Thursday, March 31, 2016
(October 1992, U.S.)
If you go back in time to when I first posted my blog for Stanley Kubrick's 1956 film THE KILLING, you'll recall how I cited this film as a strong inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's independent film RESERVOIR DOGS. Not to take away anything from RESERVOIR DOGS' neo-noir and non-linear structure for what can clearly be labeled among the "heist gone wrong" crime thriller genre, but it should be noted that, like many great films, it gets its inspiration from a previous source (but what better source than the late, great Stanley Kubrick, yes?). As with many of other Tarantino's films (this being his first), the true originality lies not only in showing us what happened before and after the botched diamond heist, but the offbeat and quirky dialogue that's made Tarantino's career a true art form. From the moment we meet eight men sitting around a coffee shop table eating breakfast together, it's immediately apparent that these these men are crooks, thieves and potential murderers. But hey, even scum like these guys are not above having a (semi) intellectual conversation behind the true meaning of Madonna's "Like a Virgin". This video was, by the way, the only time (other than her 1992 sex book!) I ever really found Madonna totally hot! I mean, geez, look at her...
(but I digress!)
It's breakfast time (because you can't plan a perfect crime without a good, solid breakfast!) and the planning and scheming is in the works. Six total strangers using aliases: Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Blue (Edward Bunker), Mr. Brown (Quentin himself!), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), and Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), respectively. The entire operation is the plan of mob boss Joe Cabot (played by Lawrence Tierney), the organizer of the heist, and his son "Nice Guy" Eddie Cabot (played by Chris Penn, Sean's late brother). Seems safe enough that if they don't know each other's real names, then they can't rat each other out. As previously mentioned, the film focuses and the before, that is, the set up and planning that include the infiltration of the gang by an undercover cop who's actually Mr. Orange, and the bloody aftermath in which one of the men is dead, Mr. Orange is (really) bleeding to death from a gunshot wound and it's become pretty obvious to the others that there's a rat in the mix. We don't actually get to see the diamond robbery and how it all went to shit (which is unfortunate, actually, but you can't help be feel like you want more throughout the film), but we're given all the information through the tense dialogue as the surviving crooks recap what happened and try to determine how they were set up. It's through the dialogue that we truly get to know the heart of the gang, namely Mr. White, Mr. Pink, Mr. Orange and Mr. Blonde. And speaking of Mr. Blonde, never has their likely been a more serious and scary criminal as he's played by Madsen. Never was the characteristic of "silent, but deadly" more disturbing and explicit than when he's doing a sadistic dance to the tune of Stealers Wheel "Stuck in the Middle With You" in front of a bound and bloody police officer before slicing off his ear with a straight razor (oh, man, it's sick!!!).
RESERVOIR DOGS is also a film of memorable images, even if they only last a brief moment. If I were to look up the true definition of "Mexican standoff", I think I'd cite this film for sure! I mean, aside from the violent climax when all surviving crew members just shoot each other, there's this iconic image of just Keitel and Buscemi standing off with each other, one of them on the floor...
It's a simple shot, but it creates a sense of desperation and brutality while still maintaining a small sense of humanity because these two men don't actually shoot each other at this time, but rather allow diplomacy and reason to continue for a while longer. We spend our viewing time watching the pieces of the intricate crime puzzle take slow form without actually achieving completion. Tarantino leaves us to use our own judgement that can help fill in a few of the blanks of what we did not get to see on screen. Fact is, despite the bloody mess of it all, it's a whole lot of fun and a real pleasure to be allowed in on it. And in the end, it's the one surviving crew member who was afraid of being associated with a name like Mr. Pink because it sounded like "pussy" who actually survives it all and gets away with the diamonds! Ironic, but somehow, I think he deserved it!
Favorite line or dialogue:
Nice Guy Eddie: "The man you just killed was just released from prison. He got caught at a company warehouse full of hot items. He could've fuckin' walked. All he had to do was say my dad's name, but he didn't. He kept his fucking mouth shut and did his fuckin' time, and he did it like a man. He did four years for us. So, Mr. Orange, you're tellin' me this very good friend of mine, who did four years for my father, who in four years never made a deal, no matter what they dangled in front of him, you're telling me that now, that now this man is free, and we're making good on our commitment to him, he's just gonna decide, out of the fucking blue, to rip us off!!?"
Saturday, March 26, 2016
(November 2005, U.S.)
