RSS feed for Jandy
  • The Woman on the Beach

    The Woman on the Beach 1947

    ★★½ Watched 02 Jul, 2015

    What's that? You wanted some extra misogyny, angel/whore symbolism, and inexplicable endings in your noir? Well, apparently we just needed one of the most acclaimed French filmmakers of all time to come give that to you.

    Yeah, I didn't really get the appeal of this one. It does have some good setpieces - the abandoned boat wreck where Bennett randomly hangs out is pretty cool. And Robert Ryan and Joan Bennett are quite worth watching, but they suffer so heroically…

  • Danger Signal

    Danger Signal 1945

    ★★★ Watched 02 Jul, 2015

    AKA don't rent your extra room out to Zachary Scott, because really now. Does Scott ever play somebody who's not a sleazeball?

    This is interestingly much more of a love triangle melodrama than a crime film, although there is a crime at the very beginning (which is why Scott is in a new place looking for a boarding house) and a couple of attempted ones later.

    Flickchart ranking: 1420 out of 3509. I'm not at all convinced this is accurate, BTW, especially since this puts it ahead of The Gangster, which I think I liked better. Mid-chart is right for both, but gotta do some reranking.

  • The Gangster

    The Gangster 1947

    ★★★½ Watched 01 Jul, 2015

    A Monogram picture, with the low budget that implies, but there's still a lot to like here, especially in the lead performance by Barry Sullivan, who almost seems at times like a prototype for Le samourai (though decidedly not at others). The plot is very slight, hinging on small-time gangster Shubunka's (Sullivan) numbers racket being taken over by a rival and his inability to do anything about it, paralleled by a subplot of a scared kid (an intense John Ireland)…

  • Crack-Up

    Crack-Up 1946

    ★★★ Watched 28 Jun, 2015

    Another noir, another great opening sequence. The first half or so is pretty solid in general; it loses a bit of steam as it settles into its art forgery plot (I'm sorry, but a museum guy discovering a painting at his museum is a forgery isn't as exciting as the movie thinks it is), but the final sequence, despite being about the dastardly plot of art theft for personal use (not even money!) gets back on track with some great lighting and composition moments.

  • Tomorrow Is Another Day

    Tomorrow Is Another Day 1951

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Jun, 2015

    I enjoyed this one so much! Bill is just out of 18 years in prison after a murder as a juvenile, and he's got a wide-eyed "what is this OUTSIDE WORLD" demeanor mixed with a hardened "I'm not going inside again" attitude that charmed the heck out of me. A lot of noir stories are about a character who turns to crime out of desperation. In this one, he's going straight and he STILL can't get away - and yet...…

  • Cornered

    Cornered 1945

    ★★★½ Watched 24 Jun, 2015

    Powell goes on the hunt for the Nazi collaborator who orchestrated an attack that killed his wife. Not a typical noir, more cat-and-mouse spy thriller, but the scene where the supposed-dead collaborator turns up (come on, that's not a spoiler) is ace in every way.

  • I Know That Voice

    I Know That Voice 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 20 Jun, 2015

    If you're a fan of animated shows, this is pretty awesome - it tries to do a lot so some sections get a bit superficial, but the joy is just watching and hearing these voice actors do their thing and have fun with it.

    The best part for me, though (even though I do love a lot of these shows and enjoyed seeing the craft behind them), was watching Jonathan's face light up whenever a particular favorite turned up - especially one he hadn't seen before, but had only heard.

  • Stranger on the Third Floor

    Stranger on the Third Floor 1940

    ★★★★½ Watched 05 Jun, 2015

    So far, this is my favorite new-to-me film I've seen in 2015. Unexpectedly great, terrifying, and with some of the best German Expressionist style this side of Caligari. I should've known any film with both Peter Lorre AND Elisha Cook Jr was gonna be great.

  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 29 May, 2015

    So all I knew about this was that Ben Affleck's wife disappears. There's, um, a lot more to it than that. I did anticipate most (though not all!) of the twists, but in the good way where you feel satisfyingly just barely ahead of the characters and right in sync with the filmmakers.

    One question. What was with the repeated (almost exactly) bit where Nick and then Amy heard a knock, then opened the door to nothing? It's literally the same camera setup and editing both times. Just building parallels?

    Oh, and with this I just re-completed David Fincher's filmography. So there's that.

  • The Rocketeer

    The Rocketeer 1991

    ★★★★ Watched 23 May, 2015

    What do gangsters, Nazi, spies, actors, pilots, the FBI, and Howard Hughes have in common? They all want a jetpack. I mean, really, don't we all?

    A fun throwback to 1930s serials, that pretty much hits all my favorite thing buttons. Can't believe I put off watching this until now.

    My souvenirs:

    "He's the best captain in the German army" immediately before he gets knocked right out of the blimp. Oops.
    Oh, and BTW, there's a Nazi blimp just hanging out over the Griffith Park Observatory.
    Valentine, the gangster leader. Loved him.

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 17 May, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Halfway through I was thinking "this is an action film where the action sequences are the worst part about it." This was after the farm scenes, which are so good, after the Iron Man-Hulk fight, which is so not good. But really, that Iron Man-Hulk fight is the only thing I ended up not liking. The extended final fight works very well. Ultron is a refreshing villain, too, despite having a tired goal like "destroy the world," thanks to his personality and humor. Enjoyed the new additions to the team, and loved the Clint Barton backstory.

  • Mission: Impossible

    Mission: Impossible 1996

    ★★★½ Rewatched 08 May, 2015

    Liked this much more this time around than I did the first time. I think the first time I was expecting more of an all-action all-the-time thing, and while there are a few virtuoso action sequences, a lot of it is straight up spy thriller, complete with understatement and patience.