New Movie Thread

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Feb 2001:New Movie Thread
By Anatomist1 on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 06:07 pm: Edit

Hackman is always good, but he's a workaholic, and takes too many jobs in awful movies. QUICK AND THE DEAD was one of the stupidest movies I've ever seen. Actually, I finally stopped watching about 2/3 through it.

Anybody ever see EUREKA, by Nicholas Roeg, where Hackman becomes rich from striking gold in the klondike, and goes on to become a mu-mu wearing freak who owns his own island?

IMDb says UNFORGIVEN was released in 1992.

I just saw a great dutch film: ANTONIA'S LINE.


By _Blackjack on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 03:56 pm: Edit

Gene Hackman is one of my favorite actors. I hears someone (Eastwood, maybe) saying that what mad him so good was that he could be quiet. It's easy for an actor to go wild. They want the attention. What is hard for most actors to do is to stay still, to play a character in control, and let his actions tell his story.

By _Blackjack on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 03:52 pm: Edit


I would say that MC was just influenced by Yojimbo, while most of the later movies duplicated the formula directly, down to the sequence of events and major characters. What's interesting about both "Miller's Crossing" and "Last Man Standing" is that they returned, perhaps inadverantly, to the original setting of the story: prohibition-era gangsters. I'm entirely sure "Last Man Standing" was made with no knowlege of the original text. They originally credited Kurosawa, not Hammett, as creator of the story. I think the WGA made them change it for video release.

But, honestly, Kurasawa is more responsible for the story as we know it than Hammett. _Red_Harvest_ provided the basic elements: the nameless stranger coming to an isolated town, getting caught in a gang war, and then playing both ends against the middle. But Hammett's version was more complex, and less...mythic. Kurasawa stripped it down to it's basic structure, making the characters more iconic, especially by using Toshiro Mifune, who was already an icon. I think "Fistfull of Dollars" is more effective now than when it was first made because Eastwood has reached iconic status. I doubt Bruce Willis will ever get there.

Other variations on the story:

"The Warrior and the Sorceress" - fantasy (David Carradine, 1984)

"Omega Doom" - post-apocalyse scifi (Rutger Hauer, 1996)

There is also a movie from 1930 called "Roadhouse Nights" that is based on _Red_Harvest_, but I've never been able to find it.

By Black_Rabbit on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 02:31 pm: Edit

If you haven't seen the uncut Seven Samurai, do so.

It kicked so much ass, it's shoes wore out.

By Bob_Chong on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 02:29 pm: Edit

RE: innocents being whipped

I always thought that scene in Unforgiven (among other similarities) was an homage to High Plains Drifter, my favorite and perhaps the most underrated Eastwood movie.


By Marc on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 10:38 am: Edit


The Sharon Stone movie you're referring to is
THE QUICK AND THE DEAD, Sam Raimi's homage to
spaghetti westerns.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 09:20 am: Edit

It was Sharon Stone I was blocking on, and I guess The Unforgiven came out in the late 80s not the 90s but otherwise my comments stand.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 09:18 am: Edit

What I meant was, there had to be an essentially innocent black guy whipped to death as the catalyst (seemed a little gratuitous), the whole bit with the ladies of the bawdyhouse putting out a contract seemed a little too post-feminist, and when you add it all up in an anti-Western, it reeks of playing to very 90s sensibilities. Don't misunderstand; I liked the film, I just sniffied a whiff of PC.

Hackman was also great in that gunfight contest flick with Leo DeC and whatshername (I'm blocking) in which the lady gunfighter finally kills his ass. A much earlier film along same lines was HANNIE CAULDER with Raquel Welch and I liked it better.

Incidentally, blackjack, while I see where you're coming from, I don't think Miller's Crossing is really of the mainstream Yojimbo/Sanjuro bloodline. Fistfull of Dollars was for sure; Last man Standing was for sure. Practically scene for scene. But MC is not so derivative. In the others, the protagonist is an uninvolved itinerant -- ronin if you will, but in MC he's an insider. I don't know the other film you referenced. I"m an old Kurosawa fan from way back. Ever see the uncut 3.5 hr Seven Samurai?