"You're watching RENT?"
That's the question my wife asked me three nights ago when I was watching the Chris Columbus film version of the Tony award-winning Broadway musical of the 1990s, which is actually based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème. You see, she knows my general distaste for musicals and was surprised to find me investing my valuable time in one while she went about the business of microwaving her evening meal. Yes, even I had to ask myself why I was watching RENT. To effectively answer that, let's go back about eighteen years...
I saw RENT on stage in May 1998 for my thirty-first birthday when I was living in Manhattan. At this point, I couldn't even tell you if the original cast members were still part of the production, but I do remember walking away having generally enjoyed it. I've always been a lot more partial to Broadway musicals with a great degree of originality as opposed to the vast multitude of them that have been based on movies (those are a complete waste of my time and money!). So now cut to seven years later - it's the holiday season of 2005, my wife is (very) pregnant with our son and she's dragging me to the new movie version of RENT. Normally, I would have said something like, "Aw, honey, can't you go with your cousin Lisa instead? She's a RENT junkie!". But hey, like I said, she was pregnant and I was trying to nice! Nearly two and a half hours later, the movie ends and I basically file it under that part of my brain that dismisses most musicals as a genre I simply cannot relate to (still, I bought my wife the DVD when it was released months later). Now jump ahead twelve years later and I can clearly see that RENT is the next DVD in the family collection of discs immediately following THE REMAINS OF THE DAY. So what to do? Skip over it and watch RESERVOIR DOGS or perhaps take a chance and see if RENT has anything to offer my brain and my memories having put a distance of so many years since I last viewed it. Well, guess what...I'm here now getting into this, so something must have been happening while my wife was asking me, "You're watching RENT?"
The film tells the story of the lives of several Manhattan's East Village "Bohemians" and their ongoing struggles with paying their back rent, drugs, sexuality and life under the shadow of AIDS. Their story takes place over the course of a single year, from Christmas Eve 1989 to Christmas Eve 1990. We have aspiring and struggling Jewish filmmaker Mark Cohen (played by original cast member Anthony Rapp), his roommate Roger Davis (played by original cast member Adam Pascal) who is a struggling rock musician and HIV positive from a former drug addict partner who subsequently died of AIDS, their friend Tom Collins (yeah...like the drink and played by original cast member Jesse Martin) who is a gay college professor also struggling with AIDS...
(hey, have you noticed I'm using the word struggling a lot here? I guess that's what "Bohemians" in the '90s do - they struggle!)
...Mimi Marquez (played by Rosario Dawson, not original) who is David's love interest and struggling (there I go again!) with her heroin addiction, Angel (played by original cast member Wilson Heredia) who is a street musician and drag queen and...yeah, you guessed it...struggling with AIDS, Benjamin Coffin III (played by Taye Diggs, also original) who used to be Mark and David's roommate and is now considered the "enemy working for the Man" as he is now the landlord of the building they live in and is trying to enforce the rent that is long past due. We have Maureen Johnson (played by Idina Menzel, also original, and also many years before she would make FROZEN's "Let It Go" an apocalyptic nightmare to listen to!), a bisexual performance artist and Mark's ex-girlfriend, and finally, Joanne Jefferson (played by Tracie Thoms, also not an original cast member) who is a lesbian Harvard-graduate lawyer and Maureen's love interest.
Let me take a breath here because I feel like I just announced the entire lineup of an Agatha Christie novel! And yet, in describing each of the film's character, it sort of alleviates my having to go too much deeper into the story's plotline. Knowing who these men and women are, what they do to survive everyday and how they deal with their relationships, illnesses and the prospects of death are enough to know and understand the sort of youth-oriented world of the 1990s we're dealing with. For me, the true value of watching RENT on film is it's effectiveness in how it's been filmed and photographed, particularly some scenes (only some, unfortunately) filmed on location in New York City. Interestingly, however, the movie opens with the primary cast members standing in a row on a theater stage singing the opening song "Seasons of Love". Bearing in mind that this is no longer a Broadway musical, this non-conventional opening somehow works for me because it abstractly sets the tone of introduction to a group of people we're going to devote the next couple of hours of our lives to and perhaps, if it works, come to really care about them. They'll sing and they'll dance their way through all of their struggles (again!), even to the point of dying, which by the way, no film tale of "Bohemia" and AIDS could possibly be without. While it's (admittedly) difficult for a man like myself to identify with a character like that of the drag queen Angel, he is, I must confess, a character considerably more beloved than the others in that regardless of his being quite different from the rest of his friends, is the one character who seems the most sure of himself through his kindness to others and his neverending zest for life, right up until the time he's dying of AIDS in a hospital bed with his loyal friends around him. And it's the loyalty of these people that I find particularly touching, especially in a world where loyalty appears to be a dying human trait.
