Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2016 - Cathie Horlick-Wilson ""

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Film Discoveries of 2016 - Cathie Horlick-Wilson

Cathie (Cahcat on Twitter) is a 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
http://www.rupertpupkinspeaks.com/2016/02/film-discoveries-of-2015-cathie-horlick.html
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My 2016 movie viewing has been a little less than usual but as always it’s about watching movies when I can and making discoveries! These movies listed I loved for one reason or another as they something I’d never seen before or introduced me to a place I’d never known. These movies also gave me things to think about and inspired me to seek out more. A lot of thanks goes to TCM for giving me old movies to watch and then to a local video store where I actually rented DVD’s discovering movies just like I used to. (It’s a better way to find movies than endless online scrolling…)

1. King Creole (1958) - Elvis! Elvis, baby! It happened to be Elvis’ b-day and I decided to watch one of his movies that I had never seen. Elvis is Danny Fisher and he lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Danny doesn’t care about school, he’s got a couple of side jobs as he tries to help support his unemployed father and sister. Struggling to make something of himself he’s tempted to join a gang lead by Vic Morrow as Shark. Shark is an underling of Maxie Fields, the local gangster, played by a devilish and mean Walter Matthau.

Danny finds himself in a love triangle. First there’s Ronnie, played by the gorgeous Carolyn Jones who happens to be Maxie’s gal! (Uh Oh!) Danny and Ronnie have quite an attraction, but Ronnie is the bad girl after all. Then there’s Nellie, played by Dolores Hart. Nellie instantly falls for Danny and she’s the good girl in the mix.

The cast really shines in this movies, all of them! It’s one of my favorite things about King Creole especially when you see Matthau so mean! Elvis then does what he does best as Danny who sings to prove his worth. If you’ve never seen an Elvis movie before this is the one to watch!
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2. Red Sun (1971) - I love westerns! And it won’t be a surprise that more than one western is on my list! The first one here is Red Sun which I was lucky to see at my favorite film club Reel Grit. Red Sun has an incredible round up of actors, there’s Charles Bronson, Alain Delon and ToshirĂ´ Mifune! Charles is Link and Alain is Gauche and they are train robbers! The duo and their gang rob a train that also carries a Japanese delegation who are off to meet President Grant and deliver a ceremonial sword.
Gauche takes the sword and the loot double crossing Link and that’s when Samurai Guard Kuroda (ToshirĂ´) and Link are forced to pair up and catch Gauche! The unlikely duo have a real western adventure with more than a few shoot outs along the way! My favorite thing was ToshirĂ´ and Bronson together!
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3. The Sniper (1952) - Some old movies are just as relevant now as they were back in their day. I would say a lot of issues brought up in THE SNIPER are still a problem today. Set in San Fran, we meet Eddie Miller, he’s a guy with more than a chip on his shoulder and a seeded hate of women. The hate is growing as life isn’t getting easier. As Eddie feels he’s being pushed to a boiling point and his attempts for help and attention go unchecked he takes out his gun and heads to the rooftops taking aim at the women down below. This movie takes a look at social issues of mental health, community fears, police reaction and how those puzzle pieces should come together for healing or help but fail and only cause further harm. It’s a movie that really packs a punch!
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4. Mike Yokohama: The Forest with No Name (2002) - A DVD discovery as I wandered through a video store. What caught my attention was that Mike Yokohama is played by Masatoshi Nagase who I love from Mystery Train! This was actually a TV movie.

Mike is a detective with style channeling hard boiled detectives of old, to do his job. He’s sent off to the remote woods to bring back a rich girl who’s joined a cult. Mike gets philosophical as he finds the cult and it’s doctor in charge to be most unusual! This movie that left me pondering and desiring more.
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5. Dear Heart (1964) - This adorable and sweet film stars Geraldine Page as Evie Jackson; she’s a postmaster attending an annual convention, this year in New York City. She loves the convention as it’s her chance to get out of her small town, catch up with fellow conventioneers and make herself feel extra special. She pays the hotel bellboy to page her in the lobby, delivering little notes to herself from a made up beau.

Evie though is at an age where she realizes she doesn’t want to settle, she wants love, romance and not an annual fling. On the other side of this love story there’s Glenn Ford as Harry Mork, a traveling greeting card salesman. Harry is in New York to settle down for an office gig and prepare himself for his engagement to a sweet tomato he met on the road, Phyllis, played by Angela Lansbury.

