***Official 1st Annual HTF January Winter Crime Challenge***

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Tim Tucker, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    The Depression of Detective Downs (2005)

    Viewed 1/19/2008 (first viewing)

    Animated short follows a police detective as he battles depression while trying to track down a kidnapped little girl.

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    Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (2006)

    Viewed 1/20/2008 (first viewing)

    Another oddball outing from Takashi Miike. Two convicted murderers, both gay, gravitate to one another in prison and ponder the meaning of life. When one is murdered, the other confesses; but did he really do it? Expressionistic and metaphysical film may be difficult, but is ultimately rewarding. May just be the oddest film in this challenge!

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    The State Witness (2007)

    Viewed 1/20/2008 (first viewing)

    Two journalists interview an apparently repentant mobster in this slick and engrossing Polish thriller.

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  2. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I loved "I Wake Up Screaming". Really blew me away the first time I saw it, I think it's one of the best in the series.

    I got a few more in this weekend, including some genuine Noir titles [​IMG] :

    01/19 - ANATOMY OF A MURDER 3/5
    Court room thriller with James Stewart and a cast of thousands it seemed. Good enough and considered a classic. I found it a little long in the tooth.

    01/20 - BUCKTOWN 3/5

    Duke comes to straighten out the estate of his murdered brother and encounters crooked cops and backstabbing brothas in this Blaxploitation entry. It all gets a bit goofy frankly, but Fred Williamson does a decent enough job.

    01/20 - NIGHT AND THE CITY 3.5/5
    Great Noir with Richard Widmark trying to hustle his way into controlling the London wrestling racket. Lots of style, my only complaint is Gene Tearny didn't get much to do.

    01/20 - THE HITCH-HIKER 4/5
    Incredibly tight noir thriller about 2 guys on a fishing trip who pick up the wrong hitcher. Lots of tension and Edmond O'Brian is full of menace in this one. Ida Lupino had a hell of an eye for composition, I only knew her as an actress.

    01/20 - EASTERN PROMISES 4/5
    Another knock out from Cronenberg. This one revolves around a nurse who gets involved with with the Russian mafia in London. As pulpy as that sounds, and as exploitative some of the sequences could of been, this one plays classy. It's also nice to see such a quiet picture for once, without that infernal never ending score competing over the dialog for your attention.

    Tally is here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/3296151-post11.html
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Out Of The Past is a favorite noir of mine. It has all the great film noir elements (a tough guy in a trench coat, a femme fatale, a gangster, the nice girl, duplicity, fast dialogue that no one would ever say but it still works, a bleak ending, etc.). I saw this when I was 12 or 13 on AMC- when they still ran good movies- and it really created my interest in film noir.

    My list
    (new titles in bold)

    01. Zodiac (Director's Cut)
    02. Laura
    03. Kiss Of Death (1947)
    04. Fallen Angel
    05. Reservoir Dogs
    06. Shock (1946)
    07. I Wake Up Screaming
    08. Out Of The Past
     
  4. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

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    Johnny Eager (1942) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Well-acted Robert Taylor vehicle in which Johnny Eager (Taylor) pretends to be a cab driver in the presence of his parole officer but is really back running the rackets. Lana Turner plays Liz Bard a young woman who is in love with Taylor. She happens to be the daughter of the judge who is trying to put him away. John sets up Liz by pretending that she shot and killed someone to save him so that he will be in the clear as far as his dog racing racket goes.

    Not being a fan of Taylor in the past, this is quite a good role for him. Both Taylor and Lana Turner seem to be well matched and have good chemistry together. Van Heflin was quite good as his buddy with a conscience. The rest of the cast was also good. This was quite an interesting story. Well worth a repeat viewing.
     
  5. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    * 9. No Way Out - Although I would not consider this film to be a film noir in the truest sense of the word, it certainly contained several key elements including some excellent b&w photography and some great shots in the shadows. The plot centers around a couple of bigots who get picked up for armed robbery after being shot. When they arrive at the hospital, a black doctor (Sidney Poitier) is assigned to them. When one of the robbers dies, the other (Richard Widmark) is deadset that the black doctor killed him intentionally and swears his revenge. The rest of the movie center around this racial tension and is very entertaining. The N word is used quite a bit which is is a bit dis-arming, but very relevant. Overall, an excellent thriller that I would recommend to anyone. ****

    *10. The Roaring Twenties - My only disappointment with this film was that I waited so long to watch it. The film opens with a couple of soldiers at war during WWI (The war to save democracy as the film explains - That sounds familiar). The two soldiers are Cagney and Bogart. The war soon comes to an end and the story switches to Cagney's viewpoint as he returns home to world that has moved on without him. He soon gives up trying to find a job and due to the onset of prohibition, quickly finds an opening selling bootlegged liquor. Over a period of a few years, he quickly becomes the head of a syndicate when he encounters Bogart's charcter again. For awhile, the two get along and dominate the scene, but soon thereafter things go wrong. I won't spoil the ending for those who have not seen this film, but it was deifnitely one of the best gangster pics from that era that I've seen to date. ****
     
  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    RESERVOIR DOGS C-

    Yet another Tarantino flick that left me wondering why I waste my time. Definitely don't understand all the love for this one.
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Double Indemnity is, in my opinion, the best film noir and one of the best movies ever made. I can't see it enough times.

