Author Topic: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011  (Read 35794 times)

MartinTeller

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #250 on: November 26, 2011, 04:24:37 PM »
Women's Prison - Your standard babes behind bars flick with the usual assortment of scenarios.  This one is slightly different in that the men and women share a prison, separated only by a wall.  This leads to an unusual scenario where a fella sneaks in to the other side and impregnates his wife, which eventually provides the film with its inmates-take-over-the-prison climax.  Most notable is the star-studded cast.  Ida Lupino is the sadistic warden, hamming it up delightfully.  Howard Duff is the sympathetic doctor.  Among the more memorable inmates are Cleo Moore, Audrey Totter, Phyllis Thaxter, Juanita Moore (introduced in the painfully undignified position of scrubbing floors while singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"), Jan Sterling and Vivian Marshall.  The movie is kind of fun and moves swiftly, but is too formulaic and lacking in nuance.  Caged is a far better option.  Rating: Fair
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MartinTeller

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #251 on: November 26, 2011, 04:26:14 PM »
Hard to know what a positive image of beatniks would look like.

That's true.  I'm not sure I'd recognize it if I saw it.  An Education?
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MartinTeller

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #252 on: November 26, 2011, 06:43:21 PM »
Over-Exposed - A young woman learns the craft of photography, and uses her skills (and her wits) to fulfill her glamorous ambitions.  This is part of a set called "Bad Girls of Film Noir" but that's a double misnomer.  Lila isn't truly bad, just mildly manipulative and although the film is superficially a feminine version of Shakedown it lacks any real edge.  I like my noir to be noir through and through, not just in the last 7 minutes.  Cleo Moore is the only noteworthy performer in the cast (though Raymond Greenleaf is enjoyable as her mentor) and she's pretty good.  It's interesting that one of the things that drives her character is a chip on her shoulder about being ogled, yet the film doesn't hesitate to objectify her, rarely passing up an opportunity to show off her shapely assets.  Not bad as a time-killer and the script has some tasty lines, but overall it's forgettable.  Rating: Fair
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PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #253 on: November 26, 2011, 08:45:21 PM »


The File on Thelma Jordon (1950) - 8/10 Unsurprisingly Stanwyck is the highlight here. Her role here is tailor made for her and she nails it, making the audience feel exactly the same way about Thelma Jordon as the small town lawyer she seduces. Other than that performance it's a solid, but unspectacular, noir. Shady dealing, dramatic scenes, characters dealing with inner conflicts and an ending helped along by the production code.

sdedalus

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #254 on: November 26, 2011, 08:49:07 PM »
Hard to know what a positive image of beatniks would look like.

That's true.  I'm not sure I'd recognize it if I saw it.  An Education?

I don't think they're beatniks, and it definitely isn't a positive depiction.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #255 on: November 26, 2011, 10:52:42 PM »
I couldn't remember it that well.  I thought there might have been a scene where they were hanging out with beatniks or something.

Maybe the beatniks was an American phenomenon anyway.  I honestly don't know much about them (except the silly portrayals in TV/movies).
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oldkid

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #256 on: November 26, 2011, 11:35:30 PM »
In a Lonely Place
This is now my favorite Bogie film.  Not just because of his performance, although I think he hits that perfect balance between humor and threat that I love so well.   I love this film, first, because the script is so smart.  There are a number of unexpected turns, and the dialogue just crackles.  The pacing and development of the central relationship was just perfect.  And the fact that the film can put us in the place of Laurel Gray-- not knowing whether to believe Bogie, even though we saw the truth with our own eyes.

Simply brilliant.  I don't know why it took me so long to watch this one. 5/5

The Killing
That Kubrick fellow, he's got a future!

The film is mostly a heist procedural.  We see the preciseness of the timing, the careful planning and the precise execution.  Of course, not everything can go as planned.

I loved how each character is completely realized, even small roles like the parking lot attendant.  In many heist films, it is easy to mistake one character from another, or to distinguish them simply by their role, in an Ocean's Eleven manner.  Here, each character acts in a completely different manner, and all have their weaknesses and motivations and hopes. 

Kubrick is the master of tension.  He makes you wait and wait for the other shoe to drop.  And drop it does.  I am shocked when it finally begins to go wrong and I experienced a deep sense of pleasure at the final scenes at the airport.  This is a great movie to show how a great director can make the difference between a mediocre film and a very good one.  4.5/5
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Jared

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #257 on: November 27, 2011, 01:18:00 AM »
Possessed

A civil engineer who is a real lady killer (only in Hollywood...) breaks it off with a nurse played by Joan Crawford, and it becomes quickly apparent that she is completely obsessed with him. Its pretty obvious that she isnt all that mentally stable to begin with, so we know we are in for a bumpy ride 10 minutes in.
Crawford does pretty darn well with a big and showy "crazy person" role. I thought the performance would be a bit sillier than it was.
The movie is bookended by scenes taking place ahead of the main story thread, and it also jumps here a couple times throughout. Its not really needed in the movie at all and they probably couldve made it quite a bit tighter.
3/5

Beavermoose

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #258 on: November 27, 2011, 10:02:39 AM »

Kiss Me Deadly
Kiss Me Deadly is one hell of a movie. Not only is Mike Hammer probably the most bad-ass private eye in the history of film noir, the film as a whole is just a crazy ride. Very dark at times and funny at others, this is noir at its best, gritty, violent, not entirely sensical. It felt very current as well, I could definitely see a remake of this being made today and actually working.


Red Rock West
Nic Cage impersonates a hitman, played by Denis Hopper and gets in a whole lot of trouble. How one movie can contain that much crazy I don't know, but the film is pretty great. Nic Cage is in full "cool as ice" Con Air mode, and Hopper is pretty much the crazy one. I really like the Southern setting for a noir type story. The way the plot is structured is impressive. They way Cage keeps getting dragged back to Red Rock in various ways and how all the threads end up being connected is very clever. I enjoyed quite a bit, not the most stylish of movies but very fun. Better than Blood Simple, another southern noir tale.


Sexy Beast

This movie is awesome. Its so stylish and dark and clever. Kingsley is amazingly psychotic, Winstone is super cool and Ian McShane is frighteningly menacing. The three way "explaining the plan" sequence is brilliant. The film looks amazing all around and also is amazingly written if you consider the fact that half the movie is just one guy trying to convince some other guy to do a job with him.
How Don Logan is not on the best performances list is insane to me. He is perfect pure evil incarnate. Love this movie.
 

PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #259 on: November 27, 2011, 04:02:12 PM »



Fear in the Night (1947) - 8/10 Low budget noirs live in their own little world, and this one doubly so, what with all the surreal imagery and somewhat stilted acting. It all adds to the charm, though, and the craziness unravels in a surprisingly structured way. The visuals are quite incredible and it makes me wonder if a higher budget would have made the better or robbed them of their charm. Another one to throw into the "I wonder what a clean print would look like" pile.

Edit: The low budget dreamlike quality reminded me of The Chase and now I see both were based on Cornell Woolrich novels, as was The Phantom Lady. And No Man of Her Own. I wonder if I should check out some of these novels.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 04:26:25 PM by PeacefulAnarchy »