Sunday, September 1, 2019
Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 715th Edition
Welcome to the 715th Edition of my series. I don't have a lot going on right now so I will just get on with my selections for the week. I did return with "fun and useless facts" so just read on when done with this one.
3:10 to Yuma (2007): This is part two of a possible four-part Christian Bale series. I start the week out with this western remake which was directed by James Mangold and based on a short story by Elmore Leonard. Christian Bale stars as small-time rancher Dan Evans who is desperate for money and becomes involved in the capture of outlaw Ben Wade, played by Russell Crowe. Evans agrees to help escort Wade to a train in order to get him to trial. The group agreeing to escort Wade must also fight off his gang as well as some Apaches that are on the attack. Evans also has an inner struggle with himself in Wade's psychological battle of wills. Logan Lerman, Ben Foster, Peter Fonda, Vinessa Shaw, Alan Tudyk, Luce Rains, Gretchen Mol, Lennie Lofton, Rio Alexander, Johnny Whitworth, Luke Wilson, and many others co-star in this film. Wilson has a small part but one where it took me a minute to recognize him. This was a remake to the 1957 movie which I have seen but it has been awhile. It seems I was more compelled by this version and I don't know that remake is really the right word. I see it as more of another adaptation to an already written short story from Elmore Leonard who I credit as the author that got me through high school with the required reading we had to do. Both versions are still really good and maybe worth a double feature and I might revisit the first one soon.
The World's End (2013): I follow up with this apocalyptic comedy which was directed and co-written by Edgar Wright. Simon Pegg stars as Gary King who looks to get his four childhood friends, played by Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan, back together in order to do a pub crawl that was unsuccessful when they tried 20 years. The rest of them have their lives together and takes persuasion by King for them to decide to do it not knowing that the state of the world is in their hands now. Rosamund Pike, Pierce Brosnan, David Bradley, Michael Smiley, Alice Lowe, Rafe Spall, Bill Nighy, and many others co-star in this comedy. This has a lot of very funny moments and what better quintet can you get with the five guys this movie revolves around. This is the third in the trilogy that is directed by Wright and stars Pegg and Frost which follows SHAUN OF THE DEAD AND HOT FUZZ, though they are a trilogy with the director and actors but not the same characters.
Missing Link (2019): I saw this as part of the "Free Friday Movie" series and it looked interesting enough to me. Chris Butler wrote and directed this animated movie that I suppose you could say is an homage to legendary creatures. Hugh Jackman provides the voice to Sir Lionel Frost who is an explorer of myths and monsters and is usually out for his own gain. He soon meets a sasquatch who he comes to know as Mr. Link, voiced by Zach Galifianakis. Mr. Link asks Lionel to help him find his long-lost relatives in Shangri-La. They are joined by adventurer Adelina Fortnight, voiced by Zoe Saldana, and the trio sets out to find the land and find some trouble along the way where they must band together to overcome. David Walliams, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, Timothy Olyphant, Amrita Acharia, Ching Valdes-Aran, Emma Thompson, and may others provide they voices in this animated movie. This was a pretty entertaining movie which teaches things like acceptance and working together. This comes from Laika animated studios that have produced some good stop-animation movies including this one.
Tokio Jokio (1943): This is my animated short for the week and is one of those wonderful WWII propaganda shorts from Warner Brothers. This was based around a "captured" Japanese newsreel which show some of the things that the Japanese were apparently promoting. Newsreels were one of the main things of this era that delivered news which happened before a movie at the movie theater. This is an extremely racist cartoon by today's standards but at the time they were our enemy so it was likely more acceptable when it came out. One thing to note is that voice actor icon Mel Blanc managed to voice quite a few characters in this short and shows his absolute versatility in his voice. It blew my mind years ago when I learned he did both Bugs Bunny and Barney Rubble. I was always aware of Bugs but not Barney. This is available on Amazon Prime as part of "Patriotic Cartoon Classics" which really should be viewed for historical reference.