By Anatomist1 on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 09:03 am: Edit

It's been a while, but my understanding of UNFORGIVEN was different. It wasn't about Eastwood being political anything. His character's conscience was sore from a lifetime of too much killing. This conscience apparently grew out of a love affair, but then the woman died. He kept trying to hang onto it, and the memories, but without his wife the pull of his old self was inexorable. Alone in the west again, his true nature was that of a killer -- the tension built up as so many heinous things happened that should have set him to shooting, and he continued to resist. This made for one of the grandest revenge scenes ever. I think this was also a personal exploration for Eastwood as a filmmaker. He, like his character, is struggling with the legacy of bloody revenge films he has created. It's almost as if he is trying to make a passivist film as atonement, but in the end he just decides "What the hell. I gotta be me." I suppose you could say that he was trying on an artificial PC conscience, but I don't see Eastwood as the kind of guy who'd almost be cowed by a bunch of mewling bureaucrats -- I think it was organic.

Gene Hackman was great in that movie, as he was in CRIMSON TIDE. He's becoming a scary badass in his old age.


By Don_Walsh on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 06:36 am: Edit

Marc, I wasn't the one who brought up the Thompson gunfight (one of the highpoints of the film) in Miller's Crossing. That was to a gun futz like me, a religious epipheny, but to the Coen Bros and the general public, doubtless merely the pornography of violence -- like the scene where the Italians shoot up the Sons of Erin bar, the bartender gives up and is shot dead in the street. Kicking and twitching in extremis. Now, who would you sanction: me for loving the aesthetics of guns, or the filmmakers and audience for getting off on the ersatz but realistic portayal of a guy whose nervous system has just disconnected from his heart/lung apparatus? You may not share my paen to the Thompson, but surely you share my revulsion at the latter?

BTW I just reran 'The Unforgiven'. I'd forgotten the great scene where Eastwood says "Yes, that's me, in Missouri I killed men, women, children, I killed just about anything that walked or crawled, and now, Little Bill, I'm here to kill you."

A good scene in a film that was just a tetch heavy handedly politically correct otherwise...

By Marc on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 03:38 am: Edit


I'm amazed by your ability to turn virtually any discussion into a vamp on guns. I'm not being sarcastic or judgemental. I'm really amazed.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 03:18 am: Edit

Well, when appreciating Miller's Crossing, it helps to be half Irish and half Sicilian and from New Orleans.

Like, it appeals to both sides of my brain.

The first time I saw it was on laserdisc...and I wasn't really paying attention, I was at a Thai partner's house, and suddenly halfway through the movie there's a streetcar in front of the Whitney Bank on St Charles, just off Canal, my office (in early 70s) used to be one block away at the old Sheraton Charles Hotel, with the Agency down the street at the Masonic Temple...and I suddenly realized the film was set in Nawlins and I went BOING!

Really good stuff, even though Albert Finney was sort of wasted as the Irish political boss.

blackjack, you are right on about the Danny Boy accompaniement to the Chicago Piano duet.

"Leo always was an artist with a Thompson."


Anyone else here ever actually fire a Thompson much less gain expertise with one? The Untouchables would have you believe they kick a lot, not true. They are so heavy that the .45 pistol caliber ammo really doesn't have enough ass to create a lot of recoil. It's an easy gun to shoot unless one is afraid of the noise. Just lean your weight into it and it won't climb up at all. I know guys who can write their names with one. Anyway, they are antiques now, cared for and appreciated by a tiny number of collectors. The originals are the Model of 1921, made by Colt, sights by Lyman, wood by Remington. The inventor was General John Taliafero ('Ironfist') Thompson, head of US Army Ordnance in WWI.

This was followed by the semiauto Model 1927 and the somewhat slower firing Model of 1928 which were overstamped 1921s. Only 15000 of these beautiful pieces of craftsmanship were ever made, collectively, and 2/3 were owned by the FBI and eventually destroyed. Millions of the military models 1928A1, M1 and M1A1 were made 1928-1945 but, only the 1928A1 bears any real relation to the Colt originals, and even so they are much cruder.

Contrary to the antogun propaganda then and now , gangsters and criminals were not big Thompson users. They preferred stealing Army BARs and sawing off Browning shotguns, plus using common police weapons of the period such as Remington Model 8's in caliber .35 with a large magazine. There were a lot of Thompsons in police arsenals, though, and in Hollywood, as prop guns for gangster films, so the myth arose that Tommy Guns were criminal weapons. The incident that spurred passage of the National Firearms Act of '34 however was not criminal use of Thompsons, it was use by sherrifs as strikebreakers in Georgia -- a tiny sheriff's office in Athens, GA used two Thompsons to machinegun strikers, and the federal government passed the law that mandated federal registration of 'gangster-type' weapons. A little poltical bait and switch. Just like today, 66 years later -- nothing has changed. Incidentally nothing in the new law limited the ability of police agencies (ther abusers in Georgia) to buy all the MGs they wanted. Today same applies.

