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Category: Z-View

John Wick (2014)

Posted in Celebs, Crime, Movies, and Z-View

John Wick (2014)

Director: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch (uncredited)

Screenplay: Derek Kolstad

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, Keith Jardine and Kevin Nash.


The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make an action movie that takes it to the next level!”

Tagline: Don’t Set Him Off!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

John Wick [Reeves] is grieving the death of his wife.  A chance meeting with Iosef Tarasov, the privileged son of a Russian mobster, leads to  Tarasov and some of his thugs breaking into Wick’s house, beating him badly, killing his dog and stealing his prized vintage Mustang.

Tarasov learns way to late that Wick is a legendary retired hit man.  And now Wick is coming for revenge.

Chad Stahelski, David Leitch, Derek Kolstad and Keanu Reeves have created a unique world that is just slightly different from the one we live in.  It feels real.  Each character has a backstory that is told without it feeling like backstory.  The action is amazing.  I loved this movie and want more!!

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962)

Posted in Books, Celebs, Movies, and Z-View

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962)

Director: Vincente Minnelli

Screenplay: Robert Ardrey and John Gay based on the novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez

Stars: Glenn Ford, Ingrid Thulin, Charles Boyer, Lee J. Cobb,  Yvette Mimieux and Paul Henreid.


The Pitch: “Hey, adapt the novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez!”

Tagline: From Ibanez’ immortal classic, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents an unforgettable motion picture

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

As World War II rages, Julio [Ford] a playboy from Argentina is living in Paris.  Although not a fan of the Nazis, like his country, Julio is neutral… until he falls in love with a married woman [Thulin] whose French freedom-fighting husband is a prisoner of war.  Julio begs Marguerite to leave Paris before it is overrun by Germans, but she refuses.

The German take over Paris and Julio is not to surprised to learn that his cousin and uncle are high ranking Nazis.  When Julio discovers that Marguerite is a member of the French underground he knows that he will have to chose sides.

Vincent Minnelli has created a unique film.  I really enjoyed it but bet it won’t be for everyone.

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Action in the North Atlantic (1943)

Posted in Movies, and Z-View

Action in the North Atlantic (1943)

Director: Lloyd Bacon and Byron Haskin … (uncredited) and Raoul Walsh (uncredited)

Screenplay: John Howard Lawson

Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Massey, Alan Hale and Ruth Gordon.


The Pitch: “Hey, let’s put Bogie in a war picture to support the troops!”

Tagline: Warner Bros. thunderous story of the men of the merchant marine!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Survivors of an American transport ship sunk by a German sub and left lost at sea for nearly two weeks, decide to re-up on another ship joining an international convoy to take supplies to troops through waters patrolled by German sub wolf packs.  As luck would have it…

The opening scenes of the men dealing with their sinking ship is impressive!

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The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Posted in Books, Crime, Movies, and Z-View

The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Director: John Huston

Screenplay: Ben Maddow and John Huston from a novel by W.R. Burnett 

Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore, Sam Jaffe, John McIntire, Marc Lawrence, Barry Kelley, Anthony Caruso and Marilyn Monroe.

The Pitch: “Hey, John Huston wants to make The Asphalt Jungle!”

Tagline: The City Under the City

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Ex-con,  “Doc” Riedenschneider (Jaffe) brings together a team for a $750,000 heist.  Even though the job goes sideways, they get away with the money.  Then the double-crosses start.

Marilyn Monroe has a bit part — she wasn’t even listed in movie poster credits on the film’s initial release — but she made such an impact future posters featured her prominently.  The Asphalt Jungle made Marilyn a star!

John Huston with another classic!

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Thinner (1996)

Posted in Crime, Horror, Movies, and Z-View

Thinner (1996)

Director: Tom Holland

Screenplay: Michael McDowell  and Tom Holland

Stars: Robert John Burke, Lucinda Jenney, Bethany Joy Lenz, Howard Erskine, Joe Mantegna and Stephen King.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a movie adaptation of Stephen King’s Thinner.”

Tagline: Let The Curse Fit The Crime.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When an obsese small town attorney accidentally runs over a gypsy woman, his friends (a judge and town cop) set things up to get him off without a charge.  The gypsy leader then places a curse on the three men that will leave them dead after suffering horribly.

My problem with Thinner is that there is no one to root for.  All of the leads are bad people. The lawyer, his wife, his friends — even the gypsies.   Also about three quarters in the film changes into an action/revenge movie with lots of shooting and blowing up things… but since you don’t know or care about the characters…

An somewhat interesting misfire…

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The Getaway (1972)

Posted in Crime, Movies, and Z-View

The Getaway (1972)

Director: Sam Peckinpah

Screenplay: Walter Hill

Stars: Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson, Sally Struthers, Al Lettieri, Slim Pickens, Dub Taylor, Jack Dodson and Bo Hopkins.

The Pitch: “Hey, Steve McQueen wants to star in an adaptation Jim Thompson’s The Getaway directed by Sam Peckinpah!”

Tagline: They’re Hot – McQueen/MacGraw

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

An ex-con (McQueen) and his wife are on the run after a bank robbery double-cross.

I saw this when I was 14 years old and it left an impression.  How could it not?  McQueen backed by a great cast, a Walter Hill adaptation of Jim Thompson’s novel and directed by Sam Peckinpah!  It holds up.  If you like crime stories then this one is for you!

 

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In the Money (1958)

Posted in Humor, Movies, and Z-View

In the Money (1958)

Director: William Beaudine

Screenplay: Al Martin

Stars: Huntz Hall, Stanley Clements and Patricia Donahue

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make another Bowery Boys picture!”

