71. City Streets (D)
72. Hard Boiled (A)
: This early Gary Cooper vehicle (released in 1931) has a lot of technical ambition, especially in terms of sound, but that doesn't prevent it from being a rather unremarkable B-picture in the final analysis. The film is so short (83 minutes) that characters don't grow or change; they go from acting one way in one scene to acting another way in another scene, always at the service of the plot. Worse, even at that short length, the whole affair is endlessly padded. Paramount was never as good as Warner Bros. at gangster pictures in the '30s, and City Streets
is no exception. An early use of the audio-flashback is so silly it must be witnessed, though. A shame the movie isn't out on video for that purpose, at least.
: John Woo's follow-up to Bullet in the Head
is (purposefully) much more commercial, but, honestly, it's all the better for it. The tone (despite the body count, which must surpass the worst of the Rambo series) is consistently jocular, and the action has rarely been surpassed. The score sometimes betrays itself with early '90s synthesizer cheesiness, but it's not a deal breaker. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen.
Theatres: 31 +2
Home Video: 36