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Posts tagged ‘Gangster Films’

1
Sep

Photo Play – Underworld Beauty (1958)

by HELEN GEIB

elevated by style

Underworld Beauty (1958)

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12
Sep

Movie Review – Lawless (2012)

by HELEN GEIB

Hollywood has traditionally viewed Prohibition-era bootlegging through an urban lens. Lawless de-familiarizes the story by following the supply route back to its source. Franklin County, Virginia in the early 1930s was, to quote the title of the family history-inspired novel on which the film is based, the wettest county in the country. Read more »

14
Aug

On DVD/Blu-ray – Review: Bound (1996)

by NIR SHALEV

Corky (Gina Gershon) was recently released from prison and is now working as a plumber/painter/fixer-upper in a condominium. One day, she sees Violet (Jennifer Tilly), a gangster’s girlfriend, on the elevator. Their eyes lock and they share a moment. Corky’s outfits generally involve baggy pants, a white tank-top, and a leather jacket; Violet usually wears tight, sexy clothing, like short skirts, dresses that show a lot of cleavage, and high heeled stilettos. Read more »

17
Apr

On DVD/Blu-ray – Death and Taxes

This post was originally published for Tax Day 2010. It is being reprinted in observance of Tax Day 2012.

by HELEN GEIB

The annual day of reckoning is upon us. Soon we Americans will be released from the prolonged agony that inevitably precedes every April 15. In recognition of Tax Day, I’ve decided to devote this week’s DVD post to movies about death and taxes.* The spotlight shines on three films that revolve around the two great inescapables. To set the stage and for the edification of my lucky readers who do not have to prepare their own tax returns, I’ve also included a few representative tidbits from the 2009 Form 1040 and accompanying 100-plus page Forms and Instructions.

42 Exemptions. If line 38 is $125,000 or less and you did not provide housing to a Midwestern displaced individual, multiply $3,650 by the number on line 6d. Otherwise, see page 37.

The Untouchables

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24
Sep

Festival Report – Cinesation 2011, Part 1

by HELEN GEIB

Cinesation 2011 Day 1 – Friday, September 23

The Gun Woman (1918)

Friday started with two incomplete films. The Gun Woman was incomplete only due to personal circumstances: it was the first feature of the day and Indianapolis is a five hour drive from the Lincoln Theater in Massillon, Ohio. What I saw of it was of interest as an early work by director Frank Borzage and for its saloon owner heroine, played by Texas Guinan. She’s a curious mixture of wronged woman and “good badwoman,” a sort of female William S. Hart. The story plays out much like a Hart film would play out- which is not the ending one expects a heroine in a film of that era to meet. Read more »

14
Jun

DVD of the Week – Review of Kill the Irishman (2011)

by NIR SHALEV

Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson) is a hard-working Irish-American who lived in Cleveland in the 1970s and started out working in the docks. When the foreman, who has mob connections, abuses his employees too much Danny steps in and physically replaces him. Now Danny is very, very book smart. He hadn’t graduated from high school and had spent time in jail in the past but he’s still rather remarkably intelligent. He prefers to use brains over brawn in order to defeat his opponents, but because he’s a tough Irishman who’s roughly 6’5″ he can easily defend himself with fists of steel. Read more »

29
Mar

DVD of the Week – Review of Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1 (2008)

by HELEN GEIB

Mesrine is a biopic of notorious French criminal Jacques Mesrine (1936-1979), infamous for bank robberies, kidnappings, murders, and daring prison escapes. Sub-parts Killer Instinct and Public Enemy No. 1, originally released in France a month apart, divide Mesrine’s 20-odd year criminal career roughly in half, beginning with his return from Algeria after his compulsory military service and ending with his death. The two films are unmistakably two halves of a whole that was split down the middle presumably as a concession to the realities of film distribution and exhibition (the total running time of both parts put together is a shade over four hours). Public Enemy No. 1 comes out on DVD today, following last month’s release of Killer Instinct; back to back is the best way to watch them. Read more »

18
Jan

DVD of the Week – Review of Animal Kingdom (2010)

by HELEN GEIB

Animal Kingdom is the promising feature filmmaking debut of Australian David Michod, who wrote and directed. It is set in Melbourne, home to the Cody family: matriarch Janine; sons Pope, Craig, and Darren; their longtime “business” partner Baz; and grandson Josh. The Cody family business is crime. The brothers and Baz specialize in armed robbery, Craig deals drugs on the side, and there are hints of other criminal activities. The family has a shady lawyer on retainer and Janine knows the right people to call when one of her boys is in trouble. Read more »

24
Aug

DVD of the Week – “3 Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg” Box Set

by HELEN GEIB

It’s a happy day for silent film lovers. Criterion has released director Josef von Sternberg’s Underworld (1927), The Last Command and The Docks of New York (both 1928) in a new three film DVD box set. This a terrifically exciting and long-overdue DVD release. Read more »

1
Aug

Movie Review – Fireworks (Hana-bi) (1997)

by NIR SHALEV

Hana bi (Fireworks) (1997)

Nishi (played by “Beat” Takeshi Kitano) is a no-nonsense but quiet man, and is the quintessential protagonist found in most of Kitano’s films. He’s a cop whose daughter had suddenly died, a fact mentioned only in gossip by co-workers and whose wife, Miyuki (Kayoko Kishimoto) had developed leukemia; possibly any disease would suffice the screenplay in order to signify that a mental illness can cause a physical one. Nishi wears dark sunglasses and sits around most of the time, smoking and contemplating the quiet brought forth by sudden death. However, he’s never suicidal because of his strong bond with his wife. Read more »