Thursday, September 21, 2006

good batch

The Street With No Name -an excellent film noir from Fox- featuring a charismatic Richard Widmark as the leader of the Stiles gang.I saw most of the elements of this movie earlier this month when I saw House of Bamboo which lifted several parts of this plot and transported them to post WWII Japan.This movie despenses with the trite romance that threatened to throw it's remake off the rails and is a straight FBI v the bad guys movie- mixing tons of location shooting with stock footage(like another Fox film House on 92nd Street that also featured Lloyd Nolan as agent Briggs) this movie manages to capture a vivid and raw underworld that draws the viewer in. The chase scenes in this movie are well done and the use of minimalistic sound and shadows combine to make a memorable movie. The DVD has commentary by film historians and is worth renting and worth owning if you like Film Noir flicks . A+
Black Christmas -1974 horror/thriller movie about a sorority house that gets obscene phone calls while they have their last Holiday party.Nice mix of suspense with some good performances from the cast(Margot Kidder,Olivia Hussey,John Saxon and Andrea Martin). Great mix of atmosphere and suspense - I think the modern thriller fan would enjoy this( and I guess that is why their is a remake hitting theaters this Xmas)- but I hope folks rent out this neat original.The best extra on here is the original trailer which sounds like it is narrated by James Mason. B+
Cat's Meow - In the wake of the current Hollywood Babylon(Black Dahlia/Hollywoodland) type flicks in theaters I thought I would check out the movie about the infamous William Randolph Hearst yacht murder(still unsolved).This Peter Bogdonavich flick has a good cast including Eddie Izzard as Charlie Chaplin,Carey Elwes as Tom Ince and Kristin Dunst.A well constructed look at the early stages of Hollywood royalty and scandal.The DVD is very thorough with a behind the scenes featurette,commentary and 2 vintage short subjects (including a 20 minute Chaplin short).Nothing I would own- but if you like movies about old Hollywood this worth renting. B

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