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July in Review 2019

So much to do once the summer time comes and aside from working a day job, watching baseball games and sitting in the backyard playing fetch with Brando the Weiner Dog, I still seem to find the time to squeeze in plenty of movies but admittedly don’t have the time to write up as many reviews of the classics I take the time to revisit or see for the first time. Then of course there are the newer screen adventures I attempt to keep up with and July brought one no brainer of a trip to the movie theater for yours truly.

The Undying Monster – A 1940’s thriller that’s a cross between the wolfman series and a Holmes mystery.

Die Hard 1 thru 5

Over the course of a long weekend here in Canada I went on a binge with my lovely wife and watched all 5 Die Hard flicks. The first 4 were re-watches, the fifth was a first time viewing. What did I learn? The first one is still a majorly enjoyable action adventure even with that annoyingly smug deal maker who attempts to haggle with Alan Rickman and bed Bonnie Bedelia. And yes Rickman is one of the great villains of his era. Part 2 has one hell of a cast that makes it all worthwhile including Dennis Franz, Franco Nero, John Amos and William Sadler. Add Samuel L. Jackson alongside Bruce in Part 3 adds to the flavor. The comeback of the 4th film isn’t all that bad and nice to see Timothy Olyphant as the heavy. Part 5? Sadly I can’t get those 2 hours of my life back.

The Fallen Sparrow – John Garfield takes on Nazi spies with Maureen O’Hara but which side is she on?

G.I. Blues – Always time for a little Elvis music in our house.

Night School   (2018)

Hey it’s got funny man Kevin Hart, Is it funny? Yeah I suppose it had me chuckling and smiling at times and I do laugh at that Rob Riggle guy. The title more or less gives the plot away. Kevin’s back to school to get that diploma he missed out on years ago and he’s still trying to circumvent the rules of hard work and study to get that piece of parchment.

Sabata – Lee Van Cleef takes the title role in this spaghetti favorite.

Space Truckers   (1996)

From cult director Stuart Gordon comes this enjoyable space yarn with Dennis Hopper as a space trucker transporting a load of high tech terminators that could be used to take over planet earth if they fall into the wrong hands. Specifically Charles Dance. Strictly a B film but everyone involved knows it and that’s what makes it work. Also starring Stephen Dorff as the young trucker looking to learn from the best, Hopper, as they dodge shady company policies, crooked politicians and space pirates.

Creature With the Atom Brain – A 50’s sci-fi thriller that needs to be viewed with a roomful of cult fans.

Mr. Majestyk – Previously featured but hey, it’s Charles Bronson vs. Al Lettieri.

Wind River   (2017)

A movie I’m glad I took a chance on. Jeremy Renner stars in this engrossing thriller as a tracker enlisted by an FBI agent, Elizabeth Olsen, to help uncover the mystery of a young woman’s partially clothed frozen corpse discovered miles from civilization on an Indian reservation. Nice to see Graham Greene in here as the local law enforcement officer also aiding in the search. Twists and turns lie ahead as plot points slowly unveil themselves while Renner delivers a strong performance that has you rooting for him to succeed in uncovering the truth and delivering his own brand of vengeance. More than just an action or revenge film it’s one that holds a message worth hearing.

Many Rivers to Cross – Previously featured but I sure do love this Robert Taylor outdoor adventure with sexy Eleanor Parker.

Father is a Bachelor – William Holden plays it light with a group of orphans looking for a new Daddy.

The Black Cat – previously featured but as I just bought that new blu ray……

Halloween   (2018)

Honestly I thought I was going to see something new and original for some reason. Instead I got more of the same BUT that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this latest bloodfest featuring Michael Myers and the return of Jamie Lee Curtis to the series. What you do have to realize going in is that part 2 thru …… wherever we left off does not exist. So no Jamie Lee’s H20 film never happened if I got it right. Fans are gonna like this one while others won’t bother to tune in. So yes I liked it in the end.

Midway – It’s all about the cast from Heston to Fonda to Mitchum to ….. yeah it’s one heck of a cast.

The Blue Dahlia – another previously featured effort that turned up on blu ray so it was time for a revisit.

The Ravagers – Another of those John Saxon movies that keep turning up the more you go looking for them.

The Raven – When it’s Bela vs. Boris, it’s classic!

Inferno! – revisiting this fine Robert Ryan thriller that has also found it’s way to blu ray.

The Quick Gun – Audie Murphy rides another trail to deliver his brand of justice.

Riot in Cell Block 11 – A Don Siegel gem with Neville Brand leading the charge.

and the no brainer trip to the theater on opening night goes to…..

