With a trip to the Monster Bash down in Mars, Pennsylvania during the month of June I was sure to get in my quota of films and then some for this time of year when both the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the NBA finals were winding down. Yeah I jumped on the Raptors bandwagon and celebrated alongside the rest of Canada for Toronto’s first NBA title and the league’s championship which now resides north of the border. But that’s not what Mike’s Take is really all about is it?

On to the movies, both new and old.

Savage Island – Linda Blair and the producers set out to fool us with her sexy image on the poster.

Wanted : Jane Turner – a 1930’s gem of a B title.

Hitch   (2005)

Re-watching Hitch was purely accidental. It was on TV and coming across it I got hooked. It’s just so damn likable when smooth talking Will Smith turns to putty every time he comes face to face with Eva Mendes. Might I add I would be too. Not familiar with the story? Smith is a for hire romance guru who can help you land the girl of your dreams as Kevin James is about to find out. Unfortunately Smith just can’t handle things in his own love life where Mendes is concerned. A throwback to the screwball comedies and it works. 

Quick, Let’s Get Married – Latter day low budget Ray Milland – Ginger Rogers effort

The Street Fighter – Sonny Chiba kicks ass.

Godzilla King of the Monsters   (2019)

This take on the classic monsters of Japanese cinema does it’s job introducing the characters to a younger generation and that’s good enough for me even if I still long for a guy in a rubber suit stepping on model trains. Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga lead the cast which serves as a backdrop to the major battles that will see the Big G take on King Ghidora and Rodan with some able assistance from Mothra. As a Blue Jays fan you gotta love the fact that Boston’s Fenway Park doesn’t fare to well during the monster sized battle. After all there was no Tokyo Tower within reach to take down. It’s all part of this Godzilla/Kong universe that will supposedly culminate in a battle between the two Kings of the cinema. I wonder what Yul Brynner would think of these two battling it out to become the one and only King of the movies? 

Jackie Brown – Previously featured but always worth a revisit.

Out of Sight   (1998)

Having just watched Jackie Brown I wanted to revisit this Elmore Leonard story that brings along Michael Keaton’s character from the former film. Even if it is in a small role. This one’s a winner with an exceptional cast that sees career criminal George Clooney finding romance with a police officer played by Jennifer Lopez. The two will flirt throughout most of this sexy film that had me jealous of George every step of the way. With Ving Rhames, Steve Zahn, Dennis Farina and Don Cheadle along for the ride, this one comes highly recommended but be sure to turn your head at times if you’re squeamish. 

Guilty By Suspicion – Robert DeNiro tangles with HUAC in the 1950’s communist scare.

Lucy   (2014)

Kind of a sci-fi mixture of the D.O.A theme that casts Scarlett Johansson as a woman caught up in the world of human drug mules. It’s a violent Luc Besson feature that sees our leading lady turn into a killing machine with the greatest I.Q. on record thanks to the new drug she’s carrying within her body seeping into her bloodstream. Not only is she slaughtering those responsible for dealing in drugs but she’s become scientist Morgan Freeman’s proof that we as a race only use about 10% of our brain power. For action fans but overall kind of blah….

Westerns and Cowboy Stars – 3 B westerns from yesteryear.

Heaven Knows Mr. Allison – My Father’s Day selection with Number 1 and Number 2 Sons sitting in.

Game Night   (2018)

A murder mystery game night turns all to real when Jason Bateman’s no good brother Kyle Chandler does the hosting. Bateman and his wife Rachel McAdams along with the other players are in a real live espionage thriller with a comical twist to save big brother after he’s taken hostage in exchange for some key information on the whereabouts of those in the witness protection program. Danny Huston also makes a stop in on the festivities for those looking to keep track of his many evil characters. A fun game night at the movies. 

Any Which Way You Can – More good old boy fun with Clint and Clyde.

Escape Plan 2 : Hades   (2018)

The less I say about this Sly Stallone take the money and run flick the better. Could this be his worst movie ever? Maybe not as it ends on a cliff hanger for Escape Plan 3!

10 Mini-Reviews from the Monster Bash – Check’em out.

The Satanic Rites of Dracula – previously featured but just had to check out the new blu ray from Warner Archive.

Colossus : The Forbin Project – Sci-Fi thriller when the computers assume control of the Nukes.

Full Eclipse   (1993)

I’ve danced around this Mario Van Peebles flick for ages and finally took the time to watch it. What the hell was I thinking in waiting so long? I loved this retro werewolf tale from my earlier years. It’s Magnum Force with a lycanthropy twist when Peebles in the Dirty Harry role is offered a position on the vigilante squad of werewolves who take the law into their own hands bringing a bloodthirsty justice to all those who escape the penal system. Gotta love it when Mario references Charles Bronson when accusing the pack of being some sort of vigilante wannabe’s in the Bronson tradition. Should have known all along I was going to like this one considering it was directed by Anthony Hickox who also gave us Waxwork and Sundown: The Vampire In Retreat.  Classic VHS rental titles. 

Return of the Street Fighter – Sonny Chiba kicks some more ass.

Hell or High Water   (2016)

Hard not to like this tale of two brothers in Texas on a bank robbing spree that will inevitably go bad. A modern day western with Chris Pine and Ben Foster delivering solid work as the brothers who run afoul of the law and an aging Texas Ranger played by Jeff Bridges who matches his younger counterparts on screen with one of his best roles. There’s a whole lot more to it then the simple act of robbing banks for cash and kicks so I’m not about to ruin anything here with key plot details. It’s a non-flashy, lean, mean and tightly scripted tale that even has The Hoss, Waylon Jennings, on the soundtrack. Of the more recent films on my dancecard, it’s the highlight of the month and strongly recommended.