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166  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Quicksand (1950) on: March 16, 2017, 06:28:05 AM
No, I haven't seen 'The Strip' yet. I've just read up on it after your post and it does look interesting. I always like it when you can see a bit of 1940s/1950s contemporary jazz in films. I notice that 'The Strip' has Louis Armstrong in it so that should be a cool movie to watch.

Sounds like it will be right up your alley in that case. If you do get around to watching it, please let us know what you think of it.
167  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread on: March 16, 2017, 02:46:49 AM
Criterion announces They Live By Night on Blu for June. Details:

I haven't been this excited about a Criterion announcement in a long time, love this movie.

The cover art they're using is stunning IMHO:
168  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Quicksand (1950) on: March 15, 2017, 09:51:47 AM
I like Mickey Rooney in this more than in any other of his films. I would liked to have seen him more in this type of movie.

Have you seen 'The Strip' (1951)? Excellent noir told in flashback by Rooney who is the prime suspect in a murder case.
169  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Payback (1999) on: March 15, 2017, 04:16:01 AM
The Directors Cut is available on Blu-ray as well but not the theatrical version.

They're both available on blu-ray: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Payback-Blu-ray/5594/
170  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Hotel Noir (2012) on: March 15, 2017, 04:11:15 AM
Hotel Noir (2012): Los Angeles, late 50s. Police detective Rufus Sewell ('Dark City') steals a suitcase full of money from a group of robbers who just did a successful heist. He holes up in a hotel room while trying to think of his next move. In the course of the night he comes into contact with a string of people including shower door installer Danny DeVito ('L.A. Confidential'), nightclub singer Carla Gugino ('Sin City') and cleaning lady Rosario Dawson ('Sin City'), and as the movie progresses, all the links between the various characters become clearer and tighter.

Written and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez ('Gothika', 'Judas Kiss') this neo-noir somehow went under the radar and wasn't even theatrically released?! The cast above is well-known as is, but it also includes other well-known faces like Robert Forster ('Mulholland Drive') and Kevin Connolly ('Entourage')... In any case, it's a shame as this is clearly a labor of love. The movie plays out in a non-linear fashion with a lot of flashbacks, voice- over narration (by different persons) and people telling their side of things so gradually more and more information is revealed and how each person fits into the overall story. It's a neo-noir through and through, but it also stands out in many ways. Filmed in gorgeous black & white the movie starts off focusing on DeVito, before turning to Sewell... or is it really Gugino's story? Or someone else's? Because of the way it is told, paying attention is required, as well as sticking with it... Things are fairly slow at first because all the characters need to be introduced somehow, including some which do seem a bit redundant and don't add a lot to the end result. But as the pace of revealing information increases, so does the movie's level. It's not a perfect movie by any means, but a fairly unique neo-noir all the same and well worth watching. 7/10

I have the German blu-ray which looks pretty good, there's also an Australian release... I would love it if some day Gutierrez did a commentary track for this movie.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbpy_gg1ov0
171  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Quicksand (1950) on: March 15, 2017, 03:41:38 AM
Mechanic Mickey Rooney wants to take Jeanne Cagney out on a date, but he's broke and a buddy who owes him $20 won't pony up right away. So he borrows $20 from the garage's cash register and has some fun with Cagney. All is well, until the next day when his buddy's out on sea and the garage's accountant comes in a few days early... Rooney buys a watch on an installment plan and hocks it straight away to put the $20 back. Wrong move, as that is against the law. Either he pays for the watch the next day, or else... And that is only the start of Rooney's nightmare, where each bad choice he makes is followed by a worse one...

Rooney ('The Strip', 'Drive A Crooked Road'), in one of his first more dramatic roles, does a good job here, aside from his schoolboy looks and his occasional voice-over narration which is spoken way too casual and doesn't fit the predicament he's in. Maybe he was still struggling to get out of his Andy Hardy straight-jacket? He gets great support tho from femme fatale Jeanne Cagney ('Don't Bother To Knock') whose only interest is an expensive mink coat she's been eyeing for some time. Peter Lorre ('The Maltese Falcon') plays a smaller, but important, part as the shady owner of a crummy arcade hall, where Cagney once worked. He is a treat to watch as usual.

Competently directed by Irving Pichel ('They Won't Believe Me'), it's the story by Robert Smith ('Sudden Fear') and the great shadow-rich cinematography by Lionel Lindon ('The Manchurian Candidate') that firmly push this movie into noir territories, also helped by the majority of the movie taking place during night-time. The scenes inside Lorre's arcade especially are worth the price of admission. All in all, it's a good B-noir that pushes all the right buttons, except for those really awkward voice-overs... 7+/10
172  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Two James Cagney gangster films on: March 15, 2017, 02:20:15 AM
By the way, who else liked the historical references to changes in the world after WWI in The Roaring Twenties?

