Tuesday, September 22, 2009

bad/awesome flixxx review: Film Noir Edition: Chinatown & the Big Sleep

hello hello.  ALERT!  Most of the flicks i review in this vloggg consist of guilty pleasures i come across and torture myself trying to get through, or something totally awesome i forgot about. But this little review today consists of my new found love for old detective novels and flicks. First off, I watched Chinatown.  This is Roman Polanski's take on 40s film noir:
I highly recommend this flick, so I'm not gonna blaze thru this one like usual and spoil anything.  But basically you have Jack Nicholson playing a private dick, faye dunaway as the obligatory suspect divorcee/daughter/mistress type chick.  Polanski makes his appearance as muscle for one of the main bad dudes & has possibly the best "OH SHIT!" moment in the movie, when Jacko gets his fucking nose sliced open and spends over half the flick with a bandage on his schnozz.  There's some heavy historical shit going down in this flick as well, thats pretty much on the nose as far as California political battles over "Ol' Mulholland" (as he's referred to in the Frank Black song off his 2nd solo album, Teenager of the Year) bringing much needed water to the los angeles area by means of a giant aquaduct.  Everyone's seen T2 right?  The thing they drive the big trucks thru?  Yeah, that.  John Huston is a creepy old man, and Jerry Goldsmith does the score... You know him from the Planet of the Apes score.  Yes you do.

the 2nd flick that i saw was the main inspiration for the Big Lebowski (one of my favorite flicks).  Its called The Big Sleep (the 1946 version).  Starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

This is based on the 1939 book by Raymond Chandler that kicked off his series of novels about detective Phillip Marlowe.  Again, i actually recommend seeing this.  At night when its raining would be the perfect setting.  Bogie gets all the babes.  You immediately see ties to Lebowski from the first scene w/ a big old dude in a wheel chair who has some classic dialogue and his youngest daughter played by Martha Vickers.  She looks at Bogie, and you could swear she's gonna say, "i'll suck yer cock for a thousand dollars."  I guess the only reason everyone made so much about Lauren Bacall was that Bogie married her after they did "To Have and Have Not" the previous year.  Otherwise, even Raymond Chandler said that Vickers portrayal of Carmen stole the scenes out from under Bacall.  According to wiki, the producers caught wind of that and cut more than half of this lil knockout's scenes.  Watch the first five minutes with her cooing how Bogie is "cute", and tell me you don't swoon at the knees.  Christ, they just don't make em like that anymore.  And don't get me wrong, I like the coy bad girl that Bacall tries to play too.  I like it when girls try to play tuff.  And she's a great singer.  She makes Faye Dunaway look like a piece of shit.  anyway, all in all, you have a pretty convoluted plot here, but even the Big Lebowski took me a few tries before i "got" it.  And if you can keep up, Bogie does a pretty good job of revealing the scam once he finally figures it out himself.  I just got a copy of "To Have and Have Not" that ill be perusing very soon.  Keep yer eyes peeled flatfoot.
*** PS while i'm at it, i must recommend Thomas Pynchon's new stoner p.i. novel: "Inherent Vice".  It is laugh out loud funny, and reads like a sequel to Lebowski.  loves it.***

1 comment:

  1. if you haven't seen Deadbeat at Dawn, check that shit out. totally amazing and fitting for this blog, herbie.