May 2019 in Review
While it wasn’t by design, the year 1952 played a large part in my viewing habits for the month of May. Having said that I didn’t watch High Noon though I am currently reading a book on the making of the Gary Cooper Oscar winner. It’s by pure happenstance that I sat in on five films from the year that saw John Ford’s classic tale of Ireland hit the screens that forever joined John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara together in the hearts of classic film lovers.
Free time to watch movies is still down a bit with the Stanley Cup playoffs on, the Blue Jays finally bringing up the star in waiting Vlad Guerrero Jr. and while I’m not a basketball kind of guy it’s hard not to get swept up in the magic of the Toronto Raptors as a sports fan now that they’ve reached the NBA finals with all of Canada rooting them and Kawhi Leonard on.
I even made a rare trip by my standards to the movie theater. Then again tis the season when the summer block busters are upon us…..
To the recap.
Kangaroo – 1952 Maureen O’Hara effort was Brando’s Pick of the Month.
Blue Ice – Michael Caine turns to his skills from the past as an agent of Queen and country.
Of Mice and Men – Lon Chaney Jr. in one of his two signature roles. That of Lenny Small.
No doubt this is a Men In Black wanna be and while I’ll probably never watch it a second time it’s no where near as bad as I thought I’d heard. Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds go around recapturing souls/people who have escaped from wherever it is we go after death. CGI that can make you gag at times is on hand with baddie Kevin Bacon and gross out humor. Funniest on going gag is the fact that when the dead Ryan Reynolds is on Earth going about his job of hunting lost souls, he appears in the form of James Hong when the camera takes the vantage point of us mere mortals. Bridges? He’s behaving as if he’s a distant cousin to Rooster Cogburn.
Harry In Your Pocket – Engaging James Coburn flick that is worth rediscovering.
The Crimson Tide – previously featured but I got on a Gene Hackman rant so Number 1 Son, Ethan, picked this one and I couldn’t resist.
Way of a Gaucho – 1952 Rory Calhoun feature with gorgeous Gene Tierney joining in.
A period piece featuring moonshiners making a living during the era of prohibition. Loved it but will caution you if your easily sickened at the sight of blood. Tom Hardy is the head of the family who refuses to bow to the pressure of mob money and sadistic Guy Pearce. The plot is focused around his younger brother Shia Labeouf who wants to prove to Hardy and his other brother Jason Clarke that he’s man enough to take his rightful place in the family business. Gory and stomach churning at times but then there’s Gary Oldman with a twinkle in his eye in a small role but of course he steals every scene he’s in as a fellow moonshiner. Jessica Chastain also turns up as does a soundtrack I liked featuring Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris.
Paying tribute to one of my favorite gals, Doris Day, with a look at her movie posters.
Hoodlum Empire – 1952 gangland tale with Brian Donlevy.
Dillinger – Checked out the new blu ray of this Warren Oates gem. Previously featured and one of the first films I spotlighted 5 years ago in a live take.
Silent Night, Deadly Night – creepy low budget affair with John Carradine.
Double Jeopardy (1999)
Passing the time with a look back to this Ashley Judd thriller that’s probably full of plot holes if I took the time to think things through. But then there’s the dog faced Tommy Lee Jones turning up to make the whole exercise worthwhile. Ashley’s doing time for killing her hubby but did she do it? “I don’t care.” Jones plays her parole officer isn’t so sure as the story moves along to a location shoot in New Orleans. Yeah in the end it’s hard to resist and I’m sure I’ll watch it again twenty years from now….. God willing.
Messenger of Death – Charles Bronson gets mixed up in murder and greed.
Shield For Murder – Solid Edmond O’Brien entry in the world of Noir.
The Big Short (2015)
Great cast and performances all around but for the average Joe like me it’s a subject that is hard to follow. Wall Street shenanigans. I kind of got it in the end but if I really understood the world of money and how to make it I guess I’d be quitting my day job. In a cast that includes Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Marisa Tomei. it’s Steve Carell for me who is the stand out. Never thought I’d say that but that’s because I can’t stand his character in Anchorman.
Hong Kong – 1952 with Rhonda Fleming and Ronald Reagan on the run.
John Wick – Chapter 3 : Parabellum (2019)
I really liked the first Wick film though I was less than enamored with the second one. Mainly because I wanted Peter Stormare to be the main villain. That and I felt as if I was watching a video game my son was playing. Part 3 is more of the same for the most part. The action rarely stops so I kind of welcomed the breaks when they came that allowed Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston and Halle Berry the opportunity to act. No doubt Reeves is a perfect fit and the character is a whole lot of fun but again let me bitch aloud about my issues with CGI. I mean they even turned Halle Berry’s guard dogs into cartoons and those horse kicks are less than impressive. I guess I kind of liked this but while watching it reminded me of just how much I enjoyed Ben Affleck’s slow burning The Accountant. A film I called a thinking man’s John Wick upon my first viewing.
The Quiet Man – 1952 and a bona fide classic from John Ford. A magical rewatch.
Con Air (1997)
I just can’t resist this cast, the explosions, the testosterone and Trisha Yearwood’s theme song, How Do I Live Without You.
Now back to the ballgame…..