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood   (2019)

I often think I’m probably an arrogant movie goer who knows way more then the guy sitting four seats over or the lady three rows down to my right. Probably more than ever when I go to see a Quentin Tarantino movie because of his penchant for inserting all kinds of nods to films and film stars past. I mean who how many people in the movie theater really know who Edmond O’Brien is when Leonardo DiCaprio references him? That’s just one small example but I think you get the picture and honestly I think it adds to my enjoyment of this movie far more than the regular film goer will experience when seeing the latest flick from the cult film maker. It’s hilarious, it’s nostalgic and at times it’s eerie as hell where the Manson clan is concerned. I’m not about to play spoiler here so don’t worry if you haven’t yet seen it yet. Amazing cast recruited for this one alongside Leo including Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant and a wonderful turn from Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate. See it!

10 Comments »

  1. “July brought one no brainer of a trip to the movie theater for yours truly.”??
    Was the “Emoji Movie” playing again? hehe. OH MAN I’m so excited about the new QT. Still got a few more weeks to wait here in backwards Blighty!
    Yeah the fourth Die Hard is pretty entertaining. There’s some funny scenes. The end jet took it too far though! 5 good god! 5. I made 5 stinking minutes of “A Good Day To Die Hard” and I checked straight out. It looked so bad.
    “Wind River” is under the radar awesome.
    Another top selection of films. I always enjoy the month round up Mike. Nice one.

    PS sexy Eleanor Parker? I need to get on to that review!. Sorry I’ve struggled to keep up with yours and everyone’s posts. Hope to catch up soon.

    • One look at Eleanor Parker in buckskin and you’ll be taking off to the hills on a hunting trip hoping she’s out there on the prowl. I always refer to this one with Taylor as my favorite of his films. Not the best, just the most enjoyable and she has plenty to do with that. Have fun watching the new QT flick, look forward to your thoughts.

  2. I do not normally go to the cinema, as I find new films foul. Nevertheless, I have a friend who thinks some new films worth seeing. It is for this reason, that I accepted her invitation to see: ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’. I thought it reasonably good for a new film, and the historical references were accurate. Neither did I detect any parachronisms, e.g. I saw no cars made after the year the story takes place. I do think most of the scenes filmed on the Western sets ought to have been edited out, for it is here that the film begins to bore – and how it bores at this point! As to Brad Pitt, his performance was good, but I do not understand why my friend – and many others – talk of him as if he were Robert Taylor or Stewart Granger.

    • On the western bits of the film, I really enjoyed them as they were part of the plot of DiCaprio’s character and his downward spiral. Also in part cause I love those old TV westerns too I guess and the Red Apple commercial over the end credits were hilarious to those who’ve seen James Arness do the same thing on ads for cigarettes sponsoring Gunsmoke. As for Brad Pitt? I like him overall and don’t compare him to those of the past, I look at him as a star of today and one that the ladies like and a guy who photographs well and makes some pretty good movies in the end. Cheers’

  3. Good list of films there, Mike, and I figured your ‘had to see’ film had to be QT’s new one! I too thought Die Hard 5 was an absolute POS, and if you want proof of that, I wrote a review that says so; just don’t read it, because you won’t get THAT part of your life back, either.

  4. As mentioned before I rarely go to the movies these days but I loved THE MULE and STAN & OLLIE.
    Next on my list is the Tarantino which hits the UK August 14th.
    I’ve seen the trailer and love that black & white TV Western BOUNTY LAW though the scene where the hero guns down about 6 guys
    would never have got past the censor these days-a knowing in joke nod to the Spaghetti’s perhaps. Us kids at the time would have
    loved Bounty Law if such a thing could have existed at that time.
    Next week UK TV channel “Movies For Men” has Quentin introducing some of his fave movies including ARIZONA RAIDERS
    which I name dropped on the QUICK GUN thread., Already knew Tarantino was a big William Witney fan but not of this movie
    in particular. Anyway the Sony MOD (on Mikes to be viewed heap) is uncut and quiet a bloody affair at times….enjoy!
    Tarantino rather endeared himself to me when he appeared at London’s National Film Theatre (in a Sun Records T shirt) introducing
    some of his fave movies including A & C MEET FRANKENSTEIN and WINCHESTER’73.
    Toby at the excellent blog thehannibal8 has done a nice piece on THE BLACK CAT which I think you will enjoy reading

    • Stan and Ollie is one I’ve looked forward to seeing so glad you mentioned it before I forget to check it out. Mule a pretty good effort from an aging icon. That
      s cool with the Tarantino intro’s and I’ll head over to check out that Black Cat piece. Love that film.

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