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tried to watch the african queen on Netflix but the quality was terrible
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Oh my god. They're trying to claim another young victim with the foreign films.



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



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Nothing Bad Can Happen (Katrin Gebbe, 2013)

The Twilight People (Eddie Romero, 1972)
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Rubber Band Pistol (Jûzô Itami, 1962)

Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie (Peter Kuran, 1995)
+

Doc about the history of the atomic bomb’s creation, testing and use, mostly by the U.S. but also the Soviets and China, is a scary sight to behold.
Yellow Caesar (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1941)
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Flowers in the Attic (Jeffrey Bloom, 1987)

How Green Was My Valley (John Ford, 1941)

Spotlight on a Murderer (Georges Franju, 1961)


Deaths occur after a family begins using its castle as a tourist attraction recreating a historical incident that happened there centuries earlier.
Texasville (Peter Bogdanovich, 1990)
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”Tricks of Our Trade” (Wilfred Jackson, James Algar & Hamilton Luske, 1957)

Beach Rats (Eliza Hittman, 2017)

Time Piece (Jim Henson, 1965)


Jim Henson stars in a series of surrealistic scenes which highlight how modern life affects time and vice versa.
Beyond Zero: 1914-1918 (Bill Morrison, 2014)

Pete’s Dragon (Don Chaffey, 1977)
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Jurassic World (Colin Trevorrow, 2015)
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Battle of the Sexes (Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton, 2017)


1973. While exploring her feelings for another woman, 29-year-old women’s tennis champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) prepares to take on 55-year-old former champ and addicted gambler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carrell), a self-described male chauvinist pig.
Deep in My Heart (Stanley Donen, 1954)
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The Idolmaker (Taylor Hackford, 1980)

Passionless Moments (Jane Campion, 1983)

Ava (Léa Mysius, 2017)


After learning that she’s losing her night vision, 13-year-old Noée Abita runs away from home and takes up with 18-¬year-old “outlaw” Juan Cano.
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It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page



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Ride the High Country (Sam Peckinpah) 1962)




This may well not be the classic it's made out to be by some semi-modern critics, but it's easily a film which is well-worth seeing repeatedly and one which shows how the entire genre evolved and inched that much closer to the concept of revisionism. This is basically a mainstream western, and one which was only thought of as semi-important, even though it contained Randolph Scott's last performance and Joel McCrea's last significant one. Peckinpah teamed up with DP Lucien Ballard for the first time (he used him four more times in the future, beginning with The Wild Bunch). This was Warren Oates' first Peckinpah film, and he's rather important in introducing Peck's theme that women are mostly abused by males, especially the most-immature, but sometimes the females can turn the tables on the men. The problem is that when "immature" boys get into a group, their first thought seems to be to retaliate by killing and then by raping. Within the studio system in a lower-mid-level production, there seems to be a great deal of artistic freedom, and it almost seems like Peckinpah was being groomed for stardom. However, his metier seemed to be realistic deaths in ugly surroundings and violent showdown finales, hopefully with something involving camraderie among cowboy friends and chivalry among aging cowboys. If you have never seen a western in your life or have never seen this particular western. make sure you give it a shot. I haven't even mentioned R.G. Armstrong, L.Q. Jones, James Drury, John Anderson, Edgar Buchanan and, in a surprisingly affective performance, young Ron Starr, who never actually made another movie again, even if he conceived a child with Meg Foster.



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Jesus of Montreal (Denys Arcand, 1989)




Beautiful, thought-provoking, irreverent, haunting, funny, sexy and deeply moving are all words I use to describe what I consider the greatest Jesus film ever made, Jesus of Montreal. It's set in present-day Montreal where a group of actors get together to put on an updated version of the Passion on the grounds of a Catholic church. The troupe's ostensible leader, Daniel (the incredible Lothaire Bluteau), who is to play Jesus, begins the film recruiting his apostles and before long it becomes apparent that almost everything which is happening in real life is a mirror of the Passion Play and the Gospels, often in strikingly original ways. Director/writer Arcand looks at things from many perspectives so you can never be sure what his personal agenda is, but one thing is for sure and that's if you're a believer, you should be able to put Jesus's life into a more-modern and personal context. If you hate "religious" movies, you will quickly see that this is not a religious film at all, yet it doesn't shy away from showing a powerful Jesus (both Biblical and "actor") who is totally capable of performing miracles which affect people's lives in the here and now. It's a wonderful film which seems to accomplish the impossible by presenting a potentially-polarizing subject in a very inclusive way. I think it can only disappoint the most-fundamentalist of churchgoers, but it will reward those with open hearts and minds. Besides that, it's damn entertaining. Two of my fave scenes are the low-budget special effects presentation of the beginning and ending of the world and the hilarious scene of dubbing a porno movie. However, it's the night-time Passion Play itself, which is so hypnotic and causes Daniel and his followers to get in trouble with the Catholic Church even though it's critically acclaimed and loved by the audiences.



