Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2015 - Cathie Horlick ""

Monday, February 15, 2016

Film Discoveries of 2015 - Cathie Horlick

Cat (Cahcat on Twitter) is a longtime personal friend of mine and She is a dedicated movie watcher and a DARKMAN fantatic. Her love of movies knows no bounds. Do yourself a favor and go check out her lovely blog:
http://shempcat.com/

Also, check out a few of her previous discoveries lists:
http://rupertpupkinspeaks.blogspot.com/2013/02/favorite-film-discoveries-of-2012_20.html
http://www.rupertpupkinspeaks.com/2014/02/favorite-film-discoveries-of-2013_13.html
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During 2015 I enjoyed many “older” movies as all the new stuff that comes out isn’t really going anywhere and will ultimately be easier to see after a while.

In my search of movies for my viewing pleasure I found myself watching something classic and/or unusual. This is my top 10 of the movies that I came across and they left quite an impact for one reason or another.
1. THE LOVERS ON A BRIDGE (1991)
I was lucky to see this on a big screen as part of a film club, Reel Grit, at the Six Shooter. I had heard of THE LOVERS ON A BRIDGE back in the 90’s but let it slip on by. This film really took me by surprise and filled me with joy. A young homeless man, Alex (Denis Lavant), who’s got a drug addiction, wanders the Pairs nights (does street performances) and sleeps on the bridge that’s going through reconstruction. He crosses paths with a woman artist, Michèle (Juliette Binoche), who is going blind and taking to the streets. The two form a bond as they spend more nights on the bridge together. It’s mesmerizing, and hypnotic. The scene that just knocked me out was the pair dancing on the bridge while fireworks blast across the sky. It reminded me of the beauty I seek in films and I can’t recommend it enough.

2. RADIOACTIVE DREAMS (1985)
I re-visted the 80’s film MY SCIENCE PROJECT and because of that I came across RADIOACTIVE DREAMS which also starred John Stockwell. This is a movie I’m surprised I missed in the 80’s with all my VHS, cable viewing, but better late than never! John Stockwell is Phillip Chandler and Michael Dudikoff is Marlow Hammer. These two guys were tossed into a bomb shelter as kids and they grew up reading old pulp novels while the rest of the world was thrust into post apocalyptic times. When they emerge acting like old PI’s in search of their supposed fathers they find a cruel, punk rock, cannibalistic world. But Dudikoff, so young, cute and agile is gullible and fast on his feet. )You could see how he’d turn out to be a future action hero!) There’s some fun action, music, singing and even dancing. I really am just a sap for song, dance and happy feet moments. Who knew it could fit into a post atomic war world!
3. JUGGERNAUT (1974)
What do you do when there’s a terrorist plot to blow up a transatlantic liner? It’s all about governments dealing with terrorists, of course thinking they have all the answers. Anthony Hopkins is part of the police force trying to figure out who’s behind the evil plot and of course his wife and children happen to be on the ship! Richard Harris and David Hemming are the two men called in as bomb experts to try and dismantle the seven, yes seven bombs! Talk about a film with tension about to go boom. Classic 70’s and a fantastic film.
4. THE DOUBLE McGUFFIN (1979)
I just loved every little moment of this movie, starting with a little narration from Orson Wells. This film came from the director of the BENJI films! So it is great family friendly flick. There’s a bunch of kids at a prep school who find themselves in the midst of a murder mystery, assassination plot! There’s cute kids like Vincent Spano and Lisa Whelchel from FACTS OF LIFE! The boys have a most amazing room filled with secret compartments, and though it does a bit of stereotyping with some characters; the computer nerds, sports guy, cowboy and “girls” these kids are smart and know how to figure things out.
5. MARY & MAX (2009)
An animated feature I got to watch at a High School film festival with some good pals. This one is full of the warm and fuzzies. It’s an adorable tale of a pen pal relationship between an adult man in New York with Asperger’s, voiced by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and a young girl in Melborune Australia, voiced by Toni Collette. The friendship lasts over years and has it’s ups and downs as the two share their lives over snail mail.
6. MAKE MINE MINK (1960)
I love finding a movie like this just clicking through endless possibilities on Amazon Instant and finally settling on one that turns out to be a good surprise. A great little comedy, with fun characters who live in a boarding house. The eclectic group in this boarding house are bored and through a mishap they find new life and vigor in stealing mink coats and using the money they make for charities. It’s a delight as they formulate their plans and execute them with not so exact precision. It’s a good laugh beginning to end!
7. THE CONFORMIST (1970)
I finally got to see this Bernardo Bertolucci classic on a big screen. The political drama involves an assassin whose target is his former professor. It’s an intense film and I don’t think I could really do it justice with a summary. This is a film you have to just sit down, watch, read and immerse yourself into. Bertolucci is a fabulous writer and director.
8. THE NOOSE HANGS HIGH (1948)
A time for more laughs and you get plenty with Abbott and Costello. The duo are window washers who got their hands on $50,000 of a bookie’s dough through a mix up. And with another mix up the money gets into Carol’s hands who thinks she’s won it and has gone on a spending spree. As Abbott and Costello and Carol try and make back some money there’s gags, laughs and more gags.
9. HERO AT LARGE (1980)
I’m a sucker for superheroes and those who love superheroes. A real world actor played by John Ritter gets caught up in playing the part of a superhero for realsies. He’s got a good hero sensibility wanting to do good. But, then of course, Hollywood and the news media monsters swoop in and exploit it! Of course the viewers at home are also a fickle lot. But if you’re a true blue hero it does come out and shine strong, yup.
10. THE GUV’NOR a.k.a. MISTER HOBO(1937)
This one was a fun surprise, I do love the oldie, goodie movies! A wandering Hobo, played by George Arliss, happens to have a fancy last name (he’s a Rothchild!) and is thus mistaken for a man with good lineage. As he gets a little money which he quickly shares with another hobo, he is also given a job at a bank. Think of TRADING PLACES, sort of. The original bank manager is trying to pull a fast one of course. This is one of those tales where you learn you can’t judge a book or a person by their appearance. Rothchild is a wise old man, who’s got good advice and common sense. He passes it on and we should all end up all the wiser too.

I can’t end my list without an Honorable Mention, another favorite was OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1934) starring Leslie Howard, and Bette Davis. Leslie is a man with a club foot, an aspiring artist who’s not doing so well in med school. He of course falls for the wrong woman, Bette, who really is a bad egg. Bette and Leslie are great in the film.

There you have it, lots of oldies, and goodies and just plain fun films that made me a little happier, and more film savvy, I think.

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