Jason Statham is making a sequel to Layer Cake

Layer Cake is getting a sequel for better or for worse. I love this film and as anybody that has seen this movie knows, it did not leave much room for a sequel. That said, writer of the book, J. J. Connolly has written a new book with XXX in it. This film will be based on that book called Viva La Madness. Here is the article by Isaac Feldberg, I came across about the film over at We Got This Covered:


What is your opinion on this? Without Daniel Craig or Matthew Vaughn involved are you even interested? Is Jason Statham the right man for this film?

Re-Watching the Classics: Body Double

Body Double is a neo noir thriller from 1984. This is written and directed by Brian De Palma. De Palma definitely has his hits and his misses, but all of his movies are entertaining. This one steals a lot of plot devices from Hitchcock, something I’ve noticed De Palma does often. This one has obvious references to Rear Window.

Think of it as Rear Window in an over sexed Los Angeles in the materialistic 1980’s. I actually really enjoyed the time capsule this film is. We have some of the great cars of the early 80’s rolling by in multiple scenes. A crazy house on the hills that some may find dated, but is interesting in it’s over the top styling. The opening shows the making of a film, a vampire film that looks like it could have been a real film that would appear at the video store between Fright Night and Lost Boys. Frankie Goes To Hollywood in an unusual music video, porno mix. We see MTV playing in the background on the television. It also has a small look at the pornography industry as VHS takes over from the adult theaters.

This story starts out with actor Jack Scully, played by Craig Wasson, starts out on a soundstage, playing a vampire in a coffin. He seems to have a case of claustrophobia, as they pull him out of the coffin, frozen in fear. He goes home to recoup and finds his girlfriend in bed with somebody else. He goes to a bar to drowned his sorrows and is looking for a place to stay. He soon finds out he lost his acting gig do to freezing up on the set the day before. He also goes to acting class where he runs into a fellow actor played by Gregg Henry. The actor offers Jack a place to stay while he goes to Seattle for an acting gig. The house belongs to a wealthy man who is in Europe and somebody needs to water the plants! As the plants need to be watered right at 6, conveniently there is a telescope pointing down the hill at another house on the hill. This telescope shows a beautiful woman doing a seductive dance that you cannot turn your eyes away from. The woman down the hill is soon abused by somebody and Jack starts to get attached to her. The next night he notices a big Native American is also watching her. He soon finds the Native American following the beautiful woman around town…as Jack is also following her. We can now see she is played by Deborah Shelton, our unknowing femme fatale for this film. This part is also pretty creepy on many levels. Our hero thinks he is doing the right thing by following and spying on this woman, to protect her from a scary looking man who is following and spying on the same woman. This story continues as our femme fatale seems to get in more trouble as Jack tries his best to keep her safe. Will he succeed in protecting her? Will he fall short? Will he be the first suspect if something does happen?

This film maybe most famous for the performance by Melanie Griffith in a supporting role as porn actress Holly Body. It is a good performance for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe.

This film was very fun to revisit and worth doing so if you have not seen it in a while. If you haven’t seen it yet, go watch it. This is not De Palma’s best work, but it is a fun movie that is one of the better sex thrillers from the 1980’s.

Review: Nightmare Alley

Tyrone Power wanted this book made into a movie and he wanted to star in it. This is Nightmare Alley and though it was not a huge success on its release in 1947, it is one of Power’s best performances and has become one of his most memorable. This film is based on a book by William Lindsay Gresham and directed by Edmund Goulding. Power stars as our main character Stan Carlisle.

This film is not your normal noir, it doesn’t take place in the dark streets of some big city at first, it takes place in the country at a carnival. The film starts with Power walking through a side-show tent, and is fascinated by the geek. A geek at this time frame in the carnival is somebody that bites the heads off of chickens. He then goes into the next tent where he changes into his carnival suit and starts working with the mind reading mystic. Our mystic is actually a team played by Joan Blondell as Zeena and Ian Keith as Pete. Pete is an alcoholic and a shadow of the man he used to be. The team used to be a big draw with a system of using Pete in the crowd telling Zeena in a code how to “read the minds” of the audience. We soon meet some of the others in the carnival like Mike Mazurki as the strong man and Coleen Gray as the beautiful assistant, Molly.

