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April 2019 In Review

My DVD-blu ray-VHS-Laserdsic machines sure get a break once April hits and there’s a very good reason why the time I set aside for watching movies is seriously cut down. Remember I’m a full blooded product of Canada and there’s one thing in our country that is a right of passage growing up and that’s playing hockey. Therefore the quest for the Holy Grail of the sports world has begun and will run through May, though with teams falling off the charts my free time will slowly tilt back towards watching movies.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Stanley Cup.

Now on to what I did get a chance to see….

Hellgate – Sterling Hayden finds himself behind bars in Ward Bond’s prison.

Too Many Crooks – Another hilarious outing with the one and only Terry-Thomas. LOVED IT!

For Greater Glory   (2012)

Who says movies can’t teach us history. Wonderful performance from Andy Garcia who stars in this well made tale of the Cristeros War of Mexico during the 1920’s. I for one had no idea that those who practiced the Catholic faith were being persecuted by the then government. Ruben Blades stars as the Mexican president who wants the church abolished and Garcia takes up the fight for those that want to practice their religion in peace. And so begins the revolution with plenty of back door politics from interested parties. Peter O’Toole has an elongated cameo as an aging man of the cloth and fans of Eva Longoria can tune in as well for this epic like feature. 

100 Rifles – Jim Brown, Burt Reynolds and some gal by the name of Raquel Welch.

The Last Challenge – My monthly dose of Glenn Ford movies proved to be another western outing.

The Accountant   (2016)

This Ben Affleck effort really scored a bullseye for me. Felt like a thinking man’s Equalizer or John Wick. Slow and methodical with Ben an unlikely assassin. As the plot unwinds there are a few surprises in store and a solid cast surrounding Ben’s introverted killer. John Lithgow, Jon Bernthal, Anna Kendrick, Jeffrey Tambor and a fine turn from J.K. Simmons as an aging FBI agent looking to find out Ben’s identity. Don’t want to play spoiler but would urge one and all to give this one a look and to stay with it for all the payoffs over the final reel.

Bathing Beauty – No it’s not Red Skelton but rather his co-star Esther Williams.

The Secret Invasion – Stewart Granger leads an elite force into WW2 action.

The Young Racers – Roger Corman directs this 60’s time capsule for racing enthusiasts.

The Dilemma   (2011)

Odd entry from director Ron Howard starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James as life long pals whose friendship is put to the test when Vaughn sees James wife, Winona Ryder, stepping out for some bedroom fun with Channing Tatum. Also stars Jennifer Connelly as the gal Vaughn is looking to settle down with but in screwball fashion, things begin to unravel for Vince as he faces the dilemma of whether or not to blow the whistle on Ryder. Not bad but not as laugh out loud funny as I’d have liked. Can’t say they didn’t try though and as this is a Ron Howard affair you can be sure to spot his brother Clint and father Rance making cameos. Little known fact….. I’ve had a crush on Miss Connelly since I was a young teenager watching her as the ballerina in Leone’s classic Once Upon a Time In America and yes my wife knows it. 

The Premonition – Richard Lynch stars in this 70’s oddball thriller.

Race With the Devil – Previously featured but I can’t help myself. Love to revisit this one.

… All The Marbles – Peter Falk gets a ring side seat in this women wrestling comedy/drama.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein – Comedy-Horror done right….. a classic.

Salome, Where She Danced – As in Yvonne De Carlo and how beautiful she looked as she danced.

Maniac Mansion – Euro thriller proved to be an entertaining 90 minutes.

Snatched   (2017)

On paper it would seem that Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn would be a good match and though they don’t disappoint I think they’d have been better served in a different story. As mom and daughter they’re off to Ecuador on a vacation and find things are far from friendly when leaving the all inclusive resort they’re staying at. Kidnapped, the pair must find a way to safety on their own through dense jungles and evade a bloodthirsty killer. Tries to be another gross out comedy at times but too often I didn’t find it all that funny. Still to be honest there are times I cut loose with a good chuckle. Just not enough of them. Blah….

Finally I revisited another movie I had featured previously way back when I was just getting started here at Mike’s Take. The Package starring Gene Hackman and Tommy Lee Jones. Every time I revisit a Gene movie I am caught up in just how GREAT this guy was on screen and mourn the day he retired. As I had recently scored the blu ray release of this AND a pair of alternate one sheets I thought it was high time I gave it another go and suggest you do the same.

6 Comments »

  1. Dude you did really well with your “seriously cut down”! watched list.
    Great to hear you have your hockey back to fire up your sporting passion. Hope your team/teams are doing well! Not too much upset and throwing hot-dogs across the room!
    Lots I need to catch up on. Need to get to your Too Many Crooks, Hellgate and The Last Challenge. Yeah I’m behind! Those three sound great, I’ll be back.
    Race with the Devil and The Package are certainly going on my to watch list. Gene looks ace on the posters.

    • You’re gonna love that 70’s feel to Race With the Devil and with Peter Fonda and Warren Oates it’s a winner. Everytime I revisit a Hackman movie I just want MORE. Guy commanded the screen in those later years especially. No hot dog throwing cause my team is out but there’s always next season.

  2. My sister was responsible for making me go see ‘The Accountant’, and was reluctant since I hadn’t heard much good about it. But man oh man, I thought it was great, and wondered why it got ANY kind of negative press. I thought it was so great, in fact, I bought it the minute it was released on Blu-ray. And ‘Race with the Devil’…just flat-out awesome. I’ve seen it many times, and have never grown tired of it. I love ‘man on the run’ films, and this one did it right…very nerve-wracking, too.

    And what do you mean, your team is out of the Stanley Cup playoffs? The Blue Jackets made it to the second round, didn’t they?

    • I’m on board with you about The Accountant. Top notch. Another fan of Race With the Devil. Saw it many times on city TV out of Toronto as a kid and still love to sit in on it every so often. Best thing about the Blue Jackets is watching John Torterella’s explosive nature and love how the camera hits him after every goal against anticipating they’ll catch him flipping out.

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