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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:57 pm
Location: Rollin' down Highway 41
I share the love for Deep Cover. I will always pay attention to Mr. Fishburne and the title song is a permanent member of my Top 10 Hip Hop songs list. It radiates cool but insistent menace.

if we can go a bit off of strictly Noirish subjects, I really like Disorganized Crime, from '89. I actually just watched it again a couple of weeks ago on FLIX and what I've always liked about it (Ed O'Neil's slow burn of pained annoyance, the running joke of the rivalry between Ruben Blades and William Russ and the fact that the heist itself is plausible and daffy at the same time) all held up nicely.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:48 am
tarpilot wrote:
Has anyone seen James B. Harris's Boiling Point? . . . [I've] always meant to seek it out.

Well, I got around to seeking it out. It's pretty dire, but there are shades of a much better film. There's an interesting attempt at balancing the cops' pursuit with that of the crooks, with Wesley Snipes' federal agent being given seven days to locate Viggo Mortensen's cop killer, while Mortensen's partner-in-crime, played by Dennis Hopper, has been given seven days to pay back the money he owed before being sent to prison. This symmetry is echoed at a number of other points, most notably when Hopper and Mortensen attempt to sell off some of their counterfeit cash and kill the intended buyer, only to realize that he had intended to buy their fake money with fake money of his own and all they have is more fake money. The problem is there is zero tension, narrative or otherwise, and absolutely no attempt is made to wring any effect out of the dual deadlines. Compare this to Harris's superb previous effort Cop, where James Woods's search for the serial killer feels intentionally flat and empty as the film's point-of-view is so inescapable from his own back-broken weariness and mounting psychosis, with the violent conclusion completely lacking in satisfaction. In Boiling Point, there is no point of view, nor any palpable sense of intended ambiguity, and little effect or insight is gleaned from tossing us amidst a series of limp encounters between uninteresting characters whose lack of personalities bare the obvious stain of studio interference. Much of the relationship between Hopper and Mortensen was reportedly cut out, with Viggo getting the worst of it. There’s a promising scene early on with his never-seen-again girlfriend where he exudes an intimidating amount of rapidfire, predatory violence, but nothing ever comes of it and he gets little to do for the rest of the movie. This is even more embarrassing for whichever shithead(s) did the butchering since Carlito’s Way demonstrated that same year what a capable scene-stealer he could be (after The Indian Runner had amply shown how brilliantly he could handle the slow-burn decaying masculinity that a role like this calls for). Hopper doesn’t fare much better. He pays hookers to dance with him to big band shows where he waxes nostalgic about his past, most of which is relayed second-hand by the hooker to Wesley Snipes. She has a relationship with both in another instance of the film’s inherent stabs at balance, but to what end? All we get is a fucking happily-ever-after title card.

Some Call it Loving and Fast-Walking will each make my top 10 list of their respective decades, but this wasted mess is best left alone until a director’s cut can be salvaged, or at least a version in its proper aspect ratio (both of which are very unlikely).


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 9:45 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Supposedly, Boiling Point started out centered on Dennis Hopper's character. It was studio tampering in wake of Snipes popularity that ended up with the film we have now. It wouldn't surprise me if most of the "second-hand" stuff was actually filmed but cut.

It's one of those post-70s studio movies that deserve a director's cut, but which won't because A) nobody gives a damn about it enough to pursue one, and B) even it's final product would probably never be a great film. But good-not-great films deserve rectification, too! (I know there are few more of them, although I can't think of most of them at the moment... Mike's Murder, for example).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:15 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm
I've been sporadically picking up titles I remembered from back in the day thanks to this thread being somewhere in the back of my mind, and watching the bizarre Modern Vampires really helps crystallize why these movies have a way of sticking in the head. These movies I fondly recall in a sort of half-remembered state stick out for their novelty, their eccentricity, and their devotion to ideas more esoteric than mainstream fare tends to offer. Something like Modern Vampires has virtually no aesthetic charms, unless one counts the oft-nude Natasha Gregson Wagner, but while it is impossible to defend in terms of mise-en-scene, the question is why would anyone ever? The film, scripted by Freeway's Matthew Bright, brings together so many known names under the auspices of such a half-cooked but delightfully weird premise and execution that it's hard not to admire its very existence. The film is an LA-set riff on the metaphor of the vampiric being representative of the sexual. Here a select subset of trendy vampires, mostly comprised of permanent tourist Eurotrash, galavant around the city of appearances fucking everything they can-- only with their fangs, not their thangs. It's anything but subtle, but told with ridiculous good humor-- plot elements like Wagner's trailer trash (literally, of course-- she lives at the dump in a trashed trailer) vamp disguising herself as a prostitute and then attacking the unlucky johns (and at one point fending off an overly-impertinent pimp by vomiting up blood all over the mack and his trick) or Rod Steiger(!)'s Van Helsing hiring out some Crips to help him battle the baddies exist in a world beyond critical appraisal, but that's part of the charm.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 9:45 pm
Location: Portland, OR
I never even knew this film existed!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
Location: sd, ca
You didn't? They played it constantly on SciFi back in the day. I remember it pretty identically to how Domino describes. Nothing much visually speaking, but the overall effect is outstanding (though I prefer other cable standby Near Dark).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:40 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm
I'm surprised it could air on basic cable, this thing is on the NC-17 side of the "unrated" spectrum. I def saw it on HBO some night, because one reason it stayed in my mind is that it contains one of the most hilariously gratuitous nude scenes ever involving (who else) NGW


