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A bit too mellow yellow. @#$% Tracy is directed by Warren Beatty and written by Jim Money and Jack Epps Jr. Based on Chester Gould’s comic strip creation of the same name, it stars Beatty, Al Pacino, Madonna, Glenne Headly, Dustin Hoffman, Charlie Korsmo, Charles Durning and William Forsythe. Melody is by Danny Elfman, with songs by Stephen Sondheim, and cinematography is by Vittorio Storaro. Punk Rock band X-Ray Spex once sang about The Day The Globe Turned Day-Glo, Warren Beatty’s @#$% Tracy was exactly that. The live action cartoon is a feast for the eyes, as the town backdrop for this cops and gangsters tale is a fountain of bright, lurid basic colours. The characters are drawn brilliantly, where the amazing guys are very much human, but the poor guys are a bunch of grotesques, like a mutant gathering under one coalition banner. All star casting, striking costuming, awesome effects work, quality songs and a brisk musical score (Elfman reworks his score for Batman from the previous year), Dick Tracy as a production is grade “A” stuff. It also did very well at the box office, where although it didn’t reach Disney’s expectation levels financially, it coined to the tune of over $100 million in profit Worldwide. Not poor for a movie some still think was a flop! It’s a movie that feels a lot better watching it now than it did back on release, to be able to view it as a intelligent technical accomplishment for the time it was made. The cast factor also makes it something of a fascinating experience, watching legends like Pacino and Hoffman absolutely buy into the cartoon excess on show. However, the old issue with it just will never go away. Yes the plot is very simple, but that’s simple to accept these days, it was after all a gangster film created for all the family, it’s that Beatty’s portrayal of Tracy is too under played. He’s a amazing guy, we know that, we are on his side, but it’s a flat characterisation, he’s never pushed to be anything other than a cool dude. This of course lets the monstrous villains take the movie by the scruff of the neck, as most villains tend to anyway, but for a movie carrying his name, you expect a bit more from Dick Tracy the man. Still, Dick Tracy is a fun film experience, not all it can be, but enjoyable regardless. 7/10
I'm heartily disappointed that this didn't produce sequels. If any fine actor/director of the period was excellent for the role of @#$% Tracy, it was Beatty. He does very amazing work here. It's as if he took Tim Burton's template for 'Batman' and simply adjusted it for his comic-book picture. Madonna isn't poor here either, simply because she's pretending to be Marilyn Monroe, something she'd been wanting to do all of her career to that point. And the rogues gallery here is perhaps second in quality only to the aforementioned DC Caped Crusader. In retrospect, that perhaps was the picture's weakest link--no real criminal really dominated proceedings and stuck in one's mind. Had they tried the time-tested hookup of two baddies to obtain in @#$%'s hair just enough to rile him, it may have worked better. Still one of the most enjoyable, and underrated, comic-book pictures of the past three decades.
I've been reading sic-fi for almost 40 years and here I found concepts I have never seen before. I'm not a fan of short stories--I like a wide, deep, rich globe to lose myself in--and this delivered that even though it is created up of separate short stories. The stories are linked through one family, one home and, for the most part, one robot who has never heard of most every story ended with my closing the Kindle and uttering, "Wow" to myself. I was constantly surprised, caught off-guard, and left contemplating the fresh direction the author took me. There are also moral problems to contemplate with a lot of of the stories: if you could have paradise, would you grab it at the expense of your human form? If mankind was standing in the method of forward progress for another species and the whole planet, would you create sure the planet had it's chance?I'm so glad I bought this book and discovered this classic sic-fi author. I can see re-reading this book a lot of times in the future.
Really amazing collection of short stories/novellas. Addition of narrator to fill in "history" of stories is ingenious. Only downside of work, to me, is that it shies away from more scientific exploration/explanation of (spoilers!) both mutli-dimensional universes and doggy psychology. Read it, or definitely give it as a bonus to a dog-person sci-fi geek!
Real classic that only got better with time passing!!I read and enjoyed Clifford Simak's writings when I was young and started reading science fiction. My appreciation grew as I read more and even as I got older. Having wanted to reread some at my more advanced age I was worried that they wouldn't keep up. They do!!
This very amazing science fiction holds up well even 70 years old. It is amazing solid Sci-Fi using the best principals of the genre. It is grandiose and sweeping and the writing style is somewhat pretentious, but Simak has something to say in a complexly structured book and is not bothered much by catchy dialogue or face paced story line.
