Movie(s) of the Week
Red Dawn and Lincoln

Over the past couple of weeks I've had the chance to watch these two movies. I highly recommend them. I only had one issue with Lincoln, however. Why all the cursing? Wasn't Lincoln sort of known for not allowing salty language in his presence, much less using it himself? What was the point of that, Spielberg? Maybe I'm wrong on that point, but it was a very good movie.

Red Dawn was not an exact remake of the original. Maybe I'm a bit older and preferred the Cold War era movie a bit more, but you can't go wrong with this remake. It was action filled and the acting was very good. Two thumbs up for this one, and I'm the kind of guy that usually hates remakes.

But to throw my two cents in here, if I had to go to war in this day and age...whether it be another Civil War or if we were invaded and had to result to guerilla tactics, I think I'd want Uncle Ted on my team. Enjoy the movies!

Movie of the Week
Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Gotta love a good zombie movie!! And if you are going to enjoy a zombie flick this week then I suggest going back to this classic that is the father of all zombie flicks. You can never go wrong with Romero.

From IMBD: The radiation from a fallen satellite might have caused the recently deceased to rise from the grave and seek the living to use as food. This is the situation that a group of people penned up in an old farmhouse must deal with.

So this fall when you are salivating over the new episodes of The Walking Dead on AMC just remember where it all got started. This film should be a part of everyone's movie collection.

Movie of the Week
The Two Jakes

From Amazon: Jack Nicholson returns as private eye Jake Gittes in this atmospheric Chinatown follow-up that's hit upon "the elusive sequel formula for somehow enhancing a great original" (Mike Clark, USA Today).Much has changed since we last saw Jake. The war has come and gone; 1948 Los Angeles teems with optimism and fast bucks. But there's one thing Jake knows hasn't changed: "Nine times out of ten, if you follow the money you will get to the truth." And that's the trail he follows when a routine case of marital hanky panky explodes into a murder that's tied to a grab for oil--and to Jake's own past.

Movie of the Week
Salem's Lot

This is one of my favorite films of all time. This 183 minute feature film is a DVD starring David Soul, James Mason, Bonnie Bedelia, and Julie Cobb.

Ben Mears, a best-selling author, returns to his hometown in Maine only to find it overrun by vampires. Many of the strange goings-on are attributed at first to an eerie antiques dealer, but further investigation reveals that the creepy old man is simply the mortal assistant to the vampire's leader -- a Nosferatu look-alike, known as Kurt Barlow, who plans to steal the blood and souls of the entire community.

The full length made-for-television miniseries based on Stephen King's novel about a writer who returns to his New England home town only to find its genteel citizens are turning into vampires.

Movie of the Week
Tokyo Joe

It's true, I'm a sucker for old films. No sense in denying it. And Bogart---one of the original members of the Rat Pack---is one of my all time favorite actors. In this film, Bogart plays the character Joe Barrett. Barrett owned a bar and gambling joint in Tokyo before WW2 broke out. So after the war he decides to return to Tokyo and see if his place is even still standing. To his surprise it is! His friend, Ito, had maintained it and kept it running for him.

So Barrett is back in the bar business but his life has changed a lot since the war. His wife thought he died in the war, so when he returns to Tokyo he finds that she is now remarried to an American diplomat and that he has a 7 year old daughter. Talk about a shock!

When Barrett is approached by an underworld criminal to smuggle war criminals into the country to organize an anti-American resistance with the commies, Barrett balks at the offer. But then his daughter is kidnapped by the criminal gang and Barrett is in a struggle to save her using all his wits and cunning. I'll save the surprising end for those who haven't seen Tokyo Joe. I highly recommend this movie.

Movies of the Week
A Drunken Throwdown!

Let's do something a little different this week. It seems like everyone loved The Hangover and its sequel. There's something hilarious about idiots getting drunk and getting lost in Vegas or Bangkok, or wherever as long as they come back with face tatoos and married to a hooker. Nobody likes an angry drunk, but a fun loving drunk is another story. So let's pit two beer drinking classics against each other. If you haven't seen these films, go watch them now. Then come back to the Ritter Files and let us know which one is your favorite and why. So here's the throwdown....The Hangover vs. Beerfest. Let the good times roll.


Movie of the Week: Skin Deep

John Ritter was hilarious is this film. He plays a famous writer who is having a hard time writing his next project. In the process, he finds himself getting divorced and then on a whirlwind ride (no pun intended) dating and having one disasterous relationship after another. This comedy is a John Ritter gem and I highly recommend it. Skin Deep is one of my all time favorites and John Ritter doesn't disappoint in this comedy role.