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Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
; Cult Rating:




Lynch's audacious telling of the soft, wet underbelly of Reagan America is a real headscratcher of a movie, at least for me. The setup is wonderful, the cinematography is broodingly-beautiful, the supporting characters are played by actors (Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell, Isabella Rossellini) who give brave performances, at least in the fact that they trust Lynch to keep them from coming across as moronic caricatures. The problem is that those characters are truly moronic caricatures, so most the brave acting goes down the tubes for me. The film's political and social satire also seems to get jettisoned the longer it goes on and tries to just make people feel uncomfortable for the hell of it. I find no connection between what's going on in this movie and any legit commentary on 1986 America, and God knows that 1986 America was ripe for a slap in the face. My problem seems to be that Lynch came up with a set-up and some characters and then just fell in love with their absurdity and went out of his way to highlight it. Most critics disagree with me, and Woody Allen said that it was the best film of the year, but that was probably because he was dealing with his own guilt issues at the time. Anyway, I do give Blue Velvet credit for leading Lynch to create the "Twin Peaks" TV series, something which does what Blue Velvet attempted, but does it far more entertainingly as well as scarier. It's really hard to be scared of the villains [in Blue Velvet] when they act like idiot Looney Tunes who swear



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Rachel Getting Married (Jonathan Demme, 2008)




I'm not sure what I expected when I watched this film, but it was an almost agonizing experience for me, and I don't mean that in a good way, like say, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. I'm resigned to the fact that most families (especially mine) are dysfunctional and cause far more embarrassing scenes than necessary, but almost nothing can prepare one for this film where the younger daughter Kym (Anne Hathaway) leaves rehab and attends her sister's wedding at the family home. Now, this family has many skeletons in its closet and they all come out before the film's finale. I don't want to get into and "spoil" the details. However, I feel I can go into Demme's presentation and Jenny Lumet's screenplay. Demme returns to his early days (think: Last Embrace) of herky-jerky camera movement in an attempt to draw the viewer in, but all it did for me was to make me even more irritated at the pathetic characters and situations created by Ms. Lumet. I'm not saying that every character in film history doesn't deserve empathy from somebody, but this collection I found difficult to care about. The second half of the film is better than the first when things are allowed to calm down a bit. Anne Hathaway is quietly powerful rendering the saddest day of her and her family's lives at an AA meeting. Musician/singer Tunde Adebimpe (from the acclaimed band TV on the Radio) is natural as the groom of Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt), and eventually some of the characters almost reach an understanding, but then things get screwed again by the constant practicing of one of the worst bands in wedding film history. I mean, when a giant such as Robyn Hitchcock is used as an afterthought to listening to a pain-inducing string section practicing for almost two hours, you know the basic concepts of the film are askew, unless they are to make the viewer hate the movie. HA!



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La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1960)
; Art House Rating:




Fellini fashions his own completely-unique film about empty journalist Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) who follows other empty people around Rome and writes up their lives for the even emptier "regular people" to feed upon in a way to forget about their own lives. (It kinda reminds me of what's happening now [summer 2010] with Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson.) The film is incredibly episodic, and while most of it is very realistic, there are occasional flourishes where time and location seem to disappear effortlessly under Fellini's masterful direction. The film does eventually add up to something powerful, but while you're watching the entire three hours, I can understand how it might bother and/or bore some viewers, but for those willing to look carefully and connect the dots, the final few scenes are actually quite powerful in offering up Fellini's own interpretation of fellow Italian auteur Antonioni's theme of people living alone and unable to communicate. The fate of Msrcello's friend Steiner (Alain Cuny) and that of the giant manta ray at the end could only be conceived by a man who was deeply living in a world he felt was almost a vacuum yet desired to communicate with humankind, however seemingly-haphazardly.

