Friday 7 October 2016
Finishing out the list of movies from September:
82. (1020.) The Kremlin Letter (1970)
I really enjoyed this suspenseful spy thriller. It's far more le Carre than Ludlum. I have my doubts that real spying was ever like this, but it's still more believable than a Tom Clancy movie.
83. (1021.) The Million Dollar Duck (2016)
No matter what that title makes you think, this is a documentary about painting and stamp collecting. With ducks. It's shallow and won't teach you anything about craftsmanship or art appreciation, but I still enjoyed it.
84. (1022.) Skin Game (1971)
Let me sum up: con man James Garner travels through the American frontier selling escape artist Lou Gossett Jr. to gullible slave owners, a plan that works great until Ed Asner shows up and drags LGJr to a plantation in Texas. It obviously owes a debt to Garner's Maverick, though the archaic sexual politics and flippant treatment of slavery tends to drag this comedy of errors down.
85. (1023.) The Silencers (1966)
The only person who thought it would be a good idea to cast Dean Martin as James Bond must have been Dean Martin. He's too old for the action, and doesn't play it serious enough to sell the jokey dialog. I'm sure the director was aiming for camp, a la television's Batman. It doesn't get there. (And if I thought the sexual politics of 1971 were bad... ugh.)
That's all the "new to me" movies I watched in September, but there's one more movie that deserves a mention.
The Player (1992)
I first saw The Player when it was released on video in 1992, and I loved it. But I haven't seen it in years, so I recorded it off TCM to see how it held up over time. (Some movies you once loved just aren't that great two decades later. I'm looking at you, Masters of the Universe.) Turns out it was even better than I remembered. Noir crime meets behind-the-scenes Hollywood meets meta-text, all with a stellar cast. Still a great film.
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