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October 2018 In Review

Every year I eagerly anticipate the month of Halloween in hopes that some rare horror titles of the past are released to blu ray or maybe turn up on TCM. Truthfully the so called rare titles are getting harder to come by because to be honest, I have so many already sitting here on the shelves at Mike’s Take. I did squeeze in a trip to the Monster Bash this month, scored a cache of movie posters that numbered in the hundreds and I even stepped up and bought a collection of classic monster movies on 8mm. Saving those for a story to write up at a future date.

On to this month’s roundup of old and new or just plain new to me.

Prime Cut – Lee Marvin has to get tough and Gene Hackman doesn’t like it. It’s a heavyweight match-up.

A Countess From Hong Kong – Chaplin, Brando and Sophia.

Days of Glory – Gregory Peck makes his cinematic debut and the rest is history.

Where’s Poppa?   (1970)

Honestly I couldn’t bring myself to write anything positive about this George Segal/Ruth Gordon black comedy from director Carl Reiner so I tossed my notes after getting through the film. In today’s political arena, it’s a bomb waiting to explode and I just can’t see what Reiner was aiming for. That’s all you’re getting out of me but if you have seen it I’d be curious to hear your opinion on it.

Treasure of the Amazon – Exploitation fare led by Stuart Whitman as a wanna be Indy.

The Raid – More Lee Marvin as he plays second fiddle to leading man Van Heflin.

The Premonition – Creepy effort with Richard Lynch delivering the goods.

When the Legends Die – Nice role here for an aging Richard Widmark built around the rodeo, always one of my favorite actors.

Bullet Head   (2017)

The trio of leading men caught my eye so I gave this one a look. Adrien Brody and John Malkovich pull a heist that goes bad. It’s while they are hiding out in an old abandoned factory that they find themselves in the den of a dog fighting ring and yes there’s a massive killer dog on the loose. They’ll not only have to tangle with the animal but also Antonio Banderas who figures prominently in the latter half of the film. I kind of liked this one overall as it’s less of an action piece as it is an opportunity for the boys to show their acting chops. Film buffs are going to love the names of the fighting dogs on the match up chart and how about that final, DeNiro vs. Mitchum! Yes even that in itself is a movie reference.

Machine Gun McCain – Italian gangster flick led by the great John Cassavetes with help from Peter Falk and Britt Ekland.

The Spikes Gang – Making it a trio of Lee Marvin titles for the month. Previously featured just after I started up the blog.

The Man In the Iron Mask – Don’t blink or you’ll miss a young Peter Cushing. Rousing entertainment.

The Evil That Men Do – BRONSON delivers the action packed goods.

Detention   (2003)

Looking for a mindless action film, I got just what I deserved when Dolph Lundgren stars as a teacher who stays late to watch over the detention class just as a gang of terrorists take over the school. Not much to recommend here but I would like to nominate the gang of thugs here as the worst marksman I’ve seen on camera this year. As big as Dolph is, these gun wielding terrorists couldn’t hit him if they were standing five feet from the man. HOLD IT HOLD IT! I take that back, I forgot about the flesh wound our hero sustained in the arm.

Why Horror? Why Not? – A quick history on my love of the horror film from a youngster to this day.

The House That Dripped Blood – Lee and Cushing get to it in this creepy thriller of short stories from Robert Bloch.

Jennifer – If Carrie isn’t available you can always see what evil powers Jennifer possesses.

Sicario   (2015)

Tough flick and not for the faint of heart. Emily Blunt gets tied in with a group of enforcers who don’t necessarily play by the rules at stopping the influx of drugs seeping into the Unites States through Mexico. Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro are the two men she’ll meet who leave little to chance and break anyone that gets in their way thanks to vigilante justice. Just ask officer Jon Bernthal who is on the take along the borderline. Of course I’d heard this one isn’t to be missed and I’ll have to agree. Looking forward to the sequel that was released this year. I like Emily and Josh here but it’s Benicio that we’ll remember long after the movie ends.

8 classic monster flicks in 2 days at the Monster Bash and more.

The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters – Not quite Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein but the boys try hard.

Guilty as Charged – Rod Steiger rocks it here as an avenging angel in a film that deserves a bigger audience.

Devil Dog : Hound of Hell – Brando’s pick of the month stars Richard Crenna and a very large beast.

The Deadly Mantis – 50’s sci-fi fun with an overgrown bug and plenty of big city damage.

Recapping my favorites of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing for your viewing pleasure.

Hands of Stone   (2016)

In our house Roberto Duran was always a favorite so I jumped at the chance to see this movie version of the boxing legend’s story. Edgar Ramirez does a great job portraying Duran yet nothing can ever replace the snarl that the real deal had when he was staring down his opponent in the opposite corner be it Leonard, Hagler or Barkley. Robert DeNiro gives the project immediate respectability playing Ray Arcel, Duran’s long time trainer. Also starring is Ana de Armas as Duran’s wife alongside Rueben Blades, John Turturro and Ellen Barkin.  Not a classic boxing match but a pretty good one. To experience the real ferocity of Duran, do some searching on youtube.

OK let’s get back to watching some new old titles.

6 Comments »

  1. Mike, at the time (and I have not seen the film since) I thought WHERE’S POPPA was hilarious and Ron Leibman a standout as George’s brother.
    Time,as they say, changes everything,and your review has made me wonder if I should give the film another look.
    Thanks for sharing your month’s film viewing with us,inspired choices,as always.

    • I picked up the blu ray at a store going out of business couple weeks back. Sounds like a fun black comedy but there’s some real politically incorrect stuff going on here and mainly with Leibman in the park ….. my wife sat in and pretty much throttled me on this one. lol. Yup, a big disappointment and the alternate ending included made it worse. If you ever give it a go again, you’ll have to let me know what you think.

  2. I’m so behind on posts, surprising how much you miss on a vacation. So please excuse any I’ve missed. I will try and catch up soon. I need to check that Marvin and Heflin flick, The Raid. And I’ve always wanted to watch The Deadly Mantis.

    I caught Sicario at the cinema. That opening house scene is brutal! and the highway shenanigans mega tense. Not sure I will watch the second one though, I hear it’s not as good. Maybe if it pops up on Netflix I have a look.

    Ashamed to say I hadn’t heard of Roberto Duran before. Think I might investigate the documentary on him rather than the film.

    Haha you’ve got me very intrigued by “Where’s Poppa!”

    • Have fun with those titles and I have great memories of watching Duran fights growing up with Dad. I guess the claim to fame is he was really the only fighter to defeat Sugar Ray Leonard at his best/prime years. A vicious fighting machine in the ring when motivated but surrounded by controversy far too often.

  3. Big fan of Sicario, seen it twice and very curious about the sequel… since you mention Antonio Banderas I suggest Security which is as high concept as it gets– Die Hard in a shopping mall! Also can’t recall if you’ve seen this but if not, check out Den of Thieves with Gerard Butler.

    • I did see that other Antonio flick, had it’s moments and Ben Kinglsey always catches my eye when he plays nasty. I do want to see that sequel and Den of Thieves as well. On the list, you know the one that’s a city block long.

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