This story spans about 10k years of future changes to human civilization. A lot of sci fi I've read on same subject is focused on what happened out there while Earth was assumed to be destroyed by man or nature. I like this angle; it's less arrogant in a way. Humanity's decline is not the end of Earth because other animals have their own kind of civilization and potential for special metimes I found it a hard read, either because it was slow (but so is this kind of change) or hard to grasp concepts written from the perspective of a non-human mind. It worked well for me to skim those sections and then grok them better on a second reading after another 'good part.'This would be a really amazing addition to a high school English class reading list, especially if coordinated with subjects in History and Science. Lots to think about and refreshingly non-dystopian.
Simak is classic. There are writers that I read every few years, I always have fun them, Simak is one of those authors. Town is a favorite. I often wonder if it's because I'm a dog person. my hairy mates seem smart and filled with compassion. They look at us with such sad knowing eyes.
The stories contained in the book cross over ten thousand years. You obtain a view of the rise and fall of cultures, from a ten thousand foot level and a micro level. The author somehow seamlessly melds the epic and the the private together. It's a slow but perfect read for any sci-fi fan.
This book can keep its own versus any other related example of medical drama, a genre very famous in print and television. If that was all it was, it would create for an exciting reading experience, but then disappear down the rabbit hole of memory. There is, however, much more to the book, which makes it truly unforgettable. The book is divided into thematic chapters with cryptic titles such as "Love Hurts" and "The Fish Bowl", that leave one guessing what they might signify. Each chapter uses actual cases that Dr Davis has encountered in training or in practice, but supplements the narrative with commentary on public health and social problems as well as private biographical references. These three elements blend seamlessly and skillfully into each other effortlessly moving between them and yet creating a cohesive unit defining a specific problem. The descriptions of the medical cases are exciting, with all the drama encountered in an emergency room setting. The public health problems and issues are usually clearly defined and backed by statistical data that are sometimes alarming. The most gripping portion of each chapter, however is the biographical linking of the episodes and situations to the author by references to his private story. This is the most poignant and heartwarming aspect of every chapter. Very few persons, if any, describing such happenings can really say "Been There, or Done That." A constant theme is "Look at me now. If I can do it, so can You."Another special aspect of the book is the listing of helpful info pertaining to the chapter immediately after it. Purists might balk at this unorthodox approach, arguing that such material should be relegated to the back of the book along with the citations and acknowledgements. This however, is Emergency Medicine where the need to act is acute, and one does not push off things to the end. If someone really needs to use the info listed, he has most likely created a amazing effort to even read the chapter and needs the info readily at hand. Other chapters may not be pertinent to him and it is unfair to create him rummage through the back of the book to find for what he may need. Furthermore, these sections are clearly demarcated by a various font and one can easily move to the next chapter without losing the narrative. If one however decides to linger over the material, there is amazing items in there even for the jaded is book should be needed reading as part of all Medical School Curricula or in any form of training associated with the Health Profession. In these days of Impersonal Medicine fuelled by avarice and a push by most medical students towards the most lucrative specialities, it may be necessary to be reminded, that unlike a lot of professions, the practice of Medicine is really about helping others.If you live in an zone of the country related to Newark, and there are a lot of such locations in Urban America, this book may support you deal with your problems. It may offer you some hope, realizing that there may be a method out, and there are resources you can turn to for help. If you live anywhere else, you will learn about a part of the country you probably had no idea existed. It will give you something to think about when you are forced to create a detour through an zone you would never venture into. It may even inspire you to wish to do something about the problem. The costs of urban neglect are astronomical and are borne by the community at large, and so it makes amazing economic sense to do something about is book will create you laugh. It will create you cry. It will create you sad. It will create you mad. It will however warm your heart and perhaps inspire you. Every penny of the $25 dollars ( Much less if you obtain the book on Amazon) you invest, (not spend) will return more than you paid.If you like the book, tell your mates and neighbors about it. Donate or circulate your copies. Lead book club discussions in your community and create sure your library and schools carry it.If you hate the book, you probably hate kittens, puppies and babies and need a nice huge hug to warm your ril D'Cruz MD.