Tagline: Nutnicks on the Loose in old London!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

Satch is hired to be a dog-sitter on a transatlantic cruise; but the reality is that he’s being used as a patsy to smuggle diamonds!

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Up in Smoke (1957)

Posted in Humor, Movies, and Z-View

Up in Smoke (1957)

Director: William Beaudine

Screenplay: Jack Townley

Stars: Huntz Hall, Stanley Clements and David Gorcey

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make another Bowery Boys picture!”

Tagline: HOLY SMOKE! They’re Raisin’ The Devil!…and SATAN’S WAITIN’ to take them BELOW!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

When Satch loses money for a child’s charity, he sells his soul to the devil in order to be able to pick horse race winners for a week.

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The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Posted in Celebs, Horror, Movies, and Z-View

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Director: Joe May

Screenplay: Lester Cole & Curt Siodmak (as Kurt Siodmak)

Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Vincent Price, Nan Grey and Alan Napier.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make another Invisible Man picture!”

Tagline: More strange thrills… More eerie chills… More awesome suspense

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Sentenced to die for a murder he didn’t commit, Geoffrey Radcliffe (Price) escapes death row by taking the invisible man serum.  Will Radcliffe be able to prove his innocence before invisibility drives him mad?

Although Vincent Price is the Invisible Man, you won’t see much of him in this starring role.  ; )

 

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Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Posted in Crime, Movies, and Z-View

Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Director: William Keighley

Screenplay: Norman Reilly Raine and Warren Duff based on the novel by Jerome Odlum

Stars: James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a prison drama!”

Tagline: Slugging their way to adventure!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When newspaper reporter Frank Ross exposed government corruption he is framed for a manslaughter charge and sent to prison.  Holding out hope for evidence to exonerate him, Ross is beaten down by the system (not to mention the prison guards).  Seeing no other way out, Ross teams with infamous gangster Stacey (Raft).

 

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Marnie (1964)

Posted in Movies, and Z-View

Marnie (1964)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay:  Jay Presson Allen based on the novel by Winston Graham

Stars: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Martin Gabel, Diane Baker, Alan Napier and Bruce Dern.

The Pitch: “Hey, Hitchcock wants to make ‘Marnie’!”

Tagline: On Marnie’s wedding night he discovered every secret about her . . . except one!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

Wealthy businessman, Mark Rutledge (Connery) falls in love with a beautiful pathological liar and thief (Hendren) when she tries to steal from his company.  Rather than turn her over to the police he decides to find the origin of her compulsions.

This film has all of Hitchcock’s flourishes but falls way short of his best for me.

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Looking for Danger (1957)

Posted in Humor, Movies, and Z-View

Looking for Danger (1957)

Director: Austen Jewell

Screenplay: Elwood Ullman

Stars: Huntz Hall, Stanley Clements and Lili Kardell

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s do another Bowery Boys movie!”

Tagline: It’s a royal delight when Sach crashes the Sultan’s harem and teaches the gals with the seven veils to rock ‘n roll!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

The boys remember the time during the war when they were sent to spy behind enemy lines in an Arabian land disguised as Nazis.

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Of Mice and Men (1939)

Posted in Authors, Books, Movies, and Z-View

Of Mice and Men (1939)

Director: Lewis Milestone

Screenplay: Eugene Solow based on the novel by John Steinbeck

Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, Charles Bickford, Roman Bohnen, Bob Steele and Noah Beery Jr.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s turn Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men into a movie!”

Tagline: A mighty novel! A sensational stage success! Now! The year’s most important picture!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

George (Chaney, Jr.) and Lennie (Meredith) are old buddies who travel from farm to ranch looking for work just barely getting by during the depression. George is a strong giant of a man with the brain of a child.  Lennie constantly looks after George whose strength and lack of mental aptitude is always getting him them in trouble.   Although they dream of one day owning their own little place, it will probably never happen.

George and Lennie get work on a ranch owned by a mean old man and his son, Curley (Steele).  Curley takes an instant dislike to George.  Curley distrusts all the men on the ranch because of his attractive wife (Field), but he especially hates large men.  Lennie warns George to stay away from both Curley and his wife.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that they will stay away from him.

 

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The Birds (1963)

Posted in Horror, Movies, and Z-View

The Birds (1963)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay: Evan Hunter from a story by Daphne Du Maurier

Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette, Jessica Tandy and Veronica Cartwright

The Pitch: “Hey, Alfred Hitchcock wants to make The Birds!”

Tagline: Suspense and shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

Another classic from the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.  This is one of a few movies I was always allowed to stay up and watch even on a school night as a kid.  All you need to know (and you probably already know it) is that birds are attacking and killing humans in Bodega Bay (and maybe the entire world)!

 

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Backtrack (2015)

Posted in Horror, Movies, and Z-View

Backtrack (2015)

Director: Michael Petroni

Screenplay: Michael Petroni

Stars: Adrien Brody, Jenni Baird and Bruce Spence

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a ghost movie with Adrien Brody!”

Tagline: Nothing haunts like the past.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Psychologist Peter Bower (Brody) is having a terrible time dealing with the death of his daughter.  He was teaching her to ride a bike when he became distracted and she was struck by a truck and killed.  Bower begins to have dreams of the dead and even starts to see them while awake.

As Bower sorts out the meaning of his visions, he also tries to remember what distracted him and lead to the death of his daughter.  Bower believes that they are linked.  Following the clues, he returns to his boyhood home and a secret that ties it all together.

 

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