Now taking into account (once again) that I generally don't like musicals (quite frankly, the singing never seems to end in this film as there are very short intervals of actual acting in between musical numbers), I'm really forced to ask myself what it is about RENT that appeals to me on film. The answer, I suppose, is its raw edginess and intensity in telling a story of city kids who must live and survive in a harsh world in which they never know what's going to happen next. As previously mentioned, the film takes place over the course of only a year, but there is much significance that happens in that year. The musical performances, for what they're worth to someone like me, are hard, fast and full of fury to effectively represent the love, anger and even betrayal that these young men and women feel every day of their lives. And, speaking for myself on a somewhat personal and selfish (and perhaps even cheap level), watching Idina Menzel in her sexy apparel (including a black cat suit!) totally does it for me because the girl is HOT!!! We even get to see her slowly pull down her pants during the song "La Vie Bohème" as she basically tells the world behind her to kiss her ass!
(though I would suggest that her ass could use a nice tan!)
And so, to my darling wife Beth, I hope I've answered the nagging question of why I was watching RENT. And thanks to the movie and your persistent singing, I've have the lyrics of "Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes" in my head all week! Thank you SO much for that!
Favorite line or dialogue (all sung):
Joanne: "This is weird."
Mark: "It's weird."
Joanne: "Very weird."
Mark: "Fucking weird."
Joanne: "I'm so mad that I don't know what to do. Fighting with microphones, freezing down to my bones, and to top it all off, I'm with you!"
Mark: "Feel like going insane? Got a fire in your brain, and you're thinking of drinking gasoline?"
Joanne: "As a matter of fact..."
Mark: "Honey, I know this act: It's called the Tango: Maureen!"
(yeah, I knew someone like Maureen a long time ago. I hated that dance!)
Friday, March 18, 2016
(November 1993, U.S.)
I wonder how many of today's generation of moviegoers know that Anthony Hopkins made a lot of movies before THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)? It's almost uncanny how the star of films like MAGIC (1978), THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980) and THE BOUNTY (1984) had to play a psychotic flesh-eating cannibal before he was infamously put on the Hollywood map (such is show business, I guess!). Yet, at the same time, there's something poetically charming about watching Hopkins play a truly gentle soul on screen in the Merchant/Ivory film of Kazuo Ishiguro's THE REMAINS OF THE DAY only two years after that iconic role.
As the character of Mr. James Stevens, the head butler at Darlington Hall in Great Britain of the 1930s, Hopkins is the almost perfect epitome of the true and proper English gentleman; a man who takes great pride in being of the utmost service to his wealthy employer Lord Darlington (played by James Fox). For Stevens, life is about routine, order and perfection. This is not merely his job, but his perception of the world around him, even if it's only limited to the surroundings of the house he serves and the staff he maintains. When he employs the new head housekeeper, Mrs. Kenton (played by Emma Thompson), she immediately challenges him and his apparent inability to express his feelings in any way. While her frankness and forwardness is, on the surface, irritating and unacceptable to him, it's very clear to those of us watching that she is, in her own fashion, a breath of fresh air to him and his life of routine and order, though he will never dare show it.
As a true Englishman, Mr. Stevens cannot fathom the concept of breaking away from his role as head butler for his Lord for even a moment. Upon hearing that his father (also a butler at the Hall) has passed away after suffering a stroke, his reaction is almost stoic. It's not that he didn't love his father, but the man's death just happen to occur at the worst time possible, when Stevens was in the process of performing his duties for his Lord and his most important political guests. To break that sort of professional concentration or to even appear as if he were listening to their conversations and had an opinion of his own would be considered rude, unprofessional and unacceptable to the etiquette of the proper English butler. Mrs. Kenton, as professional and effective at her job as she is, fails to understand Stevens' persona and inability to express feeling. And although she makes her frustrations clear to him, it's a futile effort.
