Movie Review Weekly Roundup: June 20 – June 26, 2021

Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) is directed by Robert Wise, starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster.

The following is part of a weekly compilation of movie reviews from The Buzz Track staff. These movies were watched in the previous week, and the reviews were originally posted on Letterboxd.

Dark of the Sun (1968)

DIRECTOR: Jack Cardiff.
WRITERS: Ranald MacDougall & Adrian Spies (screenplay), Wilbur Smith (novel).
MPAA RATING: Approved – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Action, Adventure, Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 40min.
LANGUAGE: English, French.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: June 20, 2021.

The movie has the gritty, exploitation feel of a grindhouse Sixties movie. But it was released by a major studio, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. My first impression of the movie would consider it to be a decent story. I did like the tone and vibe of the movie. Some of the action sequences are fun and exciting. I would definitely consider watching it a second time.

The Green Berets (1968)

DIRECTOR: Ray Kellogg, John Wayne.
WRITERS: James Lee Barrett (script), Robin Moore (novel).
GENRES: Drama, War.
LENGTH: 2h 22min.
LANGUAGE: English, Vietnamese, German, Danish.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: June 20, 2021.

Hey, hey, it’s George Takei! And John Wayne appears in the movie as well. The movie is not a straightforward war movie filled with action scenes. It leans into being a political drama about America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. John Wayne wants to tell a story about the bravery and heroic nature of the American military. But the tone of the movie feels more like a group of talking heads.

Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)

DIRECTOR: Robert Wise.
WRITERS: John Gay (script), Edward L. Beach (book).
GENRES: Action, Drama, War.
LENGTH: 1h 33min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Vudu.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: June 20, 2021.

It is such a wonderful movie. The story is entertaining, and the production design is amazing! Director Robert Wise sure knows how to put on a good show. This movie is one of my favorites from his filmography. I have to watch it every once in a while. It never gets old.

Locked In (2021)

DIRECTOR: Carlos V. Gutierrez.
WRITERS: Carlos V. Gutierrez.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Crime, Drama, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 30min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: June 26, 2021.

It is not a good movie. But it is not completely bad either. I have seen much worse. This one feels like an easy-going matinee flick to watch on a weekend afternoon. Probably worthy of high rotation on basic cable television or any given streaming service. Given that the location is confined to a self-storage facility, I would imagine the production budget was cheap and cost-efficient. I like Mena Suvari. Then there is Jeff Fahey. He seems to appear at random in all sorts of movies and television shows. It is okay. I appreciate a working character actor.

Lansky (2021)

DIRECTOR: Eytan Rockaway.
WRITERS: Eytan Rockaway, Robert Rockaway.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Biography, Crime, Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 59min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: June 26, 2021.

The execution of this biopic does not impress me much. It comes across a bit trite in a “paint by numbers” sort of way. The narrative is held up with the traditional form of an old guy telling his story to a writer who would like to publish his story. The story form has been told a hundred times before. And this movie tells it in a mediocre fashion. Now I want to go re-watch Black Mass (2015), which I believe is a better mobster movie.

Endangered Species (2021)

DIRECTOR: M.J. Bassett.
WRITERS: M.J. Bassett and Isabel Bassett (script), Paul Chronnell (story).
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Action, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 41min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: June 26, 2021.

An American family goes on a safari vacation in Kenya. They should have stayed home and visited the local zoo instead. I know for a fact the San Diego Zoo is a great place to visit. The CGI animals in this movie are rather cheesy. But it is not as cheesy as watching an American family stranded out in the middle of an African wilderness and desperate to acquire a cell signal for their mobile devices.

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