Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.
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?
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
It's taken me a while to get around to watching William Friedkin's L.A. set thriller. It started when I bought a DVD at a bargain basement store and got it home to find it was region 1. Eventually when I did find a copy it was scratched and kept sticking, so I reckoned I was cursed and destined to never to see it. However when another copy fell into my lap, it was fortunately third time lucky.
William Petersen may well have found real celebrity status as Gil Grissom on the universally popular CSI, but he did make some interesting films back in the eighties. Both this and Michael Mann's Manhunter gained cult status as being just that little bit…
A B-movie script about a U.S. Treasury agent (William L. Petersen) who will stop at nothing to nail a diabolical counterfeiter (Willem Dafoe), treated in a kinky, weirdly aestheticized manner by William Friedkin; it's like an episode of Miami Vice directed by Helmut Newton. Friedkin seems to take the screenplay only as an excuse to display a range of postmodernist colors and lighting effects (beautifully captured by cinematographer Robby Muller), never really connecting with the characters or the situations. But at the same time, he's clearly magnetized by the story's sexual subtext (the battle between the two men becomes some strange, violent ritual of seduction and possession), and the general affectlessness of the proceedings is punctuated by rhapsodic images of…
The car chase gets the bulk of this rating.
Continuing my obsessive screening of this to everyone who will watch it.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Started slow, some parts were too long, but it did the best 'cops are now bad guys' thing I've seen, I think. I really felt nervous about them getting caught that I can't remember feeling in another film.
The movie really does pick up by the end. The final chase sequences and the way everything comes together makes the trip worthwhile. But I'll be honest the first half was just a bit of a slog, it was all stylish posturing and slow buildup and the movie was going nowhere fast.
And also everything stylistically about this movie, from the shots, to the vision of L.A., to the heavy synth soundtrack is so incredibly dated. But I think because of that extreme datedness, this movie takes on a surreal quality that I'm not sure it would've had in it's day, but for me made the movie all the more fascinating.
Film #1 of "Scavenger Hunt 1" Challenge
Task #29: A revenge film!
Jeremy's Scavenger Hunt #1
Champs-Elysées Film Festival -- Retrospective : William Friedkin
the music, the cars, the dirty cops, LA in the 80's... i love this world and friedkin makes you feel a part of it (did i talk about the music ??)
Intense. Like the story. Friedkin really knows how to direct the hell out of a car chase scene too.
I really love what Friedkin ends up going for here, I just wish the first half of the movie wasn't such a bore.
I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…