EDIT - I forgot to mention that Nico can be seen in the film. She has a very small part, and I suppose she's actually playing herself (her name is Nicolina), but many of the actors are actually playing characters with their own names. Anyway, if you've never noticed Nico in the movie, she has a scene in the car with Marcello and a few others and she begins to speak with a Teutonic accent, exactly the same way she "sings" on the Velvet Underground and Nico record. She is obviously speaking German, but when Marcello asks her what language it is, she responds "Eskimo". Not really too much to say, but something fun for those who care about such pop culture trivialities.



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The Three Musketeers (1973)/The Four Musketeers (1974)(both directed by Richard Lester) both




Alexandre Dumas' epic romantic adventure The Three Musketeers is perfectly brought to the screen by a wonderful cast and a director at the height of his imagination who is willing to provide tons of offbeat humor to the rip-roaring tale. The only reason it's two movies is because they were faithful enough to the plot and George MacDonald Fraser's humorous adaptation that it took three-and-one-half hours to film the whole thing. It's basically non-stop Joy and easily the best version of the novel or any other swashbuckler for that matter. (Well, unless you think that Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark are actually swashbucklers instead of westerns .)

The first film establishes all the characters and the plot and ends up with the good guys winning. Yes, in that way it's reminiscent of the first Star Wars. The casting is really incredible, David Watkin's cinematography is spectacular, Michel Legrand's score is gorgeous, and there are far too many memorable scenes to get into or try to spoil. However, the relationship between Michael York's D'Artagnan and Raquel Welch's Constance is at the forefront. Charlton Heston as Richelieu and Christopher Lee as Rochefort are two of the greatest villains in screen history.

The wonderful The Four Musketeers really does live up to the trailer's assertion that it has more action. That is probably true. It's also much darker (as is The Empire Strikes Back, and remember, these films predated Star Wars). The centerpiece of this flick is the past relationship between the heartbroken Athos (Oliver Reed) and the treacherous Milady (Faye Dunaway) and how it plays out in the context of the rest of the famous plot. Lalo Schifrin takes over the musical duties and composes a haunting theme for Milady, who certainly qualifies as what was that other thread? Favorite Female Sociopath? If you haven't seen these films, you really owe it to yourself to see how a romantic swashbuckling adventure comedy SHOULD be done. To quote Mr.s K & H, "A splendid time is guaranteed for all!"

[Put it under 3 Musketeers and fix the top if necessary and delete this.]



Mark, do you use a website like imdb or letterboxd to keep track of all of your ratings?



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
ahh, a fellow lover of the three and four musketeer movies SWEET!!!

finally got a chance to meander around this. Gonna actually start at the end and go backward.



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Bambi Meets Godzilla (Marv Newland, 1969)



One and one-half minutes of pleasure I will not put any spoilers here. I believe there haven't been too many comments about this film. Anyway, when I saw this film in 1970 at a film festival with a large crowd, nobody knew what to expect. The opening credits started rolling in front of Bambi having an idyllic morning snack to the exact music you would think would be playing during such an idyllic happening. The credits were repetitious, but it soon became clear that they were going to be repetitious so as to be funny, and yes, there was a nice punchline to the credits. Well, when the credits ended, it wasn't long before the cartoon ended. The entire theatre burst into enormous laughter which lasted for several minutes along with loud and long clapping. Anyone who thinks they actually wasted 90 seconds of their life watching this gem must have a warped sense of reality, or at least, time. Regardless of a low budget, "amateurish" artwork, and no "story", this is one of the most entertaining films ever made. The wit and creativity involved shame most big-budget Hollywood films which take 2 1/4 hours and don't usually supply as much entertainment as this does in 1 1/2 minutes. It's much better than any jokes I've heard since seeing it. It's also much better than MOST things you can do in 90 seconds.



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It was maddening. The abuse of an epileptic turn-the-other-cheeker [as well as several others] is sickening to watch, but it's relatively well made. I just thought it wasn't that interesting after awhile.



