Friday B-Movie Pick: Halloween Edition

Ghostbusters
It’s almost Halloween again, so we’re going with some of the classics. This 1984 classic remade and flopped big time.
Personally, didn’t think they could capture the spirit of the film, pun intended. They completely missed the Libertarian theme to the movie, which the director admits was intentional.

Bonus films:
Innocent Blood
The Mummy
Young Frankenstein

An American Werewolf in London

Innocent Blood

Let’s not forget Near Dark and Dog Soldiers, picks from October 2011, for a double header of vampires and werewolves.

Friday B-Movie Pick archive

Friday B-Movie Pick: The Last Legion

The Last Legion
Yet another historical fantasy on the Arthurian legend. When I say fantasy, there is a wizard, but he is limited to slight of hand. It’s more alternate history. Start with a historical fact. The Goths invaded Rome, and the last Caesar, a teenager named Romulus, ended up in exile for the rest of his life on an island. In this movie, Romulus (Thomas Sangster, the kid from Love Actually), is rescued by a Roman general (Colin Firth), and advised by is tutor, the before mentioned wizard (Ben Kingsley).  They travel to Britain, fight a major battle, defeat the bad guys, and set the stage for King Arthur to show up later. Throw in Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as an Indian warrior in the service of the Eastern Roman Empire (work with me on this), and Kevin McKidd as one nasty Goth, and you have a B-Movie worthy of the rental and popcorn. Movie nerd note, Colin Firth is in Love Actually as well. He doesn’t share any screen time with Thomas Sangster. Sangster does share a lot of screen time with Kevin McKidd in the HBO series Rome. If you are interested, the movie was based on the book by Valerio Massimo Manfredi.

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Friday B-Movie Pick: Hail Caesar

Hail Caesar
The Cohen Brothers managed to produce a particularly subversive movie. A very well made movie, but subversive. Frankly, I’m surprised this movie made it out of Hollywood. It’s a story about movie industry in the early 1950s. It was the era of big studios. When the stars worked for the studios and did what they were told, and the studio took care of them. The protagonist is the studio boss, who runs the Hollywood end for the owner in New York. He is dedicated to his job, loves his family, is devoted to his wife, takes care of his stars, and is a devout Roman Catholic. Like I said, this movie is subversive to the Hollywood culture. To fight the current Hollywood culture even more, the bad guys are actual communists. To be fair, they aren’t very competent, mostly whiny writers who are pissed that they are not running the studios and making the big money. I really enjoyed this movie, it was very rich in detail, and provided good insight into the time. The studio didn’t care if you were homosexual, or Hispanic, or had poor taste in husbands (“He was a minor crime figure.” “He was not minor!”). You were part of the studio family and the studio took care of you. Loyalty was expected in return, but that was part of the studio culture of the time. Fire up the popcorn, lean back, and enjoy this well crafted bit of film work. Excellent work by a excellent cast that includes Scarlet Johansson, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum (singing and dancing), Alden Ehrenreich, and Veronica Osorio.

Friday B-Movie Pick Archive

Friday B-Movie Pick: 1776 & An American Carol

1776 and An American Carol
Once again, I’m going with an Independence Day double header. Starting with the 1972 film version of the Broadway musical 1776. It tells the tale of getting the resolution on Independence passed through the Continental Congress in the summer of 1776. William Daniels is quite good as John Adams, but it is Howard Da Silva as Benjamin Franklin who steals the show. The second film was the 4th of July weekend pick for 2009. It is the story of Crocumentary filmmaker Michael Malone (name slightly changed so you will be sure which fat communist bastard it is supposed to be), who wants to ban the “4th of July” and is visited by the Ghost of John F. Kennedy, who tells that he will be visited by three spirits in order to cure him of his un-American ways. Very funny, with a great cast of actors who put their careers at risk by outing themselves as Conservatives in the far left extremist moonbat haven of Hollywood.

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Friday B-Movie Pick: Mr. Right

Mr. Right
A delightful romantic comedy with plenty of violence mixed in for flavor. Anna Kendrick plays a quirky young woman who picked the T-Rex as her spirit animal at a young age. She meets “Mr. Right”, played by Sam Rockwell, and they quickly fall for each other. Rockwell’s character is a former CIA assassin who has gone bizarrely free lance. He also wears a clown nose when killing people. Yes, he is slightly crazy, as is Kendrick’s character. Throw in Tim Roth as the crazy hitman’s former partner trying to track him down, and RZA as some local New Orleans muscle with great potential, and you have a fun little B-Movie.

