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Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Physical and frenetic..Max is back!
Nitro fueled injected, high octane, smash your face and kick ass bold action. Not a sequel or even reboot...not even a retread; Max is back for another post-apocalyptic life threatening trip in the Wasteland. Max Rockatansky(Tom Hardy)is captured by desert raiders called War Boys and shuffled back to an outpost where his uninfected blood can be harvested as fuel for the captors. These savages are under the rule of a masked ruler named Immortan Joe(Hugh Keays-Byrne).
Max will reluctantly befriend a relentless driver Imperator Furiosa(Charlize Theron), who has accomplished a getaway for herself and five of Joe's wives,including Capable(Riley Keough)and The Splendid Angharad(Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). Max will help Furiosa fight off Joe's minions and other marauders on the way across the Wasteland to an oasis called the Green Place.
Elaborate vehicle chases and crashes as all hell breaks loose. Perilous and adrenaline pumping rushes back and forth the Fury Road. Bloody mayhem. The carnage is very aggressive, blatant and grisly.
The cast also features: Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, John Howard, Abbey Lee and Nathan Jones. Kudos to director George Miller, cinematographer John Seale and Junkie XL for the vibrant score. (By the way, the alluring Miss Keough is the granddaughter of Elvis Presley).
The Young Captives (1959)
Eloping teens meet a killer.
This little drama, 65 minutes running time, is directed by Irvin Kersher and is well paced and with sustainable interest. Ann(Luana Patten)and Benji(Tom Selden)are teenage sweethearts eloping to Mexico. As they run out of gas, they meet a stranger named Jamie(Steven Marlo), who seems very eager to hit the road and continue south with the couple. Little do they know that Jamie is a sociopath that has just killed his boss and is not shy to kill again. He kills a woman along the way and it is obvious he is dangerous. Jamie will try to force himself on Ann; the couple decide to not continue helping the killer elude the authorities. A major problem is planning their escape to get away from his stronghold over them.
Rounding out the cast: Ed Nelson, Dan Sheridan, William Shaw, Carlo Fiore and Dan Blocker.
Flight to Hong Kong (1956)
Advantages of being bad.
Joseph M. Newman directs this 88 minute crime drama. Usually the hero type, Rory Calhoun stars as Tony Dumont, who you might say is not very trust worthy. Dealing in contraband goods has him on the go traveling about the world. His girlfriend Jean(Dolores Donlon)wishes he would go straight; but on the other hand there is another woman in his life. Pamela Vincent(Barbara Rush)wants him to stay just the way he is...a crook. This way he can provide her with material for the book she is writing. It so happens that Tony has stepped on the toes of the real bad guys...the Mob... too many times. Now is the time to change his ways; but how easy is it going to be? Rounding out the cast: Soo Yong, Mel Welles, Paul Picerni, Aram Katcher and Werner Klemperer makes his movie debut.
Over grown spiders run amok in NYC.
An abandoned Soviet space station is ripped apart by asteroids causing one of the modules to spear itself through a Manhattan street and split open in a subway tunnel. The New York City Transit Authority takes charge of the investigation of the crash after no other authority found anything of interest. Well guess what? Tarantula sized spiders are found and just one bite becomes deadly. The victims become a home to lay eggs in.
Citizens are told there is a deadly virus contaminating the area; thus giving the military reason to establish martial law. A Russian scientist is wanting the queen spider to use the material it spins for a secret weapon.
The CGI is really not all that bad; except the queen spider keeps changing size. The spiders actually look pretty neat and are what the budget probably went for; they upstage the lead actors making them look like they were doing just another school play. Now there is some creature violence and disturbing images that should make a few viewers happy.
Players include: Christa Campbell, Patrick Muldoon, Sydney Sweeney, William Hope and Nikolai Sotirov.
Age of Dinosaurs (2013)
Dinosaurs come back to life!
Expecting something lame from Asylum is natural; but this dinosaur movie is not totally lame, but close. Justin(Ronny Cox)is the CEO of the GenetSharp corporation that has discovered "flesh-regeneration technology". Since he's the head honcho, why not try it on his own crippled legs. Success leads to the bright idea of bringing back dinosaurs with only a single sample of DNA. Ex-firefighter Gabe Jacobs(Treat Williams) and his teenage daughter Jade(Jillian Rose Reed)manage tickets to a ceremony showing off living dinosaurs at a GeneteSharp auditorium with protective precautions in place. Guess what? The experiment goes awry and over a dozen dinosaurs break free, with the audience becoming the prey of prehistoric predators. If that is not enough, the creatures get loose from the building and now the citizens of Los Angeles join the chaos. The CGI has plenty of room to be better, but how high can your standards be for a B monster flick? Also in the cast: Arthur Richardson, Max Aria, Joshua Michael Allen, Julia Paul and Jose Rosette.
Rumble on the Docks (1956)
Jitterbuggin' and street fightin'.
