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June 2020 In Review

While I can’t speak for the rest of you who drop in on occasion, my movie viewing dropped back to it’s normal output now that I’m back to work full time in the real world. But then my count of movies seen are generally greater than the average bear. What I haven’t been able to do is feature as many films in write ups as I used to in the past.

Before getting to my monthly roll call I’d like to pay tribute to the lovely Linda Cristal who passed away June 27th. For us Bronson disciples she proved to be a fine match for the icon in 1974’s Mr. Majestyk.

and June’s count begins…..

The Wild One (1953)Brando has that iconic look but this has really aged badly. 

The Monster That Challenged the World (1957) – Sci-Fi fun with Tim Holt taking on a monster from the deep.

Men In War – Aldo Ray tangles with Robert Ryan and the North Koreans.

The Dead Pool (1988) I’m still not fussy on this wrap up to the Dirty Harry series but it has it’s moments.

The Bastard (1968) – Interesting cast in this Eurocrime thriller. Giuliano Gemma, Klaus Kinski and ….. Rita Hayworth!

Scorpio – Fine espionage thriller with Burt Lancaster looking to outwit Alain Delon.

Shadow of Doubt (1935) Enjoyable murder mystery with Ricardo Cortez and Virginia Bruce.

Cobra (1986) Deep down I don’t consider this a very good movie but I will say it’s fun for us 80’s kids. 

The Hustle (2019) Aside from a few funny gags I didn’t think this updating of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was all that good.

The Rounders – A real gem with Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda as modern day cowboys.

Fixed Bayonets (1951) – First rate war film from Samuel Fuller led by the gruff Gene Evans. 

Angel Has Fallen (2019)Third installment in the Gerard Butler wanna be Die Hard franchise is at least better than the 2nd film thanks in large part to Nick Nolte. 

Death Ship – A guilty pleasure with George Kennedy and Richard Crenna aboard a Nazi Death ship.

A couple of Perry Mason mysteries starring Warren William. Kind of creaky and I’m so accustomed to Raymond Burr in the role. 

Face to Face (1967)Superior spaghetti western starring Gian Maria Volonte and Tomas Milian is easy to recommend if you can get the full length Italian version.

The Screaming Skull (1958) – Low budget thriller was better than I expected on my first viewing. 

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

The Dozen was an easy pick for Father’s Day with Ethan and Kirk seen here as we ogle “the stuff that dreams are made of.” 

Guns Girls and Gangsters – What’s not to like when Mamie Van Doren meets Lee Van Cleef?

Strike Commando (1987)Reb Brown goes Rambo in this overseas exploitation affair. 

Witchboard (1986) A fun revisit from my VHS days. 

Great Gus (1941)Time is well spent when paying a visit to Laurel and Hardy. 

Knives Out (2019)Caught up to this star studded mystery and had a great time with it. Daniel Craig’s detective plays like a cross between Clouseau and Columbo. Yes, I had a good time.

Wanted : Dead or Alive (1986)A Rutger Hauer action classic from the 80’s. 

Diagnosis : Murder – Nifty Christopher Lee murder mystery. Did he do it or not?

The Redeemer (1978)something I had lying about on blu ray. Forgettable low budget slasher flick. 

Fate is the Hunter (1964)A stellar Glenn Ford tries to unravel the mystery of a plane crash in this star studded affair. A long overdue revisit and one I enjoyed. 

Blood and Flesh : The Reel Life and Ghastly Death of Al Adamson (2019) – For fans of the schlock filmmaker and cult cinema in general this documentary is required viewing.

I also wrapped up the Zatoichi series released on blu ray by Criterion. I caught the final four of the 25 films in the set to start the month. These come with my highest recommendation and will no doubt be one of the major highlights when I look back at the movies I will have seen for the first time in 2020.

Closed the month out with another revisit. This time to Lee Van Cleef’s entry in The Magnificent Seven series. No classic but it’s a damned sight better than 1966’s Return of the Seven. And it’s also one hell of a one sheet that can be found here in the vault at Mike’s Take. Until next month. 

10 Comments »

  1. I managed to catch an outdoor screen in of Knives Out on Monday night. Apart from the fact it was the first movie I’ve seen in a cinema for months, it was terrific fun. Very clever and a really affectionate homage to golden age detective stories.

  2. Thanks for the sad news about Linda Cristal.
    I’ll always remember her for the tender hand-hold (at the 2 minute mark in this clip) she provided to Charles Bronson’s character in the infamous ‘melons’ scene in MR MAJESTYK (1974). Unfortunately, someone decided to add ‘atmosphere’ to this version of the scene with an underlay of Samuel Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings’ (1936).
    As to COBRA (1986), I label that movie and my love for it a guilty pleasure.

    • I like the fact that Linda got to play tough in that film and wasn’t waiting to be rescued. Yeah Cobra is one of those for sure. Over the years I’ve heard it said a number of times he was going to revive the character but now it’s more like, why bother.

  3. Even when your viewing output is low, you still watch plenty more each month than I do! A nice, varied selection for you this month…and quite a few I’ve seen and liked. The Monster That Challenged the World…some good stuff, and a moment that really spooked the s*** out of me when I first saw it; The Dead Pool…surprisingly, I liked this better than Sudden Impact when I watched them a few years ago; The Screaming Skull…I think you liked it more than I did, but it did have its moments; Fate is the Hunter…a favorite of a friend of mine, and he finally convinced me to see it, and like you, I enjoyed it as well.

    And I love that photo of you, the sons, and the Falcon…I had no idea that the mission of the Dozen was to retrieve the black bird!

    • Historical fact,…… When Bogie and Lorre realized the black bird they had was a phony and the real one was still out there the race was on. The war had begun and word reached Allied Forces that Hitler was now in possession of the Bird and the Lost Ark of the Covenant. The Dozen were sent into the chateau in France where it was said to be on display but they never found it and settled on taking down the chateau and all the German officers. The Black Bird is still out there.

  4. Another craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy amount of film goodies bro. Respects.
    Good to hear you back at work.
    Very sad news on Linda Cristal. Good to see she made a grand age. She was so ace in Mr Majestyk.
    Men In War is so great. I got the double whammie of both Aldo Ray and Robert Ryan for the first time in that film. Bonkers ending too.
    Ooooo think a bit of vomit popped up when I read The Hustle (2019) line! How dare they!! I thank you for your service Mike!
    Fix Bayonets been bumped up the list. Been meaning to tick that Fuller off. I loved The Steel Helmet in the same year which also starred Gene Evans.
    Angel in London was pure wack-a-attack but Fallen wasn’t too bad to be fair.
    Fate is the Hunter (1964) Added to the watch list.
    Awesome the Blood and Flesh doc had passed my vision last month and told myself to get on it. Thanks for the extra nod.
    The whole family enjoyed the “And Then There Were None” style of Knives Out. Great throw back to those classic whodunnit.
    Great collection of films bro.
    Loved that brilliant family too.

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