No Escape

Having watched two film-noir flicks recently I though one more would be a good idea, so I found this on YouTube.

The story tells of a woman who thinks she may have moidered someone (by accident), a down-and-out musician who at first tries to extort money out of her, and her boyfriend, who is a cop but obviously a dirty one. Things happen and by the end the woman and the musician fall in love with each other, and the bad cop turns out to be the actual murderer.

Pretty standard stuff, and neither good nor bad. Mostly I enjoy these kinds of film because it is a good look into how life was before computers, smartphones, people saying “awesome” (a word I flatly refuse to actually speak) at everything, and reality TV. Still, you can’t call yourself a film buff if you don’t watch a wide variety of flicks.

At the end of the film the down-and-out musician gets to sing his new song “No Escape”, and it is heard by a film executive who offers to buy the song, thus ending the film with smiles all round. Awesome!

I can’t really recommend it, watch a Humphrey film instead, but at the end after a chuckle at the silliness of it all I was satisfied.

Date watched: September 17th
Score: 5.5/10
Film count 2019: 27

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

In my recent book review I said that “Antarktos Rising” is something The Cruiser might be interested in making into a film, but after watching this I am not so sure now.

Tommo is looking just a bit too old for this kind of rough and tumble acting, he seemed slow and tired most of the time, much like the film’s plot. We didn’t get to see the famous “Tom sprint” at all…


He was trying though, and we all know Tom does not give up.

The actual film though was tedious and underwhelming, it felt more like a made-for-TV flick than a 96 million dollar blockbuster. They just pulled out the book of Hollywood action cliches, watched a few Clint Eastwood films, then started filming. There was a lot of talk and excessive mobile phone use, with little action, most of which was fisticuffs and shootin’. There were no decent car chases, motorcycle stunts, holding onto aircraft as they take off, or vehicles being exploded then flipping right over people. There were some rocket launchers, but they were not used and were just stuffed with drugs…disappointing.

So I think it is time for Tom to start making family films, or perhaps experiment with independent films…ha!

He is working on the new Mission Impossible now, and perhaps that will be a return to form, but I suspect not. Surely it will be his last action film, and he will get to work on the “Kindergarten Cop” remake.

Date watched: February 12th
Score: 5.5/10
Film count 2018: 14

Ice Age: Collision Course

I watched this somewhere over the Tasman Sea, on the way to Brisbane during our trip back to Japan.

Same old stuff here, rehashed jokes and story with some new characters thrown in to make it seem fresh.

The highlight of the film was Simon Peggs’ character “Buck”, a nutty weasel who saves the day. All of the other characters are mildly funny, or not.

It passed part of the flight away quite well though, and some jokes were funny.

Date watched: April 6th
Score: 5.5/10
Film count 2017: 53

Port of New York

I accidentally selected this in my “Recommended” list on YouTube, but watched it anyway.

As it turns out, this was Yul Brynner’s first film, and in those days he had hair…


The story was about a drug-lord (Brynner) who stole a large amount of medical opium from a ship, as well as the murder of the ship’s crew member who had helped to get the opium off the ship.

This police procedural was told in documentary style with a chap narrating away throughout the film, making it seem more like a propaganda film for the narcotics squad.

Most of the acting was pretty dull, but Yul was outstanding as the cool, confident, and dangerous drug-lord, kind of like a suave gentlemanly version of Tony Montana.

This was a dark film noir, some scenes were so dark you couldn’t see what was going on (the quality on YouTube was not great either). There was also a fair amount of fisticuffs, and a few people got plugged.

This is not really worth watching except for Yul Brynner, and New York which was mighty impressive even in 1949.

Date watched: December 16th
Score: 5.5/10
Film count 2016: 196


A Close Call for Boston Blackie

The 1940’s produced a lot of crime mystery comedies it seems, with this 1946 film trying to be more of a comedy.

Actually, this is the tenth out of fourteen films made with a chap named Chester Morris as Blackie. The first films made were silent films from 1918 to 1927, then it was rebooted in 1940 with Chester.

Blackie Morris started out as a safecracker in the original magazine stories from the early 1900’s, but he came good in the films and became a detective. Like “The Falcon” from my last review he was a smooth-talking, wise-cracking, and a cool customer who likes the ladies.

Unfortunately, the comedy in this consisted of double-takes, characters being tricked and then saying “Hey, wait a minute! That’s not what I said!”, Blackie’s sidekick dressed as a waitress for half the film because cross-dressing is always funny, a cute baby blowing raspberries, some forms of slapstick, and just plain silly jokes. The mystery story itself was decent enough, but the acting was definitely where Gilligan’s Island got it’s inspiration from.

I might try another film just to see if they can get any better, or worse.

That is enough of the 1940’s, next I am moving onto 1950’s sci-fi/horror extravaganzas, should be a hoot.

Date watched: June 6th
Score: 5.5/10
Film count 2016: 94


A Shriek in the Night

This is another mystery film, but this time from 1933. It stars Ginger Rogers and a chap named Lyle Talbot who I had never heard of, but it turns out he had a long career in film and television.

The story was pretty standard stuff, very much like any other mystery story with a bit of whodunit mixed in, but of course this is older than most mystery films.

The acting was wooden on the whole, although Ginger and Lyle were quite good. There are one or two funny bits, one or two scenes featuring a stereotypical scared African-American woman, and the now standard dialogue at the end explaining to the audience the whole sordid plot (it was explained too quickly though, and took a while).

Ginger was 22 at the time, and this was her sixteenth film after starting her career in films only three years prior. She made several films each year, in 1933 alone she was in ten of them, and continued until 1965. I will add her to my list of all-time great actors and actresses.

Not essential viewing, but I like old-timey films just for the look into life back in the day.

Date watched: May 25th
Score: 5.5/10
Film count 2016: 86