A teen exploitation flick from Columbia Pictures. Not regrettably bad, but not exactly easy to be remembered. This juvenile delinquent tale takes place on a dance floor, waterfront and the docks. Teen dream Della(Laurie Carroll)and her little brother Poochie(Barry Froner)are roughed up by a street gang "the Stompers". Jimmy(James Darren)the leader of the rival gang called "the Diggers" comes to the rescue. Jimmy takes up Della's invitation to a dance. While they are jitterbugging to tunes like "Take The Last Train Out Of Town" by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys, the Stompers show up with a rumble on their mind.
Police sirens begin to wail and teenagers are splitting in all directions. Jimmy runs into a racketeer named Joe Brindo(Michael Granger), who offers him the chance to be taught all the ins and outs of the rackets. Later Jimmy will be called to testify against his mentor about corruption on the docks. The waterfront will no longer be big enough for the two of them. Jimmy becomes a marked man for a cement suit.
Helping to round out the cast: David Bond, Robert Blake, Jerry Janger, Edgar Barrier and Stephen H. Sears.
The Boxtrolls (2014)
Fun animated feature.
Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi direct this fun-filled animated film based on the novel Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow. In the Victorian era village of Cheesebridge, a young orphan boy Eggs(Isacc Hempstead Wright)is raised by a fun-loving group of Boxtrolls that are underground cave-dwelling trash collectors. Above is a community that is obsessed with class, wealth and above all else...stinky cheese! The young orphan finds out that he is a real flesh and blood boy from a little girl named Winnie(Elle Fanning). With her help, Eggs will try his best to save the Boxtrolls from an evil exterminator, Archibald Snatcher(Ben Kingsley).
Smaller children may have bad dreams, although there is a likable hero and a nasty villain and of course a happy ending. This should be fun for all age of viewers. Other stars lending their voices to this enchanting movie: Dee Bradley Baker, Jared Harris, Tracy Morgan, Steve Blum, Richard Ayoade and Nick Frost.
Gone Girl (2014)
Almost perfect crime...gone bad!
This thriller is based on Gillian Flynn's novel. Not a chick flick; not a thinking man's thriller...but a well acted, well written unsettling drama that follows Nick Dunne(Ben Affleck)being dogged by police and determined media as he becomes the prime suspect in his wife's disappearance. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick reports that his high profile wife, Amy(Rosamund Pike), known to thousands as the Amazing Amy, is missing.
Amy has lived her life in the spotlight as author of children's books supposedly paralleling her own childhood life. Well-to-do parents always seeming to pull the strings on the stunning woman's life and never a fan of the man she married. Amy is smart as she is beautiful and plays a game leaving clues for her husband to find something special in celebrating their anniversary. These clues become damning evidence that Nick is not actually a grieving husband.
Nick's calmness under pressure from the media frenzy and hounding police detectives begins to crack. In seeps the darker side of the couple's so-believed blissful union. His sister Margo(Carrie Coon), co-owner of their bar, is his only support. Highly recognized attorney Tanner Bolt(Tyler Perry), no slouch when it comes to the media, becomes Nick's defender. Deceit and anger comes to the forefront and Bolt is determined to spin the media on its heals.
Don't let me go any further. An almost perfect crime comes unraveled. Most of the filming is done in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. There is strong sexual content, nudity and bloody violence earning an R rating. The astute cast includes: Kim Dickens, Neil Patrick Harris, Missy Pyle, Patrick Fugit, Emily Ratajowski and Sela Ward.
A desperate woman on a life changing trek.
Chick flick? Not exactly. And I'm not afraid to say I like it. I've always been a Reese Witherspoon fan; and yes, she had a lot to do with me watching WILD. A broken marriage that finally came undone and her mother's death leads Cheryl Strayed(Witherspoon)on a years-long reckless bout of bad behavior, fueled by loneliness, addiction and despair. She thinks she can turn her life around and discover what she is really made of. Cheryl decides to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail...alone with no experience, but plenty of gumption. She seeks to find the discipline to become the woman, she always wanted to be. Minor injuries and loneliness proves to not break her determination. The trek provides some beautiful scenery. There is some brief sexual content, nudity and strong language to earn an R rating.
A great soundtrack that features "El Condor Pasa" by Simon & Garfunkel, "Let 'Em In" by Paul McCartney & Wings and "The Air That I Breathe" by The Hollies. Other music by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Free, Billy Swan, Charlie Rich, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Presley.
Also in the cast: Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, W. Earl Brown, Cliff De Young and Michael Hulsman.
Under the Skin (2013)
This proves Scarlett Johansson can star in anything!
Jonathan Glazer presents an atmospheric, visually arresting and hideously beautiful sci-fi film. Scarlett Johansson is a seductive space alien who prowls the streets of Glasgow in a van in search of prey. Unsuspecting men who fall under her alluring charm find themselves in a spell that leads them to a strange pool that consumes them. Not much dialogue, various degrees of interesting scenery and a story line that keeps you thinking you'll understand it all before its over. It seems no matter what Miss Johansson is selling...you're willing to buy it! Strong R rating due to graphic full frontal nudity(male), a bit of violence and some sexual content. Also in the cast: Jeremy McWilliams, Kevin McAlinden, Andrew Gorman, Roy Armstrong and Adam Pearson.