Complete list of the films Guillermo del Toro has recommended on twitter. Click the 'Read notes' button to see his…
To Live and Die in L.A.
A federal agent is dead. A killer is loose. And the City of Angels is about to explode.
In director William Friedkin's supercharged thriller, William L. Petersen plays a "hot dog" special agent of the Secret Service who's out to arrest and convict an arrogant counterfeiter (William Dafoe) who has eluded the law for years and who flaunts his success. Dafoe has been asking for a down payment on a sale of bogus bills, but the amount is larger than the secret can authorize Petersen, undercover, to pay to entrap Dafoe in a "sting" operation. Petersen is forced to set up a dangerous plan to steal the advance money from another crook (John Turturro) and use it to buy bogus bills and bust the counterfeiter.As the film winds to its dark and exciting resolution, the distinction between the pursuing law enforcers and the pursued criminals will continue to blur.
"Guess what? Uncle Sam don't give a shit about your expenses. You want bread, fuck a baker."
Removed from the partnering of the other stylish cop picture featuring William Petersen (Manhunter) and whatever feeling you have about Wang Chung (it's probably wrong), this sleaze jam is as deserving of the praise now being bestowed on the first film in tonight's Friedkin double bill: Sorcerer.
Friedkin's continual fascination of the internal struggle between good & evil roars through the grimy & steamy haze of Los Angeles. Petersen's Richard Chance is a thrill junkie, stretching each case, bust, and interpersonal relationship to a breaking point; his nemesis, Willem Dafoe's Rick Masters is an icy artist/counterfeiter who never makes a false move. The image of…
Decades Project: 2/8 of the 80's
"You're working for me now."
Los Angeles. They call it the city of angels, but when dedication turns into obsession the angels protecting the city from its demons begin to look like demons themselves. Richard Chance will do anything it takes to catch the criminal counterfeiter responsible for the death of his last partner—even if it means stealing the money he needs and becoming a criminal himself.
Impeccably minimalist photography (wide angle, long take) from Robby Muller, who would go on to work regularly with greats like Jim Jarmusch, Lars Von Trier, and Wim Wenders. Meticulously crafted montages (evocative cuts, artistic arrangements) which drive the action forward and highlight the contrast between cop and…
Wang Chung: a Chinese expression roughly translating to, "Impose your nihilistic world-view on a cliché-ridden 80s law enforcement procedural, punch-it up with shocking, arthouse cutting and artful use of sound."
Dafoe: Belgian-Congolese for "the foe"
William Petersen: who's he again?
Well that's one way to end a film.
Friedkin car chases > other car chases, because in a Friedkin film everyone's already careening wildly toward death; cars let them do it even faster.
Petersen's inability to play a stone-cold badass makes his psychosis even more alarming,
the more ridiculous parts of the soundtrack make this feel even more creepy (rather than laughable),
I was thinking i'd give this 3.5 or 4 stars because some of the editing (especially in the first half) bothered me,
but then the last 10-15 minutes happened and I feel pretty
Part of my 5 Directors x 5 Unseen Films (10) challenge.
Five years after taking a break from action thrillers to try a little comedy and TV direction, writer-director William Friedkin returned to his wheelhouse to bring retired Secret Service Agent Gerald Petievich's 1984 novel to the big screen. He took a chance casting a virtually unknown William Petersen in his first leading role as U.S. Secret Agent Richard Chance, but the gamble paid off big time with the actor going on to stardom following his launch here.
Chance is based in the L.A. field office, which specializes in breaking up counterfeiting operations. When his soon-to-retire partner Jimmy Hart (Michael Greene) is killed by bogus bill maker Eric "Rick" Masters…
Los Angeles Plays Itself: Cause and Effect. A city tainted by individual interest and a will unlike anywhere else. At the midst of this particular story, like in so many others, a red giant running on empty. Sucking it's own mass into it's core until the gravitational pull becomes too much and the inevitable implosion happens. The regular life cycle of a star set in the midst of Los Angeles. Except that Los Angeles is full of stars and contains equally many microcosms. Behind this story lies the nature of the city, the same nature that it has become known for, and the lives of it's citizens, the same lives that have been portrayed so many times before, but this…
Art then money.
