Tag Archives: Kansas City Confidential

A Week In Film #114: Working the backlog

The Notorious Bettie Page
Slightly unsatisfactory but still enjoyable biopic of the 50s fetish/cheesecake model by Mary Harron. Gretchen Mol is likeable as the naïve but adventurous Bettie. Lili Taylor and Jared Harris both have memorable turns.

The Last Castle
Overblown, silly pre-9/11 (but no less flagwanky for it) military prison nonsense, with lantern-jawed Special Forces hero/demi-god Robert Redford (FFS) giving lesser, more deviant GI Joes a lesson in teamwork/self-respect/something after getting sent down for something or other and ending up in a barbaric brig run by deskjockey James Gandolfini. Meaningless piffle, directed by Rod Lurie.

The Terminator
Time-travelling killer robot! Michael Biehn looking kick-ass! Depressing future apocalypse! Third best police station attack ever in film!

Kansas City Confidential
Noir crime drama with wrongly accused ex-con John Payne chasing after the mask-wearing crooks who held up an armoured car leaving him with the blame. Efficient, though a little flabby in the second act (and for the most part it’s set in Mexico not KC).

Extreme Prejudice
Nick Nolte as hard-as-nails Texas Ranger, Powers Boothe as his best mate-turned Mex-Tex drugs kingpin, Michael Ironside as the leader of a secret, deniable Army unit; Maria Conchita Alonso is the solitary woman intruding upon this high testosterone ménage a trios.

Typical Walter Hill – sleek, energetic, with great craft, just very little plausibility or audience investment. Seems to have inspired the likes of Predator, Die Hard 2, The Losers etc. Some great work from various character actors (Clancy Brown, William Forsythe, Matt Mulhern, Larry B Scott, Dan Tullis Jnr as the soldiers, Rip Torn as Nolte’s Sheriff buddy).