Sunday Matinee: Pulp

Director Mike Hodges and Michael Caine decided to follow up the brilliant Get Carter with another gangster like film, the 1972 movie Pulp.

The difference this time out is instead of a serious and gritty crime drama Pulp is more of a comedy. It has goofy moments and jokes, then some gritty crime. Michael Caine stars as Mickey King, a novelist who writes books like My Gun is Long and The Organ Grinder under pen names Guy Strange, Gary Rough and the amusing S. Ódomi. Caine is hired to ghost write and autobiography of retired actor Preston Gilbert (Mickey Rooney).
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Sunday Matinee: Shin Godzilla

After stopping the Godzilla franchise in 2004 Toho Studios gave the big guy a break for a few years. They then licensed him out to Legendary Pictures who started a new American Godzilla franchise that started in 2014. When that movie was a success Toho decided to relaunch the series in Japan again. They brought in acclaimed director Hideaki Anno (creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion) to write and co-direct the new movie. In 2016 Shin Godzilla hit screens and presented a very different take on the legendary monster.

The movie draws its inspiration from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The Japanese Coast Guard investigate an abandoned boat only to be attacked by a huge wave and a creature. News reports later show a giant tail swimming closer to shore. The prime minister of Japan assures people that the sea creature can’t come on shore. It has gills and no limbs. Despite this the creature swims into canals and into Japan and eventually makes land where the creature evolves legs and lungs.
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Sunday Matinee: Jabberwocky

Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind aren’t the only movies celebrating their 40th anniversaries this year. Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky is too.

Jabberwocky was Gilliam’s first solo directorial effort away from Monty Python although Michael Palin stars in it and Terry Jones has a cameo. Palin stars as a poor cooper in medieval times. All Palin wants to do is work and marry a large peasant woman who doesn’t really like him. Palin’s father disowns him on his deathbed so Palin goes to town to try and find work.
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Sunday Matinee: The Lady Vanishes

Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) is a British tourist about to head home from the country of Bandrika. A train delay forces everyone who was going to travel to spend a night at the local inn.

Iris is disturbed by music playing in the room above her getting the young musician Gilbert Redman (Michael Redgrave) kicked out of his room. Gilbert retaliates by forcing Iris to let him stay in her room. Meanwhile elderly Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty) is listening to a local musician play a tune outside her window. Unbeknownst to Miss Froy, the musician is killed shortly after playing the tune.

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Sunday Matinee: Wolf Guy

There is not a lot of absolutely bat shit crazy cinema but during the 1970s exploitation era there was some amazingly unique movies. Today’s Sunday Matinee for example is a 1975 action/horror exploitation flick Wolf Guy based on the Japanese manga of the same name.

Trying to describe this movie takes a bit of work. Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba runs into a yakuza who is fleeing something. The man manages to get out of a crowd and into a back alley where an unseen force tears the man to shreds. Chiba catches up to the man finding him dying and mentioning a woman named Miki and a tiger.
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Sunday Matinee: Murder By Decree

I wanted to add this to this year’s 31 Days of Horror but it just didn’t quite fall into the horror category. This British/Canadian production by director Bob Clark has Sherlock Holmes going after Jack the Ripper in 1979’s Murder by Decree.

Christopher Plummer stars as Holmes and James Mason is Watson. It’s 1888 and Jack the Ripper is on the loose in the streets of London. A citizen’s group ask Holmes to investigate the crimes.
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Sunday Matinee: The Lodger: A Story Of The London Fog

We’ve almost reached the end of September and that means that Sunday Matinee will be going on hiatus for the month of October as I’ll be doing 31 Days of Horror again. This year’s theme will Canadian horror movies in honour of Canada’s 150 anniversary.

Today’s Sunday Matinee is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 masterpiece The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog. This was Hitchcock’s third movie but his first thriller.
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Sunday Matinee: The Untouchables

Today’s Sunday Matinee is going to be a short one because I’m at the SaskExpo this weekend. Today’s Sunday Matinee is Brian De Palma’s 1987 hit The Untouchables.

The movie was a loose remake of the TV series and based on the supposed true book of the same name. Starring Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness and Robert De Niro as Al Capone the movie takes a fictional look at the fall of Capone. The movie is super stylish and violent with Sean Connery doing a crusty old cop and Ennio Morricone doing an awesome score.

Sunday Matinee: Point Blank

1967 was an awesome year for Lee Marvin. He not only starred in his biggest hit The Dirty Dozen, he also made the brilliant adaptation of Richard Stark’s excellent novel The HunterPoint Blank.

Directed by John Boorman who would go on to make such excellent films as Hell in the Pacific, Deliverance, Excalibur and The Emerald Forest Point Blank is a very stylish very gritty noir crime thriller.
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Sunday Matinee: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

It’s been 40 years since Close Encounters of the Third Kind first hit theatres. It’s playing in theatres this weekend to celebrate its anniversary and despite nothing opening sadly Close Encounters of the Third Kind hasn’t rewowed audiences back like it did when it first came out.
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Sunday Matinee: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

I was saddened to hear that filmmaker Tobe Hooper has passed away at the age of 74. His body of work started off strong in the 1970s with his legendary classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. He would several other horror movies like Eaten Alive and Salem’s Lot. The 1980s had Hooper working with Steven Spielberg on Poltergeist which has long remained a rumour that Hooper didn’t really direct it.