See the excellent book "The Social History of the Machine Gun".

By Bob_Chong on Sunday, February 04, 2001 - 10:00 pm: Edit

I saw Fink again recently. IFC has been showing it (letterboxed, no less). Unfortunately, I don't get IFC, but my folks do. Whenever I visit, I check the web for listings and bring some blank tapes.


By Admin on Sunday, February 04, 2001 - 12:07 pm: Edit

Heh, I liked Lucy she, uh, had red hair. And her costume from the crypt was outrageously exquisite. Though the costumes in general were blechy and very very silly.

and Hot Damn! I'm going to have go out and rent Miller's Crossing, haven't seen it in years. Barton Fink is one of my favorites tho. They are so creepy.

"Where's my HON-EH!?!?!"

By Pikkle on Sunday, February 04, 2001 - 04:15 am: Edit

Diamonda Galas... hrrrrr retch!!!!

By Martin on Sunday, February 04, 2001 - 01:59 am: Edit

mmmmmm...... Diamanda Galas. Oh yes, that's where it's at!


By _Blackjack on Sunday, February 04, 2001 - 12:12 am: Edit

The reason Keanu was good in the Matrix is that the only emotion he was required to portray was "baffled."

Miller's Crossing is one of my favorite movies. One of the best uses of "Danny Boy" ever in film. Second only to Straight to Hell. It is also one of the best variations on the Red Harvest/Yojimbo story. I did a whole literary critique on all of them, including "The Warrior and the Sorceress," in college, as a part of my preparations for doing a comic book interpretation, with vampires...

By Bob_Chong on Saturday, February 03, 2001 - 11:55 pm: Edit

Another good Keanu role was in River's Edge. Confused stoner/idiot? Knocked it out of the park, natch.


By Bjacques on Saturday, February 03, 2001 - 10:40 pm: Edit

Jonathan Harker's Bogus Journey? Beautiful movie, with guest vocals by Diamanda Galas, but too many overpaid, hammy stars in it. I liked Gary Oldman, though.


Always shave with a cold blade!


By Admin on Saturday, February 03, 2001 - 10:09 pm: Edit

To respond to blackjack from the other movie thread:

BOY HOWDY do I agree! Keanu ruined (or nearly ruined) some of my favorite films. The only film I liked him in was Matrix, cuz he didn't speak hardly a word, just posed alot in big boots and leather.

I think he must be one of those hollywood deal breakers, like they tell the filmaker they have to take him to get money and/or distribution.

But despite that, I think "The Gift" was a wonderful movie and has much to recommend it.

By Bob_Chong on Saturday, February 03, 2001 - 09:45 pm: Edit

Yes, MC was great. It was filmed the same time I lived there, too. A stuntman who was a FOAF took us by the set and then out for drinks afterwards. He was the guy who fell (as Gabriel Byrne's character) down the stairs after getting the shit beat out of him by Albert Finney. They had to shoot the scene many times and said Finney was a real cool guy.

And you're right, Don, the dialogue is fabulous. "You're giving me the high hat!" was always a favorite of mine. Also, "Something I try to teach all my boys... always PUT ONE IN THE BRAIN!"


By Don_Walsh on Saturday, February 03, 2001 - 09:13 pm: Edit

My favorite Coen Bros. was 'Miller's Crossing' which was set in New Orleans. Some friends of mine were extras in it. But what I really liked was the dialogue.

By Bob_Chong on Saturday, February 03, 2001 - 08:55 pm: Edit

I just saw O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and lemme tell you, it was fantastic.

I was expecting to like it, even though the movie had gotten such lukewarm reviews. I think that the Coen bros. have set the bar so high, supposedly, that it is damn near impossible to please everyone. That being said, I loved Lebowski, Hudsucker, and O Brother as much as any of their so-called "better" movies.

Anyway, it blew away my expectations and has kept me humming all day, literally and figuratively. It was a truly pleasurable movie going experience. I recommend it highly to anyone.


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