RIP – Reni Santoni

Reni Santoni, 81, died on August 1, 2020, at hospice after a long illness.  Sanotni appeared in over 100 film and television roles.  Most folks probably know Santoni best from his role as Poppie on Seinfeld.  My favorite Santoni performances were in Dirty Harry and Cobra but it was always a pleasure when Santoni appeared on any show or movie.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.

Rocky Balboa & Apollo Creed by Jarrod Alberich & Mark Hatherley!

Check out this sweet Rocky / Apollo poster created by Jarrod The Yardsale Artist Alberich and Mark Hatherley.  Jarrod took on Rocky and Mark brought his talents to Apollo.

What makes this even cooler is that the created the art during one of their weekly Livestream sessions.  They were joined by John Beatty (creating a commission for one of his fans).  I also provided some color commentary for the video.  I’ve embedded the video below, if you’re so inclined.

Also if you’re interested, Jarrod has made the Rocky / Apollo print available for fans!

“Seized” Starring Scott Adkins & Mario Peebles – Poster and Trailer!

The poster and trailer for Seized are here.  Glad to see Mario Peebles in this Scott Adkins action movie.  Hopefully it will be a fun couple of hours.

Hiding out with his son Taylor on the Mexican coast, Nero (Scott Adkins, Doctor Strange) hopes to put his violent Special Forces career behind him. But after Nero’s home is attacked and Taylor is abducted, the mysterious Mzamo (Mario Van Peebles, Heartbreak Ridge) orders Nero to slaughter the members of three rival crime syndicates. If he fails, Taylor will die. With bullets flying and bodies dropping, Nero must now complete his mission ― and find Mzamoʼs hideout, to exact his revenge.

Director: Isaac Florentine

“Airplane” Trivia

I saw Airplane in a packed theater when it was initially released.  The laughter was non-stop.  Airplane is a film that benefits from a crowd.  I’ve watched it several times since and the bigger the crowd the bigger the laughs.   Airplane is still worth a watch either alone or with others.

Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present 31 Things We Learned from the ‘Airplane!’ Commentary.   Before you click over, here are three of my favorite comments…

These early drafts (of the script) were initially titled The Late Show as they intended to include their commercial gags as well with the spoof movie itself being filler. They brought it to Lloyd Schwartz who suggested that the airplane story was “funnier and more interesting” than the commercial spoofs.

(I think that they were wise to drop the commercial gags.  Playing it straight made for a much funnier film. – Craig)

Lloyd Bridges had a lot of questions trying to understand his character, his motivation, and his dialogue, and Robert Stack pointed out that the visual gags were so frequent and nonsensical that no one in the audience was going to care. “Lloyd, we are the joke,” said Stack to Lloyd.

(Can you imagine you’re the director prepping the scene and Bridges wants to discuss background and motivation for his, “I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue” line? – Craig)

Stack was apparently offered a percentage of the film or an extra $20k, and he chose poorly.

($20K in the hand or a percentage on a risky film with Hollywood bookkeeping?  Not an easy choice. – Craig)

RIP – Wilford Brimley

Wilford Brimley died yesterday at the age of 85 after being hospitalized for two months with kidney problems.

I first saw Wilfred Brimley in an uncredited role with John Wayne in True Grit.  At that point I had no idea who Wilfred Brimley was, but that would all change with his tv appearances in Kung Fu, The Waltons, How the West was Won and The Wild, Wild West Revisited.  After that it wasn’t surprising to see Brimley popping up in movies (The Electric Horseman, Brubaker, Absence of Malice) or television (Walker, Texas Ranger; Seinfeld).

My favorite Wilfred Brimley roles were in The Thing and Hard Target, but it didn’t matter the role or movie, Wilfred Brimley always made it better.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Wilfred Brimley’s family, friends and fans.

The Breaking Point (1950) / Z-View

The Breaking Point (1950)

Director: Michael Curtiz

Screenplay: Ranald MacDougall (Based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not)

Stars: John Garfield, Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter, Juano Hernandez and Wallace Ford.

