REVIEW: The Killing [1956]

“Just a bad joke without a punch line” After test screenings left audiences confused and frustrated, writer/director Stanley Kubrick and producing partner James B. Harris decided to return to the edit bay and turn The Killing‘s overlapping, repetitious structure into a more linear A-to-B narrative. You can’t blame the former for wanting to do everything possible to make the film a hit since it was his first project with a real budget positioning his career forward (he’d disavowed Fear and Desire as amateurish and sophomore effort Killer’s Kiss proved almost…

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REVIEW: The Maltese Falcon [1941]

“You’re a good man, sister” Based on pure coincidence from a conversation that had nothing to do with John Huston’s classic debut The Maltese Falcon, watching Rian Johnson’s Brick later in the same night couldn’t have been more perfect. The latter a modern noir described as Dashiell Hammett in high school, the parallels were hitting me left and right without my realizing that the scribe who inspired it actually wrote the novel the former was based upon. Exchanges are mirrored in Brick—like the lead detectives confronting the law in a…

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