Soon Pete has an accident involving Stan and some bad alcohol, and he passes in his sleep. Stan sees his chance and talks Zeena into teaching him the code. Molly helps Stan learn the code and soon Stan and Zeena are doing the old show and drawing big crowds. A romance starts between Molly and Stan and the rest of the carnival talent soon finds out. They force Stan to marry Molly and they both leave the carnival. Stan and Molly start using the code and become a big hit in the city. Stan soon meets a psychologist, played by Helen Walker, and hatches a new con to take advantage of the cities rich.

This story is a very good noir as well as a psychological thriller. The film is something to be seeing by all noir fans or classic movie lovers. I have not seen a lot of movies with Power in them, but he is quite good in this film. I also really liked Gray in this, she is the opposite of a femme fatale in this film for sure. Walker is the femme fatale in this picture, and though she doesn’t have a lot of screen time, she definitely leaves her mark on this film. I also found ex-pro wrestler Mike Mazurki’s presence as the strong man fascinating. Find this film and watch it if you have not seen it yet!

Favorite Tidbit: According to Eddie Muller when he introduced this film on TCM, grifters using the mystic con would use the phrase “Are you a friend of Stan Carlisle?” to identify each other.

Taste of Cinema has “The Best Neo-Noir Films Of The 1970s”

This list is over at Taste of Cinema and is written by Terek Puckett and is in chronological order. There are a few films on here I have not seen yet and some I have not seen in years. There is also a section of “Other Notable Neo-Noir films of the 1970s” at the end of the article. There are even more in that section I look forward to seeing soon. Puckett does have a weird rule about “excluded from consideration were films that take place in a period setting.” Whether you agree with that or not, there are still a lot of films in here worth watching.

Read more: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2014/the-20-best-neo-noir-films-of-the-1970s/#ixzz3egTTUprq

Review: Dark Places

Dark Places is a neo noir written for the screen and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner. Paquet-Brenner shot this in only 25 days, reminding me what some of the directors did in the classic film noir days for B-movies. Charlize Theron is the producer and star of this film. This is based on the book written by Gillian Flynn.

I read this book awhile ago, but found the movie followed the book pretty well from what I remember. Sure a few things are missing and shortened up for sake of time, but overall felt the movie is a nice companion to the book.

The story starts with a down and out Libby Day played by Theron. She is the survivor of a massacre when she was a child. The rest of her family was killed and her brother put in prison for the crime. Her brother is played by Corey Stoll in the present day and by Tye Sheridan in the flashback scenes. Libby, desperate for money goes to an event where people try to solve past crimes. This meeting is called the Kill Club. The group is fascinated with her families case and feel her brother is innocent. Nicholas Hoult plays the main member of the Kill Club interested in Libby’s case. The story continues as Libby goes to see her brother in prison and starts to look into the case herself with the Kill Club’s help. We get half the story in flashbacks as we learn what Libby’s brother was doing the day of the murders. The flashbacks have Christina Hendricks as Libby’s mom and Chloë Grace Moretz as the brother’s girlfriend.

This film has a lot of twists and turns as new discoveries are made and finishes with an ending hard to see coming. I liked the way they used 1980’s heavy metal music and the public’s growing fear of its influence on youth and the satanic symbolism that it used. I’m not sure if Flynn was inspired by the case of The West Memphis Three when she wrote this book, but it seems to have similarities to that case.

This film is very noir in story but Paquet-Brenner also used a lot of film noir technique in this film, one scene is even in black and white! The filming at night with the use of shadow and light are very film noir in style through most of the flashback scenes.

I really liked this book, maybe even more then Gone Girl, and found the film very well done and I enjoyed it a lot. I think fans of the book will find the movie worth seeing. I also think neo-noir and mystery lovers will enjoy it too. If you are lucky enough to have DirecTV you can watch it now on pay per view, if you don’t, it will be in theaters in August.

Favorite Tidbit: Look for the author of the book Gillian Flynn in a cameo as Lizzy Borden in the Kill Club scene.

Men’s Journal Article: Don Winslow’s War

This is a fascinating article on noir author Don Winslow. Learn more about his background, his influences, his writing procedures and how he does his research. Written by Erik Hedegaard for Men’s Journal it is a little long, but well worth your time. If you are not a fan of Winslow’s you may be after this article.


The Daily News May Have Found a Gem of a Neo Noir at the LA Film Festival: Too Late

Too Late stars John Hawkes as a Los Angeles private detective. Shot with only 5 shots, each of which is a single shot, 20 minutes long. The film also shows the scenes out-of-order. This sounds like the making of an interesting film! Dennis Hauck is the first time director for this film and from the sounds of it, a promising one. Read Bob Strauss’ full review of Too Late in the link below. I really look forward to seeing this one.