In Eastern Promises, director David Cronenberg delves into the crime saga and “people who live in a state of perpetual transgression.” That this is his interest level is hardly surprising, as the 2007 film works not so much as a plot or a story but more as a scientific investigation of yet another sealed-off world.Read more "Eastern Promises (2007)"
As with all of David Cronenberg’s pictures, nothing is as it seems in A History of Violence. The 2005 outing is based on a graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke, with a screenplay by Josh Olson. The usual suspects are present, including cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, editor Ronald Sanders, production designer Carol Spier, composer […]Read more "A History of Violence (2005)"
While it may not qualify as traditional film noir, the British thriller On the Night of the Fire seethes with elements of the genre. The 1939 picture was directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and stands as an example of pre-war cinema, complete with a (really) downbeat ending, melancholy mood and plenty of forbidding criminal shenanigans.Read more "Film Noir Friday: On the Night of the Fire (1939)"
There is some debate as to the film noir status of Angels Over Broadway, the 1940 picture helmed by Ben Hecht and Lee Garmes. There are indeed noir influences, from the rainy streets outside to the desperate criminals circling the drain, but there are also elements of troubled romance and foggy comedy.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Angels Over Broadway (1940)"
Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detour is probably the best of the economy noirs. Made on a dime and condensed on a song, this 1945 picture is based on Martin Goldsmith’s 1939 novel of the same name and features some of the leanest and meanest turns of fate and phrase in the genre.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Detour (1945)"
Director Edgar G. Ulmer can do a lot with a little, as films like Detour and Black Cat reveal. Every so often, though, even the most inventive of auteurs can run into trouble. Such is the case with Strange Illusion, a 1945 film noir that struggles under the weight of lukewarm performances, a clumsy script […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: Strange Illusion (1945)"
A cliché sandwich served with extra clichés and a dish of cliché on the side for dipping, Steven C. Miller’s Marauders actually has the makeup of a good thriller. This 2016 motion picture isn’t that bad given the territory and the screenplay by Michael Cody and Chris Sivertson doesn’t try to do too much. At […]Read more "Marauders (2016)"
Jean-François Richet directs the terse Mel Gibson vehicle Blood Father with eyes on reclamation and violence as cleansing force. The 2016 movie features a screenplay by Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff and is based on Craig’s novel of the same name. It casts a dry swath through America, painting a picture of contrast and hostility […]Read more "Blood Father (2016)"
When it comes to bleak and beautiful noir, it’s hard to top Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street. This 1945 motion picture is based on Georges de La Fouchardière’s novel La Chienne and features a screenplay by Dudley Nichols. The material is dark and cynical and glorious, with characters traipsing through life in various stages of desperation.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Scarlet Street (1945)"
Josef von Sternberg’s 1927 silent crime movie Underworld isn’t considered a film noir in any traditional sense, but it certainly speaks the language of the genre and serves as an instructive if influential piece of prescient cinema.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Underworld (1927)"
It’s February and everything sucks right now, so it’s time to unwind with February Fisticuffs – a punchy look at some of the best, worst and most average boxing, kung fu and martial arts movies. Isaac Florentine’s Undisputed III: Redemption continues the surprisingly effective series with more blistering, no-nonsense ass-kickery. The 2010 follow-up to Undisputed […]Read more "February Fisticuffs: Undisputed III: Redemption (2010)"
It’s February and everything sucks right now, so it’s time to unwind with February Fisticuffs – a punchy look at some of the best, worst and most average boxing, kung fu and martial arts movies. Isaac Florentine helms Undisputed II: Last Man Standing, a hard-hitting sequel to Walter Hill’s 2002 original. Like its predecessor, this […]Read more "February Fisticuffs: Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006)"
It’s February and everything sucks right now, so it’s time to unwind with February Fisticuffs – a punchy look at some of the best, worst and most average boxing, kung fu and martial arts movies. Walter Hill’s Undisputed is a meat and potatoes action movie and it is structurally straightforward, even if the flashy editing […]Read more "February Fisticuffs: Undisputed (2002)"
Robert Siodmak helms Phantom Lady, a dazzling film noir based on a screenplay by Bernard C. Schoenfeld. This 1944 picture is based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1942 novel of the same name and is the first movie produced by Hitchcock screenwriter Joan Harrison.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Phantom Lady (1944)"
Jacques Tourneur’s Experiment Perilous may have one of the most magnificent titles of all the films noir. The 1944 picture is based on the 1943 novel of the same name by Margaret Carpenter and features a screenplay by Warren Duff, with Tony Gaudio’s cinematography working its way through the Oscar-nominated interior design.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Experiment Perilous (1944)"
The upheaval of the 1970s is the backdrop for Sidney Lumet’s brilliant Dog Day Afternoon, a 1975 crime drama that is as much about the personal as it is about the political. The picture features a screenplay by Frank Pierson and is based on P.F. Kluge’s 1972 Life magazine article “The Boys in the Bank,” […]Read more "Dog Day Afternoon (1975)"
It’s tempting to consider The Mask of Dimitrios a relative of The Maltese Falcon. Both feature twisty plots full of deception. Both feature the cinematography of Arthur Edeson. And both feature Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet, two spectacular character actors who always pair well together.Read more "Film Noir Friday: The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)"
Robert Hamer’s Kind Hearts and Coronets is the sort of dry, dark comedy that isn’t made very much anymore. The 1949 picture stands starkly as a sort of exercise in pursed politeness, where lines are uttered with cold intellectualism and character operate in outlandish but utterly “civilized” ways.Read more "Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)"
A mean and brutal piece of work, Sin City introduces a hermetically sealed universe full of rain and blood. This 2005 film is directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller and is based on the graphic novel of the same name, specifically Miller’s The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill and That Yellow Bastard.Read more "Sin City (2005)"
André de Toth directs Dark Waters, a 1944 film noir that traffics in the marshes and endless murk of Louisiana. The picture is based on a Saturday Evening Post serial by Francis and Marian Cockrell and features a screenplay by Marian Cockrell, Joan Harrison and The Suspect scribe Arthur Horman.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Dark Waters (1944)"