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July 2018 In Review

If there’s one thing I have a nose for it’s finding movies and movie memorabilia. Would you believe in my hunt for DVD storage cases, I came across two at an antique mall. Awesome as I need the extra space. Turns out I’ll need to find two more because these two cases were full to the count of over 800 movies! It’ll give me a chance to see some of the flicks I’ve missed since the turn of the decade as the majority of them are from 2008 thru to 2014.

So that’s my good luck story for this month. Now on to the movies including a couple from these suitcases.

The Jackals – A 1967 western starring Vincent Price!

Wild Horses   (2015)

The legendary Robert Duvall directs and stars as an aging Texas rancher trying to hold his family together after his estranged son played by James Franco returns to the fold. There’s a skeleton in the closet where Duvall is concerned that is going to rise to the surface after a long forgotten missing persons case is reopened by Texas Ranger/Mrs. Duvall, Luciana Duvall. The young man in question was the gay Franco’s lover. Josh Hartnett also stars here as Duvall’s other son who takes after his hardened Father. Pretty good effort from the elder statesman, Duvall.

Binge watching six Virginia Mayo westerns…….

Devil’s Canyon and The Proud Ones

The Big Land and The Tall Stranger

Fort Dobbs and Westbound

Cell   (2016)

What the hell was I thinking? Better still, what the hell were John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson thinking when they read the script? Sorry, the size of the paycheck must have blinded them. This one’s bad from the get go. It’s a George Romero zombie wanna be Walking Dead episode with the masses going brain dead and murderous in a zombie state thanks to using a cell phone so put the damned thing down and DON’T ANSWER THAT CALL!

A Bridge Too Far – Star studded affair from Richard Attenborough

Hobson’s Choice – A previous “take” from December of 2016 but well worth the revisit. Highly recommended.

The Monuments Men   (2014)

I had already seen this before but wanted to revisit it after reading the book by Robert Edsel on which it was based. Sure liberties have been taken to condense a large canvas into a motion picture but I think there’s a genuine attempt from director/star George Clooney to get it on camera and pay tribute to a forgotten branch of the military who rescued countless pieces of art confiscated by the Nazi war machine during WW2. Clooney gathers a wonderful cast including Bill Murray, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman and Bob Balaban. After reading the book I can’t help but think the real hero and worthy of her own story on film is the character played by Cate who worked under the nose of the Nazi’s during the war to track much of the artworks eventual destinations placing her own life in great peril for a long period of time.

The Uncanny – Peter Cushing does his best to convince Ray Milland that kitty cats are truly evil.

Thieves Fall Out – Classic 1940’s fun with Eddie Albert

Wanderlust   (2012)

Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd seem like a nice fit on camera who give up the city life and while touring the backroads towards Rudd’s annoying brother’s house they pull into a commune for a night’s rest. They should have known something was amiss when hilariously greeted by full frontal nude Joe Lo Truglio. The pair get hooked into the free living lifestyle but when that includes sexual partners as well, one of them is going to have some second thoughts. Sure I laughed along the way but I can’t say I’ll revisit this one anytime soon. Kind of a been there done that movie. TV addicts take note that 70’s favorites Alan Alda and Linda Lavin turn up for some of the fun. 

Backtrack – Star studded Dennis Hopper directed effort

Highway Dragnet – Richard Conte plays it tough while on the run from the Vegas police.

Ten Little Indians – A previous take that number 2 son Kirk wanted to sit in on so of course I joined in for another look.

Skyscraper   (2018)

Off to the theater for what I believe is the first time this year. I guess it took the Rock, Dwayne Johnson to get me off my ass and out of the movie room here at Mike’s Take. It’s the Towering Inferno Meets Die Hard with Guelph, Ontario, Canada native Neve Campbell joining in the explosive fun. Kind of wish we had a stronger actor as the villain (paging Gary Oldman) but I did love the final bit where Hulk Hogan … oops I mean The Rock overcomes numerous near death beatings and falls to take out his prey and save the world. End of the day I got what I wanted. A big loud explosion filled popcorn affair. 

Charles Bronson meets Richard Boone ….. Part 1 and Part 2

Visit to a Small Planet – Long before there was Mork there was Jerry Lewis.

Oh! Heavenly Dog – Brando’s Pick of the Month is a Chevy Chase farce.

Nosferatu In Venice – Klaus Kinski is back as the undead but should have brought Herzog along.

Dream House   (2011) 

Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz leave the big city and take up residence in a small country town. But things just don’t seem right. It turns out that the previous husband that lived there killed his wife and two small daughters. Could Naomi Watts who lives across the street shed some light on the story? She isn’t talking to Craig if she does. A twist or two or three are sure to come at you and a few surprises amongst them and maybe even some tears at the fade out. I liked this one and found it eerie enough at the right time and heartbreaking at others. Easy to recommend for those looking for a good ghost thriller. 

Hell Boats – James Franciscus battles the Germans on Malta during WW2

Guest Wife – Screwball comedy with Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche.

Stagecoach – The Highwaymen of country music update an old favorite.

The River Murders   (2011)

Coming to me by way of those 800 discs I found here’s one of those many titles I’d see in the new release section of Walmart that I had no idea ever existed in the first place. A quick check revealed it had Ray Liotta, Ving Rhames and Christian Slater. Good enough for me to at least give this serial killer flick a go. Thankfully it didn’t reveal itself to be another torture porn movie. A subgenre I’m not particularly enamored with. Ray is the cop on the case and the catch is (there’s always a catch) that the demented killer is offing Ray’s former lovers and there are quite a few to speak of. Ray is at first a suspect which brings hard ass Slater from Internal Affairs down on him though his chief Ving Rhames stands by him all the way. Pictured above is Sarah Ann Schultz who stars as Ray’s partner and actually doubled as the film’s producer. Yeah you either like the participants or you don’t. If you do then give it a go knowing it’s far from their best but heads and shoulders above their worst.

Well, tally them all up and let me know your score on titles seen. Any one in particular you loved ….. or hated?

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