The Story of a Cheat (1936): This is my French film for the week which was written and directed by Sacha Guitry. He also stars in this film as himself and does the narration himself. It was told in a very unique way which has some amusing narration about a scoundrel from his childhood into his current adulthood. It is really hard to put this into words. It is a pretty funny and unfolds in a pretty unique way. This is mostly for the fans of the foreign and French cinema. This is available to watch on the Criterion Channel.
Serpico (1973): Sidney Lumet directed this biopic which is based on the book by Peter Maas. Al Pacino stars as real-life New York cop Frank Serpico who was an officer in the '60s and '70s that fought corruption within the force. The main thing that happened in Serpico refused to share in bribe money from criminals and tries to go to the highest authorities in hopes that things would change. John Randolph, Jack Kehoe, Biff McGuire, Barbara Eda-Young, Cornelia Sharpe, Tony Roberts, M. Emmet Walsh, and many others co-star in this film. Pacino was fresh off his star-making film of THE GODFATHER and got to be in a great follow up film. This shows both the professional and personal toll his mission took on him and those around. Pacino did what he could to perfect his performance by hanging out with the real Frank Serpico. This is a really good biopic of an honest cop trying to make a more honest force. I thought of a really good triple feature starting with THE PANIC IN THE NEEDLE PARK which was the transitional film that helped in the the role in the second feature of THE GODFATHER and then follow it with this one that kept him going.
Moon (2009): This is part two of a possible four-part Sam Rockwell series. Duncan Jones directed this sci-fi film which stars Rockwell as astronaut Sam Bell who has had to man a station in order to keep the clean air going in the world. As his three-year stint comes to an end, he questions what is going on in his world and runs into some other things that he must think about. He has been isolated for his stint and the only communication he really has is with the robot GERTY, voiced by Kevin Spacey. Dominique McElligot, Kaya Scodelario, Benedict Wong, Matt Berry, Malcolm Stewart, and Robin Chalk all have roles in the film but mostly centers around the communication of Sam and GERTY. This is hard to really put into words as it really requires a lot in the way of self-analysis. Rockwell carries this movie very well. Jones is the son of the legendary David Bowie. This is really worth a look, it just requires a lot of attention.
The Scapegoat (1959): Robert Hamer directed this British film which is based on the novel by Daphne Du Maurier. Alec Guinness stars in a dual role as John Barratt and is on vacation in France where he meets a lookalike in French nobleman Jacques De Gue. De Gue has a struggling business and gets John drunk to switch places with John while taking a break from his struggling business. John unwillingly takes on his new role as husband and father to Francoise, played by Irene Worth, and Marie-Noel, played by Annabel Bartlett, but soon starts to embrace it more as he tries to be a better man than De Gue. Bette Davis co-stars as the domineering mother which was more of a cameo appearance even though she gets top billing. Nicole Maurey, Pamela Brown, Geoffrey Keen, Noel Howlett, Peter Bull, and many others co-star in this British film. Usually in this era, Guinness tended to do a lot of comedy but takes a more dramatical turn in this one. He did a great job in his dual role and has a really good climax at the end. This is available on the Criterion Channel.
The Great Smokey Roadblock (1977): I came across this comedy and was immediately intrigued when I saw the names Henry Fonda, Robert Englund, and Susan Sarandon. John Leone wrote and directed this road comedy which stars Fonda as aging trucker John Howard who gets his truck repossessed by the finance company but decides that him and his truck named Elenor need one more last cross country trip which puts him on the run from the police. Along the way, he picks up a hitchhiker named Beebo, played by Robert Englund years before he would become iconic as Freddy Krueger, and a group of prostitutes ran by his friend Penelope, played by Eileen Brennan, which also include a young Susan Sarandon as Ginny. Austin Pendleton, Dub Taylor, John Byner, Melanie Mayron, Leigh French, Mews Small, Daina House, Gary Sandy, Valerie Curtin, and many others co-star in this road comedy. Yes, Henry Fonda has been in movies much better than this one. I don't really know his mindset when taking the role, maybe he just wanted to have a road movie which was a popular genre from this era. There were times when I was just thinking "wtf" but I was laughing along the way. There are some funny moments and is quite the guilty pleasure and just a reminder it stars Henry Fonda and Robert Englund so how can one resist this one. This is available to watcon on Amazon Prime.
Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014): I end the week which this Pixar show which is technically a tv special but as I always say, this is my blog and I make the rules. Steve Purcell wrote and directed this special which came out around Christmas but has very limited Christmas references. This is one that centers around Bonnie, voiced by Emily Hahn, where she takes some of her toys to a playdate with a friend who has a lot of dinosaurs but her friend spends most of his time playing video games leaving the toys to do as they please. This one centers around the dinosaur toy Trixie, voiced by Kristen Schaal, who encounters more dinosaurs only to realize they don't know they are toys and are very aggressive leading Woody, reprised by Tom Hanks, Buzz Lightyear, reprised by Tim Allen, and friends to save the day. Kevin McKidd, Wallace Shawn, Jonathan Kydd, Don Rickles, Timothy Dalton, Lori Allen, Joan Cusack, and many others lend their voice for this tv special. This was pretty fun and would soon lead to TOY STORY 4.
Well, that is it for this week but I did bring back my "Fun and Useless Facts" segment. Tell me what you like and dislike and stay tuned for next week which so far includes Christian Bale, Colin Farrell, and many others.
FUN AND USELESS FACTS
I brought back this section of my blog seeing as I had quite a bit to work with and it hasn't been done for awhile in my recollection. I have quite a bit of facts, I don't concentrate on actors in the same movie unless there is an actor from another movie. I did not due a full pursuit of facts and I'm sure there is plenty more so if you see something, go ahead and leave it in the comments.
Russell Crowe (3:10 to Yuma) relentlessly pursues Hugh Jackman (Missing Link) in the 2012 musical LES MISERABLES.
Pierce Brosnan (The World's End) played Agent 007 James Bond from 1995-2002 and Timothy Dalton (Toy Story That Time Forgot) played 007 from 1987-1989.
Russell Crowe (3:10 to Yuma) and Kevin Spacey (Moon) were in the 1997 film L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.
Simon Pegg (The World's End) and Tom Hanks (Toy Story that Time Forgot) were in the 2001 mini-series BAND OF BROTHERS which Hanks mostly produced but did narration and did uncredited scenes.
Russell Crowe (3:10 to Yuma) and Paddy Considine (The World's End) were in the 2005 boxing movie CINDERELLA MAN.
Martin Freeman (The World's End), Bill Nighy (The World's End) and Emma Thompson (Missing Link) were in the 2003 film LOVE ACTUALLY.
Russell Crowe (3:10 to Yuma) and Rafe Spall (The World's End) were in the 2006 film A GOOD YEAR.
Eddie Marsan (The World's End) and Stephen Fry (Missing Link) were in the 2005 film V FOR VENDETTA and the 2011 film SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS.
Christian Bale (3:10 to Yuma), Eddie Marsan (The World's End) and Sam Rockwell (Moon) are in the 2018 film VICE. Bale and Marsan were in the the 2005 film THE NEW WORLD and the 2018 movie MOWGLI: LEGEND OF THE JUNGLE.
Bill Nighy (The World's End) and Hugh Jackman (Missing Link) were in the 2006 animated movie FLUSHED AWAY.
Christian Bale (3:10 to Yuma) and Hugh Jackman (Missing Link) are rival magicians in the 2006 film THE PRESTIGE.
Sam Rockwell (Moon) and Tom Hanks (Toy Story that Time Forgot) were in the 1999 film THE GREEN MILE.
Luke Wilson (3:10 to Yuma) and Sam Rockwell (Moon) were in the 2000 movie CHARLIE'S ANGELS.
