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August 2019 In Review

Along came summer holidays and there they went…. The everchanging seasons here in Canada. But that doesn’t stop yours truly from attempting to stick to that movie a day pace over the course of a year. Even made it down to a Blue Jays ball game this month for the big Margaritaville night. But enough about me and on to the movies I found the time to watch and or feature this month.

Kicked the month off with a revisiting of First Blood in anticipation of me and my two sons seeing the new and “final” instalment due out in September. So yes I did watch parts 2, 3 and 4. On two I thought it was pretty self serving on Sly’s part, look at me and my muscles as I compete with Arnie for the biggest pecs in the biz. It did have Charles Napier and Martin Kove which added some fun to the proceedings. Part 3? What I remembered most about this when it first came out is that it went head to head that year with Crocodile Dundee Part 2 for the box office dollars. I was all for seeing Dundee and kind of thumbing my nose at Rambo 3. In the end I was disappointed with Dundee 2 and enjoyed Rambo 3 for what it was once it hit the VHS stores. Lastly I watched the 2008 comeback known simply as Rambo. Straight forward blood and guts with Stallone’s character now an aging, mythical like creature. Violent and energetic, Sly once again gets us rooting for him and his latest thirst for vengeance/justice.

London Has Fallen   (2016)

Time to play catch up with the third installment of this Gerard Butler currently playing in movie houses. In this the second feature Butler is once again trying to protect Aaron Eckhart’s President from assassins who have taken London by storm wiping out a good many of our world leaders. Butler is having none of it and when a close friend is killed in one of the attacks, he swears vengeance on the terrorists who would put the civilized world at risk. Lousy CGI and plenty of gunfights had me thinking I’m watching a video game at times with a heck of a demonstration on how to get a would be assassin off of your car door while driving thru London sees Butler kill more men then I can count on his second go around as Secret Serviceman, Mike Banning. Morgan Freeman, Melisa Leo, Robert Forster, Angela Bassett and even Jackie Earle Haley co-star. Yeah it fits the genre when you feel the urge for some mindless action fun and I have to say I do like Butler’s screen presence in general.

A triple Al Pacino feature of lesser known features.

Malcom McDowell, David Warner and Mary Steenburgen give us a time travelling winner, Time After Time.

The Crowd Roars 1932 and The Crowd Roars 1938. One with Cagney, one with Taylor.

First Man (2018)

I almost shelled out some cash to go see this Ryan Gosling effort that sees him portraying Neil Armstrong at the theater. Glad I didn’t. Not that there’s anything wrong with the film as a whole. I just found it rather boring. Not much else to say other than I’m no historian on the matter of the first manned mission to the Moon but I’m quite confident that the producers and director kept the story on the straight and narrow. I do like Gosling and co-star Kyle Chandler but again if one’s looking for a story of triumph, I just didn’t see it that way. More of a somber retelling of this pivotal moment in history. Feel free to voice an opinion if you’ve seen it. 

Return of the Frontiersman – Anything with Rory Calhoun usually catches my attention.

Mark of the Witch – 70’s drive-in fun.

Death Hunt – my yearly revisit to this Lee Marvin/Charles Bronson action classic.

The Thing – John Carpenter’s classic remake with Kurt Russell has long been a personal favorite.

Farwell Friend – When Alain Delon met Charles Bronson.

Aquaman   (2018)

No I’m not all that big on the superhero movie genre in general but will admit to liking Aquaman cartoons when I was a kid. So I thought I’d give this one a chance fully expecting to see it played out in three thirds. One third CGI, one third cartoon and one third real actors. Yeah that’s pretty much what I got. What I didn’t realize was the script was going to borrow heavily from The Adventures of Robin Hood and the King Arthur legend. In the end I can say it was enjoyable but I’ll not likely ever watch it again unless I wind up with grandkids who want me to watch it with them. Jason Momoa who the ladies I work with can’t stop oohing and awing over stars in the title role bringing along some cheeky one liners . Also stars Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren and Nicole Kidman. 

Shadow of the Hawk – Canadian production with Jan-Michael Vincent mixed up with Indian spirits and Chief Dan George.

The Sentinel – Michael Winner’s star studded thriller about the gates of hell.

The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler – Breaking in my new blu ray editions of the famed Darren McGavin Kolchak series previously featured.

