259. Fury [C+]
260. Conan the Barbarian [D+]
Fury: Fritz Lang's first American film is well-shot and acted (Spencer Tracy is rather good in it), but the editing leaves much to be desired and the plotting is too convoluted for its own good. It also manages to be a film about lynching that goes the entire running time without mentioning the racial history of the crime once (in fact, there are only two black actors in the entire film, and neither of which have substantial roles). The lynching scene IS terrifying, but once it's revealed that Joe (Spencer Tracy) somehow managed to avoid a raging fire and a dynamite explosion with only minimal harm, things don't quite work. Still, on purely visual terms, it's a notable example of film noir.
Conan the Barbarian: In honor of the passing of Dino De Laurentiis, some friends and I watched this fantasy film he produced last night. Alas, it's not nearly as good as its reputation suggests. Arnold grunts his way through the lousy script, with only an occasional reprieve brought by some surprisingly brutal sword fighting and a rousing musical score. Overwrought fantasy epics like this make me more fully appreciate what Peter Jackson managed to do with THE LORD OF THE RINGS. I'm optimistic for THE HOBBIT, but shudder at the thought of what the Jason Mamoa-starring CONAN remake will be. Worse than I can possibly imagine, probably.