Back in February, with another 10 movie rental package my guy Dave and I got more movie to watch from the comfort of home with homemade popcorn! Movies and popcorn! Homemade popcorn with lots of butter and salt! It’s the little things and movie watching takes us to a happy place! Happy Place Break!
Though, for this round of movies we sure did pick some serious flicks! It wasn’t all happy, happy, joy joy… in fact it only helped to highlight my feelings to our current political climate. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
On 2/16/17 at 7:31PM the five rental picks we got were: MASK OF DIMITRIOS (1944) on DVD, GUMSHOE (1971) on DVD, VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED (1976) on DVD, WOOL 100% (2006) on DVD and LOOPHOLE (19781) on Blu-Ray.
THE MASK OF DIMITRIOS – It was a pizza and movie night when we watched this one, another movie starring Zachary Scott! (I previously mentioned him with the DVD rental of RUTHLESS!)
Set in 1938 in Istanbul, Zachary is Dimitrios, a bad man, who’s dead body recently washed ashore. The police captain who finds Dimitrios tells the story to a vacationing mystery writer, Cornelius Leyden, played by Peter Lorre. Cornelius is instantly fascinated and wants to know more about Dimitrios! He sets off on a journey to unfold the mystery and discover what kind of man Dimitrios really was, with flashbacks! It’s a fun journey as Cornelius meets those who were dealt a hand of Dimitrios. He discovers there’s a lot of anger, love lost and pain. With every story Cornelius gets caught up in more danger. Peter Lorre is absolutely great as the curious writer!
VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED – Looking through the aisles of the store, picking up random titles, I’m not sure what really caught my eye when it came to Voyage. It was probably the cover of familiar faces like Max von Sydow, Faye Dunaway, Malcolm McDowell, and Oskar Werner; then reading the description which sounded intense, I decided why not. Little did I realize just how intense this viewing would be as it is based on a true story.
Right now there’s a rise of hate going on in the world, anti-semitism and a backlash about refugees. It’s not cool by any means. I am not happy about it and this movie I chose VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED illustrates just what fear and hate can cause between governments and people.
The SS St. Louis carried over 900 Jewish German refugee passengers in 1939 right before World War II and they are headed to Havana, seeking asylum to escape Hitler’s Germany. It was a frightening realization knowing this would not end well as it is a big star hollywood splash with classic glam, you truly hope for a glimmer of a happy ending.
Faye Dunaway is a beautiful and fierce presence as the wife of a doctor played by Oskar Werner who’s hated for having helped German Nazis. We see Jonathan Pryce in an introductory role for him as a jew who escaped the camps along with a friend. There’s a family, the Rosen Family, the father played by Sam Wanamaker who was tortured by the Nazis and his wife Lee Grant who have a young daughter and they all just want a chance at life and peace.
There’s other big players with cameos galore; Ben Gazzara as a US representative and an American Jew trying to fight for the people aboard the ship. Orson Wells is a rich man in Havana toying with the cause for financial gain and Katharine Ross as a prostitute on the island who has some connections of her own. Lastly I also have to highlight Max von Sydow as Capt. Schroeder, a German officer who has sided with his passengers hopes of a place to go safely. Lastly there’s the Captain’s steward played by Malcolm McDowell. Look out for: Jose Ferrer, James Mason and Maria Schell to name a few more.
I got very emotional watching this movie and just thinking upon it again. Voyage had a tagline of: “The Ship that shamed the world.” But it seems it’s been forgotten in this day and age and it when we forget these things happened they can repeat themselves. I do not want that to happen!!! NO ONE should be shamed for their heritage, or beliefs, as they all just want to live their life. At one point Wanamaker said, about leaving Germany at the start of the film…”It’s only a temporary madness, of course we come back.” I can only hope that here and now we as a country can come back too.
We all must continue to fight, resist and survive.
WOOL 100% – This was a nice switch of pace after a heavy duty punch of Voyage. Two adorable old sisters live in a house filled with junk they collect from town. The two have a routine each and every day, they wake, eat and trek into town in the early morning hours. They lovingly pick up things tossed aside, clean them up, draw them into their collection diary and give them a place among their mansion.
One day when they pick up a basket of red yarn they find it is that of a young girl they dub Knit Again. Knit Again knits up a sweater that she undoes to knit again. Knit Again causes trouble in the house, upsetting the collection, and soon inspires the sisters to start cleaning house.
Part of the charm of WOOL is the animation bits that come and go, flashbacks via a dollhouse and animated tantrums of Knit Again. It was a bittersweet tale and the visual flair made me love this movie. What lead the ladies to become recluses? Well you’ll have to watch yourself.
GUMSHOE – This film was the feature debut of director Stephen Frears. Albert Finney is Eddie Ginley and he has just turned 31 years old. Eddie is an aspiring comedian who has a penchant for talking like a Dashiell Hammett detective and thinks his own analysts is crazier than he might be. “Me moments of glory all in me head.”
