this great WW2 adventure with Peck, Niven and Quinn.

The Creeping Flesh – reviewed January of 2015, I checked out the new blu ray edition.

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stockings (2004)

Yes I’m a Holmes nut as well so this one was a no brainer once I got my hands on a copy of this BBC tele film with Rupert Everett and Ian Hart as Homes and Watson. It’s not the greatest Holmes effort but it’s passable and Rupert was a better than average Holmes involved in a nasty case of sexual deviancy not seen in the older Sherlock movies of the past. Out on DVD and one I might have another look at once again to better gage it in comparison to other post Brett / Holmes efforts. But I will say I’ll pick it over the Downey films in a heartbeat. 

The Public Enemy – Cagney makes movie history and destroys a grapefruit.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Not much to say other than it’s my go to Jack film if only given one of his movies to take to a deserted island. Number 2 son, Kirk, watched it with his special girl and I just couldn’t help myself. Nestled on to the couch beside them and watched it all over again. Laughing and crying.

The Mercenary – Franco Nero versus Jack Palance sporting one outstanding hair style … works for me. The clash not the hair.

Purgatory – Something a bit different but worth a look for western fans

Hidden Figures (2016)

Yes this is the title that will easily make my favorites of the year. It’s a movie that get’s you rooting for the right reasons. It’s the true story of three black women working at NASA during the 1960’s and their integral part in the process of getting a man to the moon. Wonderful performances from all involved led by Octavia Spencer with Kevin Costner shining as the stern leader who looks beyond the racial issues of the times. A real winner and one that just makes my jaw drop at the insensitivity of the times. Highly recommended and glad to say a couple coworkers took me up on that and thanked me for the suggestion. 

The Million Eyes of Sumuru – would you believe Klaus Kinski and Frankie Avalon!!!

The Girl From Rio – Shirley Eaton returns as Sumuru, Jess Franco style.

McLintock! – Duke and Maureen O’Hara in a battle of the sexes western.

The Seas Beneath – John Ford pre-code

The Salamander – ultra cool cast….. Nero, Lee, Quinn, Wallach, Balsam, Cardinale, Danning …. can’t resist it.

Two Weeks With Love – making an effort to watch more musicals this year … Debbie Reynolds and Ricardo Montalban

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

Another film that gets you rooting for the good guys and heroes involved in the real life story of an oil rigger explosion that flooded millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. Mark Wahlberg does the heroic bits and Kurt Russell remains one of the coolest dudes in movies over the last fifty years. John Malkovich turns up in the Murray Hamilton role and yes that’s a Jaws reference so you figure it out. One hint, Malkovich is real S.O.B. Trivia would be Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson in the same movie. Once again you figure it out. Good movie and worth a look for the heroism depicted on screen in fiery fashion.

Torpedo Run – Glenn Ford fights the Japanese fleet with pal Ernie Borgnine

99 River Street – Fine Noir effort with John Payne playing it rough

The Exterminator – cult vigilante flick for the Death Wish crowd

Everly (2014)

Oh my. Ask me if I wanna watch Salma Hayek toting a gun and kicking ass and I’ll trip over my own tongue to get to the television. Sadly this is one bad movie and I was embarrassed for Salma on how this turned out. I found it violent for violence sake and degrading as well with Salma playing a sex slave in an apartment full of women in the sex trade business all looking to kill her. Sadism and torture follow. Glad the lady of the house didn’t watch this one with me cause I’m pretty sure she’d have shot me. Salma may still be one of if not THE  best looking woman in movies today but it’s easy to see why this never got a theatrical release. Low budget to boot. Other than the poster it’s best to forget this one …… sorry Salma.

The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu – Peter Sellers unfortunate swan song

The Magic Carpet – Not Lucille Ball’s brightest moment but John Agar could have easily scored a Razzie for this one

Hollywoodland (2006)

This one I’ve been meaning to watch for way to long and glad I finally did. It’s the second Adrien Brody film of the month for me. Here he’s cast as a private eye (love the Ralph Meeker reference) investigating the supposed suicide of George Reeves, television’s Superman from the 1950’s TV show in case you are not “in the know.” Great job by Ben Affleck as Reeves/Clark Kent/Superman as well as Diane Lane and Bob Hoskins as the powerful Eddie Mannix and Lane as his wife. Well done period piece that brings the flavor of the 50’s to life with cars, location and an overall look and feel to the film. I’d recommend this one for those who like to look back at the Hollywood of old.

Jaws 2 – Every blockbuster gets a sequel

Midnight – Screwball gem from ’39 with Claudette Colbert and John Barrymore

28 titles to choose from. 14 rewatches and 15 new to me titles. Not a bad way to split up the views for the month with Brando by my side.

5 Comments »

  1. Oh you can’t go wrong with multipy viewings of One Flew Over The Cuokoo’s Nest. Classic.
    Adrien Brody has such a pained face!
    Really want to see The Mercenary.
    As you might notice I just posted my love for Nasa and space related stuff. I need to get my rocket fueled and ready for take-off to Hidden Figures land. Keep meaning to see it. Soon come.
    Once you get past the beginning mellow drama cheese on Deepwater Horizon all hell literary breaks apart! Really good action flick.
    Hehe as I have the same love for Salma I too went to watch this. Lol it a load of pants isn’t it but the trailer is really good fun.
    Hollywoodland wow I remember that coming out and being very interested in the story but then completely forgot all about it until just that second!!! Will keep my eye on Netflix for that one. Thanks for memory jolt.

  2. Wow, a lot of chat-worthy titles on that list! I actually own Firecracker and watched it last year…typical cheesy ’70s fun. I never knew a thing about ‘Deepwater Horizon’, but now that I know Kurt Russell’s in it, I’ll give it a look (I may have to add him to my Favorite Actor index). We’ve already discussed ’99 River Street’ and ‘The Fiendish Plot of Fu Manchu’, but I will say that ‘Hollywoodland’ was much better than I expected, and I even picked up the DVD recently, so I’ll check it out again at some point. As for ‘Jaws 2’…well, never mind.

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