My Favourite… Margot Kidder Film

My Favourite… Margot Kidder Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

 

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. Margot Kidder (1948-2018) Film

 

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (1979)

Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan (Glenn Ford) and Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), young Clark (Christopher Reeve) discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane (Margot Kidder).

Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie broke ground and set the stall out for ever modern Superhero movie ever made.  In fact it’s so good few, if any, superhero movies have ever come close.  It also made a star out of it’s cast, the late Christopher Reeve (Superman) and a young Margot Kidder who made a generation of fans fall in love with her portrayal of reporter Lane. Long before girl power was a thing, Kidder gave Lane a soul beyond the pages of the comic book.  She remains the best on screen Lois Lane to date.  Sadly her career never lived up to it’s promise but if you are going to be remembered for one thing you could do much worse.

 

See also: Superman 2, The Amityville Horror

 

 

 

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My Favourite… Verne Troyer Film

My Favourite… Verne Troyer Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. Verne Troyer (1969-2018) Film

AUSTIN POWERS THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME  (1999)

In his second screen adventure, British super spy Austin Powers must return to 1969, as arch-nemesis Dr. Evil has ventured back to that year and successfully stolen Austin’s “mojo” and set up a powerful laser and aimed it at Earth. With the help of gorgeous agent Felicity Shagwell, the newly single Austin must now not only contend with Dr. Evil, but also Evil’s vicious, pint-size attack-clone, Mini-Me.

 

Verne Troyer pretty much stole the show in The Spy Who Shagged Me.  Without uttering a word for most of the film he was a funny scene stealer.  This wasn’t his first film but the first he had the chance to show his comic timing.   And whilst his career was limited to playing similar roles (often as Himself), he always brought huge amounts of charisma and charm.  But it would be his actions off screen he’d be most renowned for, living he life of a movie star with all the trappings included.

 

See also: Austin Powers In Goldmember

 

 

My Favourite… R Lee Ermey Film

My Favourite… R Lee Ermey Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. R Lee Ermey (1944-2018) Film

 

FULL METAL JACKET (1987)

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Stanly Kubrick’s brutal 1987 war film Full Metal Jacket showed the horrors of war both at home and away. But for all the great performances it was that of the sadistic drill sergeant that was the most memorable.  R Lee Ermey was a consultant on the film, himself a former drill sergeant.  But after failing to find someone who could deliver as well as Ermey in the role, Kubrick instead cast him and we had the start of a career that would span decades, often playing a take on the character seen here.  But Ermey was FAR better than just rehashing this role and would go on to add some serious films to his resume and work with some of Hollywoods best directors.

 

See also: The Frighteners, Se7en, Toy Story 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9f6JaaX7Wg

 

My Favourite… Mickey Jones Film

My Favourite… Mickey Jones Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. Mickey Jones (1941-2018) TV show!

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V: The Final Battle (1994)

A small group of human resistance fighters fight a desperate guerilla war against the genocidal extra-terrestrials who dominate Earth.

V: The Final Battle was essential viewing for me growing up.  The sequel to the more political in tone V Mini Series, The Final Battle was action packed and introduced two iconic characters – Michael Ironside as Ham Tyler and Mickey Jones as Chris Farber two former CIA operatives drawn into their own war against the Visitors.  Farber served as the explosives and munitions expert for the group and was Tyler’s right hand man when trouble kicked off.  Farber was loyal, deadly and essential and Jones gave this burley character heart and purpose.

 

See also: Justified, Total Recall 

 

 

My Favourite… Frank Vincent Film

My Favourite… Frank Vincent Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. Frank Vincent  (1937-2017) Film (Well actually this time out TV show!)

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THE SOPRANOS (1999-2007)

Tony Soprano juggles the problems of his fractious family with those of a “Family” of a different sort – the mob. He sees a therapist to deal with his professional and personal problems, which bring on panic attacks. He deals with personal and professional power struggles, affairs, violence, the threat of exposure and betrayal, and a whole bunch of people being whacked.

The Sopranos defined a TV generation.  And whilst the presence of James Gandolfini loomed large, the show still had a load of room for memorable support characters.   Mob Boss Phil Leotardo, played by Frank Vincent, was for sure one of those. Leotardo was one of the mafioso who were sent to prison during the “Mafia Crackdown of the 1980s” and, after serving 20 years, was released as part of the “Class of ’04” at the beginning of season 5.  Joining the show late was no barrier for impact.  He was a pretty much the reason why the show ended how it did and the hail of gunfire that took many a life.  An old school gangster, he was played with charm and menace and quickly become one of The Sopranos most iconic characters.

 

See also: Goodfellas, Casino, Raging Bull

 

 

 

My Favourite… Loren Janes Film

My Favourite… Loren Janes Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. Loren Janes  (1931-2017) Film

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THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963)

Based on a true story, a group of allied escape artist-type prisoners-of-war (POWs) are all put in an ‘escape proof’ camp. Their leader decides to try to take out several hundred all at once. The first half of the film is played for comedy as the prisoners mostly outwit their jailers to dig the escape tunnel. The second half is high adventure as they use boats and trains and planes to get out of occupied Europe.