The Pitch: “Let’s redo To Have and Have Not but make it closer to Hemmingway’s novel!”

Tagline: There’s nothing more deadly than a gentle man pushed too far!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Harry Morgan was a war hero that doesn’t mean much any more.  Times are tough. Morgan is a charter boat captain with a wife, two little girls and a stack of bills he needs to take care of.  When a sleazy lawyer offers Morgan a chance at some easy money, he turns it down.  Morgan knows something legal will come along.

And it does.  Morgan gets a week’s rental from a business man wanting a fishing trip to Mexico.  Things start to go sideways when the man unexpectedly brings along his sexy, flirtatious girlfriend.  The woman is trouble and she knows it.

In Mexico, the man decides to cut his trip short and agrees to pay Morgan in the morning before they head back.  The next day Morgan learns that the man skipped out and flew back to the states.  Morgan is stuck in Mexico with no money, the guy’s girlfriend and no way home.

Of course the easy money offer is still available…

The Breaking Point is an under-rated gem.  If you like noir, then this is for you.

This is Garfield’s best role.  Patricia Neal is perfect as the sexy, trouble-making young woman with experience beyond her years.  Thaxter is great as the wife trying to keep things together as her husband makes increasingly bad decisions.  Juano Hernandez, as Morgan’s best friend, isn’t there with Walter Brennan comic relief.

I can’t believe I waited so long to finally watch The Breaking Point.  Part of the problem may be the poster and trailer aren’t good indicators of how great the film is.  And that final scene!

Rating:

RIP – John Saxon

John Saxon died yesterday of pneumonia. He was 83. Saxon is best known to fans for his role as Roper in Enter the Dragon, but that was just one of his nearly 200 acting credits. 

Saxon began is career in the mid 1950s playing teen idol parts.  In the 60s, Saxon alternated between movies and guest starring television roles.  In 1972, Saxon co-starred with Clint Eastwood in Joe Kidd and the following year with Bruce Lee and Jim Kelly in Enter the Dragon.  Saxon continued to alternate between movie and tv roles for the rest of his career.  Any time Saxon was in the production, you know it got just better.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to John Saxon’s family, friends and fans.

“The Prey” Poster and Trailer are Here!

The Prey – check out the poster and trailer.  It definitely has a Most Dangerous Game feel (and one that has been copied many times) but when done right, these films are fun.

Undercover Chinese cop Xin (newcomer Gu Shangwei), is on a secret international mission when a surprise raid puts him in a remote Cambodian jungle prison that plays by its own rules.Ruthless warden (Vithaya Pansringarm) sells prisoners as human prey for rich hunters looking for thrills in the jungle.

After years of hunting down ruthless criminals, Xin suddenly finds himself running for his life. If Xin manages to survive this sadistic game, he’ll walk out of the jungle the same way he came in: as a free man. If Xin fails, he’s just another hunting trophy.

“Sputnik” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Sputnik looks like something that I’d love to see late night at a drive-in.  Check out the poster and trailer!

Director: Egor Abramenko
Starring: Oksana Akinshina, Fedor Bondarchuk, Pyotr Fyodorov

Due to her controversial methods, young doctor Tatiana Yurievna (Oksana Akinshina) is on the precipice of losing her medical license. Her career may not be over, though. After she’s recruited by the military, Tatiana is brought to a secure science research facility to assess a very special case, that of Konstantin Sergeyevich (Pyotr Fyodorov), a cosmonaut who survived a mysterious space accident and has returned to Earth with a unique condition: there’s something living inside of him that only shows itself late at night. The military has nefarious plans for it. Tatiana wants to stop it from killing Konstantin. And the creature itself thrives on destruction.

“The Bay of Silence” Poster and Trailer are Here!

The Bay of Silence stars Claes Bang (who was excellent in Dracula), Olga Kurylenko and Brian Cox.  Above is the poster and below the trailer.

Will believes his wife Rosalind is innocent of their son’s suspected murder, only to discover the devastating truth behind her past links her to another unsolved crime.

Starring: Claes Bang, Olga Kurylenko and Brian Cox
Directed by: Paula van der Oest