January 2019 Mini-Reviews – His Girl Friday to The Tartars

Well, 2019 is off to a slow start, movie wise — which isn’t unexpected, given life circumstances.  It’s the first month in a while where I have watched fewer than 30 movies.  Sure, 20 movies is still a lot for most people, but it’s only about half of my “normal” rate, at least before Mom had to move in with us.  Lots of times, I’m just too tired at the end of the day to throw on a movie, the way I often did before.  But, I think I’ll try to improve on that in February.  Old monster movies can be especially relaxing.

Will I succeed in getting back to 30+ movies a month?  Stay tuned to find out!

Ratings are out of five stars. Here’s what those stars mean to me…

* – This film is not good. Avoid it unless you tolerate dreck well.
** – A flawed film. You may enjoy it if you like this genre or the folks in it.
*** – A good solid film. If you like this genre, you’ll probably like this film.
**** – A superior film within its genre. Thoroughly enjoyable.
***** – An outstanding film on many levels. A great example of its genre.

His Girl Friday ***** Cary Grant editor, Rosalyn Russell his best reporter wanting to get married amid big murder case. Fast & funny.
Thin Man Goes Home, The *** Nora & Nick return to his home town & get embroiled in the murder of an artist. Not quite as good, but great end.
Song of the Thin Man *** The last Nick & Nora film still has the fab couple, murder, twists & turns, comedy, & a gambling ship. Bang up end.
Cornered **** Film Noir soldier Dick Powel goes to Argentina to look for the Nazi murderer of his French wife & finds trouble.
One Million BC *** Victor Mature & Carole Landis in no-English caveman epic. Lizard & man-in-suit dinos. Great volcano sequence.
Death by Invitation ** Reincarnation of witch who was tortured & killed takes revenge on the descendents of her murderers. Low budget.
Demetrius and the Gladiators *** Victor Mature is thrown into the arena in this colorful sequel to The Robe. Some good action & Biblical melodrama.
Colossus of Rhodes *** Spectactuar visuals & Sergio Leone direction highlight this epic of struggles against a tyrant in Ancient Greece.
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse **** Colorful & inventive animation bring multiple versions of Spider-Man to life to save multi-verse from sinister plan.
Damon and Pythias *** Two rogues become friends through thick & thin, tested by a despotic ruler who ransoms one to execute other.
Midnight Lace *** Rex Harrison & Doris Day headline thriller about wife harrassed by an obscene caller threatening to kill her.
Talk About a Stranger **** Boy becomes obsessed with the man he thinks killed his dog & sets out to get revenge. Brilliant cinematography.
Minotaur, The *** Italian retelling of the Theseus story has twin princesses separated at birth & good monster end. Needs blu-ray.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure **** Surprisingly good & action-packed finale to the Maze Runner series, as heroes rescue a friend & seek a cure.
Revolt of the Slaves, The *** Mostly Christian slaves vs. evil Roman masters, with plenty of strong torture & arena scenes before uplifting end.
Revenge of the Creature **** Gill-Man captured, put on display in Florida & experimented on. Naturally escapes & havoc ensues. Strong sequel.
Creature Walks Among Us, The *** Last of the Gill-Man trilogy finds the creature operated upon & turned into land monster by well-meaning scientists.
Dr. No **** Strong production and action sequences of the original James Bond film still hold up, even if sexual politics don’t.
Amazons of Rome *** When barbarians overrun the Roman frontier, a group of brave women become soldiers. Romantic proto-feminist.
Tartars, The *** Viking Victor Mature vs. Tartar Khan Orson Wells in battles over kidnapped wife & stolen princess. Standard epic.

Let me know if you’re still enjoying these mini-reviews, and feel free to leave me feedback both here, on FB, or your preferred social media.  (And be sure to tag me or otherwise let me know.)


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About Steve Sullivan 420 Articles
Stephen D. Sullivan is an award-winning author, artist, and editor. Since 1980, he has worked on a wide variety of properties, including well-known licenses and original work. Some of his best know projects include Dungeons & Dragons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dragonlance, Iron Man, Legend of the Five Rings, Speed Racer, the Tolkien RPG, Disney Afternoons, Star Wars, The Twilight Empire (Robinson's War), Uncanny Radio, Martian Knights, Tournament of Death, and The Blue Kingdoms (with his friend Jean Rabe).