He also made some fun B horror movies like Invaders From Mars and Lifeforce. Once the 1990s hit though Hooper didn’t really anything significant. In fact other than some OK TV work his movies tended to be awful. But looking back at his career I realized somehow I have never actually tackled The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I’m not sure how I could write all those 31 Days of Horror and never feature The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Strange.
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Sunday Matinee: The Wailing

Jong-goo (Do-won Kwak) is a police officer in a small village and lives with his wife, young daughter and mother-in-law. Jong-goo is woken up and called for duty because a woman has died in the village. Upon arriving the scene it’s actually a gruesome double homicide and the killer is a catatonic blood soaked man who was caught at the scene of the crime.

It seems that there have been a lot of gruesome murders in the town lately. Jong-goo buddy and fellow police officer tells him that folks think that it’s all caused by the arrival of a Japanese man (Jun Kunimura) who is living outside the town. He also tells him that a friend of his saw the Japanese man running around in the woods, naked except a loin cloth feeding on deer like an animal. Jong-goo doesn’t believe the story and both men are startled by a naked woman standing in the doorway of the police station. She disappears when they go look.
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Sunday Matinee: Bonnie And Clyde

Man lots of great movies are celebrating anniversaries this year. And celebrating it’s 50th anniversary today is Arthur Penn’s classic biographical crime film, 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde.

The movie was a biographical if somewhat streamlined, comedic, violent and action packed version of notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde Barker (Warren Beatty). The movie takes some liberties with the actual events but it’s an awesome and entertaining movie.
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Sunday Matinee: Police Story 3: Supercop

One of Jackie Chan’s best movies turns 25 this year. It was the third in his Police Story series and the stunts in this film are nothing short of amazing.

Police Story 3: Supercop continued follow the adventures of Jackie Chan’s “supercop” Ka-Kui Chan. This time Ka-Kui has been requested by Interpol to work undercover with mainland China to capture a notorious drug dealer named Chaibat (Kenneth Tsang). The plan has Chan pretending to be a criminal and bust an associate of Chaibat’s out named Panther (Yuen Wah). Helping Chan out is a mainland Chinese cop Michelle Yeoh. Yeoh ends up posing as Chan’s sister and the two end up working for Chaibat after they bust Panther out of prison.
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Sunday Matinee: Kiki’s Delivery Service

Starting today for the next several months Cineplex is having a Studio Ghibli Anime Series added to their monthly screenings. Today and Wednesday August 2 they are playing Kiki’s Delivery Service. Today’s showing will be dubbed in English but Wednesday’s show will be in the original Japanese with English subtitles.

The next film in the series is Castle in the Sky and it will be played August 27 in English dub and August 30 in Japanese with English subtitles.
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Sunday Matinee: The Fabulous Baron Munchausen

Karel Zeman was a fantastic and amazing Czech filmmaker and animator whose work is wondrous to see. Zeman used live action and combined it with animated both hand drawn and stop motion to create amazing fantasy worlds.

Today’s Sunday Matinee is Karel Zeman’s 1961 The Fabulous Baron Munchausen. Loosely based on the Munchausen stories, this incredible fantasy follows the adventures of an astronaut who lands on the moon only to discover the crew from Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, Cyrano de Bergerac, Baron Munchausen and others already on the moon. The group assumes that the astronaut is a moon man and the Baron decides to take him to Earth to show him what Earth is like.
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Sunday Matinee: Unearthly Stranger

Today’s Sunday Matinee is a quiet little British sci-fi thriller from 1963 called Unearthly Stranger.

Shot on a low budget with practically no special effects the story follows a scientist, Dr. Mark Davidson (John Neville) narrates the story as a flashback. Fearing for his life he tells how he got to this point.
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Sunday Matinee: Tron

35 years ago today Disney released a movie into theatres that they would consider to be another box office failure for them (in the ’80s Disney wasn’t doing too good). The movie would eventually become a cult classic and 28 years later Disney would eventually make a sequel.

Tron was the brain child of writer/director Steven Lisberger who had previously made the animated movie Animalympics. Lisberger originally wanted Tron to be a completely animated movie but released that it wasn’t possible at the time. He opted for live action with a mix of backlit animation and computer animation. Tron was not the first film to use computer animation but it was one of the first to use extensive computer animation. 15 full minutes of computer animation including the legendary light-cycle scene.
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Sunday Matinee: The 39 Steps

Hope everyone had a good Canada day! Today’s Sunday Matinee is Alfred Hitchcock’s brilliant masterpiece from 1935 The 39 Steps.

The movie sets up and features several themes that Hitchcock would use through many of his movies to come. The macguffin, the wrong man falsely accussed on the run, the blonde love interest and much more.
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Sunday Matinee: Saboteur

It may be one of the lesser Alfred Hitchcocks but it’s still pretty entertaining and it manages to turn 75 years old this year, today’s Sunday Matinee is 1942’s Saboteur.

Hitchcock was under contract to David O. Selznick but Selznick wasn’t interested in the story so Universal picked up the movie and produced it. Hitchcock didn’t get the cast that he wanted but Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings and Norman Lloyd do a pretty decent job.
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