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Posted July 30, 2011
Good Noir, Ralph Meeker in one of his best, but not one you can watch ofteh.
I like(d) this movie - not a lot, but did mainly due to the "hype" around the cast - and then was not disappointed.
But, after seeing it once, even trying about 3 times, I knew the end, the middle, and the rest, so it wasn't that entertaining. Not like watching a BOGIE, MITCHUM, G. FORD and/or others of this genre. (noir?)
The start is fairly good, but I think Meeker plays a "wooden"-type detective, not the colorful kind like one of the others I mentioned, but plain. The cast was full was good and had some "would be" famous people, but for this movie - it was just not that good. Same old tricks, the exploding car, people died needlessly, and I felt I could guess the next scene.
This was all except the first time, when I wanteted to find out what all the "hoopla" was about. Once I did, then after that, it reall wasn't worth watching unless there was nothing else on TV. It was not the kind of DVD I would buy, even at this price - which isn't bad.
I like Meeker, especiall in "Path's of Glory", but in this, he was one of those "greasy, snooping detectibes one finds in hotel lobbbies", etc. (from "The Big Sleep - L. Bacall on what she thought a "shamus" aka detective was.)
The FIRST TIME I SAW IT, the plot was interesting. But, from there, a lot of people turned up in the film making it quite complicated. When Meeker was first questioned by the police about his detective job, it turned out (though he was dressed nice and had a nice, sports car), he really was one of those who was the kind who worked mainly on finding out if a husband and/or wife was cheating. His partner (and gal pal), also worked with him in this business, often making up to the other partner to make it so they earned their money - which I found was a silly as the police dept did.
All in all, it is a good movie, but I rated it a 3, but comparing it to ones like "The Big Heat", "Macao", BOTH of "The Big Sleeps" (Mitchum in 197X and the bogie/Bacall in 1946) would make me rate it more like a 2. But, on it's own, it is better than many of the other noirs I have seen, probably due to the Dashiell Hammett book is was based on.
MANY movies of this genre - if I have seen the end - I can watch it over and over knowing how it is going to come out, and still watchit often; but, this one - already knew and just doesn't hold me after one viewing - as I stated earlier, unless there is nothing else on - and I don't feel like watching another DVD.
I am sure if you are looking at this, you have seen the movie' however, if you haven't, I won't ruin it and tall you ths plot. But, you may want to see it on-line and/or "ON DEMAND" first, to make sure you get what you want! (Fans of D.Hammett, noirs and crime dramas will probably like it, so it depends on you, your budget, and the kind of DVD you watch often!)
Good luck and hsppy viewing!
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