Stryker   (1983)

Rather than do a full write up on this Cirio H. Santiago exploitation feature I thought I’d save us all a lot of time. Aside from the gal with the high cut shorts and the bountiful bosom, this Mad Max ripoff is best left alone. So why did I watch it? Well I’m a sucker for good deal on Kino Lorber blu rays and found a $5.00 copy in a second hand store. On the topic of that director, why not watch his far more enjoyable Filipino “classic” Vampire Hookers with John Carradine. 

Lastly I’m still slowly working my way thru the box set of 30 telefilms that featured Raymond Burr in his iconic role of Perry Mason. So I sat in on The Case of the Sinister Spirit, Case of the Murdered Madam and Case of the Scandalous Scoundrel. They’re all formula but fun. Guest stars in these features include Robert Stack, John Rhys-Davies, Ann Jillian, Wings Hauser and one of my favorite character players, Yaphet Kotto. 7 Down and 23 to go. 

 

13 Comments »

  1. I actually really enjoyed First Man just because it was so different than something along the lines of The Right Stuff, this is actually one of my favorite films about the US space program.

      • I guess it’s just an unexpected take on Armstrong, I found his personal battle to deal with the loss of his daughter to be heroic but I guess not too many people were expecting that type of focus for a movie marketed as an Apollo 13/The Right Stuff kind of movie.

  2. A THIRTY movie collection of Perry Mason films? I had no idea he’d done that many…a handful maybe, but good lord, that would take me decades to get through. And of course I’m a big fan of The Thing, and that Kolchak Blu-ray looks cool, but…am I the only person who really enjoyed London Has Fallen? I was looking forward to the release of Angel Has Fallen, and didn’t realize until now it was already out!

  3. I always forget we share roughly the same seasons. Today is the downward slope into darkness lol but the sun is shining brightly. Off to our local airshow to see the Battle Of Britain memorial flight amongst many others. So gonna make the most of the last days of summer before the blues set in!!!

    Rambo 4 was actually a pretty good movie which I seem to remember being shocked by the fact. Though it had some dark brutal moments. I have to admit to thinking the trailer for Rambo 5 looks terrible but yes of course I will watch it. hehe

    Really enjoyed Olympus Has Fallen but London Has Fallen was really bad. Not psyched for the 3rd one but will definitely watch it when it arrives to Netflix.

    I know a lot thought that First Man was a bit boring and the handheld camera style is insanely infuriating. What was the director thinking?? Though I’m kinda obsessed with all space stuff so I was invested in Armstrongs plight, drama. Think people would of enjoyed it more if it was more centered on the whole crew rather than Armstrong heavy? Not sure. I loved second guessing the parts actors were playing.

    Ooooo I’m tempted with that Perry Mason boxset. Writes note to santa.

    Mike you did a sterling job. Made my measly effort look, well, more measly! Hope to make up for this month.

    • Battle of Britain sounds like fun. I too like Rambo 4 and good or bad will be off to see number 5. I liked Olympus and also that other film that dealt with the same idea, White House Down that had the upper hand with James Woods returning to form. I hope Santa will be good to you.

      • Hope he does, I have been only a little bit naughty this year! .. Oh yes James Woods was really excellent. It’s probably not under the radar one of Woods best performances as it’s a Disney film. But Woods as Hades in Hercules is a pure Woods delight.

  4. First Blood is my favorite of the Rambo series, and has the best story. Part 2 I liked more than you, a strong female character and stirring ending. Part 2 lacks the deeper emotion of the 1982 original, and Stallone’s performance is weaker, but a suspenseful action adventure. Rambo 3 was less plausible to me though still quotable and nice Colonel Trautman is given a bigger role. I skipped Rambo 4 which looks very violent and not my cup of joe. The problem with these serialized characters, like James Bond, is you know they will return, so can’t die. But as Last Blood is allegely the final film maybe there is more on the line.

    • I too liked the fact that Crenna had more to do in part 3. Number 4 was ultra violent when compared to the earlier films but I still liked it and Stallone was solid in the role as the aging Lion. However it plays out in Part 5, I’ll be off to see it with the boys.

  5. Margraritaville in Toronto… I think those Perry Mason movies are a real hoot. Perry and Della, (She sure aged beautiful.), are busy actually working the case and their young PI is chasing a gal and getting in all kinds of trouble which really doesn’t matter, but it provides comedy relief.

    • They are fun and play like they’re descended from all those series of the 30’s and 40’s I love like Holmes and Chan for modern audiences. I recently read a bio on Burr where I learned that William Katt who is in the telefilms as Paul Drake Jr. is actually the real life son of Barbara Hale.

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