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Sympathy for the Devil (Jean-Luc Godard, 1968)



About half of the film shows the Rolling Stones rehearsing the title song in several trademark Godardian long takes. This is intercut with black revolutionaries quoting the words of some of the Black Panthers and a few other seemingly-satirical scenes criticizing capitalism and the mainstream media. All of these scenes are also in single shots. Apart from these individual shots which mostly have their own chapter title, the only time one sees any traditional editing is during a brief section in the middle involving the Stones intercut with some political graffiti being painted on various English cars and bridges. Over and above everything, one often hears a commentator reading from something resembling a trashy pulp novel set in an alternate universe with characters' names from our own political, pop culture and religious world.

What it all means is very difficult to understand. Godard often seems completely serious even when the scenes are plainly ludicrous, but he seems to want this to fit comfortably in his Communist Revolutionary Era of films. However using a cash cow such as the Rolling Stones either makes Godard someone using capitalism to promote his own agenda or someone who's trying to make fun of the Stones as self-styled revolutionary rockers. Maybe a lyric from the song sums up what the film says to me: "What's puzzling you is the nature of my game."

By the way, if you don't really care for the Rolling Stones, then drop my rating to
.



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The Train (John Frankenheimer, 1964)


Terrific action thriller/cat-and-mouse game set in France at the end of WWII has the French Resistance trying to keep a Nazi colonel (Paul Scofield) from transporting art treasures back to Berlin before the Allies arrive to liberate Paris. Burt Lancaster plays a Resistance member who does most of his work while acting as a train station master but he doesn't see the point in sacrificing human lives for the Picassos, Matisses and Renoirs. However, most everyone else involved in the Resistance and working along the route to Germany want to stop the train from leaving the country while saving the art.

Frankenheimer's direction is muscular and meticulous at the same time, showcasing some great action scenes involving trains and planes with very few uses of special effects. The technical achievement on screen is highly-impressive. Lancaster, the director's favorite actor, is equally physical, performing all his stunts, of which there are several, and bringing a gravitas to a character which could have been a cliche. He and Scofield make great rivals. The supporting cast is also impressive, including Jeanne Moreau and Michel Simon, and the film wraps up with an incredibly powerful ending. All in all, one of the greatest war films ever made.



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The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 1978)


Scorsese's labor of love showcasing the Band's final concert on Thanksgiving 1976 at San Francisco's Winterland features many memorable songs and performers, as well as Marty interviewing Band members about their long, varied history. Most of the film is footage from the actual concert but there are additional numbers which are staged in the studio so as to control camera placement and get certain desired effects. The Band performs several of their best songs, including "Up on Cripple Creek", "The Weight" (with the Staples), "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "Ophelia".

The cast of guest performers is incredible. Muddy Waters struts through "Mannish Boy", Neil Young does "Helpless", Joni Mitchell sings "Coyote", Eric Clapton does "Further on up the Road", Emmylou Harris performs "Evangeline", Van Morrison sings "Caravan", Neil Diamond does "Dry Your Eyes". There are also songs with the Band's first "boss", Ronnie Hawkins, who does "Who Do You Love?", Paul Butterfield sings "Mystey Train", Dr. John joins in with "Such a Night", Bob Dylan gets two numbers, "Forever Young" and "Baby Let Me Follow You Down", and there are also appearances by Ringo and Ron Wood as well as poetry readings by Michael McClure and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. If these are the kind of performers and songs you think you'd enjoy, then you're probably correct.



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Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955)
; Art House Rating:



Ordet is Danish for "The Word", and this film is undoubtedly Dreyer's last word on the meaning of Christian faith. It's a slow, somber film set in a small Danish village where there seems to be basically two families who practice different forms of Christianity. Morten Borgen (Henrik Malberg) owns a farm and has three sons. The eldest Mikkel (Emil Hass Christensen) has wife Inger (Birgitte Federspiel) expecting a baby, and both parents want a son because they already have two daughters. The youngest son is in love with the daughter Anne (Gerta Nielsen) of Morten's religious rival Peter (Ejner Federspiel). Morten's middle son Johannes (Preben Lerdorff Rye), a former seminarian obsessed with Kierkegaard, believes himself to be the returned Jesus Christ and desperately wants to perform miracles and help save people but since everybody thinks he's crazy, he never seems to get a chance.

