Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What I Watched - June 9-15 2014

Note: This was a very slow week in terms of movie watching, with a lot of other stuff going on. But I did manage to take in two more entries for Tune In June as well as a few other random flicks.

WHAT I WATCHED - June 9-15:

Watership Down (1978) DVD
- I first saw this movie (an animated tale about rabbits venturing away from their home) when I was about 6 or 7 years old, at the cinema as part of a class trip. I hadn't seen it since, although some scenes remained vivid in my memory, as did the fact that I cried during some of the sadder moments. I rewatched it with my four-year-old son after all these years and found it to be beautifully-animated and quiet touching. Great voice work by the likes of John Hurt, Richard Briers, Roy Kinnear and Denholm Elliott. Not as sad as I remembered (my young mind must have misinterpreted some of the scenes), although my son said he found some of it a bit scary.

TUNE IN JUNE: Hawaiian Heat (1984) VHS
- I had planned on giving this 1984 TV movie a full review, but somehow I lost my notes. This was the pilot for a TV series that lasted one season. Two Chicago cops (one of whom is Robert Ginty from THE EXTERMINATOR!) move to Hawaii and move in with a group of beautiful women (including Tracy Scoggins from BABYLON 5). They end up working as cops in Hawaii and with all guns blazing take down a drug syndicate. This has a good supporting cast, with the likes of John Fujioka (AMERICAN NINJA), Mako and Branscombe Richmond (RENEGADE). I guess the 80s were a time for shows featuring cops in warm climates, but this is no Magnum PI and it sure isn't Miami Vice. It's corny, blandly shot and has uninteresting leads. Easy to see why it got cancelled after one season.

 Tentacles (1977) Netflix
- My Netflix is working on my main TV again! Woohoo! Upon discovering that fact, I dived into my to-watch list, starting with this Italian-American co-production monster movie. It's obviously an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Jaws two years earlier, with a giant shark replaced by a giant octopus. The effects are good cheesy fun, but what elevates this from z-grade status is the cast, with legends John Huston and Henry Fonda, the rugged Bo Hopkins and the hammy Shelley Winters in great form. Directed by Ovidio G Assonitis (BEYOND THE DOOR).

The Imposter (2012) Netflix
- Intriguing documentary about a French man who impersonated an American teenager who went missing in the early 90s. Travelling all the way from Spain, he is "reunited" with the boy's American family, somehow passing off as the missing boy. It sounds implausible, but as the story unfolds even darker motives are uncovered. This is well put together, mainly from the point of view of the French man, the American family and the authorities.

TUNE IN JUNE: Fortress (1985) AVI
- See full review here.

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