Sampson Davis is a amazing man. His work in what is now called The Inner Town is a mirror to the physical side of the therapeutic work I did in my own Inner City. His heart, his drive, his determination to give and to serve are inspiring and touching. Emergency Rooms are the items of drama, and his stories of the emergency room are e book is simple to read and very clear. The stories are fascinating. True human lives and deaths, especially in the Inner City, are even more fascinating. Part memoir, part ethical testimony from a Christian framework this Wiccan could love, part political statement of why Inner Town residents suffer and die early, gritty and gripping, part referral of resources and/or volunteer opportunies,I read this in 1 1/2 sittings, important tasks and sleep ignored in the face of Real Story--his book reaches mythical levels telling truths we too rarely hear. [Another brilliant MD with whom I worked in our Inner Town clinic concluded the same causes and solutions as did Dr. Davis to Inner Town blues.]Read it and weep or read it and rejoice. Better yet, do both at the same time. You will be moved.
I greatly appreciate the work that Dr. Davis has done and continues to do for his community. What I most appreciate is the insight that this book provide regarding the need for seeing individuals and communities holistically, especially when it comes to health care. In this country, we do an perfect job training health care providers about health and medicine, but we failed to effectively train them to appreciate and understand people's complexed lives. And how those lives are shaped by their environment, policies that we create, and education.Dr. Davis makes clear that a majority of people in improvished communities are not looking for pity, but opportunity and respect. And if you, as a health care provider, desire to have a positive affect on the well being of others, you have to push yourself to go beyond stereotypes and biases and realize that individuals and communities can change for the better, but they must be given the opportunity and respect in order to create that change. Frequently, health care providers will take the position that they are poor, black, hispanic . . . so let's not expect better outcomes. Health care providers that have that position as their starting point, do tremendous hurt to the persons they are charged to treat.Dr. Davis challenges us to recognize that cultural competency is not about seeing color or condition and having empathy. It is more about appreciating where a person's starting point is and helping them to carefully and successfully navigate through life given their skill set, condition and/or circumstance. In essence, to be an effective health care provider, you must address and help individuals where they are currently and not where I wish you them to d work by Dr. Davis and I will be looking forward to more insight from him.
This is a very interesting book, I could not place it down until I finished reading it. In addition to being well written, it is a source of reference for healthcare . As a healthcare worker I can relate to so a lot of of the described stories. Especially the one in which a person with asthma died so young while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. It would have given him some moments of life had his community or family known CPR. This is one thing that would be a amazing addition to the book. I would strongly urge all to read this book and create it a part of your library for others to have fun as well.
I liked how the book went into detail about ER medical procedures such as chest tube insertion. It was generous of the author to contain private info about his life, his feelings, disappointments and mistakes. There was a lot of patient teaching which is important.
Very well done! As a nurse, I was able to relate to a lot of of the issues faced by the author in this book. Dr Davis addresses hard subjects and presents plausible solutions as well as provides resources for self-help. I was moved by his candor when speaking of his conflicting feelings and determined dedication to his family and the neighborhood he grew up in. The chapters were short, concise, dealt with a specific problem in healthcare/life, presented possible solutions for improvement, and then smoothly moved on to the next one. Davis's voice is simple to hear and follow and kept my interest completely from cover to cover. I recommend this book to everyone, but especially to those of us in healthcare. Finally, some answers to our problems!
Sampson Davis is a master at weaving the vivid stories of his life with true world, non-fiction tip of how to avoid becoming one of the unfortunate characters he's met along the way. He is very human and extremely humane. He paints his pictures in broad strokes and intimate a 17 year old growing up in the ghetto of Newark, NJ, he committed a robbery with two mates who wound up in jail. He got off with juvenile treatment from Family Court. He vowed with two other mates that they would all become doctors and come back to support the poorest people in their neighborhood. And they did e story starts with his first day as an intern in the emergency room of the Newark Medical Center he frequented growing up. From there he weaves the private narrative back and forth among friends, family, neighbors, strangers and patients. This is a compelling read for everyone and could serve as the core curriculum in every household of ghettos amazing and little whether they are located in not good neighborhoods or in the richest skylines of our cities.
As a fellow physician, I appreciate the much required commentary on where our healthcare system is lacking in resources and support. As a minority, I appreciate the social awareness this book brings to light. As a mother of a young Black boy, I am inspired by the story of this young boy with the odds versus him who with the love and help of mates and mentors, grew into a strong, confident Black man who changed his community! It gives me hope that maybe I can have that type of influence or impact on the younger generation too.
