Friday 24 July 2015
June movies watched by me, take two:
108. (855.) Agatha (1979)
Did you know that there was a movie in which Dustin Hoffman fell in love with Agatha Christie? To the movie's credit, there is also a mystery at play as you watch Agatha plan a crime (or is she researching a book?). Not bad. Not bad at all.
109. (856.) Things to Come (1936)
How do you make an H.G. Wells story boring? Watch this and find out. There's a lot of great special effects, but everyone spends so much time giving lectures. Then at the climax, the movie just kind of ends without paying off the drama. One minute there is an angry mob of Luddites storming a rocket launch, and the next minute the audience is getting another lecture. Yawn.
110. (857.) Airport (1970)
I've often heard this movie cited as the inspiration for Airplane!, but that honor more accurately belongs to Zero Hour!. Still, this is a very well-made disaster movie with relatively mundane stakes compared to modern films in which global warming or earthquakes are destroying the known world. Personally, I think that Airport's smaller, human scale makes it easier to relate to, and therefore more engaging.
111. (858.) Deathdream (1974)
TCM's guide promoted this as a vampire movie, but it's really about zombies. Or maybe it's an anti-Vietnam War movie. Hard to tell. I gave up on it when they killed the dog just to demonstrate what a monster the monster was. It was downhill from there.
112. (859.) Man of the West (1958)
I had to look this title up again just now to remind me what it was. It's another Gary Cooper western where he romances a girl far too young for him. Seriously, they all start to blend together after a while.
113. (860.) Journey into Fear (1943)
I really don't think Orson Welles could make a bad movie. This is a noir thriller (starring the usual Mercury Theatre gang, especially Joseph Cotton) about an engineer on the run from political enemies not of his making. Even the cliched hotel ledge finale (with fat Orson playing a James Bondish action hero) was exciting.
More to come.