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Roll Call For April 2018 … In Review

So just how much is one’s movie watching affected when Mom comes for a ten day visit? Well Mom loves movies as much as I do so we did our best to sit down and watch a few in between games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After all, this is Canada you know. As is my custom, I tried my best to see something of a more recent vintage and on that note saw the most depressing movie I’m likely to watch all year. So read on to find out what which title I’ve designated with that unfortunate tagline. On the plus side I also went on a vampire kick which is always a highlight in my viewing world.

And in honor of the recently deceased R. Lee Ermey, here’s the monthly roll call …………….

Miss Sadie Thompson – Rita Hayworth tames a regiment including Aldo Ray and Charles Buchinski

True Crime   (1999)

Far better than I remember this to be though that’s not to say it’s any classic Clint Eastwood flick. The center of the plot is wholly unbelievable. In just one day Clint cracks a case and saves Isaiah Washington from state execution. This after being incarcerated for six years on death row. Clint’s a reporter assigned by the scenery chewing James Woods (just the way I like him) to cover the execution for the evening news. Aside from the Eastwood/Woods/Denis Leary portion of the story, there are some fine performances in here from Washington as the condemned man, LisaGay Hamilton as his suffering wife and Diana Venora as Clint’s own wife who is seeing her marriage crumble around her thanks to Clint’s philandering ways. Worth a look if you can see past the potato chips deduction.

Blood of the Vampire – Hammer wanna be from England

El Vampiro – Atmospheric south of the border fun

Kiss of the Vampire – Authentic Hammer Horror.

Planet of the Vampires – Mario Bava sci-fi thriller looks lot like Alien before there was an Alien

Vampyres – A personal favorite I’d like to recommend.

The Baytown Outlaws   (2012)

Headliner Billy Bob Thornton has what amounts to an elongated cameo in this ultra violent story concerning three whacked out rednecks who operate as a killing unit for those in need. When they’re not fronting for crooked small town sheriff Andre Braugher to do his killing, they head out on their own to save Eva Longoria’s handicapped son from her nasty ex. Yup, that would be Billy Bob. Totally watchable in a Robert Rodriguez kind of way, I kept wondering if Danny Trejo might pop up for some bloodshed with the trio of brothers led by Clayne Crawford. Comic book but had it’s moments and Zoe Bell even makes an entrance.

South of St. Louis – Western flavor with Joel McCrea standing tall against Zachary Scott and Victor Jory.

Brando’s Pick of the Month – The Courage of Lassie

Run For the Sun – Richard Widmark and Jane Greer tangle with ex-Nazi’s in the jungles of Peru.

The Fighting O’Flynn – Solid entertainment and a highlight of the month.

Don’t Breathe   (2016)

Claustrophobic thriller with Stephen Lang in terrifyingly great form. When a trio of burglars break into the blind military vet’s house they get way more than they bargained for. Lang isn’t the handicapped blind man they think he is. When he turns the tables on them by turning the lights out, they’re almost on equal footing. Their only trouble is, he knows his way around the house in the dark and holds the keys to the padlocks that are keeping them in. The basement presents a whole new slate of shocks once they journey down stairs. This one goes for the jugular and the filmmakers succeed in delivering some genuine scares. Talk about taking Audrey Hepburn’s Wait Until Dark and turning it on it’s ear! I’ve always like Lang and he delivers the thrills in spades this time out.

The Front Page – Billy Wilder + Jack Lemmon + Walter Matthau = Must see comedy.

23 Paces to Baker Street – Van Johnson on the hunt for a would be killer.

The Big Caper – Rory Calhoun tangles with James Gregory

Assignment to Kill – Nice discovery with Patrick O’Neal and solid cast

Aftermath   (2017)

Who would have ever thought that the most depressing movie I’ll likely see this year would star action hero turned dramatic actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger? That’s just what happens here when Arnold plays it straight as a man who loses his wife and daughter in a tragic airline disaster. Arnold’s depression continues to fall as does the air line traffic controller deemed to be held responsible for the crash that sees two airliners collide in mid flight, Scott McNairy. Heavy handed stuff and nary a feel good scene in sight, this one isn’t bad, it’s just not good enough to recommend you sit thru the fall out that these two characters go through as their own lives head towards a collision. Like the dramatic zombie tale Maggie, Arnold continues to try new things since returning to the movies after his foray into politics.