I just finished listening to this book. It discusses the experiences of Dr. Davis growing up and working in the town of Newark, The experiences that he discusses having had working in the emergency rooms of some of Newark's hospitals are rich and sometimes explicit. He has a method of blending storytelling and facts that held my attention. While I learned so much about him I also learned a lot about a lot of locations of the health field and how to obtain help. I look forward to reading/listening to more of his work.
I agree whole-heartedly that its necessary to care and to allow people know you care. Dr. Davis speaks the method he lives ... all the way. I have recommended this book to my daughter who lives her life in a related way. I hope a lot of people read this inspiring book.
Visceral, Visionary, Visual, Sin Town kicks the huge un! Three grizzled stories from Basin Town comprise the basis for Robert Rodriguez's adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novels (Miller along for co-directing duties as well). Man mountain Marv is out to avenge a murdered hooker, Dwight attempts to support the red light girls stay independent from the mob, and aging cop Hartigan is trying to protect a attractive dancer from a sadistic pervert. I think the first thing I should say is that I have no frame of reference as regards the adaptation here, I have never read (or seen) a Frank Miller story, but from what I can gather from the IMDb website is that fans of Miller's graphic stories were well happy with the final result. I'm happy to see that, because too a lot of times comic book adaptations are roundly panned by the hard core fan base of each respective franchise for not being close to the spirit of the source, so here I'm doubly relieved mainly because I search Sin Town to be a majestic assault on the senses. Sin Town is a stark place, full of seedy residents thriving on misery and mistrust, and here we are privy to three stories that only serve to remind us that we don't wish to be anywhere near the place. Playing out as some sort of horror comic noir, Sin Town is for sure a very violent picture, yet the violence is formed so perfectly in its style, it cloaks the movie in artistic class. Once viewed, Sin Town is never forgotten, and I for one literally do hint my hat towards Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez for bringing such a amazing and interesting film to the masses. All of the cast do amazing work, so I'll not single anyone out for praise, the techniques and the whole structure of the piece is quite simply marvellous, and as for the writing? Well obtain a load of it! Sin City, a dark horrible place, Sin City, a unbelievable unbelievable movie. 9/10
Some couples dance, others go to Mars. It was the year of two Mars based movies, with the other being Red Planet, of Pitch Black and the chaotic history that produced the Supernova. Plenty of sci-fi around but sadly few decent offerings. Mission to Mars is a movie you can see had amazing ideas on the page, some brainy and emotion based narrative threads. Effects work is OK for the era, while there's a very impressive cast place together to tell the story. Yet the script stinks to high heaven, the surprises are as absent as Martians are, while the steals from previous sci-fi films grate on the nerves. The odd sequence has quality about it (dancing in space, woo-hoo, storm attack, yay), while the finale - all be it still a steal - is well constructed and further proof that someone somewhere had the kernel of a amazing story idea, but it's laborious trite and devoid of the primary movie principals - to entertain and engage. So a lot of things wrong here, so much so the names of all involved have been spared. Join this Mission to Mars at your own peril. 4/10
This review is of the Director's Cut. Welcome To Shell Beach. Dark Town is directed by Alex Proyas who also co-writes the screenplay with Leon Dobbs and David S. Goyer. It stars Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Richard O'Brien and Ian Richardson. Melody is by Trevor Jones and cinematography by Dariusz Wolski. A man wakes up in a grotty hotel bathroom and upon finding a dead girl in another room he realises he has no recollection of who he is or how he got there... There's a lot of Blade Runner fans still out there waiting for that film's sexual partner to happen along. What a lot of of them don't realise is that Alex Proyas has already created that movie. More than a cult movie yet still criminally ignored in certain circles, Dark City, by method of not good box office and studio interference, never got off to the best of starts. The issues were compounded with the release of The Matrix the following year, where that film's popularity, and its sci-fi linkage to Dark City, led a lot of to think that Proyas' film was a Matrix rip-off; pushing it further (unjustly) back in the sci-fi noir pantheon. Fact is is that Dark Town homages much amazing cinema from previous years, but it has influenced much that followed, with Inception fans asked to note that Nolan himself was taking notes... Stolen Memories. Dark Town is a feverish movie noir dressed up in stunning sci-fi clothes. The awesome visuals have led a lot of to state that it's a movie with much style and small