    My list
    (new titles in bold)

    01. Zodiac (Director's Cut)
    02. Laura
    03. Kiss Of Death (1947)
    04. Fallen Angel
    05. Reservoir Dogs
    06. Shock (1946)
    07. I Wake Up Screaming
    08. Out Of The Past
    09. Double Indemnity
     
  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I watched Where The Sidewalk Ends for the first time. A cop interrogates/beats a crook to death and covers it up. The only problem is that an innocent man gets the blame for the murder and the cop has to get the innocent man out of it. Pretty decent movie.

    My list
    (new titles in bold)

    01. Zodiac (Director's Cut)
    02. Laura
    03. Kiss Of Death (1947)
    04. Fallen Angel
    05. Reservoir Dogs
    06. Shock (1946)
    07. I Wake Up Screaming
    08. Out Of The Past
    09. Double Indemnity
    10. Where The Sidewalk Ends
     
  9. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

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    Shadow of a Doubt (1943) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Entertaining Hitchcock suspense thriller about a young girl who thinks that her Uncle Charlie is a murderer.

    Joseph Cotton plays the part of the Uncle perfectly, a man who one minute seems like a congenial and beloved member of the family but is really a murderous monster. Theresa Wright was also excellent as the niece who had her eyes opened. There were a couple of abrupt scene changes one in particular that didn't make sense but no matter, this is a superb movie.

    Saboteur (1942) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Another excellent Hitchcock movie about a factory worker who is falsely accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend. He spends the rest of the movie on the run trying to discover and bring to justice the real culprit. Along the way he meets model Patricia Martin who believes him guilty at first, but then falls in love with him.

    The acting was good all around. The movie seemed alittle slow but did reach a satisfying conclusion.
     
  10. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Double Indemnity B+

    Another noir that has been praised to the hilt. But this one was pretty good! Though I was getting a little annoyed by Neff ending nearly every sentence spoken to Phyllis with "..., baby." This also confirmed that Edward G. Robinson is probably my favorite classic actor. Everyone raves about Bogart, Grant, etc. But I think Robinson trumps them all, see? [​IMG]
     
  11. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

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    Marked Woman (1937) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Well acted gangster film about women being victimized by mobster Johnny Vanning. Mary Dwight (Bette Davis) works in an club as a hostess run by Johnny Vanning. A client she was entertaining is murdered for welching on a debt. Mary agrees to testify at Vanning trial saying exactly what he wants her to say. After Mary's sister is killed, she goes to the prosecutor ( Humphrey Bogart) and agrees to testify for real this time.

    Well paced and well directed by Lloyd Bacon, the movie was inspired by the real life case of Lucky Luciano who had been convicted the previous year. The acting from the cast was superb. It was quite obvious that the women working for Vanning were prostitutes but this fact was sugar-coated no doubt due to the times. This is Bette Davis's movie and she gives a fabulous performance. You've got to give Bette credit. No half measures for her. Bogart was also fine as the prosecutor, a different type of role for him. The rest of the cast were great especially the young girl who played Davis's sister. Another superb movie from the Davis Box collection, a worth-while purchase.
     
  12. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    RUSH HOUR 3 B

    Lee and Carter back for the third go as odd-couple cops. This time, trying to strike the final blow of the Chinese triads who seem to control crime worldwide, the duo ends up in Paris based on the lead of a French-speaking Chinese man. The formula itself may be bit tired, and the plot rather thin and predictable, but this is probably the best of the RH films, with much more comedy and amped action.

    SHOOT 'EM UP B-

    Clive Owen as Mr. Smith, an innocent (?) bystander who becomes involved in a life-and-death situation involving baby farming, bone marrow harvesting, politics, lots of gangsters, and a gun manufacturer. Paul Giamatti is Mr. Hertz who, for reasons that eventually become clear, is determined to hunt down and exterminate newborn baby Oliver who was rescued and is being sheltered by Mr. Smith.

    OOT action from start to finish, with a wink-and-nod to the mindless action films that seem to fill the multplexes. After all, as Mr. Hertz (Giamatti) notes, "...violence is the most fun thing to watch." From the title itself to the quippy jokes, to an insane mid-air skydiving gun battle, the film's tongue is firmly in cheek. Also stars Monica Belucci.
     
  13. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Oh, right. [​IMG]
     
  14. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

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    Laura (1944) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Superb film noir directed by Otto Preminger and starring a young Gene Tierney. A police detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) investigates the murder of socialite Linda Hunt (Tierney) and develops a growing fascination with the murder victim.

    This movie has an eclectic cast of characters from Vincent Price, Clifton Webb to Dame Judith Anderson and the lovely Gene Tierney. I've been fascinated with Gene ever since I saw her in Ghost and Mrs. Muir. There seemed to be a fragile aspect to the actress and she fits well in this role. I saw this movie years ago as a child and the only thing that stuck in my mind was the portrait. For some reason I thought the character was evil. I had this movie mixed up with Rebecca. It was with pleasure that the movie turned out to be quite different then what I remembered. Other than the police detective and perhaps the Clifton Webb character Waldo Lydecker, the other supporting characters in the movie are fairly one dimensional. Still an extremely entertaining movie.
     
