Author Topic: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017  (Read 1501 times)

pixote

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #110 on: December 19, 2017, 04:13:10 AM »
You gave Suddenly a C, which really makes me wonder how you breakdown levels of quality. The best parts of Suddenly are average at best, but most of the movie is far below that. It's The Room of Film Noir (and if it isn't that's because of Follow Me Quietly.) I like your comment about Sinatra because as bad as this film is, he's really good in it and I couldn't figure out why because he's never this electric. Seeing it as masterful compared to the rest of the cast is right on.

I struggled with that grade and with the tone of the review, which I wanted to open with, "What a turd!" but that felt like overstating things. To me the film is a complete flop only in relation to my expectations for it and the reputation reflected in Maltin's review and elsewhere. But I don't think it's really that bad in isolation. If it had been some random movie I stumbled across, with a completely unknown cast and directed by Herman Hoffman (The Invisible Boy) or someone like that, I like to think I would have given it the same grade, though perhaps with a more apologetic review.

Tight Spot I wanted to love. It's got Robinson and Rogers with Karlson directing, but the usually gritty Karlson goes for sheen. I'm sure the cutaways to the television aren't as bad as I remember but they are way I won't be re-watching this any time soon. Too much dread. Also, I can go through a list of late period Ginger Rogers films, but you NEED to go back to 1951 and watch Storm Warning.

Ooh, another Stuart Heisler film. Added to my list for next year. I didn't really find the cutaways to the telethon bad at all, but maybe that's just because I was enjoying the meta-commentary of it. As a device to mark the passage of time, though, it could have been better, with more inventiveness in what was happening on the tv screen.

That's all I needed right there. Part of the reason for my current Director Marathon is a constant reminder of filmmakers I want to see more from. Under normal circumstances, Basil Dearden would be lost among the trees. I've seen four and I want to see a lot more.

Yeah, Dearden's an interesting one. He's got eleven titles on Filmstruck, of which I've only seen two or three. I should find an excuse to prioritize Sapphire soon.

I've seen every Bogart film following The African Queen except for Battle Circus. The Barefoot Contessa, Deadline U.S.A. and The Harder They Fall are in my Essentials. Maybe he's one of those actors like John Wayne who always played variations on a type, but he also had great instincts for scripts with sharp dialogue and he could deliver it smooth right to the end. Steiger probably does give the better performance here - one of his best - but it's just a damn fine film all around. And you should make time for Deadline U.S.A.

Deadline U.S.A. is an old favorite of mine. It was actually one of the movies I was thinking of when I said While the City Sleeps should have been a Richard Brooks film.

I also hated While the City Sleeps. What do you think is the bigger waste, the cast or the title? (Didn't bother you that most of the film takes place while the city was awake?)

I'd say cast. I still think Nightmare Alley was the most wasted title of my Noirvember — which is less a comment on the quality of that film than just the relationship of its story to that title (which would better suit a hundred other noirs). There were times in While the City Sleeps that I thought it was night, only for it to suddenly be day, etc., and I didn't figure out if that was just me making false assumptions or part of the film's illogical nature.

Seven Thieves - It's Edward, not Edgar, unless you're referring to the wooden performances all around. I agree with you here too, and I was embarrassed to sit through the entire Joan Collins striptease with Mrs. 1SO. Years later, Robinson participated in Grand Slam, which looks very similar but actually has all the fun that's missing here. Two words: Klaus Kinski.

I haven't seen the original Ocean's Eleven either, which seems to be a common reference point. Curious how it compares — but not that curious.

Thanks for the comments.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #111 on: June 17, 2018, 07:43:04 PM »


A Colt Is My Passport  (Takashi Nomura, 1967)

Late-60s Japanese take on American film noir by way of Leone is the exercise in cool you'd expect it to be, though in many ways in reminds me less of something like Pulp Fiction than of the imitators that Pulp Fiction spawned. The black-and-white (largely gray, actually) cinematography is the main highlight, as it balances the film gris mood and angles with those spaghetti western closeups. The Morricone-influenced score is invigorating early on but eventually becomes tiresome, with the main theme insistently punctuating each and every scene. Joe Shishido has a badass reputation but, I didn't really care for him here. I expected more of a screen presence, but instead he reminded me a wedding guess whose plus-1 canceled, and those chipmunk cheeks are distracting as hell. The biggest problem with the film, however, is it's plotting. The logic of the story is super flimsy, calling to mind high school kids trying to make a movie and just picking their favorite scenes from other movies to steal from, and then stringing them together almost arbitrarily. Sometimes the payoff is worth it, sometimes not. The showdown at the end has a supremely silly setup, for example, but the resulting moments are cool enough to forgive its flaws. Same as the film as a whole.

Grade: B-

Up next: The Long Goodbye

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #112 on: June 20, 2018, 12:01:08 AM »


































The Long Goodbye  (Robert Altman, 1973)

"George Raft never had to take his clothes off," mutters a low-level goon with envy. Transferring Marlowe to the 70s is a great conceit. His general passivity is a little frustrating in the face of the labrythine Chandler plot, but Gould is a prince, and I could listen to him cast smartass asides all day. There is perhaps too much Chandler here; the overarching story is never as interesting as the tone, atmosphere, and characterizetions. The final scene remains excellent, though, as does the scene with Sterling Hayden in the ocean (punctuated perfectly by the Doberman). I enjoyed the variations on the title song, including one I missed until I heard Altman point it out in an interview: the doorbell of the Wade house plays the familiar melody. It made me laugh to hear a reference to Governor Reagan right before future governor Schwarzengegger shows up in the very next scene.

I think I had more to say on this one, but I waited far too long to write this up. It was a bit of a disappointing rewatch, though. I had remembered liking it far more.

Grade: B

Up next: Noirvember 2018! I think I'll focus this year on whatever I can find available on Blu-Ray.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

1SO

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #113 on: June 20, 2018, 12:12:36 AM »
Noirvember 2018! I think I'll focus this year on whatever I can find available on Blu-Ray.

pixote
Too Late For Tears


I'd like to focus on neo-noir - Harper, Marlowe, Who'll Stop the Rain, The Hot Spot - but Mrs. 1SO is a purist and likes her noir in B&W.

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #114 on: June 20, 2018, 12:45:31 AM »
Too Late for Tears  (Byron Haskin, 1949)

I hope fans of this film have all taken the time to watch the restored version.

Truth!

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.