When Evie and Harry meet there’s a bit of kismet connection going on and it could blossom, if they let it! Harry though, you wonder if he’s right for Evie, since he’s known to be a playboy and is not really being honest with himself and what he wants. It is Geraldine Page who shines here. I love her outlook on life as she fights the urge to settle as expected by her peers.
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6. Tampopo (1985) - Tampopo had a special theatrical re-release in 2016! This is a movie I had long been trying to see! Finally seeing it was a great discovery as it filled me with even more movie watching love and I can share it with others!

Tampopo revels in the joys of food and love and the love of food perfection! The first few minutes of the movie nod to watching movies in a theater and it just filled me with glee from the very start! Now, main dish getting all the attention is Ramen. As a pair of truck drivers happen upon a small ramen shop run by a single mom (Tampopo, aka Butterfly) they stick around to help her perfect her Ramen skills. This is a movie that makes you smile and keep smiling. If you get a chance to watch this one, as it was recommended to me, have a ramen place ready to visit when the credits finish.
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7. Bite The Bullet (1975) - I said it before and I’ll say it again, I love westerns! This one stars Gene Hackman, James Coburn, Jan Michael VIncent, Ben Johnson and Candice Bergen. I’d warn that if you’re a lover of Horses this is not an easy movie to watch!

In this west world there’s a 700 mile horse race that offers a big cash prize. James and Gene are known as Rough Riders and are long time pals and they are each in to win! Jan is a young cocky wanna be cowboy and Candice may be a lady, but she knows how to ride! My favorite participant was the mexican man, played by Mario Arteaga who starts out with a mean toothache. It is with the Mexican we get a literal Bite of the Bullet! (not too spoilery, I hope!) This film was a great has some amazing scenes and and scenery! Truly a great discovery from that video store!
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Honorable Mention
Hillbillies In A Haunted House (1967) - A pair of country singers (Ferlin Husky and Joi Lansing) are on their way to Nashville along with their edgy manager when a need for some rest and a storm causes them to take cover in an old haunted mansion. There’s a man in a monkey suit, a nefarious plot involving spies played by include Basil Rathbone, John Carradine and Lon Chaney Jr. One thing that keeps this silly movie going is the singing pair and a few others finding time do a bunch of singing!
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Stunts (1977) - Stunts is a look at movie making and the lives of stuntmen. Robert Forster is on the set to find out who’s killing his fellow stuntmen, including his brother! The movie starts at the Madonna Inn here in California! Thanks to STUNS I witnessed a Stuntmen funeral! The stunts are cool! Even though there’s some kitschy comic relief it is a fun action flick! A favorite discovery in this film was Ray Sharkey with his cool t-shirts and stuntwoman Joanna Cassidy with her infectious laugh she steals the show!
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Three In The Attic (1968) - I’m a sucker for Christopher Jones thanks to a little movie called WILD IN THE STREETS! Christopher is Paxton Quigley! He’s the campus playboy who can get any girl he wants! When Quigley spends a summer with Tobey he considers she just might be his one and only, but then he meets artist Eulice and hippie Jan! Quigley begins juggling relationships with all three between school and TV nights. When the trio discover Paxton’s deceit they lock him in an attic and torture and titillate him with round the clock lovin. Can Paxton really survive a run through the course? It’s a bizarro movie and very 60’s!

Heroes of the East (1978) - Gordon Liu is is Ho Tao and he is a student of Kung Fu. Ho Tao has been betrothed to a to a Japanese woman who also is a martial arts! After the nuptials, so begin the fights to see who’s style is best! All types of weapons and styles are compared in the home and out in fields. When the challenges continue to grow and Ho Tao has to face his wife’s former fell and their martial arts masters we get even more amazing and fantastic fights! Who’s style will win?
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11:14 (2003) - As the hour and minute 11:14 hits the lives a few folks in a small little town intersect. I remember this being on cable back in the day but never gave it a chance. It turns out I was missing out because I really dug what happened in this movie! There’s a car accidents, a dead body, a liquor store robbery, and a dad (Patrick Swayze) looking to keep his daughter’s reputation safe. So many fates cross paths and their futures hang in the balance. It’s just a quirky romp all in one night around one magic minute.
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