Loren Who, I hear you ask?   Well Loren Janes was a pioneer stunt man, a trail blazer of the industry who worked on over 170 film and TV projects between 1955 and 2002.  He worked with the best directors and doubled some of the most notable actors in Hollywood.

But for me there was only ONE favourite film: The Great Escape where he doubled Steve McQueen, one of many times they would work together.  A close bond was formed between the two.    Janes was a gentleman and an unsung hero.  Co-ordniator, stun-man, stunt double and someone I had the honour to interview back in 2008.  He leaves behind a family and a legacy that shaped modern cinema.

See HERE for more. 

See also: Casino, Escape From New York, Bullitt 

 

 

 

 

My Favourite… Tobe Hooper Film

My Favourite… Tobe Hooper Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. Tobe Hooper (1943-2017) Film

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Poltergeist (1982)

A young family are visited by ghosts in their home. At first the ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorise the family before they “kidnap” the youngest daughter.

Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist may have has a few issues around who the true director was (Spielberg was rumoured to have had a hand in production) but, these few issues aside, it’s still a damn scary film.  Yes he’ll be known always more for Texas Chainsaw, but Poltergeist was the film that scared me witless as a kid and had me freaked out every time I saw static on the TV.  Sadly Hooper wouldn’t ever top his top most famous early works and in fact made some right ross latter on BUT Poltergeist still stands today as a scary as hell thriller.  Avoid the remake.

 

See also: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Salem’s Lot

 

 

My Favourite… Sonny Landam Film

My Favourite… Sonny Landam Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. Sonny Landam (1941-2017) Film

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PREDATOR (1987)

A team of special force ops, led by a tough but fair soldier, Major “Dutch” Schaefer, are ordered to assist CIA man, Colonel Al Dillon, on a rescue mission for potential survivors of a Helicopter downed over remote South American jungle. Not long after they land, Dutch and his team discover that they have been sent in under false pretenses. This deception turns out to be the least of their worries though, when they find themselves being methodically hunted by something not of this world.

So Landam wasn’t the lead in Predator. But man he was memorable.    As Billy Sole Landam struck in intimidating figure that if you believe the behind the scenes talk stretched off screen as well. He’s the first to get wind of the group being watched and stands face to face with the Predator, machete, leading to his final death.   As a film Predator holds up well, it’s a brutal, memorable and lean action film.

See also: The Warriors, Action Jackson, 48 Hours

 

 

My Favourite… George A. Romero Film

My Favourite… George A. Romero Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. George A. Romero (1940-2017) Film

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DAY OF THE DEAD (1985)

Zombies rule the world, except for a small group of scientists and military personnel who reside in an underground bunker in Florida. The scientists are using the undead in gruesome experiments; much to the chagrin of the military. Finally the military finds that their men have been used in the scientists’ experiments, and banish the scientists to the caves that house the Living Dead. Unfortunately, the zombies from above ground have made their way into the bunker.

Whilst Night of The Living Dead created the sub genre and Dawn Of The Dead cemented Romero’s subversive world view, for me it was always Day of The Dead that showed me what society would become should the apocalypse ever break out. It’s a brutal, nihilistic film with little hope or joy.  People die, the zombies win, humanity falls apart.  It was obsessed with this film.  Mix in some of the best practice effects i’d ever seen in a horror movie (Tom Savini take a bow) and a quotable script and you have one of the boldest, darkest films of the 80’s.  In later years Romero failed to come even close to this trilogy but even all these years later they and their influence hold up.

 

See also: Dawn Of The Dead, Night of The Living Dead

 

 

My Favourite… John G. Avildsen Film

My Favourite… John G. Avildsen Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. John G. Avildsen (1935-2017) Film

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THE KARATE KID (1984)

Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother, Lucille (Randee Heller), but quickly finds himself the target of a group of bullies who study karate at the Cobra Kai dojo. Fortunately, Daniel befriends Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita), an unassuming repairman who just happens to be a martial arts master himself. Miyagi takes Daniel under his wing, training him in a more compassionate form of karate and preparing him to compete against the brutal Cobra Kai.

It didn’t break any ground, it wasn’t the film he won an Oscar for and for the most part it’s not even that well made (and the less said about the ‘Karate’ on display the better) BUT director John G Avildsen’s The Karate Kid was still one of the most seminal films of my childhood and even now, 30 plus years on, stands as a damn entertaining film that time has dented too much.  It was also the film that made me fall in love with Elisabeth Shue, has one of the best movie songs of the decade (“Your The Best”) and launched a million attempts by kids of all ages to pull of a crane kick (Which no one did until years later Anderson Silva pulled it off in the UFC).   Yeah so Avildsen did Rocky (a far more worthy film) but The Karate Kid was the one that kept me coming back to watch it year after year.

 

See also:Rocky, The Karate Kid Part 2, The Karate Kid Part 3