March 2020 In Review
Needless to say my world like yours has had some major changes these past few weeks. Thankfully my family and I have not been overly stressed during this period of global issues brought on by the Coronavirus. I can only hope that you and your own families have had little or no exposure to this pandemic which seeks to disrupt all our lives. Always looking to remain positive and look towards the brighter/lighter side of things, I can honestly state that I’ve watched more movies this month than I purchased this time around. Not sure when that happened last.
Due to a work stoppage I am pretty much in semi-seclusion in the movie room here at Mike’s Take and with little Brando (who believes he’s a parrot at times) on my shoulder, I’ve gone on a movie watching binge I’m not sure I’ve matched since my teenage years. I’ve also broken with my tradition of taking notes on most every film I watch that was made prior to the year 2000 in case I chose to do a feature on it. So while I have and will continue to spotlight key viewings (links attached) I’ve decided to just say a few syllables on most titles (Stooge Fans should get that reference) accompanied with either a movie poster or a lobby card which is of course a long standing tradition here in the vault at Mike’s Take.
Here we go….
File of the Golden Goose (1969) – Pedestrian effort but it does have the one and only Yul Brynner.
Green Book (2018) – First rate entertainment with rock solid performances from Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Best Picture Winner and I’ve no problem with that.
Brannigan – Duke KO’s the mob in England.
Excessive Force (1993) – 3 reasons to watch …. Lance Henriksen, James Earl Jones and Burt Young
The Hound of the Baskervilles –Peter Cushing as Holmes revisited
A Triple Feature of Lloyd Bridges Noir Efforts
The Post (2017) – Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep take on the Nixon administration in this Spielberg film standing their ground with the odds stacked against them. Another recommended outing with two of our greatest living actors in fine form.
The Graveyard – Lana Turner joins the horror field but probably shouldn’t have
Wheels on Meals (1984) – Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung are always worth checking out for us action fans.
New Orleans Uncensored – Michael Ansara and Mike Mazurki play the heavies!
The Baron and the Kid (1984) – Johnny Cash as a legendary pool player works for me with Claude Akins and Darren McGavin also signing on to this telefilm.
Top O’ the Morning – Bing and Barry always a winner in my books.
Tarantula (1955) – Jack Arnold fun from the 50’s era of sci-fi classics.
Curse of the Pink Panther (1983) – Blake Edwards shouldn’t have bothered though Herbert Lom is a pleasure to watch once again.
Son of the Pink Panther (1993) – Better than I recalled with Roberto Benigni carrying on the Clouseau name.
4 Dollars of Revenge (1966) – I’d call this better than average when it comes to the spaghetti western genre.
It Came From Outer Space (1953) – A sci-fi classic from Jack Arnold. Not to be missed.
Red Line 7000 – A big bore! Disappointing considering this is a Howard Hawks film that feels more like a Frankie and Annette outing. I’d much rather rewatch Rory Calhoun’s low budget Thunder In Carolina anytime.
Screaming Eagles (1956) – Decent men on a mission flick with Tom Tryon behaving like a young James Cagney in any number of Warner Brothers efforts.
Detective Belli – Franco Nero rocks!
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – I can never see this film too often.
City Slickers (1990) – Jack Palance is absolutely perfect in this film. All you need to know. A wonderful revisit.
The Quiet Man – I can never resist this one. Classic in every sense of the word.
Night of the Living Dead (1990) – Tom Savini’s remake is fine but doesn’t hold the power of the black and white Romero film of ’68. Time for a self promo….
Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype – Oliver Reed takes on the dual role
Circumstantial Evidence (1945) – Fox film plays like a 1930’s Warner Brothers picture that might have starred Billy Halop, Pat O’Brien and Bogie.
12 to the Moon (1960) – Not much to recommend here other than a cup of coffee to keep you awake. No budget and a near dead Tom Conway stars.
The Night the World Exploded (1957) – Easy to shoehorn in at 64 minutes is this fun end of the world picture with plenty of Styrofoam rocks to dodge if you want to live through the explosion.
Beyond Evil (1980) – A haunted mansion and cult favorite John Saxon. Took me years but I’ve finally seen this one.
The Mummy (1959) – Love this one and why not. It’s Hammer. It’s got Lee and Cushing and one hell of an iconic movie poster.
Breakheart Pass – Charles Bronson makes like he’s in an Agatha Christie mystery and it’s plenty fun.
The Man With Nine Lives – Boris Karloff thinks he has conquered the secret to suspended animation.
Longstreet (1971) – TV Movie / Series Pilot for a James Franciscus mystery show as a blind insurance detective.
Tobor the Great (1954) – No Tobor isn’t Robby the Robot but he sure seems like it.
Conquest of Cochise (1953) – John Hodiak takes on the title role in this William Castle “B” effort that also stars Robert Stack in military blues.
Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939) – The final Moto film for Peter Lorre and MGM just as WW2 was becoming all too real.
Magnum Force (1973) – The most enjoyable of the Dirty Harry sequels sees Clint tangling with a Death Squad wiping out San Francisco’s undesirables. “A man’s got to know his limitations.”
Cat People (1942) – A revisit to this Val Lewton thriller thanks to Number 1 Son, Ethan, looking into the films directed by Jacques Tourneur. Might I add it does my heart good to know both of my sons take an interest in film history.
Quartet (2012) – Easy to recommend is this charming, poignant tale of a retirement home that caters to opera stars and musicians. A real winner with a cast to match including a devilish turn by Billy Connolly under Dustin Hoffman’s direction.
Key Largo (1948) – As the years pass Bogie has taken on a mythical presence and it doesn’t hurt to have Edward G. Robinson go toe to toe with him. A true classic!
In Society – Bud and Lou go uptown when the call for a plumber comes in with the usual comedic results.
Hammer (1972) – It gets violent when Fred takes on both the mob and William Smith when they try to get him to throw a boxing match. Not likely.
Port Afrique – Philip Carey tangles with a killer and falls for lovely Pier Angeli. And I do believe that’s a young Christopher Lee making a brief appearance.
Serpent’s Lair (1995) – Jeff Fahey falls victim to the the sexiest succubus this side of hell, Lisa B.
Lady Killer (1933) – Cagney plays a small time hood who goes to Hollywood on the lam and makes it big in the movies. It’s a 1930’s version of Get Shorty!
Blackway (2015) Anthony Hopkins and Julia Stiles take on a vicious backwoods killer, Ray Liotta, but it comes up flat overall. At 90 minutes in length maybe an additional 15 might have fleshed it out a little . Sadly, a failing grade.
That’s all folks. Let’s all hope that April brings good news to each and every one of us.
May fortune smile on you in the coming weeks. Brando and I pray you all remain safe and healthy.