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
Location: sd, ca
The version I saw was likely edited down than.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:20 am 
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The Dark Backward is even better then I remember. It's almost impossible to describe except as an example of everything perfect about '90s cinema. The visual style is great, the script is hilarious and witty, the performances are perfect, it's just a lovely film. Bill Paxton is greasier and weirder than usual somehow and Judd Nelson basically plays his character in a way that suggests if it were cast nowadays Jason Schwartzman would be the only option. I mean seriously how did he not become a bigger star after this slice of pathetic perfection. As to how the film is I guess the only way to describe it is if John waters shot The Elephant Man on the abandoned sets of Beetle Juice. I mean how can one describe a film with lines like, "I can't date a man with three arms Marty," in a way that makes sense to those who haven't seen it. The satire still works too (actually the apocalyptic set up this world is in makes it probably more effective now than when it was released). I'm really surprised there's not a huge cult following this one.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Not to derail this, but given the proliferation of movie channels in the last 10 years, isn't everything out at least over a year old a Premium Cable staple now?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:59 pm
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I think the thread is more about the bygone era of early HBO and its ilk. While I don't think digital cable and the explosion of niche channels - along with on-demand - depreciate premium cable's value since you'll find something interesting pop up every so often, the era oddities that used to be shown regularly on these channels have faded into the background as home theaters have expanded and recent releases dominate the premium channels.

However, HBO Signature/Zone, Indieplex, Flix, etc. have kind of taken over as my go-to channels for relatively unknown/uncelebrated movies of the past twenty or so years. Maybe the HBO channels less so, since I no longer have premium cable and it was a few years back when I did, but I often caught something on those that I either completely forgot about or never knew existed.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Stavanger, Norway
Came across this article/interview on Mark L. Lester. It's an enjoyable read, and I have fond memories of the Lester flicks I recall having seen. In particular, I recall Night of the Running Man being a fast paced, effective thriller. I guess most of these have played on American Cable stations, which is why I posted the link here. Lester seems very fond of his two Larry Cohen collaborations, so I'll definitely be on the lookout for those.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:22 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm
This thread's been on my mind during the 80s list and I thought it would be a good time to revisit a film that like Modern Vampires has come to exemplify what I think of when I think of the unique and short-lived lifespan of premium cable programming. There's really no modern equivalent anymore, as even streaming services require someone to seek out a given title as opposed to just flipping through channels and stopping for a few minutes and then staying with something til the end. An imperfect method of digesting a film in whole, but an excellent form of accidental exposure. However, I'm pretty sure I saw all of BlackMale (George and Mike Beluzy 2000) on my one and only HBO viewing ~14 years ago, and it's always stuck in my head as a prime example of a film I would never have sought out and one for all its flaws I was and am glad to have seen. I'm not sure why I put off seeing it again-- maybe I didn't want to spoil my memories of it being a pleasant surprise-- but revisiting it I see it's an uneven film that nevertheless possesses a certain charm and a carefree ambition within its constraints.

It's impossible to talk about the movie without spoiling its novel twist a third of the way through, so you've been warned, but also no one is going to seek this movie out without a little reasoning why, so here we are. Ostensibly the film is yet another post-Tarantino goof concerning Bokeem Woodbine and Justin Pierce from Kids kidnapping/blackmailing Roger Rees' hoity-toity British doctor in order to pay off gambling debts to a crippled kingpin played with real zest by Erik Dellums of Homicide / the Wire, only to discover… the blackmail victim is actually a serial killer who, thanks to the criminals' theft of his car and attempts to gain "his" money from the bank, has all of the guilt shifted from himself to the two "innocents." There are two reasons to see the film, one being Dellums, who at one point shakes the walker he uses in a futile attempt at being menacing, with the other and primary reason being Rees. BlackMale knows something basic about Americans: we are easily dazzled by a British accent, and many of the film's best jokes arrive after the movie starts to slowly abandon Woodbine and Pierce to follow Rees and his encounters with smiling upper middle class idiots who nod their head and believe everything he says because he sounds so charming, dresses like he won the Masters, and smokes a pipe. Never mind that the pipe is filled with crack rocks or that he at one point attempts to participate in a threeway with two corpses, he's British, he's got to be sophisticated!

I was surprised to see George Pelecanos listed amongst the film's producers, but if that gets some people to check it out thanks to his association with the Wire and Treme, all the better. In contrast, the hilariously incorrect DVD cover trying to sell this as a tough urban crime flick probably won't:

Image


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