If you're feeling overwhelmed, but still want to squeeze a film into your daily routine, this list is made for…
Blast of Silence
An unforgettable experience in suspense! ... as seconds tick off a timetable ... for murder!
A hired killer from Cleveland has a job to do on a second-string mob boss in New York. But a special girl from his past, and a fat gun dealer with pet rats, each gets in his way.
Blast of Silence was suggested to me on my December Watchlist by Hooded Justice and even though I'm still coming down from the experience of the movie, I wanted to thank him for his recommendation and possibly pay it forward to anyone else looking for something new [to them] to watch this holiday season.
When I close my eyes all I can see are shadows cast on walls of rats and lurking men with hats and high collared coats. I'm typing this with my eyes closed now, savoring the the visual impressions this movie has left on me.
"Remembering out of the black silence, you were born in pain ... You were born with hate and anger built in, took…
"You were born in pain."
No-budget noir with buckets of style (written by, directed by, and starring Allen Baron, previously a comic book artist) which offers an interesting look at the tropes of the genre as seen just after the death of their popularity. Baron made his film in the twilight of noir's heyday and he seems to have a similar understanding of the genre as the French New Wave directors would—two conclusions from the same inspiration created at the same time on opposite sides of an ocean.
Frank Bono is an out-of-town hitman in New York City on what is turning out to be a really bad business trip. Dead from the moment he was born, entering the world…
The sloppiest professional hitman ever? You decide.
This was Sin City before Frank Miller ever picked up a pencil. This film is a definitive noir masterpiece with the New York City setting being just as much a character in the movie as the colorful characters themselves. Drunks, mafia, New York, grit, jazz, night clubs, double cross. This has it all and does not let up. For being made in 1961, this movie will deliver in every violent/knockout way modern audiences expect from their crime dramas
A forgotten gem, brought back from the dead by Criterion, Allen Baron (director, writer and star) tells the tale of a Cleveland gun for hire, coming back to the Brooklyn of his youth for his latest job. At Christmas.
Blast of Silence is a different kind of noir, and not just because it came out in '61. The most importance difference is the stand-out voice over by Lionel Stander's trademark gravel. It's more like a voice inside Baron's head than anything else. A dark voice. And its' Brooklyn setting is very realistically portrayed, and filmed. Not to mention excellent. So, so bleak, though.
Only weakness in the story is when the self loathing hitman tries to form a bond with a female friend. It's unnecessary and adds nothing.
The existential noir. A hitman on the job, a target in sight, but people in his way. Or maybe it's Frankie Bono himself who's in his way. A loner who could use some attention, but is unable to get it. A dedicated, icy killer losing his cool. Hot hands turn cold and vice versa, a not so willing woman from the past and a gun dealer who sees an opportunity. Danger signals as the Sin City-like voice over repeatedly says. Great use of locations and Baron plays it with restraint. While people enjoy Christmas and the lively jazz score keeps playing, murder is imminent. A fatalistic atmosphere emerges. Another danger signal.
Overall Enjoyment 6/10
A great hidden gem in the sea of noir films. Loved the sequence on the docks.
Title game: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A very bleak character study of a sociopathic hit man...
A movie which I respect more than I do like it. But this is no surprise with a protagonist that despicable. Kudos to Allen Baron for pulling off the actor/director-job although he looks disturbingly similar to 90s Bobby De Niro.
Make or Break Scene: The first killing.
MVT: Allen Baron.
Score: 6/ 10
Timing can make a huge difference when watching a film-case in point, this little noir thriller about a hitman doing a job on Christmas eve, which I may have enjoyed more if I hadn't already seen one incredibly bleak film yesterday. As it stood, it was kind of a double-bill from depression hell.
The film itself has a terrific opening that the rest of the story can't quite live up to. It opens in total darkness, with just a speck of light in the middle of the screen, and the narrator's voiceover describing the disillusionment that comes with being born as the camera (and audience) move closer and closer to the speck of light, and suddenly it's not a birth,…
Ultra low-budget, but that only makes it more effective.
I feel like this movie is best explained using a quote from Billy Wilder's 1951 masterpiece Ace in the Hole:
"I met a lot of hard-boiled eggs in my life, but you - you're twenty minutes."
Loner hitman in Christmas-time New York, beautiful black and white photography, filthy supporting character, the soundtrack. Movie was tailored for my taste.
Simple and familiar story of a hitman, but it's incredibly stylized: jazz music and a great 2nd person VO complement some on-location shots of our hero tracking his target through the Bronx.
A poetic and gritty film that jumbles the themes of loneliness, morality, and belonging into a New York crime noir jazz routine. The opening monologue is an incredible flying experience that sets the film off in a bang. The personal but omniscient narration is what carries the film and contrasts the internalizations of identity with the external communications. The acting is subdued and minimal but it makes it seem all the more realistic in a city of people not characters. Messy, poetic, and flawed, but nonetheless special.
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.