If only I could secure a flux capacitor for my Prius I’d travel back in time and relive some great movie moments like seeing Jaws at the theater for the first time all over again or go back even further to the golden era of Hollywood and see the opening night of Casablanca, maybe The Godfather or even further back to the silent era for a Keaton, Valentino or Swanson debut. Maybe attend the first ever Oscar awards ceremony at The Hollywood Roosevelt on May 16th, 1929.
Since that’s not about to happen anytime soon how about I recall some highlights of what has come and gone in 2019.
Total number of movies watched this calendar year? How about a healthy 355. Started the year with a revisit to Rio Bravo and ended it onboard the Orca.
Trips to the movie theater? A whopping 6 includes seeing the two most anticipated movies in my house this year on the big screen, The Irishman and Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.
Trips to second hand shops and memorabilia trade shows looking for movie posters and other treasures? Lost count by the time April came around. I also made a pair of trips to Mars, PA to the Monster Bash. A twice yearly festival for classic monster fans that I’d highly recommend.
My most visited movie post of the year award once again goes to What the Peeper Saw. The 1972 Britt Ekland flick leaves me scratching my head about what newbies expect to find here at Mike’s Take. Especially when the spotlights I did on Joan Collins and The Girl Slaves of Morgana Le Fay weren’t far behind.
A few spotlighted selections that I feel deserve a second recommendation among so many include …
Most enjoyable revisit of the year? Gotta be Time After Time.
Best slice of ham I witnessed this year has to be Jack Palance’s performance in Hawk the Slayer.
Admitted John Wayne disciple that I am it was nice to see a rare Duke title for the first time this year, The Sea Spoilers.
One of my personal highlights this year was meeting Victoria Riskin and exchanging some emails with her about the new book she’s penned on her parents, Fay Wray and Robert Riskin followed by 10 questions she was kind enough to answer for me.
As stated above, I closed out the year with another viewing of Jaws. A film I never get enough of and have featured here on two separate occasions. One focused on my first viewing as a child and another one that I felt I just needed to share.
Now on to 2020 as I begin my 6th year on line and some personal goals where movies are concerned ….
Buy more original one sheets. But you knew that.
Having recently purchased a massive two volume set of coffee table sized books from Stephen Thrower on the career of exploitation filmmaker, Jess Franco, I see a number of low budget titles in my viewing future. Yes Franco directed everything from a pair of Chris Lee – Fu Manchu flicks to lurid titles including Vampyros Lesbos, Hot Nights of Linda and She Killed In Ecstasy. Maybe I can squeeze one in per month and call it the year of Franco.
Another goal I’m determined to accomplish in 2020 is to watch the epic TV miniseries The Winds of War for the first time and yes it’s because I call myself a huge fan of Robert Mitchum. No I won’t be watching it in one sitting at a running time of 14 hrs and 39 minutes. Secondly I’ll do my best to watch the follow-up miniseries War and Remembrance which clocks in at 25 hours according to the DVD set I recently scored.
I’m embarrassed to state just how many movies reside on the shelves here that I’ve yet to open and with companies like Kino, Indicator, Arrow, Severin and the Warner Archive continually tempting me with new releases I’m not sure if I’ll get any further ahead by the end of 2020 but I’ll keep trying.
Summer vacation appears to be a trip to Newfoundland for the first time and yes you can be sure I’ll do a little prep work before the trip to see if I might score some memorabilia from the east coast of Canada to bring back to the vault here at Mike’s Take.
And of course I’ll have my co-pilot Brando the Weiner Dog join me for some of his monthly picks that are sure to feature his canine friends and other furry critters from the movies. Secondly we’re also hoping to have Brando win the annual Weiner Dog Races held at a local racetrack/casino this summer. He placed 6th last year in a field of 30. Nearing three years of age he should be hitting his peak running days.
One of the best additions to the vault at Mike’s Take came on the last day of the year. Yes, just a couple hours ago so I’ve hastily added this in. Knowing my passion for “the stuff that dreams are made of,” my lovely wife had a Walter Huston look-a-like in a postman’s outfit deliver me my very own Black Bird, aka The Maltese Falcon, which will now be perched on the corner of my desk here in the movie room.
And just like it appears in the movie, the darned things heavy too.
In closing I’d like to thank each and every one of you for stopping in regularly and on occasion leaving a message or two. Your voice is always appreciated. May all of you have a safe and wonderful 2020 finding both happiness and success in the year ahead.