A Week In Film #128: First riot of a long, hot summer

Inside Job
Rather spiffy, old-fashioned documentary (talking heads, occasional question heard from the filmmaker) about the 2007-10 global financial meltdown, focusing on Yankee robber barons,. and rather angry to boot. Good work from Charles H Ferguson.

McBain
Christopher Walken is McBain, rescued from death at an NVA prison camp on the day the Vietnam War ends. He vows that he owes his saviour his life. Roll on a few years and said angel has become the leader of a Colombian revolution, only to be killed live on TV during a failed coup. Obviously this means his sister (Maria Conchita Alonso – who else) going on a mission to America to seek out McBain and persuade him to avenge her brother and his popular uprising.

Yes, it’s The Deer Hunter meets Uncommon Valor meets The Magnificent Seven only much, much worse. Apparently the producers managed to get Fox to back down and rename The Simpson‘ Arnie-like character Rainier Wolfcastle.

Dick Tracy Vs Cueball
Cheap and cheerful B-movie with top tech Tracy (this time Morgan Conway) on the trail of homicidal jewel thief Cueball (Dick Wessel).

Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome
Ralph Byrd’s turn to play the fedora-topped detective, investigating strange nerve gas-assisted robberies perpetrated by Boris Karloff’s British baddie, Gruesome.

The Statement
Boring, dull, uninspiring, flat ‘thriller’ about a former Milice collaborator (Michael Caine) being passed around a right-wing Catholic underground rat run after his cover is blown. Norman Jewison directs, with little excitement. The prologue sequence, with a younger actor playing the main character as a younger man, may have worked better by not dubbing Michael Caine’s voice over the top. Kind of takes the pathos away from a scene, for obvious reasons.

Restrepo
Pretty compelling documentary about a year spent with a bunch of American soldiers holed up in an observation post in the Karengal valley in Afghanistan, co-directed by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, the photojournalist killed early on in the Libyan revolution.

Heat
Just wanted to see the opening score and then the bank heist; forgot how fucking long it is though!

No End In Sight
More Charles H Ferguson documentary business, this time taking on the Bush Administration and its occupation of Iraq. Scathingly non-neutral.

French Connection II
I remembered John Frankenheimer’s attempt at a sequel to Friedkin’s kinetic classic as being better than it seems on second viewing.

Still, it’s pretty good, with Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) being packed off to Marseilles to track down heroin smuggler Frog One (Fernando Rey), only to find himself a fish out of water, chasing red herrings and used as bait (Marseilles, it’s a FISHING TOWN, d’yageddit?!?!).

Still memorable for the being-forcefed-smack scenes (especially when salvation seems near with the sweet old lady) and the final chase scene, though.

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