I like how the guy doing the voiceover made some brief remarks about the start of Prohibition, the gangster activity during that time, the stock market crash (followed by poverty), etc.

I don't recall picking up on them when I watched the movie, so I guess a rewatch is in order! Thanks Smiley
173  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Two James Cagney gangster films on: March 14, 2017, 04:58:23 AM
Both great movies and I couldn't agree more with this:
I love the supporting role played by Gladys George.
174  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: March 11, 2017, 10:50:12 AM
Received the Man With No Name trilogy blu-ray set earlier this week so gave #1 a spin...

A Fistful Of Dollars (1964): Clint Eastwood is a drifter ending up in a small Mexican town controlled by 2 criminal families, who he starts playing against each other. Enjoyed it, but I really wish a 'crack' shot like Ramon would've gone for the (at that range easy) headshot rather than keep aiming for the heart. 7/10
175  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: March 06, 2017, 03:58:36 PM
Bronson (2008): Tom Hardy plays Britain's most notorious & violent prisoner Michael Peterson (who renamed himself Charles Bronson) in a heavily stylized 'bio'-pic by Nicolas Winding Refn. Hardy is mesmerizing, and scary. Good shit. 8/10
176  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: So Dark the Night (1946) on: February 27, 2017, 06:43:22 AM
Yes, great call on Geray. You got a review of Blind Spot for me? I seem to remember mdf watched it, wasn't it subject to cuts or something?

Unfortunately not, I did write a small review for it on the IMDb board, but that was before I started adding reviews to the movie pages as well. I think I found the full version online on the defunct rarefilmm site.
177  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: So Dark the Night (1946) on: February 23, 2017, 12:42:12 PM
Good movie, that does shift in tone quite a bit as the movie progresses. Also a rare lead role for the always dependable and likable Steven Geray (he also has a bigger role in another underrated noir, 1947's 'Blind Spot'). He does an excellent job, in a role that's more complex than it seems at first.
178  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What Film Noir did you see: February/March Edition. on: February 23, 2017, 10:55:52 AM
Get the Weird Noir DVD, The 7th Commandment and Girl On The Run are worth it alone. Stark Fear is a bonus, the rest are curiosities, if they had had any budget they may have been better than they are.  Afro

I agree with both Joe's... If you can find it for a cheap enough price, go for it.
179  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Gitaa O Motta Wataridori aka The Rambling Guitarist (1959) on: February 21, 2017, 05:06:54 AM
Gitaa O Motta Wataridori aka The Rambling Guitarist (1959): Akira Kobayashi is a drifter, 'carrying his guitar with no destination in mind' as the opening song proclaims. He ends up in Hakodate where his brawling skills get him the attention of local mob boss Ruriko Asaoka, who hires him as an enforcer. Asaoka wants to build an amusement park, but the house of his sister stands in the way, and she refuses to sell. Her no-good husband has a big debt with Asaoka however, and Kobayashi is tasked with geting them to sell the house to even the debt. But when J˘ Shisido, henchman of a competitor, comes into town asking Asaoka for a favor that requires him to use the boat of Asaoka's sister, and recalls seeing Kobayashi somewhere, he has to tread carefully.

This was the first of 9 movies about the 'wandering guitarist', all starring Kobayashi, and it's a good start (I've yet to see any of the others tho). The opening scene, as well as several others, has a distinct western feel to them (including a couple of pistol drawing duels between Kobayashi and Jo 'chipmunk' Shisido) even if it's taking place in late 50s Japan, and Kobayashi looking like a 50s rocker among the otherwise sharp-dressed men. It's always fun to see the charismatic Shisido in a villain-like role and while Kobayashi starts out fairly non-descript, he matches him in every respect as the movie progresses, creating an interesting character. The theme song, which was also sung by Kobayashi, is played throughout the movie and ends up sticking in your mind, I wonder if they used it in subsequent movies.

This isn't a masterpiece in any way, but director Buichi Sat˘ and DoP Kuratar˘ Takamura keep things quite interesting. There are a lot of colorful outdoor scenes with wide angles, which look pretty good, and there's rarely a dull moment (altho the romantic angle between Kobayashi and Asaoka's daughter is rather lifeless). Quite enjoyable, enough so that I will try and find the rest of the series. 7/10

This one's available on the 1st 'Nikkatsu Diamond Guys' set (from UK distributor Arrow). I have no idea if it's available online.
180  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: February 21, 2017, 05:00:52 AM
Someone over on the TCM boards called John Wick (2014) a Neo Noir, sounded more like a kung fu or gun -fu action flick, what's your take?

The first one has a beautiful stylized neo-noir look to it. But it's a standard antihero on a quest for revenge action movie otherwise (nothing wrong with that, neither movie pretends to be something it's not).
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