March 2019 In Review
Good thing I tried to shoehorn in as many movies as I possibly could in March because April means the Stanley Cup Playoffs accompanied by the start of the MLB season. Just means I have less time to watch movies over the next two months but I’ll try. Yes I’ll try.
As to a recap of titles featured on their own and those that weren’t, here’s a look with what has come and gone from my TV screen for March.
The X From Outer Space – 60’s Japanese fun.
Cover Up – William Bendix fences with Dennis O’Keefe in this Noir entry.
Tomb Raider (2018)
I had no problem with this reboot of the popular character starring Alicia Vikander. Is it memorable enough to sport a follow-up? I didn’t think so but if the box office was successful enough then I guess we’ll see the lovely Alicia once again go hunting for lost treasure. Plenty of close calls and CGI to place our gal in peril hanging from one perch after another. Considering I was never a fan of the early films with Miss Jolie I have no axe to grind on this one. Above average I guess and Walton Goggins makes for a good villain.
War of the Wildcats – John Wayne plays the hero. What else?
Ashley Judd as a newly minted police detective gets tangled up in a murder mystery and isn’t sure who she can trust. Bodies are piling up and it turns out she’s bedded every one of them. Things get complicated when she does the same with her new partner Andy Garcia putting his life in jeopardy. Her boss and mentor Samuel L. Jackson begins to wonder if his protégé might not be the killer herself. It’s a twisted web that proves gimmicky but enjoyable none the less.
Lawman – Outstanding cast surrounds Burt Lancaster in the title role.
The Purple Gang – Barry Sullivan vs. Robert Blake in this prohibition era gangland tale.
The Contractor (2007)
Honestly? It’s just another less than stellar action flick with Wesley Snipes filling in for Seagal or Van Damme.
Steel Dawn – It’s Mad Max, Patrick Swayze style.
The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover – Odd title in the career of the just deceased Larry Cohen starring Broderick Crawford.
The Ruins (2008)
4 young people (surprise!) with booze and sex on their minds find themselves leaving the confines of an all inclusive resort south of the border to visit an archaeological dig with someone they meet at the resort. Ah, yeah that’s a bad idea. Kind of an Incan pyramid with a lot of vines that have a life of their own and they’re hungry. Bloody amputations and bodily damage quickly ensues but not to worry because despite the end nearing for these good looking youngsters, the script still calls for a bit of s-e-x before the inevitable takes place.
Only the Lonely – What happens when Maureen O’Hara meets John Candy? Fun for one and all.
Hero Wanted (2008)
Finally I checked out one of the many action flicks I’ve seen turn up in a Wal Mart bargain bin starring Cuba Gooding Jr. It’s kind of what I expected. Low budget and not too much in the way of anything new. O.K. this one did have Ray Liotta in it so that’s my main reason for giving in to the Cuba action cycle. Walking Dead fans may want to find a copy as it has that Norman Reedus guy in it minus his crossbow.
Almost Human – Gritty Euro Crime thriller with Henry Silva tracking Tomas Milian.
Doctor Faustus – Another Burton and Taylor effort that plays like an Amicus Horror picture.
One of the many Robin Williams films I kind of overlooked when he was with us so I took the opportunity to sit in on this one that also stars Jeff Daniels. I guess it owes more to Vacation than anything else and though it’s cliched and at times more silly than funny, that all just melts away when watching Robin do his schtick. He cracked me up more than a couple times as he launched into what I can only assume was his adlibbing.
Trouble Man – previously featured but wanted to check out the new blu ray. A great example of the blaxploitation cycle and not to be missed for those that like the genre.
Man on a String – Espionage with Ernie Borgnine caught up as a double agent.
Road Games (1981)
I’d long heard of this Richard (Psycho II) Franklin film but had yet to see it. Kind of The Hitcher meets Hitchcock. Stars Stacy Keach as a truck driver playing a game of cat and mouse with a stranger he suspects of being a serial killer the police are hunting for in the outback of Australia. Into the story comes a good looking lass looking to hitch a ride played by Jamie Lee Curtis who quickly buys into Keach’s suspicions. A good movie yes but I really think it could have been way better and I’m also surprised it hasn’t been remade for today’s audiences.
The Winning Team – Doris Day backs her man Ronald Reagan in this baseball bio-pic.
Midnight Crossing (1988)
Yeah it’s got Faye Dunaway and Ned Beatty alongside Daniel J. Travanti and Kim Cattrall but this treasure hunting voyage comes off flat and that’s due to the lack of direction and choreography during the action sequences. Double crosses ensue and don’t believe everything you think you “see.” This was my second viewing and first since the VHS era. While I didn’t recall how the plot played out I did come away with the same impression that I hadn’t forgotten from that first go around. Wonder what Kim thought of her body double in the nude sex scene who clearly had a bigger chest?
Countdown – James Caan gets launched into space prior to Neil Armstrong.
Mr. District Attorney – Peter Lorre comes out of hiding to tangle with Dennis O’Keefe.
American Hustle (2013)
I guess I saved the best of the “modern” films I saw this month to the very last cause this one impressed the hell out of me on my first viewing. I know I know it takes me ages to get to some of these highly acclaimed films and I’ll admit I waited far too long to sit in on this one. I know it’s directed by David O. Russell but if I didn’t know that I’d swear I was watching a Martin Scorsese film and why not when Robert DeNiro turns up in a scene stealing cameo facing off with Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper. The hair on the back of my neck was standing at attention as DeNiro’s gangland figure stared these two down. Alongside the two leads, Cooper and Bale, are the equally excellent Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. And how about Jeremy Renner’s hair? It’s right out of the Joe Pesci bag of tricks. What’s the film actually all about? I’m not saying a thing but if you haven’t seen it then take my word for it and give it a go.
Signing off with a classic DeNiro stare from his brief scene opposite the younger generation.