The Uninvited – Ray Milland in a classic tale of ghosts and murder.

The Professionals – Western classic with a to die for cast. Comes with my highest recommendation.

The Burglar – Dan Duryea continues to draw me in to the Noir genre.

Island of the Lost – Richard Greene gets lost on an island……..

Saving Mr. Banks   (2013)

Tom Hanks takes on the role of Walt Disney who finds himself tangling with Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers as played by Emma Thompson, She’s a hard character to get to like and with the use of flashbacks to her childhood we’ll see why she’s such a hard ass late in life. Hanks does his best to make friends and will eventually win her over to film the famous story that has since become a classic. Colin Farrell stars as her troubled father in flash back and Paul Giamatti does a wonderful turn here as Emma’s assigned driver to cart her around Hollywood and it’s his character that has just as much to do with winning her over as Hanks’ does. Through it all I did like this nostalgic look at a famous movie from my youth. Don’t mean to be hard on Emma, it’s just that the real life character she’s playing is so hard to like but thankfully Emma brings us some funny and heartwarming scenes to soften my hardened heart.

The monthly count was down a bit but with all that was going on in the vault here, I think I did quite well in the end. Comments on any of the old titles? Seen any of the newer ones and are we in agreement?

Thanks as always for checking in.

11 Comments »

  1. A good haul! Thanks to your encomium, I now have Don’t Breathe on order from the library. Gotta admit, I’m a bit tempted by the Schwarzenegger, despite your reservations.

    • Hey I’d watch pretty much anything with Arnold myself even if someone had told me it was pretty heavy handed stuff. He’s as good here as he probably ever will be as an actor. tough role. Hope you like Don’t Breathe and Lang’s forceful presence as much as I did.

  2. I’m always curious to see Brando’s picks, and a person/canine can never go wrong with a Lassie flick.

    I agree with you re: Saving Mr Banks. Emma Thompson’s character was a real piece of work, but she did bring some vulnerability to the character. I really liked her performance.

    • Lassie movies were always a favorite for me and the first one with Der Roddy a classic. I liked Banks a lot. Nostalgia always works when done well. the flashback sequences reminded me of Finding Neverland for some reason. A movie I number among Depp’s best.

  3. Great month’s viewing I highly endorse SOUTH OF ST LOUIS and 23 PACES the latter what a Hitchcock film would have
    been like in CinemaScope,or the closest thing at least.
    Good to see TRUE CRIME get a pick…Woods is on fire in this one.
    Nice bits for Sydney Poitier (Sidney’s daughter) and Lucy Liu.
    Intrigued about Clint’s rumored acting comeback playing a 90 year old drug mule.

    • spotted Lucy in there but nor aware of Poitier’s daughter. I heard about this new role for Clint as well. Hope it works out and it’s a success. I keep going back to Gran Torino thinking it was the perfect swan song had he called it quits.

  4. I too love Lang.
    “You’re Not in Kansas Anymore” with Stephen Lang 🙂

    I do fancy seeing Don’t Breathe and with him in it, you know it going be great watching him. He’s so good in those military roles.
    Think I’ll keep away from Aftermath but I had an urge to watch Maggie since it came out but got put off by the ratings. Saying that it does get the same rating as End Of Days and I quite liked that!!
    Need to get on The Professionals, so long since I’ve seen it I know I’m gonna love it so much more.
    Hehe yes you did go off on a Vampire cruise. I still need to get on that Planet Of The Vampires.
    Need to add The Burglar to my list too.
    ps hope your hockey teams are doing well.

    • I saw Maggie and it’s low key and Arnold is good in it. That Lang video was hilarious, hadn’t seen it so good call. I’ll be sharing that one with number one and two sons later tonight. Professionals always a great rewatch. Love me those classic era vampire flicks. My hokey team already golfing but love the playoff atmosphere so I continue to watch the race for the holy grail of hockey as I do every year.

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