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Saturday Night Noir: The Big Heat

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Starring: Glenn Ford, Lee Marvin, Alexander Scourby, Jeanette Nolan, Jocelyn Brando Director: Fritz Lang Writer(s): William P. McGivern, Sydney Boehm Studio: Columbia Pictures Running Time: 89 minutes Rated: NR (Warning: Contains Spoilers!) The first thing we see in ‘The Big Heat’ is a pistol being loaded behind the desk of Officer Tom Duncan. Duncan, a dirty cop on the payroll of Mike Lagana, the crooked mobster who has a strangle hold on the city he works for, has finally reached his breaking point. We hear the report of a gunshot and see Duncan collapse, still at his desk. His wife rushes down the staircase to investigate the noise and then witnessing the aftermath, naturally, screams in horror. The camera zooms in to the suicide note and then fades to black. As an opening scene, it’s … [Read more...]

Review: Good Will Hunting

(Review reposted in tribute to the recently deceased Robin Williams.) Starring: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Minnie Driver, Ben Affleck Director:  Gus Van Sant Writer(s): Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Studio: Mirimax Runtime: 126 minutes Rated: R Official Score: 3.5 stars out of 5 In a way this movie is like Rain Man for jaded intellectuals. Will Hunting is every bit as advanced as Dustin Hoffman’s character was in areas such as possessing a photographic memory of every academic book known to man, and solving mathematical equations that would cause even Einstein to light his hair on fire. He also is just as emotionally regressed and unable to make effective decisions for himself, although in a markedly different and more easily concealed way than the aforementioned autistic Rain Man was. Unlike … [Read more...]

Motorpsycho Matinée #3: Beyond The Law

Beyond The Law (1992) Starring: Charlie Sheen, Michael Madsen Director: Larry Ferguson Writer(s): Larry Ferguson Studio: HBO Films Running Time: 108 minutes Official Rating: 2 out of 5 stars Sometimes it’s best to leave childhood favorites in your childhood. This might have been one of those cases. I would have been around ten to twelve years old when I first saw “Beyond The Law”, which also would have been my first exposure to the idea of biker gangs and such, and at the time I thought it was just about the coolest film ever made. It’s filled with loud Harleys, wild bikers, tons of groovy rock music, and plenteous obscenities, violence, and nudity galore! (Yeah, my parents probably should have been a little more picky here, but eh, I turned out half way alright…) I probably watched it at … [Read more...]

Motorpsycho Matinée #2: Easy Rider

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Starring: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson Director: Dennis Hopper Writer(s): Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Terry Southern Studio: Columbia Runtime: 95 minutes Rated: R Official Score: 5 Stars One of my favorite mini-genres of movies is the latter day western. In these types of movies, set normally in the early 20th century, you see the last of the true cowboys fighting the expansion/encroachment on their way of life that was surely coming with the rapidly advancing technology and population boom of that time. There’s indeed something quite romantic about being the last of a particular breed, at the closing epoch of a famous era. Easy Rider is that kind of movie, but for the 1960s counter-culture generation instead of the 1890s cattle culture generation. And it has the added bonus … [Read more...]

Review: Mud

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  Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland Director: Jeff Nichols Writer(s) Jeff Nichols Studio: Lionsgate Runtime: 130 Min Rated: PG-13 Official Score: 4 out of 5 Stars Ellis and Neckbone live on the banks of the Arkansas river. What an amazing place to grow up this must be. Ellis stays on a houseboat with his father and mother, who are going through problems he cannot even begin to understand, but that may soon cost him his entire known way of life. In the evenings he sneaks off with his best friend, the aforementioned Neckbone, to explore the river and the many hidden treasures contained therein. One such adventure leads them to a small island, where they find their biggest score yet, a boat that has somehow wound up stuck in the high branches of … [Read more...]

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