Late Sunday afternoon viewing. Am only five minutes into this Roger Corman-produced erotic thriller from 1987 and so far I have already had a great cheesy 80's rock ballad playing over the opening credits ('Deny the Night' by Larry Steicher), Norman Fell as a cigar-chomping owner of a sleazy L.A. strip club, and such great lines of dialogue as "One nipple's hard, but the other one isn't". I feel like I've already gotten more than my money's worth, and with star Kay Lenz yet to show up, things can only get better.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
Really glad I decided to re-watch my old VHS of The Glitter Dome (1984) last week, and want a DVD or BR release of it even more now. Forgot what a great seedy little 80s cop noir thriller it is. Set in Hollywood (though filmed in British Columbia) it is a fairly sordid trip through the L.A. gutters filled with murder, child pornography and snuff movies. Great performances from Margot Kidder, John Lithgow and James Garner, who plays a cop that is very much like a more world-weary and beaten Jim Rockford. The similarities to The Rockford Files are compounded by the fact that one of the co-stars in the film is Stuart Margolin, who played Angel on many episodes of that television series. In fact, the whole movie is something of a Stuart Margolin project, as he also directed the film and composed the film's score!
For a made for HBO movie at the time, the film is pretty confronting in some of its themes and language (with Kidder dropping the C-word at one point). I need to track down a copy of the 1981 Joseph Wambaugh novel that it was based on someday.
Monday, January 25, 2016
Quite enjoyed the 70mm Roadshow screening of The Hateful Eight at the Astor this afternoon. I am not a huge fan of QT but I thought this was his best film for some time, possibly since JACKIE BROWN. I loved the original Ennio Morricone score, what little there actually was of it, and nice to hear the late David Hess - star of Wes Craven's infamous The Last House on the Left (1972) - on the film's soundtrack (Now You're All Alone, which the musician/actor originally wrote and performed for the Last House soundtrack ). Cool to get a free little 12-page Hateful Eight souvenir booklet upon entry. I used to love buying the movie programs they sold at the cinema when I first started going to the movies - in those pre-internet days, they were one of the few ways to get any kind of production info on a movie, even it was often fairly superficial.
I missed seeing Denis Villeneuve's Sicario (2015) during its brief local cinema run, but caught up with it on blu-ray this evening and wasn't disappointed. It's a tense and pretty uncompromising and tough crime thriller set amongst the brutal but almost casual everyday violence of the Mexican drug cartels and the blurring of legal and illegal lines in the government's fight to bring them down. Terrific performances by Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, but the real surprise of the film for me was the stunning cinematography by Roger Deakins, who captures some amazing and almost other-wordly Mexican vistas, many of them from high in the sky. A great modern crime flick that I imagine I will find myself watching again soon.