As with most of Dreyer's films, it's extremely stark but this reflects well on the environment and simple, harsh life the families go through. Morten believes in a God who wants his family to be happy and rejoice, and he believes that Peter is just suffering through life and can't wait for death to find some reward. Meanwhile, Peter believes that Morten and his family are going to Hell. This obviously causes problems in trying to get their children together, and further complications arise when Inger's pregnancy does not go as planned. This film obviously has no special effects and doesn't need any. People who are seriously interested in an intelligent discussion of what Christianity can be, how God works in mysterious ways and whether faith can move mountains or something even more immovable would do well to watch Ordet. It is a sincere and moving film.



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Brick (Rian Johnson, 2006)
+.


I watched Brick and although I may watch it again, I'll go ahead and post what I think about it today. I have mixed feelings. For every thing about it which seems original or inventive, there's something which seems silly or wrong-headed. For every good camera shot, there is a scene of lousy sound recording. Balancing out the two or three good performances in the flick are weak ones, especially by the three femme fatales. Needless to say, it's an interesting watch, which probably gets better as it goes along, but just doesn't seem to add up to that much in the context of good films, let alone film noir.

This isn't going to be the most-organized post but I want to start by mentioning a few things which haven't been mentioned yet. Everybody talks about this film as somehow reflecting high school life, but the high school, while serving as a low-budget "set" for many of the scenes, is never shown at all to be a "working high school". It's something more akin to a dreamworld school. Aside from the scene in the parking lot, there are rarely any scenes with more than two characters at this school, which is actually San Clemente High School (less than an hour south of me). The scenes with more than two characters seem to involve the "actress" Kara and her lap dogs. At no time do we see a teacher, there are no classrooms shown and there are never any students walking the halls or out of class at all. This certainly helps out when you're making a low-budget flick and it fits with the noir aesthetic of having few characters in individual scenes but it certainly doesn't keep an intelligent viewer from asking why, especially when the "plot" itself is not all that absorbing or even intelligible.

The dialogue has been mentioned and it's true that some of it is directly lifted from the novel The Maltese Falcon and Bogie's film version. These parts include "Now you are dangerous" and "Angel". It was also fun to see Brendan slapping around Dode as if Sam Spade was slapping Joel Cairo. I was a little disappointed though when Brendan did NOT say, "When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it!" Basically the dialogue is supposed to be hard-boiled, but to hear it spoken at times by people who don't even seem to comprehend what they're saying is at times disconcerting. I especially found the three lead female characters very weak in both acting and the dialogue they deliver. On the other hand, the Brain's shorthand dialogue with Brendan is believable in the context of high school friends. Even in the '60s/'70s, I would speak in a slangy way with my best friends which we alone could understand. Now, we didn't do it because we didn't want others to know what we were saying. We basically did it as a way to deepen our friendship and provide each other with little in-jokes to go with the info we were sharing. I'm just not sure how the commingling of traditional hard-boiled dialogue with specific, modern slang plays out here. Once again, I find it to be something of a schizophrenic experience.

Gordon-Leavitt is obviously the backbone of the film and makes it seem better than it probably is. He works fine as both the hero and the dupe which you need in a noir, but since he's modeled after Sam Spade and needs a "fall guy", he is depicted much stronger than say the pathetic Al character in Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour. However, the Tug character, played complexly by Noah Fleiss, certainly grew on me. He could be hotheaded and sane all within a second so that kind of character and acting is necessary for what passes for the murder mystery plot to make sense. He's somewhat reminiscent of the Moose character in Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely.

I realize that I'm just scratching the surface so far but I have things to do and I'm hurting again so I'll stop for awhile. My rating is
so that's probably an average rating for what I give a film noir, even though calling this a film noir is almost (but not quite) like calling Bugsy Malone a gangster flick. They're closer to a pastiche, although Brick obviously wants to be taken seriously since it's got a moody musical score and even includes a David Lynch set (the last photo which winter put in his original post). However, I'm not a committed noir fan. By that I mean I really love movies so I love noir but I don't automatically think more of a film just because it's noir. It still has to fulfill some basic storytelling and technical criteria, and I find Brick borderline in some of those criteria, at least for me. It's interesting to note that director Rian Johnson graduated in 1996 from the same college (USC's School of Cinema-Television) which my daughter Sarah attended. I have no reason to not think well of him, especially since much of this film reminds me of some of the films which Sarah has directed so far, even though she's never seen it.

