Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hey Kids Comics & Crime

Halloween is just around the corner, and I've been in full mode by enjoying some horror movies lately and such.  I picked up Ed Brubaker, Phillips, and Breitweiser's comic, Kill or Be Killed the other day.  It deals with supernatural horror, or does it?  The jury is still out because when reading it one is left with the questions:  Is there something supernatural going on here, or is it all in the main character's head?  I guess we might or might not find out conclusively, but for now, the first issue is just out so it has only started. 

Brubaker wrote another comic series not long back called Fatale which also dealt with supernatural horror in a H P Lovecraft vein.  He mixes up the genres with noir crime, the mob, and monsters.  Overall it worked pretty well.  He's one of those writers that has the ability to pique my interest.  I don't know if it's the topics he writes about or the way he writes, but his projects generally interest me.

If you enjoy that sort of thing or if you're an Ed Brubaker fan, I ran across a great little article on him from the folks over at A. V. Club.  Brubaker also talks about the new Sci Fi series, Westworld.  I've not been able to see any of that series yet, as I don't subscribe to the network, but if it turns out well, I'm sure I'll watch it when time allows.  I certainly enjoyed the original movie, Westworld, and the follow up movie,  Futureworld.   Here's a link to the Brubaker  article.  

While on the topic of crime, I saw a good crime noir movie last night called The Lineup starring Eli Wallach, who played the part of a crazy pschopath, Robert Keith as his older accomplice, and Warner Anderson  as Lt. Ben Guthrie.  The story was basically about a criminals trying to smuggle heroin  into the US by way of using innocent victims in their ploy.   Evidently the film was taken from a TV series that came before it, but I had no knowledge about that series.  Evidently a later TV series, Dragnet, was also modeled off  The Lineup TV show.  I basically rented the film as it was an early effort directed by Don Siegel who has done other crime movies like the first Dirty Harry film, The Killers, Charley Varrick, and many other noteworthy films.

The movie itself was made in the late 50s, but don't let the date distract you from watching this classic film.   Also worth noting is that it's shot in the San Fransisco area, so you see many of the sites around that area many of which are gone now.  It's an area that Siegel would revisit again when he made his more famous film, Dirty Harry. 

So I watched The Lineup last night, and as I watched it, I recalled I'd seen bits of it before on the TCM channel.  I just didn't know what I was watching at the time as I had tuned into late before the opening credits ran.  If you rent the DVD don't overlook the bonus features.  I generally don't mess with bonus or special features, but in this case I checked them out and was surprised that Eddie Muller, a crime aficionado, and James Ellroy, a crime novelist did a commentary track on the bonus features.   If you happen to rent the movie, don't overlook those bonus features as it added a lot for the appreciation of the movie, the town of San Francisco, which is where Muller grew up, and there's a lot of humor and banter between the two gentlemen. 


At 9:20 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

“Westworld” (the movie) and “Futureworld,” like much older scifi set in the future, are amusing time warps: all the 70s fashions, patter, and attitude. Well, I suppose we could get a 70s retro decade, but somehow I doubt it. I still like the films though.

There are a lot of marvelous noir films and that is one of them. For whatever reason modern filmmakers have trouble recreating the tone. A few have done it, but not many.

At 1:33 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

Yeah, I'm anxious to see the new Westworld series. I hope it comes out well. It would be neat if they took a tangent route, and some other kinds of Worlds. Off the top of my head I'm not sure what kind that would be. I don't know if in the new series they create the new Westworld like the old movie with robots, but you could do it too with virtual reality. That might be an interesting take. It would be neat to see one where all realities merge--so that anything could happen, and they'd have a wide playground to play in, dinosaurs, robots, aliens, etc.

I agree about modern noir. I've seen a few that have been good. In the Bonus features they said they did another commentary with the one that takes place in NYC. I think it may have been The Sniper. I jotted down several of the films they mentioned, and plan to watch them over time: The Big Heat, The Sniper, 5 Against the House, Murder By Contract, and Crimewave.


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