5/31/2011

The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three (1974) ****1/2

Beyond cool.
About as New York as it gets.
The cast rules.
This film flat out rocks.
The theme song is fucking badass (the whole score is great) - see below.

Sadly, not one other thing that Joseph Sargent has directed interests me in the slightest, except maybe Jaws: The Revenge... a little.

I have zero interest in watching the remake.

Legend (1985) ****

The colors, production design, cinematography, phenomenal makeup by Rob Bottin (the man) and overall magicalness are what earn this film four stars, more so than the acting, plot or dialogue (even though I quote a lot of it).

Recommended if you enjoy crouching Tom Cruise, heavily prosthetisized Tim Curry and/or gothed-out Mia Sara.

I'll never get over this crush:

5/29/2011

Blue Sunshine (1978) **

I had been meaning to watch this for a while.
I was always drawn to the poster art, well...DVD art.
Pretty let down.
Poor acting, no gore, random plot points, messy.

Not recommended.

5/28/2011

Arsenic And Old Lace (1944) ***1/2

Finally got around to watching this.
One of the few classic Cary Grant films that I hadn't seen yet.
Fun, loopy performance from Grant and great direction from Capra.
I always love seeing Peter Lorre as well.
Amazingly, the only other film I've seen that he directed is It's A Wonderful Life.
It's interesting how films based on plays, like this one, often feel life plays (staging, choice of shots, etc).

5/25/2011

Bronson (2008) ****

Recommended if you enjoy naked bloody caged men, naked fighting buttered men and/or naked hostage-taking black-painted men.

5/24/2011

Black Swan (2010) ***1/2

2nd viewing.
Liked it a little more.

Recommended if you enjoy scaly shoulder wounds, frequent hand to crotch contact and/or Natalie Portman fantasizing about eating herself out.

5/19/2011

The Red Shoes (1948) ***1/2 [CC Night #7]

Recommended if you enjoy uppity bickering college students, uppity bickering director/composer teams and/or probably the most beautifully filmed hallucinatory dance sequence ever put to celluloid.

Moira Shearer: gorgeous in motion.

5/18/2011

Carlito's Way (1993) ****

Underrated "gangster" film.
As far as De Palma goes, I'll take this over Scarface any day.
Pacino's Carlito has so much more charisma, spirit and love than Tony Montana.
He's also trying to get out of his "business", not rise to power.
The tragedy is that he could not escape his lifestyle, no matter how legitimately he tried.

5/13/2011

Some Like It Hot (1959) *****

Films don't get much better than this.
One of my Top 10 Comedies (amongst Young Frankenstein, Pee-wee and Ghostbusters).

I don't want to always get "the fuzzy end of the lollipop".

Manhattan Baby (1982) **

Kinda feels like Fulci was trying to recreate The Beyond...with little success.
There is one really neat scene with "blood" expanding on a wall.

5/10/2011

Sweet Smell Of Success (1957) ****1/2

Wow.
Every once in a while you see a film that just blows you away.
(Be sure and click all the links below, folks)

Damn, this film moves. At near breakneck pace.
The dialogue crackles.
The performances are impressive.
The score bursts and simmers.
The images are gorgeous.
The direction is spot on.

*The character names are also great.

5/09/2011

Le Cercle Rouge (1970) ****1/2 [French Gangster Double Feature Pt. 2]

Interesting parallels w/ Pt. 1 of my French Gangster Double Feature, including one scene that was almost identical.
I can only deduce that Le Cercle Rouge and Melville in general must have been influences.
2nd time viewing this one. Just as great as I remembered.

5/08/2011

Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (2008) ***1/2 [French Gangster Double Feature Pt. 1]

I enjoyed this film more than the first.
It seemed to delve a little deeper inside the emotions of the characters and relied a bit less on action and style.
I also found the score to be even better than the first film, which isn't surprising as it was composed by Marco Beltrami.

5/07/2011

Shock Corridor (1963) ***1/2 [CC Night #6] [Samuel Fuller Double Feature Pt. 2[

Recommended if you enjoy angry voice-overs with copious amounts of reverb, violent nymphos and/or lots and lots of screaming.

*Bonus image - sweet Lord, Constance Towers is hot in this film.

The Naked Kiss (1964) ***1/2 [CC Night #6] [Samuel Fuller Double Feature Pt. 1]

Recommended if you enjoy pocketbook beatings preceding madam mouths being stuffed with dirty money, cops named Griff who change their tune at the drop of a hat and/or hookers with hearts of gold that encourage crippled children to sing creepy songs.

*Bonus recommendation - if you like women named "Hatrack".

5/05/2011

Murder À La Mod (1968) **1/2

Parts of this were great, parts were laborious; it would have benefited from being an hour long at most, if not shorter.
I see a little Rashomon or The Killing influence, but not executed as interestingly.
At times this just feels like typical 60s "experimental" filmmaking.
Not bad for De Palma's first feature length though.

I will say this - it looks pristine (this film is included as an extra on the Criterion BD of Blow Out).

5/03/2011

Blow Out (1981) ****

Great, great film.
Probably my favorite De Palma film that I've seen so far.
Awesome Blu-ray from Criterion, which I got for a great price during an Amazon sale!