It's important now to focus for a moment on the period of history that's taking place here at Darlington Hall. It's the time prior to Hitler's invasion of Europe and Lord Darlington is (also) a proper English gentlemen with an unfortunate and naive faith in attempting to form an alliance of peace with German heads of state. While he doesn't appear to truly believe in Germany's position against Jews, he doesn't want to be seen as uncooperative or politically incorrect, so he would sooner unfairly dismiss two young maids because their Jewish rather than ask for trouble. Mr. Stevens and Mrs. Kenton are witnesses to this act, and while Mrs. Kenton clearly express her outrage at this act, Mr. Stevens insists on keeping the faith in his Lord, who he still believes to be a fine and honorable man. While all of Darlington Hall's political guests appear to (falsely) believe that Germany is an ally to the world, only an American congressman (played by Christopher Reeve) believes that putting trust in the Germans is a horrible and regrettable mistake. Well, he was right!
One of the challenging (if not confusing) aspects of THE REMAINS OF THE DAY is trying to figure out if throughout all of their years together, Mr. Stevens and Mrs. Kenton are falling in love. If they are, both of them are refusing to express it openly. By the end of her employment at Darlington Hall, Mrs. Kenton seemingly tries to provoke Mr. Stevens by announcing that she plans to marry another man (whom we, as the viewer, presume she doesn't love) to see what sort of reaction she'll get from him. While his face suggests sorrow and regret over losing her, all he can offer her is his "warmest congratulations". However, there's one particular moment in the film that would suggest otherwise, but it's only a moment. Still, let me describe it for you. During a scene when Mrs. Kenton tries to discover the nature of the book Mr. Stevens is reading, she comes very close to him to take the book out of his hand. The moment she does this, Mr. Stevens nervously raises his hand to his forehead and his face appears to express a tenderness that we had not seen before. Take a look..
It's a simple gesture, but I believe the act of putting his hand to his forehead the way he does, even briefly, is a powerful visual moment that immediately (and only temporarily) tears down the emotional wall he has kept around himself. In that moment, we can see how much he loves her and how weakened this proper English gentleman has become when she gets too close to him. Tragically, he will never tell her this and his potential for true happiness shall go unrealized. Still, we're watching and we know how things really are. It's almost frustrating that we can't do anything about it because it's only a movie...and in the movies, endings aren't always happy ones. Mr. Stevens and Mrs. Kenton will never come together (watch the slow motion shot when their hands part for the last time, indicating that they'll never see each other again) and perhaps even worse is that Mr. Stevens will not learn anything from his experiences with her. Life shall continue as it always was for him; orderly, structured and oh-so properly English.
I've seen my small share of British film that date back as early as Hitchcock's early work of the 1930s. In the 1990s, I discovered the works of Merchant/Ivory in an attempt to broaden my cinematic tastes. Some I liked, some I didn't. As a truly British film, THE REMAINS OF THE DAY is one of the best I've ever seen, in its style, it's purity, its simplicity, its subtlety and it's thoughtfulness. The performances are first rate (Hugh Grant the small exception, his character being of a silly nature in a film I don't believe is ever meant to be funny), particularly by Mr. Hopkins in what I consider to be the best role of his extensive career (sorry Hannibal!). I also have to note that Christopher Reeve finally breaks away from Superman and gives an extraordinary performance of his own, two years before he would become paralyzed. He made a few more films before and after his accident but I honestly wish he hadn't. THE REMAINS OF THE DAY would have been a perfect swan song to his career and his life.
Favorite line or dialogue:
Congressman Trent Lewis: "You are, all of you, amateurs. And international affairs should never be run by gentlemen amateurs. Do you have any idea of what sort of place the world is becoming all around you? The days when you could just act out of your noble instincts, are over. Europe has become the arena of realpolitik, the politics of reality. If you like, real politics. What you need is not gentlemen politicians, but real ones. You need professionals to run your affairs, or you're headed for disaster!"
That line spoken by the late Christopher Reeve is dedicated to all those Americans out there who would actually be stupid enough (and insane enough!) to vote a clown like Donald Trump into the White House!
Thursday, March 10, 2016
(July 1991, U.S.)
Today's generation of filmgoers, despite having enough of a familiarity with Harrison Ford as an actor and a movie star, are very unlikely unfamiliar with Mike Nichols' REGARDING HENRY. That being said, let me try and give them all a little push. The film was written by a relatively unknown kid named Jeffrey Abrams, who would later go on to be J.J. Abrams, and...well, you know who he is! He even has a cameo appearance as a grocery delivery boy, though it was impossible to know who he was back then...
