Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Nickel Ride (1974)

This goddamn city is dying all over.  It's drying up like a corpse, sections are choking to death.

Man, what a great flick!  The Nickel Ride stars Jason Miller as Cooper (The Key Man), a mid level mob boss who is on the verge of securing a block of empty warehouses which the LA mob will use to house stolen goods.  He just can't seem to get all of his ducks in a row.  

This movie reminds me a lot of The Friends of Eddie Coyle.  You've got your main character doing everything in his power to get over this last mid life mob hump and he's just not getting the right cards for a winning hand.  Father Karras does such a great job of conveying the concern, worry, distrust and paranoia that comes with having to deliver for the mob and fearing the cost of failure.  As the movie moves forward, you really get the sense of dread and mounting tension as Cooper starts to run out of time.  What gives the film an extra boost is that you're never really sure if Cooper's concerns are real or imagined. 

Bo Hopkins good ole boy character really shines against Millers stoic and intense character and their exchanges are highlights of the film.  Also stars Linda Haynes, Victor French (almost unrecognizable sans facial hair) and John Hillerman.  Really well done and deliberately paced, it was great to finally get to watch this one.  (Merry Christmas to me!)

Paranoia, the destroyaaaaaaah!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Farewell, My Lovely (1975)

"Now wait a minute. I've been slapped, scratched, punched, knocked unconscious, drugged, and shot at, looking for your Velma, so quit trying to make a milkshake out of my insides, will you?"

Every grown man wants to grow up to be Robert Mitchum.  Mitchum plays Philip Marlowe, Private Detective, on the case.  Farewell is a great film noir with all the noir trappings.  Cool lines, tough guys, dames, shootouts, corrupt cops, dead bodies, exposition and booze.

After 7 years in jail, a tough guy (Jack O'Halloran - General Zod's muscle from Superman) hires Marlowe to find his lady.  Wrong turns lead to dead ends and, the next thing you know, Marlowe has got his hands full with multiple investigations that all seem to be connected, somehow. 

"She was giving my the kind of look that I could feel in my hip pocket"
Charlotte Rampling plays the main dame and tries her best to be ugly, but fails miserably.  Harry Dean is in attendance.  We get bit parts for Sly Stallone and Joe Spinell.  Anthony Zerbe also grabs some fun screen time.  Check it out if you can get your hands on it.  I'm glad I did.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

American Me 1992

"You're starting to show weakness,...and we both know you can't do that." 

I've probably seen this movie close to 40 times.  One of my all time faves.  Watched this one again cuz I like to revisit the "classics", on occasion.  Decided to watch it with an eye on writing something up for this blog.  I guess after you've seen a movie so many times, the brutality gets lost on you.

I would venture to say that every hispanic male between the ages of 35 and 45 could quote every line from one of two movies.  American Me...or Blood In Blood Out.  It all just depends on which one you saw first.  I've done my own unofficial polling on this so,...

American Me is a fictionalized account of the rise of La Eme (the letter M), The Mexican Mafia, within the California Penal system.  The story is the rise and fall of Montoya Santana, from teenage street gang member to leader of what became the most powerful gang in Foslom Prison.  A lot of drama and a lot of the aformentioned brutality.  Let's see,...

Gang rape, immolation, A knife to the chest, A knife to the jugular, A knife in the back door, a gunshot blast to some dudes manhood, death by cocaine and sibling murder.  You add it all up and that kinda puts the ear cutting in Reservoir Dogs to shame.

A documentary on this movie, found on the dvd, made it clear that La Eme was none too pleased with the making of this movie.  Supposedly, Edward James Olmos name was "on a list" and a few of the real life collaborators on the film ended up dead after it's completion.

Well,...that's enough to keep me from blogging anymore about this movie.