Grimmy grizzly camerawork. The intro is tranced.
Music, rappy, funky, groovy. A glowing, pulsating city of surpresed hate and violence. Suave lawyers and fancy cars, betrayal and despair. Killing time with crime.
William Friedkin is a master, and I don't think he is humanly capable of making an actual bad movie.
"To Live and Die in LA" is stunning, gripping, powerful. It grabs hold, twirls you off in a whirlwind and doesn't let you off. It deals with the characters as people, flawed and tormented.
If you're one of those people that can't stand car chases give Friedkins a chance. The sliding swooping chases are brilliant, full of raw emotion and fear.
This film is very nearly perfect, both in its narrative structure and in its visual glory.
To Live and Die in L.A. (which is by the way an amazing title) definitely satisfied my craving for some nice '80s adrenaline. After a terrible and ridiculous opening scene that had nothing to do with the rest of the film, the movie starts to pick up and becomes pretty tense and exciting, almost feeling like an '80s version of The French Connection at times. The soundtrack is killer, L.A. looks as stylized as ever with its crime-ridden streets and glowing sunsets, the protagonist is a little bland (but a little cool and charming at the same time), and the villain is creepy and insane but very fun to watch. The scene where he's making the counterfeit money with all…
(6/8 is "Good")
The danger of bravado, both in it's ability to confuse will with skill and to corrupt rationality in general.
"I can do whatever I want," is a phrase you never want an agent of the United States Secret Service to say out loud to another human being. Of all the cop movies I've seen I have never seen something play out quite like this. It took all those '80s cop procedurals and shotgunned it face first (relevant) into reality, giving every action a real consequence.
On the bright side, the movie was great. It had one of the best car chases I've ever seen in a movie, it was like something out of Grand Theft Auto but you get to watch, first hand, the main character get a boner while he zooms through oncoming traffic at high speeds with his partner in the back pissing his pants. Definitely one of the best cop movies (if you can even call William Peterson a cop) I've ever seen.
Broeierige jaren '80 nostalgie. Het heeft z'n charme dat het onzinverhaaltje, over het oppakken van een moorddadige valsemunter, bloedserieus wordt gebracht. Alles straalt namelijk een compleet gedateerde eighties coolheid uit. De manier waarop de twee machomannetjes William L. Petersen (hardboiled detective) en Willem Dafoe (psychopathische kunstschilder) elkaar steeds bij de kloten hebben in een venijnig kat en muis spel. De twee acteurs spelen met de intensiteit alsof het een zwaarmoedig holocaustdrama betreft. De geflipte actiescènes worden volledig over the top gebracht. Enerverend en energiek, omdat het schokkerige camerawerk de hectiek en de adrenaline maximaal overbrengt.
Dan klinkt er nog de soundtrack van new wave band 'Wang Chung'. Populaire hits gemixt met het gebruikelijke synthesizer gedreun van weleer. De gekozen achtergrondmuzak…
Part of the Todd Gaines Movie Challenge:
Challenge #15: "A movie listed on my movies you should watch list, aka, Real Todd Gaines Movies."
I love William Friedkin as a director! "Bug", The Exorcist", "The Fench Connection" and "Killer Joe" are all fantastic and his underrated 1977 masterpiece "Sorcerer" is one of my all time favorites. While still being a good and tension-filled cop thriller "To Live and Die in L.A." is the weakest that I have seen of Friedkin's filmography. The film follows two secret service agents as they get lost in the never-ending loop of corruption whilst chasing down a notorious counterfeiter.
Quick side-bar: This is by far the most 80's film have ever seen, from it's score/soundtrack,…
Friedkin doing his best Michael Mann, just with more dirt under his fingernails.
Complete list. :-(
A ranking of many of the action flicks I've subjected myself to over the years, rated 3 stars or more.…