EDIT

Having rewatched Brick, I'll have to correct some of my misstatements in the last post. There are scenes, especially at the beginning, where there are students (very few) in the hall for a second. There is also a scene where students are walking to buses in the front of the school. However, for the most part there is nobody much at the school except for the addition of that rehearsal (?) scene with Kara. I am guessng that most of the few people we see on campus are probably crew members "posing" as students. The sound recording problems I had with the film were mostly involving dialogue but I'll admit that since I watched it on a better system they didn't quite sound as weak as before even though I still believe that several lines of dialogue should be clearer. However, the use of sound effects is quite well-done, especially the sounds we hear of cheerleading practice, unseen lockers slamming shot, piano rehearsals and unintelligible voices signifying a crowd. My fave sound effects are those when Brendan is chased through his school by some knife-wielding punk. Those are clever and bizarre all at once.

Speaking of the beginning, it also seemed as if the plot of the film was propelled by David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" and Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. The film begins with the finding of a dead blonde high school girl. The girl's name is Emily, but she is one of the three femme fatales, and the primary one is named Laura, as in Laura Palmer, the dead girl in the Lynch opus. The next major scenes in the film seem to involve Brendan learning about a costume party and showing up without a legit invitation, a la the Tom Cruise character in Eyes Wide Shut. Now, the fact that these plot mechanisms are used shouldn't seem strange since Rian Johnson's chief visual influences seem to be Lynch and Kubrick. The interior of the Pin's house is reminiscent of "Twin Peaks" although it also seems to have been lit by Kubrick's lighting cameraman, especially the low-angle interior and exterior scenes. The interior shots remind me of A Clockwork Orange and The Shining while the exterior ones echo some in the cloudy boot camp scenes from Full Metal Jacket. Johnson also utilizes the low-angle shooting in the dialogue scenes which John Huston used in The Maltese Falcon to signify menacing power, especially from Sydney Greenstreet's Casper Gutman. I'm not sure what the scenes in Pin's house between him and Brendan are supposed to signify except for an homage.

I'll mention a few other things which I noticed. I'm going to say that of the three femme fatales that the one best-acted was the Em character. The Laura character is honestly the weak link to me about the movie. In the scene in the Pin's kitchen, we hear zither music, but it's not from The Third Man. Even so, it adds some spice to the noir connection. Overall, the musical score, which I believe to be composed by the director's brother, is complex and varied, using all manner of sounds and instrumentation. The cane which the Pin uses seems to have a duck or goose head on it. [There is what looks like a swan on the wall of Vice Principal Trueman (Richard "Shaft" Roundtree.) Both Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre) and Casper Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet) in The Maltese Falcon have canes, but this cane seems to allude to the one which "crippled" Everett Sloane used in The Lady From Shanghai. Didn't Rita Hayworth call him a cripple before that film's famous climax? There is a scene in Brick where Tug calls Pin a cripple during their "breakup" scene. There are also a few scenes which reminded me of Hitchcock, including one when the fight breaks out at the Pin's house. The powwow is in the basement but the fighting is above them and the camera prowls around the ceiling and we hear disturbing sounds above which sound like the impending doom at the climax of The Birds. There is also a scene where the camera slowly zooms into the tunnel where the body of Em is found which is reminiscent of many Hitch (and Kubrick, for that matter) scenes.

I would have to say that overall I probably think a little more of Brick than I dd the first viewing but not by much. It still seems overlong to me and too many parts of the plot seem to be placed where they go because it's a noir rather than a straight-up mystery. Unless a noir has some tremendous plot twists, like The Maltese Falcon, The Third Man and Chinatown, it usually stands or falls on the strengths of the Dupe/Hero and the Femme Fatale. I think the "detective" is strong here but he can't always carry the femme fatales in this instance. I still think it's worth a watch but compared to the other films I watched this weekend, I find it to be the weakest, least entertaining so I can't really raise my rating above a
+.