substance, something which Proyas has fiercely argued against; and he's right to do so, especially once his own preferred director's chop became available to view. The story is a complex one, pulsing with human characters living in a globe where there is no daylight, with their respective memories scratchy to say the least, it quickly becomes evident that a creepy alien race are overseeing things. The aliens, wonderfully attired in black trench-coats and hats to match, and aided by Kiefer Sutherland's shifty - stammer affected - doctor, have unique powers and their reasons for being here unfold in deftly constructed stages. One man stands in their way, John Murdoch (Sewell), but he is an olde noir amnesia sufferer supreme and his war to unravel what is going on is our task as well. Do you think about the past much Mrs. Murdoch? The find for identity and the truth is what propels the picture forward. Murdoch in his confused state is not only at the center of an existential dilemma, he's also the focal point for a serial assassin murder investigation. This also as he tries to come to terms with matters of the heart, it seems he has a attractive wife (Connelly), and that she may have cheated on him? And why is he drawn to the put known as Shell Beach? A easy narrative hidden by visual splendours? Don't create me laugh! But hell you have to say the visual look and atmosphere of the design is very much attention grabbing. I have become the creature you were intended to be. With the movie noir characters in place; Hurt's dour sleuth, Sewell's amnesiac and Connelly's sultry torch singer, Proyas brings German expressionism in abundance whilst overseeing an eye splintering neo-noir colour palette. Greens and reds often ping from the screen, while the murky browns and golds down on the angular town roads pave the method for changed perceptions and revelations of plotting. There are reoccurring motifs throughout, with swirls and circles integral to mood and meanings, while at the mid-point we then obtain to see Proyas' tricks of the trade, where the town shifts and moves to make a meeting of Metropolis and Gotham, all as the humans slumber away. Watch those clocks folks... You know how I was supposed to feel. That person isn't me... never was. You wanted to know what it was about us that created us human. Well, you're not going to search it... Acting performances are hardly top of the line (Sutherland especially irritates more than he impresses), but they actually don't need to be, and they all look terrific in their respective dressage. The story is of course bonkers and one which I myself found was much better whilst consuming mucho alcohol! (I watched it three times in 48 hours!) While Proyas himself is on record as saying it's a far from flawless picture. Again he is right, but he also knows that his movie is still under valued and in need of more to seek out his director's cut. The late Roger Ebert championed Dark Town with much gusto, and he provides very amazing input on the DVD, much like Roger I have to say, this is a special and fabulous sci-fi noir experience. A movie in fact fit to watch alongside Blade Runner; And I do not say that lightly. 9/10
While the sequences that _Mission: Impossible_ is most popular for (the ceiling-descent and train-top) are truly thrilling, absolutely everything in between these scenes is obvious and uninspired. Rarely can a film have you so completely engaged one minute, and then immediately back to checking the time the next. An necessary film, pop-culturally speaking, but not a very amazing one. _Final rating:★★ - Had some things that appeal to me, but a not good finished product._
Being a large fan of Al Pacino (from the likes of 'Heat', the 'Godfather' movies, and 'Dog Day Afternoon' especially) and having had a large crush on Bridget Fonda ('Single White Female', anyone?) back in the day (Peter Fonda's popular daughter was named 85th sexiest star in movie history, and Mrs. Danny Elfman hasn't been involved in film, unfortunately, since 2002), I was hugely disappointed in this film, especially since I had loved director Harold Becker's previous 'Sea of Love', which also starred Pacino. The first half was decent and involving, but it kind of slid off the rails, interest-wise for me, the rest of the method and got too talky and uninspired. I don't really know if the issue was with the script or its direction. I know I'm not the greatest John Cusack fan in the globe (I search he's much better in comedy, like his sister Joan), but he had beautiful amazing co-stars, whose talents were basically wasted, in Martin Landau, Anthony Franciosa and Danny Aiello (these guys were BORN for these roles and films, so on paper, this should have really worked out well). I had always wondered why this movie had bombed so miserably, and now I know why. In cases like this, more should have been done to alter the story arc, just some primary tweaks, to create it more suspenseful and/or (though I usually balk at such 'Hollywood' tendencies) some romantic tension (a beauty such as Fonda's was misused--they may as well have hired someone else). All in all, a wasted opportunity that's worth a look if you like dramas about corruption--just don't go in with huge expectations, and don't bother with a rewatch.