  15. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I watched The Street With No Name for the first time. An FBI agent goes undercover and infiltrates a gang. The only snag is that the leader in the gang has a mole in the police department.

    My list
    (new titles in bold)

    01. Zodiac (Director's Cut)
    02. Laura
    03. Kiss Of Death (1947)
    04. Fallen Angel
    05. Reservoir Dogs
    06. Shock (1946)
    07. I Wake Up Screaming
    08. Out Of The Past
    09. Double Indemnity
    10. Where The Sidewalk Ends
    11. The Street With No Name
     
  16. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

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    People Against O'Hara (1951) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Interesting film-noir stars Spencer Tracy as a retired criminal lawyer who defends John O'Hara (James Arness) against a murder charge. Spencer Tracy was great as the lawyer with a drinking problem who botches his clients case. Other good performances were Pat O'Brien who plays Tracy's friend and John Hodiak the Prosecuting Attorney. Not the best courtroom drama around. Check out Adam's Rib and especially the wonderful Inherit the Wind for better Tracy courtroom dramas. Still not a bad watch.
     
  17. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    WAR C+

    Jet Li as the aptly named Rogue, trying to incite a war between Chinese Triad and Yakuza gangs in San Francisco. Jason Statham as FBI Agent Crawford out to track him down after Rogue survived being shot by Crawford's partner, Tom Lone, then returned to take revenge on Lone and his family. Interesting twist at the end, but not enough to make this anything more than another bland martial arts action pic about Chinese crime families.
     
  18. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    An Obsession (1997)

    Viewed 1/26/2008 (first viewing)

    Moody tale of a cop who is in succession, shot in the line of duty, has his gun stolen, and is threatened with divorce. Can he get his life back together while trying to track down the psychotic thief who took his pistol? Sort of a redo of Stray Dog by way of Godard, slow and brooding, with some surreal flourishes (what was with the jeepload of soldiers in Hazmat suits?).

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    Stray Dog (1949)

    Viewed 1/26/2008

    Revisited Akira Kurosawa's early classic. Rookie cop Toshiro Mifune has his gun stolen, setting him on a journey through both the Tokyo underworld and the consciousness of post-war Japan. Great film.

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  19. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    SHOOTER A-

    Mark Wahlberg as former special ops sniper recruited to try and help prevent the assassination of the president, but ends up being framed for the crime and must clear his name by revealing the true cover-up involving the real assassin, a foreign ambassador, and humanitarian crimes in Africa.
     
  20. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I've been crap in keeping up with this, but I HAVE been following! Lots of great titles being watched! Travis is making me want to pull out all the Fox Noirs from the boxes and rewatch them. [​IMG]

    Here's what I've been watching :

    01/25 - PICK-UP ON SOUTH STREET 4/5
    Damn fine Sam Fuller picture with Widmark as a pick pocket who grabs more then he thinks. Red terror and tight suspense in this one. Great stuff.

    01/25 - THE NAKED KISS 4.5/5
    Wow! Fuller is hardcore on this one. The story of a prostitute who flees the big city to a small town and tries to get her life in order. Packs a hell of of a punch, and is the type of film that makes you wonder how the hell he got it made.

    01/26 - THE HONEYMOON KILLERS 3/5
    A well done cheapy based on a true story. Not a bad film, I just never got into it.

    01/26 - DISTURBIA 2/5
    "Rear Window" gets remade for the teeners set. Not a terrible movie, it just gets way over the top in an unnecessary way. I'm not a huge fan of LeBouf either, so that didn't help.

    01/27 - CRISS CROSS 3.5/5
    Burt Lancaster gets mixed up in an armored car robbery and things go very very bad. Great noir this one, with Yvonn DeCarlo being a great Femme fatal.

    01/27 - FOLLOW ME QUIETLY 4/5
    Liked this one a bunch! Tight RKO thriller about a detective obsessively hunting down a vigilante known as "The Judge". Fast paced, neat set pieces, makes for a fun ride.

    01/27 - RATED X 2/5
    The story of the Mitchel Brothers. Emilio Esteves manages to make a movie about porno and murder boring. Watch "Boogie Nights", "People Vs. Larry Flynt" and "Wonderland" instead.

    01/27 - SCARLET STREET 4/5
    Edward G gets sapped by a dame in this noir featuring conning and .... painting? Yup, the art world is kinda the back drop on this one, and it makes for a refreshing change. All the performances are spot on, and Fritz Lang handles the direction duties with his typical sure handedness.

    01/27 - BOOMERANG 4/5
    Tight courtroom thriller with Dana Andrews trying to free a innocent man. Really good stuff here, glad I was able to track down a copy.

    01/27 - HE WALKED BY NIGHT 3.5/5
    A real cheapy noir, but packed with style and flare. The last 15 minutes play nearly silent with a fantastic chase through some sewers. Good stuff.

    My tally!

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...ml#post3296151
     

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