Friday B-Movie Archive

Friday B-Movie Pick: Killing Time

Killing Time
Taking the Way Back Machine to 1998 for this classic B-Movie. It is that story of an Italian assassin hired by an English police officer to kill the gangster who killed his partner. The problem is that the assassin, Maria, is very expensive. So the cop hires an assassin he can afford to kill Maria after she completes her assignment. Of course, there is a reason why she was much more expensive. Things get interesting, because everything is set on a timetable, and Maria arrives early. So she has time to kill before it’s time to kill. Hence the name of this fine example of Drive In movie making. The downside to this excellent flick is that it was only released on VHS. I saw it back when you would go to your local video rental store to get movies to watch at home. Joe Bob would say check it out, if you can find it.

Friday B-Movie Pick Archive

Friday B-Movie Pick: American Ultra

American Ultra
This is a story about an unassuming young stoner named Mike in West Virginia. He works in a convient store and is prone to anxiety attacks. He also has a surprisingly hot girl friend. Mildly interesting, but not very gripping. Then the focus shifts to CIA headquarters, were two agents are in a turf war. The topic appears to be the young stoner, and why is so important to one of the agents that he be killed? This is where it gets interesting and gives a big hat tip the the Borne Identity series. Mike is actually a sleeper agent. The lone survivor of a program to produce deadly agents from three time loser “volunteers.” The former head of the program shows up and activates Mike with a series of code words. Now things go from interesting to violent. Starting with the two CIA operatives (from a competing program that trained violent psychopaths) who were doing something (just guess) to his car. Mike takes them out as they approach. He had just made some instant noodles, so the hot water goes in the face of one as he stabs the other in the neck with his spoon. Things escalate from there, from a police station filled with dead cops to a massive over reaction by the CIA. A little slow to start, but this flick picked up nicely with combined humor and action. Some excellent work by supporting cast members as well. Well worth the rental and popcorn.

Friday B-Movie Archive

Friday B-Movie Pick: Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Justice League: Gods and Monsters
Yet another example of excellence from DC Comics animated movie team.  This is an alternate universe where the Justice League is made up three, and I use the term loosely, heroes.  Superman is the son of General Zod, not Jor-el, Batman is a vampire (created by Science!), and Wonder Woman is one of the New Gods.  All them have no issues what so ever in killing bad guys.  Just to set the tone for this universe a bit more firmly, Amanda Waller is President.  Ya, it’s a dark reflection of the DC Universe.  Things only get worse when the Justice League starts getting framed for killing scientists.  In the end, it’s a wake up call for the League, with some help from Lex Luthor, who seems to be crossed with Stephen Hawking in this setting.

Friday B-Movie Archive

Friday B-Movie Pick: Terminator Genisys

Terminator Genisys

Starting the new year with the latest in the Terminator francise. Once again, they are moving forward with the premise of changing the timeline doesn’t always work the way you want it to. Ya, I’m going to do spoilers, so quit now if you care. This entry has some delightful (to the fan base at least) almost scence for scence sequences from the orginal. Plus it has Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a T-800 series who has been guarding Sarah Connor since a T-1000 tried to kill her as a little girl. The flesh around the machine ages, which is how they explain using a current Schwarzenegger for the aging robot.  The special effects are great and the fights are epic.  Well worth the popcorn and rental.

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Friday B-Movie Pick: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Guy Richie shows his love for the 60’s TV series with this Cold War era movie. It’s the early 1960’s and the Cold War is running hot. The movie starts with CIA agent Napoleon Solo up against KBG agent Illya Kuryakin. Kuryakin doesn’t stop Solo from getting the daughter of a German scientist out of East Berlin, but he comes a damn closer than Solo is used to. So when they are told they have to team a few days later, there is hostility and mistrust. This is an origin story, about how the U.N.C.L.E team was formed and the enemy agents learned to work together. I enjoyed, but then as a child of the 60’s I remember seeing this show when I was very young. I saw a lot more of The Avengers and The Wild, Wild West, which are of a similar theme. Check it out, it’s a good spy story with a touch of humor.

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