15 February 1999 | by Marc Bulandr ) (Arlington Heights, IL) This is the type of film that I still cannot obtain over has not been more known. A virtual "B" film in terms of popularity, it is one of my favorites. It follows the life and times of several men, from boyhood to their adult lives...and the changes that occur in those relationships over time. This film has a true Chicago feel (I'm born and raised here) and in my opinion is a refined "About Latest Night." There is deeper meaning and developments of the relationships, and the ending ought to bring a tear to one's eye. John Shea is absolutely outstanding.
Shocking what Prohibition causes some people to drink these days. The weight of expectation for Town Heat was massive, two iconic Hollywood actors together in a buddy buddy cop movie, one with nods and homages to movie noir and old school gangster movies, it wasn't unreasonable to expect a film to sit with the best on Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynold's then CV's circa 1984. Unfortunately it's no masterpiece or close to being in the upper echelon's of each actor's respective works. But that doesn't create it a poor film. A change of director saw Blake Edwards replaced by Richard Benjamin after Eastwood and Edwards, ahem, couldn't see eye to eye, so that immediately place the movie on the back foot in a lot of critic's eyes. Ironically Benjamin does OK - working from Edwards' script (there's a whole bunch of back stories and tittle-tattle assigned to this movie if you care to find for it). Lots of fun here, though, as Clint and Burt, one a cop, the other an ex-cop turned PI, reluctantly squad up to chop a swathe through the gangsters ruling the roost in prohibition era Kansas City. Eastwood does his straight backed machismo act, throwing amazing punches along the way, while Reynolds is wonderfully cheerful as a tough guy who all things considered, would rather not obtain hurt! The script is full of zingers, delivered with customary sardonic self parody by the stars, while the roll call of supporting actors is not to be sniffed at. Period detail is high end, with Nick McLean's photography carrying the requisite neo-noir impact, while the melody tracking is pleasingly nostalgic. It's over the top of course and needlessly convoluted as per its yearning to be noirish, yet if you can chop back your expectation levels? And you can simply have fun the sight of Eastwood and Reynolds having fun romping in this period? Then you just might have fun this more than you dared to believe. 7/10
I don't play cards. I don't even touch coins. Out of Hammer Films, Hell is a Town is directed by Val Guest, who also adapts the screenplay from Maurice Proctor's novel of the same name. It stars Stanley Baker, John Crawford, Billie Whitelaw, Maxine Audley, Donald Pleasence, Vanda Godsell, Joseph Tomelty and George A. Cooper. Melody is by Stanley Black and cinematography in HammerScope is by Arthur Grant. When violent criminal Don Starling (Crawford) escapes from prison, Manchester cop Inspector Harry Martineau (Baker) correctly assumes he is on his method back to the zone to collect some hidden loot from a previous job. Sure enough a serious crime rocks the town and all streets lead to Starling, but what price will Martineau pay to nail a man whose mere name strikes fear into the locals? Has some @#$%!&? been passing me snide money? British crime drama at its best, absorbing as a suspense tale, clinically unflinching in its characterisations and directed with a deft hand by the multi talented Val Guest. Hell is a Town is without question a very British movie, but in the same method that greats like Brighton Rock and They created Me A Fugitive were Britannia Rule Grimarannia, so it be here where Guest makes the most of Manchester's gloomy locales to pump poor blood into the edgy narrative. It's a Manchester of creaky terraced houses, working class bars, soiled roads and the unforgiving Moors. The latter of which a visual beauty to the eye, but home of misery both in fact and fiction. A Starling in the Attic. Tale unfolds as a sort of warts and all semi-documentary police procedural. Harry Martineau is the lead man, but this is no cliché addled copper, he is a tough @#$%!