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Neo-noir: All the colors of noir post 1970 on Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Reggie W

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I know there are plenty of noir fans around here and this thread is going to be about what became of noir from 1970 onward. Essentially, color noir or neo-noir. What triggered this post was the release of this wonderful collection:

after dark noir.jpg



...which set me off down a path watching first these films and then a bunch of other color noir pictures because I was having such great time watching them. So, the idea will be to discuss any and every neo-noir picture made from 1970 onward that you have enjoyed and if they have had a Blu-ray release, if you have it, and what you thought of the film and the blu. We will also discuss post 1970 neo-noir pictures you'd like to see get a Blu-ray (or 4K) release.

I've been watching a lot of these pictures during the summer and will get into each one I have seen in the upcoming posts. If you have some neo-noir you want to discuss, jump in, I would love to know what color/neo-noir films you love.
 
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Reggie W

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I believe that only Rush and Flesh and Bone were released on Blu-ray prior to this set coming out. So, 4 of the pictures are Blu-ray debuts. Before I get into the individual films I want to say, I think this is a great set. I loved all of these pictures when I saw them in a theater except for Mortal Thoughts which was a first time watch for me on Blu-ray.

Also, this set is called "Collection One" which indicates that Imprint seems to intend to release a second set of Neo-noir blus. There are a lot of these pictures so, they have many to choose from.
 

Reggie W

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One False Move (1992)
one-false-move-poster.jpg
Directed by Carl Franklin from a script by Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson and starring Bill Paxton, Cynda Williams and Billy Bob Thornton this violent noir found its footing mainly because it was championed by Siskel and Ebert. Their praise of the picture is said to have saved it from becoming a straight to video release. When a drug deal turns sour Ray (Thornton) and his partner Pluto (Michael Beach) go on a brutal killing spree slaughtering 6 people in horrific fashion before heading out of town to attempt to sell the drugs they have acquired. With Ray's girlfriend Fantasia in tow they leave LA to head to Houston to sell the drugs and in the process Fantasia gets involved in the killing. She also wants to make a stop in Star City Arkansas to see family and the L.A. detectives that are working on the murder case believe they may be headed there. They contact the local sheriff, Paxton, to let them know they are coming there to stake the town out. What plays out is a beautifully taught drama where the bad guys don't get much badder and the good guys look like they could be in over their heads.

Franklin shows off his talent for noir and would follow this picture up with another excellent color noir, Devil in a Blue Dress (more on that film later).

I had waited a long time for this picture to make it to Blu-ray and Imprint has provided us with an excellent disc in the After Dark Collection. I had not seen this picture in many years and I think just in the cinema and once on TV. This film will have an impact if you see it. The violence early in the picture sets the tone and leaves no question that coming into contact with Ray and Pluto is like swimming with sharks while you have a bloody gaping wound. These men will do you harm. Meanwhile Fantasia is a femme fatale for the ages.

If you have seen this film you remember it, if you have not you should.

 
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Reggie W

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I posted the above video with Josh Olsen talking about One False Move because he is a writer and talks about how great the writing is in the picture. This actually is what got me so pulled in to watching so many of these color noir films over the summer, pretty much across the board the writing is great. Always fun and interesting. I also had not really thought about how many of these neo-noirs are in my Blu-ray collection.

Most of what I have been watching in this round are pictures from the 1980s and 1990s period. The three pictures in this I was most excited to get were After Dark My Sweet, Twilight, and One False Move. Mainly because none of them had received a Blu release and I had not watched them in a long time. Plus, they are all fantastic pictures with wonderful acting, writing and direction.

I also watched some noirs that did not get great receptions at the time of their release. One that when I saw it in the cinema I really disliked but watching it again on Blu-ray I actually enjoyed it. I also watched a noir that has such a horrible reputation that there is an internet meme made from one of the scenes in the film. I also enjoyed this and recall when I had gone to a special screening of the picture I walked out hating it.

Overall, it seems like noir never went away and many people have taken a shot at it over the years leading to a lot of pictures out there to see. I am thinking there are probably many I have not seen and I am hoping to discover some gems I may have missed.

So, if you have a post 1970 noir you love, or more than one, chime in.
 

Walter Kittel

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Wanted to revisit the film before commenting...

1975's Night Moves directed by Arthur Penn. Starring Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren, Susan Clark, Melanie Griffith, James Woods, and a host of actors from that era. In terms of genre, it might more accurately be classified as a thriller, but I feel like Hackman's Harry Moseby and certain plot elements comfortably identify the film with the noir genre.

Hackman portrays Private Investigator Harry Moseby whose services are engaged by a former actress (Janet Ward) to locate her runaway daughter (Melanie Griffith). During the course of tracking down Delly (Griffith) Moseby encounters a number of colorful characters and stumbles into a much larger plot than a missing teenager. Complicating things for Moseby is a strained relationship with his wife (Susan Clark.)

Hackman is simply terrific in this role. Moseby is incredibly direct and the film's dialog has a bluntness to it that lends it an air of veracity. I also really like Warren and Clark's performances and the scenes with Hackman and Warren are some of the best in the feature. Some of the dialog is very memorable and contains some fairly memorable one-liners. One involving a character and a woodpile stands out. :)

If the film has a weakness it is in the finale, which feels a little bit improbable. The final reveal is satisfying, but how it gets there always struck me as a bit contrived.

Films like this that serve as time capsules, recalling social moires and cultural artifacts from the past always provide an extra level of enjoyment. I especially enjoyed Moseby's telephone answering machine with all of its 70's clunkiness.

