Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 17, 2017, 06:33:46 PM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Other/Miscellaneous
| |-+  Off-Topic Discussion (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  This World, Then The Fireworks (1997) - White Trash Noir
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: This World, Then The Fireworks (1997) - White Trash Noir  (Read 1302 times)
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12785


easy come easy go


View Profile
« on: December 24, 2015, 03:36:32 PM »



Directed By Michael Oblowitz with excellent cinematography by Tom Priestley Jr., written by Larry Gross; adapted from a story by Jim Thompson, edited by Emma E. Hickox; a complimentary soundtrack by Pete Rugolo. The film stars Billy Zane (Twin Peaks TV, Dead Calm (1989)), Sheryl Lee (Twin Peaks TV, Wild At Heart (1990) Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) Mother Night (1996)), Gina Gershon (Bound (1997) Palmetto (1998)) looking like a dead ringer for Ava Gardner, Seymour Cassel ( The Killers (1964) Dick Tracy (1990)), Will Patton ( After Hours (1985) Romeo Is Bleeding (1993), William Hootkins, and Rue McClanahan (Angel's Flight (1965)).

A circa 1950s period piece This World, Then The Fireworks (the title, a Southern colloquial expression translating to basically "here and now then Hell") absolutely wallows in stylistic Noir atmospherics without the hinderance of the old Hollywood Hayes code censorship. It's a wide open anything goes story of a quite possibly genetically deficient, inbred, murderous screwed up family.

In a flashback sequence Marty Lakewood (Zane) narrates the traumatic event of their life.  On the occasion of his and his twin sister Carol's (Gershon) 4th birthday party they, along with their Mother (McClanahan) follow their neighbor into his house where he finds their father Mr. Lakewood naked in bed with his wife. During the heated confrontation Marty's father pulls a shotgun from beneath the bed and blasts the man in the face before his neighbor can pull the trigger of the gun he's brandishing. Marty's mother standing in shock is also hit by some stray buckshot and brains. Marty tells us how funny things looked especially his nakedfather and the naked neighbor lady and how the man had only half a head. Marty concludes telling us that his father was executed for murder and the neighbors wife committed suicide. All this left Marty, Carol, and Mom, what you may call seriously not quite right in the head.




The defining moment in the lives of the Lakewoods

Back in the present we learn that Marty has become a successful investigative reporter for a Chicago newspaper. He leads a somewhat normal life with a wife and two children, but he gets his info on police corruption underhandedly and illegally, from pushing morphine to informants. The corrupt police get wise, they gun down Marty's informant and almost trap Marty in a Chicago Blues Bar. Marty decides to skedaddle out of town and head to California where his mother and sister have moved.

Chicago Noir-ish







Death of an informant





Marty gets away

In a seaside town in California, Marty finds his mother an increasingly hopeless bible thumper and his recently divorced sister now a successful prostitute. In another flashback Marty relates the story of when a bunch of his cousins tried to gang rape Carol dragging her out behind the barn and holding her down on the ground. Marty came to her rescue with a two by four. Marty and Carol become close, real close, incestuously close. Marty's arrival and his renewed relationship with Carol under her own roof sends his mother very close to the edge. 



Marty Lakewood (Zane channeling George Hamilton)



Mama Lakewood



Carol Lakewood (Gina Gershon channelling Ava Gardner)






 
Carol and Marty





Carol & Trick

Marty gets a job at a local paper, his big city journalist career expertise soon increases circulation, but Marty is at heart a flake, he quits his job in quite spectacular fashion and soon becomes involved with a sexually frustrated police woman Lois Archer (Lee) who is a masochist. Marty happily dominates her and hatches a scheme to get her to sell the seaside house she owns with her brother (who is in the military and stationed in Hawaii) and abscond with the cash. Lois becomes sexually insatiable.



Lois Archer (Sheryl Lee) the cold fish gets moist for Marty











Before Marty can put his scheme to sell Lois Archer's house into action. Marty gets side tracked when he spots a detective tailing Carol. Following the detective back to his office Marty pretends to be interested in hiring him for a job. Once the detective is at ease Marty brutally kills him.



