On a TV:
15. House of Games (1987) -- (B)
16. Le Samouraļ (1967) -- (B)
House of Games
is a difficult movie to get into. The characters act in a way that could be described as mechanical. This is not always to the movie's detriment, nor a mistake -- the beauty in Mamet's script and direction is watching all the pieces of the big con move and come together -- but it's definitely a choice that took me twenty or thirty minutes to accept. When the con comes together, though -- not to mention the ending, which is all kinds of crazy -- the movie is aces.
There are some scenes in Le Samouraļ
, perhaps Melville's most famous film, that are truly exceptional. The first murder is shot and edited in a way that is visceral and immediate. The long sequence of the police round-up and questioning is superb. I found other parts of the movie to be more plodding. The look, though, certainly emulated, at least in part by John Woo's Hart Boiled
, is wonderful.