Eddie puts an ad in the local paper offering his services as a Private Eye and is soon caught up in a case that involves gun trading, being a hired killer, and heroine. The whole time Eddie has a sharp tongue spitting out witty remarks; “Gumshoe’s the game.” So much charm just oozes from Eddie. “A girl, a gun, a grand.” It was a fun mystery that took some turns. It goes to show ya that a delightful fella knows how to make good friends that will be at his side at the right time!
Oh and a funny side note I was surprised to see Andrew Lloyd Webber was the one who did the score to the movie! Fancy that! It was good too!
LOOPHOLE – We had ourselves an Albert Finney double thanks to this movie! And more Jonathan Pryce! Funny little random movie connections! (Hey, did someone say shrimp?) Anyways…
LOOPHOLE stars Albert Finney as thief Mike Daniels, and he is a good one with a small crew of two other fellas. After their latest score Mike reveals he has a new plan, that he’s scoped out for some time, but they’ll need a little extra help.
The heist involves robbing a big bank vault and taking all the safety deposit boxes but they need an architect! That’s where Martin Sheen as Stephen Booker comes in and he happens to be an architect down on his luck without a job and in debt. After a little nudge and some big bucks temptation he’s of course in on the team. There is real good suspense and tension as the heist begins, it was also fun to watch the set up. I really recommend this one, but before you know it the film is done.
On 2/23/17 at 11:51AM we picked up three flicks: OUT OF THE DARK (1988) on DVD, THE NESTING (1981) on DVD and DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (1962) on DVD.
OUT OF THE DARK – This was one amusing thriller horror movie with a super cool cast (Karen Black, Bud Cort, Geoffrey Lewis) and cameos (Divine! Tab Hunter! Paul Bartel!). Set in the 80’s, WOOT, a group of ladies work at a phone sex line, run by Karen Black as Ruth in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
There is more than a little bit of sleaze, and some good killer killing moments. I’m not afraid of clowns and this killer is rockin’ a pretty cool clown mask! The first kill at MacAurthur Park is one of the phone call gals walking her dog when the clown killer shows up to play a mime game with her. Most people I know, especially those with clown-phobias, would have been out of there faster than you can say BOZO. But play they do and bad stuff happens. Who is that masked clown? His name is Bobo, by the way. What’s his deal? What’s he got against phone sex ladies? Seriously, what’s his hangup? HAHA! Hang-up!
As the ladies who work at the phone sex line are knocked off one by one by Bobo, the cop on case is Lt. Frank Meyers played by Tracey Walter; “Another gritty crime in the city of angels.” Frank, he’s tough and his lady partner stays by his side.
The kills are good, the comic relief is all 80’s and there’s cool yellow Chucks and a weird not so sexy sex scene that is all there to distract you from who could be the real bad guy! A Clown mystery! Beware of BOBO!
DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS – Dave had never seen this one and I hadn’t watched it in ages. So this was a fun sci-fi re-see for me. These foreign seeds on earth are germinated when a meteor shower strikes all over the world creating walking killer plants, Triffids, and those who watched the meteors fall were blinded. Our hero Bill happened to bandaged in a hospital so he’s among the few see-ers left in world. Bill finds a young girl who can see as well and they pair up trying to find safety, search out others and just survive. We also follow a married scientist pair who’s relationship is on the rocks as they continue their studies in a lighthouse along the shore.
Will the Triffids overtake humanity? Can the human race survive and overcome the odds? Do the bad men try and take over the new world? So many questions are set forth, and you wonder, what side would you be on? Survive? Give up? Help others? Just sit back and watch! Let’s cheer Sci-Fi, always there to ask the tough questions! Yea Sci-Fi!
THE NESTING – More horror movie fun. We almost thought we had seen it already but thankfully it was a new movie to us both! An agoraphobic writer, Lauren (Robin Groves), finds a new home at a country house that turns out to be haunted. It’s as though the house had actually drawn Robin in to experience it’s history through strange vision of days long past and it happens that in it’s heyday was as a brothel. Can Robin overcome her phobia to move on in her life and get back to writing?
There’s plenty of jump scares and tension in the houses mystery which all adds up to make this a creepy film piece. It was a solid haunting, ghost, revenge tale that just focused on a few kooky characters and knocked ’em off in gruesome deserving ways. There’s some cool old actors too who give it solid cred; Gloria Grahame and John Carradine! They’ve still got their acting chops and show off just why there are always cool.
Yeah ROUNDUP!!! More movies have been rented since I started this post and I’m ready for Round 4, so stay tuned, it won’t be long, I promise! (I think…I just can’t let myself go and be lazy!!!!!!!!!) There’s movies to share after-all! Yup!