(and in case you need further reminding, Abrams and Ford would team up again twenty-four years later in STAR WARS-THE FORCE AWAKENS!)
Ford stars as Henry Turner in a much softer role unlike anything he'd previously done before, though I suppose his role in WORKING GIRL (1988) might have qualified as a bit "softer" than the typical Han Solo/Indiana Jones fare. As a high profile, successful and wealthy Manhattan lawyer obsessed with his work, Henry is ambitious, callous, narcissistic, and rather unethical when it comes to winning his cases. At home, he's not much better, as he's rough on his troubled daughter for spilling juice on his piano and doesn't treat his wife Sarah (played by Annette Bening) with the greatest amount of respect, either (though he's not nearly as bad as Kevin Spacey was toward her in AMERICAN BEAUTY!). Oh yeah, and he smokes, too! It's a late night walk to the local convenience store for cigarettes that nearly gets him killed when he walks in on a robbery-in-progress and is shot in the head by John Leguizamo (you see - if cigarettes don't kill you one way, they might kill you another way!). How he actually survives a bullet in the forehead is quite beyond me, but hey, I suppose this is where a little suspension of disbelief has to take place in order to have the film progress any further. Henry survives and awakes from a short coma only to find that he can't walk, can't speak and can't remember his life or the people in it. In the simplest terms, Henry has to start over, which means a world of possibilities. His regained ability to speak and walk is almost treated as inconsequential compared to the stressful task of having to remember his wife, his daughter and his colleagues. This premise can easily be taken at face value, but when given more consideration, one can't help but wonder just how often a person gets to start over and try again, even if they're not aware that it's a "do over". Henry was, quite frankly, a prick in his "former life" and now we get to spend the rest of the film watching him slowly turn into a nice guy, for no other reason than, like a simple child, he knows no other way to behave from his new humble beginning. Even the housekeeper can't help but comment how she likes Henry much better now. And as Henry discovers how to be a nice guy to his family, he also discovers, perhaps as a consequence, that being a lawyer is not the best way to stay a nice guy in life. For no other reason than pity and loyalty, Henry is allowed to return to work as a lawyer, though at this point, he may as well have washed his entire legal education and career down the toilet! Still, as a mere simpleton in the office, he's able to discover at least one of his past unethical moves that unfairly won his case against an elderly man who rightfully sued a hospital for ignoring him when he told them he was a diabetic. Ah, Henry has discovered morals along with his other pleasantries. As an almost final act of defiance against everything he previously was, Henry quits being a lawyer and devotes his time to his family and his new life. Aw, ain't he just the nicest guy!!
Okay, so REGARDING HENRY is a very simple story of love, loyalty, devotion and morals and may very likely be taken as nothing more than sentimental rubbish for those who have no patience for sentimental rubbish in their heartless lives! Be that as it may, one cannot ignore Harrison Ford in this film as he proves that he can be a hero in life aside from the traditional action adventure roles. As Henry Turner, Ford's childlike vulnerability in rediscovering his family and his love for the simple things in life (even a new puppy!) is heartfelt and manages to tug at your emotions if you're willing to let it.
Now, regarding J.J. Abrams, let me give you my two cents on my interpretation of him. THE FORCE AWAKENS aside, he's never particularly impressed me as a film director. MISSION: IMPSSIBLE 3, SUPER 8 and his STAR TREK films really did nothing for me at all. Yes, I admire the man who created ABC-TV's LOST (a show I loved!), but I admire the earlier version of the man who could write stories like this film and FOREVER YOUNG (1992). For my own memories, REGARDING HENRY was a small and simple film that I could enjoy during a summer filled with blockbusters that included Robin Hood and the Terminator. And believe me when I tell you that during the summer of 1991, I saw nearly every release there was, even the crap! You see, I had a steady girlfriend back then and we went to the movies a lot...when we weren't doing other things (thanks for the great memories, Daniela!).
Favorite line or dialogue:
Jessica (Henry's Secretary): "What's wrong, Mr. Turner?"
Henry Turner: "I had enough, so I said when."
Jessica: "Good for you."
Saturday, March 5, 2016
(December 1981, U.S.)