Night Moves is a really good film that features some excellent performances and dialog. Arthur Penn made some fine films and this is one of them. Recommended.

- Walter.
 

benbess

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Yes, I really like Night Moves as a neo-noir. I've forgotten some of the details of the ending, but it landed for me, reminding me of the endings of some classic film noirs, like Sunset Blvd.

The restored Night Moves is on HBOmax and on Warner Archive blu-ray. Looks as good as opening night. This original trailer isn't restored, but it gives a feel for how it really is an updated film noir.



Did the film noir ever completely die? Which is the last film noir of the classic era? Vertigo?
 
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Robert Crawford

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Yes, I really like Night Moves as a neo-noir. I've forgotten some of the details of the ending, but it landed for me, reminding me of the endings of some classic film noirs, like Sunset Blvd.

The restored Night Moves is on HBOmax and on Warner Archive blu-ray. Looks as good as opening night.


You sure about the ending reminding you about some classic film noirs? As it doesn't for me because I don't remember any classic film noir ending like this movie. That said, a fine film.
 

benbess

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You sure about the ending reminding you about some classic film noirs? As it doesn't for me because I don't remember any classic film noir ending like this movie. That said, a fine film.

Oh, the ending of Night Moves is definitely unique and original from my pov. But it does also somewhat remind me of Joe Gillis floating in the pool at the end of Sunset Blvd.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Oh, the ending of Night Moves is definitely unique and original from my pov. But it does also somewhat remind me of Joe Gillis floating in the pool at the end of Sunset Blvd.
I think you need to watch the ending of Sunset Blvd. again.:)
 

benbess

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I think you need to watch the ending of Sunset Blvd. again.:)
I watched Sunset Blvd. just yesterday, actually. Although Norma Desmond says her famous line about being ready for her close-up with Mr. DeMille at the end, before that there's another scene.

Although Night Moves and Sunset Blvd are quite different, what's somewhat similar about the endings of both for me are....

the doomed central character with a watery end.
 
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benbess

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I give up as the ending of Sunset Bvld. is Gloria Swanson's all to herself.
You're right, of course, that the ending of Sunset Blvd. is Gloria Swanson/Norma Desmond.

Before that, however, is the resolution of the other main character and narrator of Sunset Blvd. That's all I'm trying to say. But I should have expressed it more clearly, and I stand corrected.
 

benbess

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I think another good neo-noir is David Lynch's Mulholland Drive from 2001. I haven't seen it since the theatrical release, and it still haunts me. I got the Criterion blu-ray, but haven't gotten up the courage to watch it yet.

 

Reggie W

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Wanted to revisit the film before commenting...

1975's Night Moves directed by Arthur Penn. Starring Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren, Susan Clark, Melanie Griffith, James Woods, and a host of actors from that era. In terms of genre, it might more accurately be classified as a thriller, but I feel like Hackman's Harry Moseby and certain plot elements comfortably identify the film with the noir genre.

Hackman portrays Private Investigator Harry Moseby whose services are engaged by a former actress (Janet Ward) to locate her runaway daughter (Melanie Griffith). During the course of tracking down Delly (Griffith) Moseby encounters a number of colorful characters and stumbles into a much larger plot than a missing teenager. Complicating things for Moseby is a strained relationship with his wife (Susan Clark.)

Hackman is simply terrific in this role. Moseby is incredibly direct and the film's dialog has a bluntness to it that lends it an air of veracity. I also really like Warren and Clark's performances and the scenes with Hackman and Warren are some of the best in the feature. Some of the dialog is very memorable and contains some fairly memorable one-liners. One involving a character and a woodpile stands out. :)

If the film has a weakness it is in the finale, which feels a little bit improbable. The final reveal is satisfying, but how it gets there always struck me as a bit contrived.

Films like this that serve as time capsules, recalling social moires and cultural artifacts from the past always provide an extra level of enjoyment. I especially enjoyed Moseby's telephone answering machine with all of its 70's clunkiness.

Night Moves is a really good film that features some excellent performances and dialog. Arthur Penn made some fine films and this is one of them. Recommended.

- Walter.

I am a massive fan of Night Moves and definitely think of it as a noir. It is a picture I certainly wanted to have discussed in this thread and I agree, the performances are outstanding, the direction and writing are fantastic.
 

Reggie W

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Yes, I really like Night Moves as a neo-noir. I've forgotten some of the details of the ending, but it landed for me, reminding me of the endings of some classic film noirs, like Sunset Blvd.

The restored Night Moves is on HBOmax and on Warner Archive blu-ray. Looks as good as opening night. This original trailer isn't restored, but it gives a feel for how it really is an updated film noir.



Did the film noir ever completely die? Which is the last film noir of the classic era? Vertigo?


The reason I started this thread is because I don't think noir ever went away. They have made loads of them. I am starting by discussing later pictures from the 1980s on but 1970s noir is a sweet spot for me. I mean you can't leave these pictures out. Chinatown, The Long Goodbye, The Conversation, Night Moves, to me are all just amazing neo-noirs. While the Western has dropped off over time in terms of people making them, noir seems alive and well.

For me the Blu-ray of Night Moves is a must own. It's a fantastic disc and an awesome film.
 

Reggie W

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I think another good neo-noir is David Lynch's Mulholland Drive from 2001. I haven't seen it since the theatrical release, and it still haunts me. I got the Criterion blu-ray, but haven't gotten up the courage to watch it yet.



Lynch definitely loves noir. I mean Blue Velvet was a great noir. So, yes, I also think Mulholland Drive was a great noir.
 

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