Sunday, December 16, 2012

Two Movies

Red Rock West 1993

Directed by John Dahl this is a very good greasy spoon contemporary neo noir puzzle filmed in bright saturated colors and set in a no man’s land in the western part of the United States. Starring Nicholas Cage (still good at this point in his career) as a hapless drifter with a bum leg, who stumbles into a twisted murder plot set up by a greedy husband who wants to get rid of his greedy wife. The husband is played by the late and very fine actor J.T. Walsh and the wife, the femme fatale of the movie is played by skin and bones Lara Flynn Boyle who would no doubt get a big  two thumbs up from Ann Savage, Claire Trevor and Jane Greer. She absolutely reeks of venom.   Also in the cast and my one problem with the film is Dennis Hopper who once again plays psycho killer. I would have preferred a more subtle and less obvious actor in this part than Hopper who telegraphs his performance with big quotes around it. Still the film is nasty and bad with enough twists and turns to keep the viewer attentive and happy.

Star of Midnight-1935

A little Art Deco bauble of a mystery set in New York City and starring that most Art Deco of actors William Powell as a lawyer who also dabbles in solving crimes now and again. Along for the ride is Ginger Rogers who plays a rich young woman who has been in love with Powell since she was a little girl and is determined to get Powell to marry her. The plot concerns the disappearance of the female star (who by the way we never see) of a Broadway revue called Midnight thus the title. At first I thought the title referred to a fabulous diamond and the film would be a light romantic heist film.  Wrong. Directed by Stephen Roberts who I had never heard of, probably because he died in 1936 at 40, but who did quite a few popular films in the early part of the decade. Powell who did the first of the Thin Man films a year earlier, plays his part with Nick Charles style and like Charles consumes an incredible amount of booze thorough out the film. Rogers was just starting a miraculous dancing partnership with Fred Astaire (she had already done Flying Down To Rio, The Gay Divorcee and Roberta) before taking on this rather colorless role, but she plays well against Powell, granted she was no Myrna Loy but who was. The plot is heavy with characters, and can be confusing at times but it does include a cross dressing villain which definitely adds to the fun.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter