A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
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.
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
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.
No fui fan de esta de Friedkin, no es una mala película, pero es de esas ochenteras que el paso del tiempo no ha sido benevolente.
‘Guess what, Uncle Sam don’t give a shit about your expenses. You want bread, fuck a baker!’
This charming little bit of advice comes from To Live and Die in L.A’s ‘hero’ to the informant on probation he's just slept with. Yeah, he’s a bit of a shit. He’s also played by Billy Fuckin’ Petersen! Oh wait, sorry – William L. Petersen, as he was known back in the 80’s days. Petersen is the none-too subtly named Richard Chance, and he’s the ultimate reckless cop. Riggs ain’t got shit on this guy. I mean, Riggs is crazy, but he was essentially a nice guy. Chance is hotheaded, selfish, harsh and irresponsible. He wants to take down the bad guys, but,…
What a weird smorgasbord of a film. Warm L.A. sunsets and sunrises set to blaring and dated Wang Chung music. Long, arty moments with barely any dialogue spoken. Periodic multi-font on screen text throughout the movie. Horrid cop cliches one moment followed by unexpected plot twists the next. Actors I like to watch, an epic and clunky car chase, cinematography by Robby Muller and Robert Yeoman. This movie is a strange concoction indeed! I don't know that I could call these elements cohesive, but I think I get the appeal.
In which sleazy perverts run rampant through L.A. and destroy everything they encounter. I don't think Friendkin has a very high opinion of fellow man. Actually, and I haven't had the pleasure of watching Sorcerer yet, he reminds me a lot of Clouzot.
An underrated gem of 1980s cinema, To Live and Die in L.A is slick, sexy and has one hell of a car chase to boot. An energetic score by Wang Chung and a gut-punch conclusion make this particular Friedkin entry both memorable and unrelenting.
This is one of the most underrated movies of the 80's. It is also a masterpiece. I really do enjoy most of William Friedken's work. This is a great companion piece to The French Connection. And I tell ya what, Friedken sure does know how to shoot a car chase. Even though I have seen this movie several times, the car chase raises my blood pressure. Willem Dafoe and William Peterson are fantastic. The Wang Chung soundtrack is pretty groovy as well. This is gritty crime flick that I can't recommend enough. And surprisingly, it has aged pretty well.
Hated this for the first half, but grew on it once I settled into the humorless macho routine. Friedkin can direct a thrilling sequence. A must-see for Mann lovers.
An insane movie with secret service agents who are terrible at their jobs, despite the wannabe Miami Vice "coolness" pushing onto them. They really are the worst, but that is also what makes this film so much fun. You really have no idea what they will do next. The direction sometimes is awkward and the editing is sometimes weird, but the cinematography of Robbie Müller really shines through with amazing use of light. The opening credits are one of the best shot and kinetic sequences I've ever seen.
"You want bread? Go fuck a baker."
Three words for everyone reading this:
Pure 80s badassery.
This is what happens when the director of The Exorcist and The French Connection writes and directs a badass cop drama with Wang Chung composing the score. The result? Some of the most cool and collected sequences for an 80s cop film ever.
William Petersen is slick and suave. This dude is the definition of 80s badass. Put him next to Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, and Don Johnson. I saw Willem Dafoes naked body about 4+ times so automatically this movie is a win. The action and script is so neck and neck it leaves the viewer on the edge of an adrenaline rush.…
Movies that embrace an 80's-ish tone with synth or Vaporwave soundtracks or a neon aesthetic.
Suggestions are welcome of course.