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Old March 17 2010, 07:52 AM   #345
Too Much Fun
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

LitmusDragon wrote: View Post
The Third Man - Oddly, I singled this movie out of the criterion collection because of a song lyric where someone referred to himself as the "third man" in reference to this movie. I still have no idea what the lyric means in context, but the movie was good. It's only the second noir I've seen and honestly, I'm not sure if the genre appeals to me. I certainly don't feel compelled to seek out more noirs in the same way I feel compelled to check out the remainder of Kurosawa's work. Decent mystery, interesting cinematography, passable but not quite excellent Blu-ray transfer. Was worth the rental but glad I didn't buy it. An A- for being a groundbreaking film but one I can't seem to fully endorse, somehow.
I feel the same way as you, but I wouldn't be as generous. I've found most of the film noir I've seen so far unbearably boring. They all seem to be little more than some guy running around solving a mystery that I could care less about, and "The Third Man" is a quintessential example. Thus far, the only exception is "The Maltese Falcon". Humphrey Bogart kept that one interesting. He's one of my favourite actors and I've loved every movie I've seen him in (which is a lot of them) except "The Treasure of Sierra Madre" and "The Barefoot Contessa".

In the "The Third Man", right at the end I loved Orson Welles's performance, the production design of the tunnel for the big chase scene, and the way that chase was shot, but nothing leading up to these things impressed me. I'm not digging Kurosawa either. I have only seen "The Seven Samurai" and "Ikiru" and thought they were both way too long and way too melodramatic, with only a precious few genuinely moving moments.

The last movie I saw was "Top Secret!". It's by the same guys who did "Airplane!" and like that movie, it's wall-to-wall with over-the-top verbal and sight gags, but they were surprisingly creative and consistently funny. It's an unusually clever and witty comedy, despite the relentless ludicrousness of it all. A fine debut for Val Kilmer, who shows he's got immense charisma right away and performs his Elvis-parodying musical numbers with superb panache, singing and dancing fantastically. The movie's song, "How silly can ya get?" pretty much sums up the movie, but it elevates silliness to a respectable art form.
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