Top 10 Favorite Movies of the 80's

This is a personal list and I'm guessing this list changes at least once a week when I remember another movie I wish I had included. So what are your top 10 favorite movies of the 80's?

10. The Goonies
9.   Lethal Weapon
8.  The Terminator
7.  Empire Strikes Back
6.  Ghostbusters
5.  Back To School
4.  Caddyshack
3.  The Lost Boys
2.  Ferris Bueller's Day Off
1.  The Breakfast Club

Movie of the Week: The Tingler

For all you Vincent Price fans out there, this week’s movie of the week is The Tingler, starring Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn and Darryl Hickman. It was filmed in 1959 and was directed by William Castle. Castle was also known for directing over 60 movies that includes House on Haunted Hill (1959), 13 Ghosts (1960) and Project X (1968).
This is a fun movie in the long list of Vincent Price greats. This is well worth adding to your horror movie collection if you don’t own it already. You can view this movie, as well as many other Vincent Price films, at If you haven’t seen this film yet, then check out the website and make sure to watch it. You’ll get a kick out of the opening scene.
Synopsis from IMDB: Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us. His theory is that the creature is suppressed by our ability to scream when fear strikes us. He gets a chance to test his theories when he meets Ollie and Martha Higgins, who own and operate a second-run movie theater. Martha is deaf and mute and if she is unable to scream, extreme fear should make the creature, which Chapin has called the Tingler, come to life and grow. Using LSD to induce nightmares, he begins his experiment.

Movie of the Week: Gone Baby Gone (Feb. 11, 2012)

Two young private detectives (played by Casey Affleck and Angie Gennaro) are hired to take a closer look into the mysterious disappearance of a little girl in a poor Boston neighborhood. As they investigate, with a little help from two dirty cops that are leading up the police investigation, they soon find out that nothing is what it seems. The find out that they have to risk everything, including their relationship, if they are to ultimately solve this case.

I'll not give the details of this movie in case you haven't seen it and want to give it a viewing. However, this movie definetely deserves two thumbs up. The characters were so diverse and exhibited traits from honesty and integrity but behind their public lives are a lot of secrets that will stun the audience in the end. Two hard working cops that are honest and caring, yet dirty and corrupt. Two young detectives who reluctantly took the case but ended up sacrificing much more than would be expected just to keep their peace of mind.

The main character, Patrick Kinzie, provided a great philosophical look on the situation at the end of the movie that summed up very well how many view the evil in the world that is hinding just behind the curtain of homes where we never expect to see it. There is always a story behind a story.

The movie also stars Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and John Ashton. It is directed by Ben Affleck and released in 2007.

Movie of the Week: The Big Sleep (Feb. 4, 2012)

From THE BIG SLEEP has a reputation for being a film that gets lost in its own complexity and which fails to clearly identify all the perpetrators of all the murders that litter its scenes. There is a certain truth to this: like the Raymond Chandler novel on which it is based, the plot is extremely complicated, and it requires the viewer to mentally track an unexpected number of characters--including two characters that never appear on screen, a pivotal character who doesn't actually have any lines, and a character who is frequently mentioned but doesn't appear until near the film's conclusion. There is not, however, as much truth to the accusation that the film never exposes all the killers: only one killer is not specifically identified, but even so his identity is very clearly implied.

All this having been said, THE BIG SLEEP is one helluva movie. In general, the story concerns the wealthy Sternwood family, which consists of an aging father and two "pretty and pretty wild" daughters--one of whom, Carmen, is being victimized by a blackmailer. P.I. Philip Marlowe is hired to get rid of the blackmailer, but an unexpected murder complicates matters... and touches off a series of killings by a number of parties who have covert interests in the Sternwood family. Perhaps the most amazing thing about the film is that you don't actually have to pick apart the complicated story in order to enjoy it. The script is famous for its witty lines and sleek sexual innuendo--much of it lifted directly from Chandler's novel--and the cast is a dream come true.

Philip Marlowe would be played by a great many actors, but none of them ever bested Humphrey Bogart, who splendidly captures the feel of Chandler's original creation; with the role of Vivien Sternwood Lauren Bacall gives what might be the finest performance of her screen career; and the chemistry between the two is everything you've ever heard. The supporting cast is superlative, all the way from Martha Vickers' neurotic turn as Carmen Sternwood to Bob Steele's purring hitman Canino. There's simply not a false note to be found anywhere. Although the film really pre-dates the film noir movement the entire look of THE BIG SLEEP anticipates noir to a remarkable degree--it would be tremendously influential--and director Hawks gives everything a sharp edge from start to finish.

