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11-21-2012, 03:37 PM
  #93
hototogisu
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Montreal, QC
Country: Canada
Posts: 33,490
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Awards:
The Roaring Twenties: 7/10
Trying to finish off my classic gangster films box set that I bought ages ago. This one from Raoul Walsh features a familiar gangster movie trope - boyhood friends whose lives go in opposite paths. Actually there's three friends here (Cagney, Bogart, and another I don't remember). Cagney of course goes full gangster, the other guy becomes a respectable lawyer, and Bogart is a grey area. It's not bad, but not mind-blowing. It points the finger squarely at the alienation felt by many Americans returning home from the war to an uninterested and harsh society as the cause for this crimewave of the era though, of course, condemns it in the end. I haven't seen that kind of aggressively political stance in many other movies like this, so it was neat.

White Heat: 8/10
Yow. Walsh returns again almost 10 years later and this one is pretty wild. Cagney is in tow again, looking 10 years rougher, and is perfect in the insane, mother-loving ("Made it, Ma! Top of the world!") lead. The plot features a lot of clever twists and turns and it's a lot of fun to watch and to anticipate what shoe is going to drop next. I enjoyed it a lot, might be my favorite in the set (which included The Public Enemy, Little Caesar, The Petrified Forest, The Roaring Twenties and this - good films all).

Letter Never Sent: 8/10
What a coincidence - I had watched this a couple of days ago and I come in here to find it a topic of discussion. The camera work and cinematography is indeed the highlight of this movie (I've yet to see Cranes, so no comparisons). In fact, it's been suggested that the plot is just a loose excuse to get the central quartet to Siberia (or somewhere suggestive of Siberia) and film them in all manner of beautiful landscape. But it's never boring, and definitely worth a look, especially if your tastes trend toward the more visual side of things. I grabbed it during a 50% off sale as a total blind buy and I'm not disappointed, but it's not often you get disappointed by Criterion either.

Dr. No: 6/10
My Bond knowledge is non-existent. I saw Quantum of Solace when it came out and that was my first one. Just not a series that has ever interested me. But my brother got a hold of a bunch of burns of the first 10 or so, so I decided to join in on the viewing. Dr. No is, of course, the first one, and it seems like a pretty tentative start. Nothing overly sexy or dangerous or exciting here, in fact it's got a couple of pretty cheesy moments, even for the 60's. In any event, I hear Dr. No isn't even very highly regarded by Bond enthusiasts. But it's kind of cool to see the origins of the whole thing. I'm definitely more looking forward to the next two, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger. Well, and Skyfall, which I'll be seeing tonight...but that's getting ahead.

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