Bill Nighy (The World's End) and Timothy Olyphant (Missing Link) were in the 2011 animated movie RANGO.
Christian Bale (3:10 to Yuma) and Zoe Saldana (Missing Link) were in the 2013 film OUT OF THE FURNACE.
Zoe Saldana (Missing Link) and Benedict Wong (Moon) were in the 2018 film AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and the 2019 film AVENGERS: ENDGAME.
Logan Lerman (3:10 to Yuma) and Joan Cusack (Toy Story that Time Forgot) were in the 2012 film THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER.
Nick Frost (The World's End), Bill Nighy (The World's End), and Emma Thompson (Missing Link) were in the 2009 film PIRATE RADIO.
Dallas Roberts (3:10 to Yuma) and Kevin Spacey (Moon) were in the 2009 film SHRINK.
Al Pacino (Serpico) and Susan Sarandon (The Great Smokey Roadblock) were in the HBO movie YOU DON'T KNOW JACK.
Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma) and Hugh Jackman (Missing Link) were in the 2006 superhero movie X-MEN: THE LAST STAND.
Al Pacino (Serpico) and Kevin Spacey (Moon) were in the 1992 film GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS.
Peter Fonda (3:10 to Yuma) and Henry Fonda (The Great Smokey Roadblock) are real-life son and father.
Emma Thompson (Missing Link) and Al Pacino (Serpico) were in the 2003 HBO mini-series ANGELS IN AMERICA.
Gretchen Mol (3:10 to Yuma) and Al Pacino (Serpico) were in the 1997 film DONNIE BRASCO.
Rosamund Pike (The World's End) and Emma Thompson (Missing Link) were in the 2009 film AN EDUCATION.
Lennie Lofton (3:10 to Yuma) and Hugh Jackman (Missing Link) were in the 2017 superhero film LOGAN.
Emma Thompson (Missing Link) was reluctant to allow Tom Hanks (Toy Story That Time Forgot) to make her children's book into a movie in the 2013 film SAVING MR. BANKS.
Luke Wilson (3:10 to Yuma) and Timothy Olyphant (Missing Link) were in the 1997 film SCREAM 2.
Timothy Olyphant (Missing Link) and Al Pacino (Serpico) are in the 2019 film ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.
Lennie Lofton (3:10 to Yuma) and Kevin Spacey (Moon) were in the 1995 film SE7EN.
Martin Freeman (The World's End) and Stephen Fry (Missing Link) were in the 2013 film THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG and the 2014 film THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES.
Vinessa Shaw (3:10 to Yuma), Eddie Marsan (The World's End) and Susan Sarandon (The Great Smokey Roadblock) have been in the Showtime series RAY DONOVAN.
Bill Nighy (The World's End) and Robert Englund (The Great Smokey Roadblock) were in the 1989 horror movie THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. I'm now actually curious to see this version which I venture to say is not that popular musical we know today.
Alan Tudyk (3:10 to Yuma) and Bill Nighy (The World's End) were in the 2009 animated movie ASTRO BOY.
HARRY POTTER FRANCHISE
David Bradley (The World's End) plays Argus Filch
Bill Nighy (The World's End) plays Minister Rufus Scrimgeour
Emma Thompson (Missing Link) plays Sybil Trelawney
Alan Tudyk (3:10 to Yuma) and Eddie Marsan (The World's End) were in the 2018 superhero film DEADPOOL 2.
Martin Freeman (The World's End), Bill Nighy (The World's End), Stephen Fry (Missing Link) and Sam Rockwell (Moon) were in the 2005 sci-fi comedy THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY.
Alan Tudyk (3:10 to Yuma), Simon Pegg (The World's End), and Nick Frost (The World's End) were in the 2012 animated movie ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT.
Simon Pegg (The World's End) and Zoe Saldana (Missing Link) are in the reboot STAR TREK films
at 12:29 PM