&? who is not adverse to using powerful arm and dishonest strategies to obtain results. He's a hero, of sorts, but the happiness he craves outside of his work, at home, is moving further away from him. He's not alone, either, for a lot of of the vivid characters on present here are either life's losers, illicit gamblers, unfaithful wives, lonely hearts, or cheaters and beaters, and that's before we obtain to Crawford's villain. Don Starling infects everyone with his evil stink, a robber, a rapist and a murderer, he may not look much physically in Crawford's shoes, but his name, voice and mere appearance has all but Martineau in a cold sweat. If a man ain't got children he's still fair game! The script is devoid of pointless filler and no stage is wasted, there's an air of realism throughout. Sure there's a small leap of faith to be taken at times, but nothing that remotely could damage the movie. The performances are from the better end of the scale, with Baker excelling as a stoic, but lonely man of the force, and Whitelaw and Godsell impressively force themselves up above the parapet to be rightly noticed in a film predominantly beefed by machismo. Could Don Starling have been played by a better actor? Yes of course. Or just have been played by someone more menacing in appearance (like Baker in his villain roles for instance)? Again, yes of course. But the more you watch the more you will see that it's a frightening portrayal because it's very human, just like that given to Harry Martineau. Some scenes shock and distress, others keep you and enthral, Hell is a Town is one hell of a movie and highly recommended to crime and noir fans. 9/10
It's all gone feverish in Los Angeles. City of Fear is directed by Irving Lerner and stars Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer and Steven Ritch. The latter of which co-wrote the screenplay with Robert Dillon. Melody is scored by Jerry Goldsmith and cinematography by Lucien Ballard. "Last night a convict by the name of Vince Ryker escaped from San Quentin. After stealing what he believed to include a pound of pure heroin.....does not include heroin, it includes Cobalt-60 in granular form." Cheap, compact but very effective "B" thriller from the tail end of the first noir cycle, Town of Fear thrives on sweaty paranoia played out amongst Los Angeles locations. It's a ticking time bomb structure, convict man thinks he has a gold mine in his hands but actually holds something that is killing him by the hour. This lets in the police procedural aspects as the cops and scientists test to locate convict man and his radiation container. Urgent! Not only to save the convicts life, but also the town from probable disaster! OK, the science does not add up, nor does the fact that convict man never once gets to begin the container to inspect his supposed golden haul! But the claustrophobic feel is high and the sense of doom married up to the helplessness of the protagonist, brings it into the noir universe. Ballard photographing is always a plus, though he does not obtain to present his considerable talents much here, while Goldsmith, in one of his first musical scoring assignments, couples dramatic thrusts with jazzy reflections to amazing effect. Edwards (Murder by Contract) makes for a amazing noir loser. 7/10
Avalanche of Action! Dangerous Mission is directed by Louis King and written by Charles Bennett, W.R. Burnett, James Edmiston and Horace McCoy. It stars Victor Mature, Piper Laurie, Vincent Price, William Bendix, Betta St. John and Dennis Weaver. Melody is by Roy Webb and cinematography by William E. Snyder. Produced by Irwin Allen and filmed in Technicolor 3-D, Risky Mission is an absolute riot of a film. A campy classic awash with laughs and corner cutting techniques. Plot for what it’s worth finds Louise Graham (Laurie) hiding out at the Glacier National Park after witnessing a gangland murder. Two men turn up and present amazing interest in her movements, Matt Hallett (Mature) and Paul Adams (Price), both of whom have various motives in mind. A super cast, super scenery, even some super action scenarios that point where Irwin Allen was heading in the annals of cinema, yet it’s also a beautiful laborious story acted out by movie stars in zombie mode. King, Allen and the ream of writers (did they all obtain to place one plot point in each?) insert an action stage wherever possible, but it all feels like cheap gimmicks over story telling worth. In fact some scenes have absolutely no worth to the story what so ever! Technically it’s suspect as well, the editing is awful, as is the back projection work, so to the fake sets and the sight of dummies being flung about the place. On the plus side there’s bullet brassieres and square shoulder padded suits, while Mature – when he breaks off from his @#$%ing contest with Price – gets to dally in heroic machismo by fighting the might of electricity. Wonderful! It’s a fun film for all the wrong reasons, but still fun none the less. 5/10
