Time to hit pause

This movie blog was many things.

A writing exercise in which I was limited by my own self-imposed 100-word limit.

A throwback to my decade-and-half of video store life.

A way to fill up some time as the pandemic put my main writing gig — covering prep sports in a small town on a rock in the middle of the water in the Pacific Northwest — on hold.

But now, with athletics steadily ramping back up, I’m back to pumping out 3-5 stories a day over at Coupeville Sports | First on the story! Last to know when to shut up!! , and don’t have as much time to fritter.

So, after 6.5 months and 989 articles, I’m hitting pause on this venture.

Will it kick back into gear at some point?

As we all know by now in the Age of Coronavirus, no one knows anything. So, maybe.

And yes, I know this is more than 100 words. Whatcha gonna do?

Smokin’ Aces

No brains, but tons of bullets.

Director Joe Carnahan, a noted master of disaster, lets his cast unload all their holsters, and then some, in this wild ‘n woolly Vegas-set shoot-em-up.

The big names are aplenty, but there’s no guarantee of making it out alive, even if you sit atop the marquee.

The plot, or what there is of one, centers on a mad scramble to either kill, or protect a magician who’s about to go stool pigeon on the Mafia.

The coocoo bird has plenty of tales to tell once he starts singing, unless he gets plugged first.

 

Married Life

Alfred Hitchcock would approve.

I think the Master of Suspense would have enjoyed this stylish, ’40s-set tale of marital strife and possible homicide.

Subtle, intriguing work, nailed by a first-rate cast, it keeps us guessing where it’s going, before surprising us more than once along the twisted path it walks.

You get a love triangle with best friends Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan both pursuing a radiant Rachel McAdams, double-crosses galore, and impeccably-handled back-stabbings, all done with a real sense of style.

Deft and delightful, it pays tribute to old-school thrillers while also staking out its own ground.

How refreshing.

Someone Behind the Door

Always check behind the door.

If you’re not careful, you have no idea who might be lurking back there.

Could be an amnesiac Charles Bronson, troubled by shattered memories, yet blessed with a mustache sharp enough to cut you without touching you.

Or maybe Anthony Perkins, looking slightly less troubled than he did as Norman Bates — but just slightly — as a doctor hell-bent on using his skills to shape his new patient into a killing machine.

Stylish and compelling, if not always believable, it’ll take your mind off what bothers you faster than all the Ibuprofen in the medicine cabinet.

The Missing Person

Michael Shannon is money.

Few character actors are as strong as the two-time Oscar nominee; the mere appearance of his name in the credits is enough to interest me.

This private eye flick, which offers a nice twist on the genre, is one of his best, however.

Shannon plays a hard-boozing investigator handed a windfall, only to find said case will require him to look deep into his soul.

The man he’s tracking has created a new life after allowing people to think he was a 9/11 victim, setting up an ethical quandary for our dogged detective.

Complex case, stellar Shannon.