Detective office with  Jake Krutz (William Hootkins)

If you think things are not depraved enough, before the film comes to its conclusion we witness a matricide, sister Carol literally screwing a man to death, Carol & Marty disposing the body, another murder and a botched abortion, This is one of those car wreck type of films where you stay hypnotized, rubbernecking in a trance to the very end.



The film's main flaw is that Billy Zane comes off as a bit too modern for the 50's, and not hard boiled enough for either the genre or the time period. Still the film is entertaining enough to keep you interested and it could be visual treat with a decent restoration, the sub standard screencaps are from an Orion VHS release (currently the only option) the colors are oversaturated on the tape. I used Corel Paintshop to desaturate them. This should definitely have a restored DVD release, there is supposed to be a superior French release. 7/10

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12785


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 02:36:58 PM »

Just watched the French DVD of this Liens secrets and Billy Zane comes off actually better in the French dub also the transfer in quite a bit better I'm upping this version to an 8/10.

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 01:29:54 AM »

When you don't have ideas you put in the sex. This movie has no plot, it proceeds by vignettes without making a whole, or at least an interesting whole. And you have to put up with the pouty lips of Zane mumbling his lines to himself when I could have done with more nudity by Gershon.  A pity because the beginning was interesting, until  when he has to leave Chicago. But already the fat woman being his wife: does it look credible? He leaving the newspaper after having a quarrel with the editor, why? What does he intend to do?  And his killing of the PI: does it make sense? Her sister getting rid of the 2 night club owners (or about) and  beating their heavy in the easiest way. The scheme of the selling of the house is something created just to proceed with the movie, not knowing what to do, or just patching it up to the end, when you don't understand why Gina went to Mexico the very day of her mum's funeral. Do we want to add to the lot the way the life insurance agent dies? All of these narrative points are just starting points for something that never happens, to pass to another narrative thread undeveloped as well. And when some of them are put into use at the end (very awkwardly) they are just easily disposed of. And I presume the shop window with SM stuff makes CJ feel at home, in the very '40's. I give it a 6/10 only for the beginning and some nude and the Rugolo OST but this is a waste of time: to be watched with the ff button.  

« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 02:11:32 AM by titoli » Logged

cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12785


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 10:46:24 AM »

Its entertaining enough for me, I guess I have lower standards  Wink

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2016, 02:31:57 PM »

Its entertaining enough for me, I guess I have lower standards  Wink

On the contrary: you have higher standards. But they happen to be the wrong ones. Cool

Logged

cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12785


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2016, 07:20:46 AM »

On the contrary: you have higher standards. But they happen to be the wrong ones. Cool

sez you  ;-)

Actually I really liked the cinematography on the French DVD, what was merely impressionistic seeming on the VHS stands out pretty clear on the transfer. It's a sleazy enough story to warrant the sex sequences albeit I'll agree they could have been trimmed in length without harming the story at all. The 50's atmospherics are great.

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 08:57:38 AM »

sez you  ;-)

Actually I really liked the cinematography on the French DVD, what was merely impressionistic seeming on the VHS stands out pretty clear on the transfer. It's a sleazy enough story to warrant the sex sequences albeit I'll agree they could have been trimmed in length without harming the story at all. The 50's atmospherics are great.

I thought it was the '40's. But I can't tell the cars. Shocked I saw the french dvd and the photography is good, like in most of hollywooden crap. But that is not enough for me, though it certainly is for you.

Logged

cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12785


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2016, 02:24:03 PM »

I thought it was the '40's. But I can't tell the cars. Shocked I saw the french dvd and the photography is good, like in most of hollywooden crap. But that is not enough for me, though it certainly is for you.

It may be late 40s (post war) early 50s

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2016, 06:19:05 AM »

It may be late 40s (post war) early 50s

I thought it was the late 40's (pre war). Embarrassed

Logged

Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.035 seconds with 20 queries.