REDS is a film I never would have been interested in at the tender age of fourteen in a year that was dominated, for me, by films like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, SUPERMAN II, ARTHUR and constantly hearing the hit theme from CHARIOTS OF FIRE playing on my parent's stereo (I didn't actually see the film until it was on HBO two years later). The idea of even knowing what the Russian Revolution of 1917 was about and it's place in forming (what was then) modern Soviet Russia's state of communism under Lenin was beyond my very young comprehension. Hell, except for HEAVEN CAN WAIT three years prior, I was barely even aware of Warren Beatty's place in Hollywood as both actor and director. This epic drama of his tells the story of John Reed (played by Beatty), the journalist, writer, poet and political activist who sympathized with and chronicled the Russian Revolution in his book "Ten Days That Shook the World" (I haven't read it). While being a very strong political and historical drama, this is also a deeply-rooted love story between John and Louise Bryant (played by Diane Keaton). Upon meeting for the first time in 1915, Louise is intrigued with John's idealism and quickly comes to realize that writing has been her only escape from her frustrated high society existence. Louise joins John in Greenwich Village, New York City and becomes acquainted (and frustrated) with the local community of artists and activists, including famous playwright Eugene O'Neill (played by Jack Nicholson) and author and anarchist Emma Goldman (played by Maureen Stapleton). Later, they move to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to concentrate on their writing, the local theatre scene and their personal relationship, turbulent as it appears to be. Through her writing, Louise becomes a radical and feminist in her own right. As John becomes involved in labor strikes with the "Reds" of the Communist Labor Party of America, he also becomes obsessed with changing the world. Not long after finally marrying, the two of them manage to rekindle their passion as they're swept up in the heart of the fall of Russia's Czarist regime and the events of the 1917 Revolution. Continuing to be inspired by the idealism of the Revolution, John attempts to bring the spirit of this new Communism to the United States because he's become disillusioned with the policies imposed upon Communist Russia and the functions of the Bolsheviks. While attempting to escape from Europe and return to the United States, he's interrogated, imprisoned and eventually reunited with Louise in Moscow after she has spent her own time trying to illegally get into Russia to find her beloved John. Rest assured, though, this lovely feeling of love and heartfelt reunion doesn't last long. As with nearly all true stories of historical figures, the film ends in death...John Reed's. One of his many legacy's left behind to the world is that he's one of only two Americans to be buried at the (former) Soviet Kremlin Wall.
Before I continue, is it me, or does much of this entire story, both political and romantic, sound very much like a particular David Lean film known as DOCTOR ZHIVAGO?? Was Beatty greatly inspired by that film in making REDS, or is this all just a great big, historical coincidence?
While REDS is an intriguing, thought-provoking and entertaining epic film, it leaves me wondering just what feelings were supposed to take away in our perception of John Reed as a real-life historical figure. The film makes a strong point of painting Reed as a hero of the common worker and the Revolution. But given our knowledge of history and the place of Communism in both Soviet Russia and its influence on American culture and politics, just how far do we play the hero card on this one? It would be very easy to argue that John Reed was a traitor to American capitalism and freedom, which is what we spent too many decades defending, following the end of World War II (look up McCarthyism!). Perhaps it's truly effective that REDS incorporates authentic and poignant footage of interviews with real-life "witnesses" (including novelist Henry Miller) who set the film's scene and tone by describing how they not only knew John Reed and Louise Bryant, but can also attest to many of their beliefs and activities. These many points of views manage to separate the film from other so-called romantic adventures by giving it more historical clarity and insight. The viewer finds themselves watching the romantic adventure while taking part in serious documentary-style interviews, as well. In fact, if you were to go back and watch the science fiction film INTERSTELLAR (2014), you can easily see how director Christopher Nolan may have been greatly influenced by this style of filmmaking.
Warren Beatty's career has never been perfect, by my opinion. Having to watch DICK TRACY (1990) even once is enough to put you off a man's other works, perhaps unfairly, but hey...have you seen DICK TRACY?? And unfortunately, Beatty's swan song of TOWN & COUNTRY (2001) didn't exactly leave fans raving for more. Still, we can take solace in films like REDS and much of what he did prior in the 1970s and late '60s. And hey, I loved BUGSY (1991)!
Favorite line or dialogue:
Henry Miller (witness): "You know something, that I think, that there was just as much fucking going on then, as now. Only now, it has a more perverted quality to it. Now, there's no love whatever included."