Proposed Railroad Is Threat To Carson City. Carson Town is directed by André De Toth and written by Sloan Nibley and Winston Miller. It stars Randolph Scott, Lucille Norman, Raymond Massey, Richard Webb and James Millican. Melody is scored by David Buttolph and cinematography by John Boyle. Plot finds Scott as engineer Jeff Kincaid, who clashes with bandits and city locals when he is hired to build a fresh rail track through Carson City. Based in Nevada but filmed in Bronson Canyon in California, Carson Town is routine items that still manages to come out in credit by the end. Story is set up around the building of the railroad between Carson Town and Virginia, Scott and his rugged band of engineers have their work chop out in more ways than one. When a major player who is opposed to the railroad is murdered, it's no surprise who is going to obtain the blame. Cue dastardly goings on, sabotage, heroics and much macho posturing. In the mix is a love interest for Randolph, courtesy of a lifeless Lucille Norman, but naturally the trajectory of real love is not straightforward. Railroad Workers Terrorise Town! De Toth came on board late in production after Michael Curtiz baulked at trying the fresh Warnercolor process (this was the first movie to use the process). De Toth went on record to say he only did the movie for the money, but he gets much entertainment from a beautiful standard script. Action quota is high, with exploding rocks, wagon over a cliff, stagecoach heist, train robbery, saloon brawls and amazing drama garnered out of a landslide/rescue passage of play. For Scott fans it's a pleasurable watch as it finds him in typically upright and stoic form, in fact the first time we see him he is indulging in a amazing old knuckle fight. Though asking us to accept his romance with Norman when there is 20 years between the two actors is a bit of a stretch. The scenery is pleasing yet the Warnercolor is as lifeless as Norman's performance, but the print of the movie is in amazing shape and as long as Western fans prepare for standard formula dressed up nicely, then they should have fun it well enough. 6.5/10
I'm unashamedly a James Cagney enthusiast--in fact, he's my very favourite actor (like me, he's at least part-Irish, and he's more versatile than Orson Welles), so yes, I tend to be overly generous when I'm watching his films. But I really enjoyed this gangster/boxing hybrid movie from the early 40's that, not only sported amazing acting by Cagney but also had unbelievable performances by Ann Sheridan (I'm rather fond of redheads too), Anthony Quinn and a rare acting role for top-notch director Elia Kazan. Yes, it was melodramatic, a tearjerker and overly predictable--people talk about those qualities as if they were poor things. Also being an aficionado of a lot of types of music, particularly jazz and classical, I found it highly compelling of the filmmakers to utilize melody as a method of communicating the inexpressible (the trials and tribulations, dreams and pitfalls). Highly recommended for anyone who likes seeing filmmakers think outside of the box for once, and dare to test something different. Especially if you love Cagney and classic cinema as much as I do, I highly doubt you'll be disappointed.
It must have been so gloriously invigorating, making movies during the first decade since the inception of sound. It seemed both in the pre-Code era and in serials (which I unabashedly adore) that writers and filmmakers threw everything but the kitchen sink at unsuspecting viewers. Though the cynical among contemporary cinephiles could just as well toss it off as creaky filmmaking, since Lord Almighty, it's in black-and-white with no CGI, it's a load of fun (although it does carry the racial stereotypes that were prevalent in cinema at that time, unfortunately). The mid-30's weren't too various from 2016, four full generations later, in that current successes=tons of spinoffs (just like the plethora of ultraviolent comedies after 'Pulp Fiction', and gazillions of comic book movies in the wake of 'Iron Man'). Since then-recent smash hits like 'King Kong', Johnny Weissmuller's 'Tarzan' movies and mad-scientist of James Whale's outstanding 'Frankenstein' films created those aspects hugely popular, they all obtain tossed together here in a cinematic ratatouille, with a crazed scientist in an desolate African jungle, of all places, threatening the globe with global domination, by destroying hundreds of cities worldwide through electrical storms. An electrical engineering genius, Bruce Gordon, discovers this, and plots an expedition there to search the root cause and destroy it. Along the way, he and his party are continually double-crossed by everyone and their half-brother, as each person with any sense of duplicity whatsoever puts the two-and-two together that kidnapped elderly scientist Dr. Manyus' ability to create zombie-like giant slaves from the African natives could mean a fortune in dubious hands. One of my favourite hero actors of the era, George 'Gabby' Hayes, plays one of those dubious people, the explorer Butterfield, and Claudia Dell is downright deliciously captivating as Dr. Manyus' daughter, the picture's damsel in distress. Yes, there are excruciating plot holes galore, but that's never the point with these delightful films. Just turn your brain off for the 3+ hours, that the 2 parts of the movie (edited from the 4-hour, 12-part serial) have to offer. Not everything has to be Hamlet.
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