Two versions of THE BIG SLEEP are included on the DVD: the film as it was originally shot and the film as it was released to theatres in 1946. The actual differences between the two are fairly slight, but they prove significant. Although the original version is somewhat easier to follow in terms of story, it lacks the flash that makes the theatrical version such a memorable experience; it is easy to see why Hawks elected to rescript and reshoot several key scenes as well as add new ones, and both newcomers and old fans will have fun comparing the two. The DVD also includes an enjoyable documentary on the differences between the films and the motivations behind them. I don't usually comment on picture quality unless there is a glaring issue, but several reviewers have noted portions of this print have a flicker or seem a bit washed out. I noticed these problems, but I can't say that they in any way distracted from my enjoyment of the film, and they certainly don't prevent me from recommending it--be it on video or this DVD. And I recommend it very, very strongly indeed. 

Movie of the Week: Maximum Overdrive (Januaury 30, 2012)

Maximum Overdrive was written and directed by Stephen King and released for public consumption in 1986. The film starred Emilio Estevez and Laura Harrington. The movie was loosely based on a King short story titled Trucks from his short story collection Night Shift. According to Wikipedia, King admitted that he was “coked” out of his mind and wasn’t sure what he was doing during the making of the movie. However, even though Maximum Overdrive was runner up for the Golden Rasberry Award for Worst Director (losing to Prince for Under the Cherry Moon), I found the movie to be a perfect representation of the kind of 80′s horror/sci-fi movie that made that decade so much fun for the genre.

For those of you that haven’t seen the movie, here is a synopsis from IMDB: For 8 days in 1986, the earth passed through the tail of a mysterious Rea-M rogue comet. During that time, machines on earth suddenly come to life and terrorize their human creators. A small group of people in a truck stop, surrounded by “alive” semi-trailers, set out to stop the machines before the machines stop them.

Was it campy? Yes. Was it fun to watch? Yes. Did it have a kick-ass soundtrack? Hell yes! The power chords of Angus Young and AC/DC was just as much a part of this movie as the big Goblin truck and Emilio Estevez. The movie soundtrack included hits like Hells Bells, Shook Me All Night Long, Sink the Pink, and Who Made Who. Scenes from this movie pop into my head everytime I hear one of those songs on the radio.

One statement from Estevez’s character Bill sums it up nicely: “Jesus is coming and he is pissed!”

Seen "The Devil Inside?"

Synopsis: In 1989, emergency responders received a 9-1-1 call from Maria Rossi confessing that she had brutally killed three people. 20 years later, her daughter Isabella seeks to understand the truth about what happened that night. She travels to the Centrino Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Italy where her mother has been locked away to determine if her mother is mentally ill or demonically possessed. When she recruits two young exorcists to cure her mom using unconventional methods combining both science and religion, they come face-to-face with pure evil in the form of four powerful demons possessing Maria.

This film has currently grossed over $33 million since being released last week.

Was this film entertaining? Well, if you're a fan of Paranormal Activity then you will undoubtedly like this film, although I do suggest you catch the afternoon showing instead of going in the evening. Save a few bucks, this film, after the initial advertisements before the movie begins, is only about an hour and ten minutes long. I was pretty excited to go see this on the day it opened. The previews looked great. But as with most previews, you get the best parts and the movie is sometimes a disappointment. I'll not spoil the film for anyone who wants to go see it, but the, that was a real let down.

This movie had so much potential, but the so-called "graphic" scenes of demonic possesion, well, they have been done before. Remember the twists and turns of the girl in "The Last Exorcism" and the ones seen in "The Exorcism of Emily Rose?" Similar scenes in this movie were just remakes of those, so if you are a die-hard horror movie fan this movie does nothing as far as shock value. Great concept, but it sort of lacked a solid plot and a real underlying theme.

I won't completely hate this movie simply because of the concept and what it could have been. The acting wasn't bad. The star of the film is Fernanda Andrade who played the character Isabella Torelli. Her acting was a cut above the rest and made the movie tolerable. However, she has had some previous roles in popular shows that you may recognize her in such as Sons of Anarchy, The Mentalist and CSI: NY.

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