Monday 16 April 2018
At last! The final batch of movies watched in March:
59. (1288.) The Magnetic Monster (1953)
Mid-century cautionary tale about the unknown dangers of splitting the atom. It starts like a documentary, though it mostly plays like stale drive-in cliche. Not entirely terrible, but hardly a classic.
60. (1289.) Death Wish (2018)
Also not a classic. I've seen all the Bronson Death Wish movies multiple times, and none of them are quite as dumb as the movie Bruce Willis finds himself in. I'm not entirely sure whether this interpretation of Kersey was a bumbling idiot because the writer/director/studio wanted to downplay the danger of a self-appointed vigilante a gun or whether they just think most people are that foolish. *shrug*
61. (1290.) Johnny Handsome (1989)
A mad scientist gives a disfigured criminal a new face, but he can't fix his broken heart! No, seriously. Lance Henriksen, Ellen Barken, and Morgan Freeman play comic book villains, but this hokum comes across surprisingly earnest thanks entirely to Mickey Rourke. Not bad for a crime movie of its era.
(Footnote: early in the film, Henriksen is driving through the streets of New Orleans and a Coca-Cola storefront sign is visible out his rear window. As the sign clearly wasn't placed for the shot, I don't think it qualifies as product placement, so no screenshot appears here. But it is clearly a Coca-Cola sign so I'm still talking about it.)
62. (1291.) The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968)
Kurt Russell is the only actor I've seen in multiple movies so far this year. Here in 1968, he plays a pre-teen member of the title band (headed by Walter Brennan and Buddy Ebsen). Forty-seven years later, in 2015's Bone Tomahawk, he played an aging Old West sheriff. I'm glad he's still acting. In both roles he was great. This entire movie was pretty enjoyable, in fact, with good songs and a tight (if slight) story. There's a reason the Disney brand has been so strong for so long.
63. (1292.) Walkabout (1971)
Two children become lost in the Australian Outback and are saved by a young aborigine. Was anyone truly saved? Is the film being cynical, honest, or allegorical? It's like the Apocalypse, Now! of coming-of-age movies. The only thing I'm sure it's saying is that everyone goes through their own life alone. Honestly, I watch a lot of movies and rarely come across anything as weird and haunting as this. I'll remember Walkabout for a long time.
More to come.