Monday, 2 August 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 321

323 - The Last Seduction - 3 stars
Like Big Lebowski, Chinatown or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Last Seduction is a modern take on the film noir genre.
Now most films in the genre focus on a man who becomes entangled with a femme fatale who becomes their downfall, in this film the femme fatale is the main character.
Linda Fiorentino is terrific as the ball-busting, manipulative, scheming Bridgette Gregory who has a heart as black as her stockings, and it is a shame that she didn't go on to become a bigger star but the film choices that she made after this meant that it just didn't happen.
Bill Pullman just about manages to keep on the right side of playful menace as the wronged husband but Peter Berg doesn't really work as the dumb patsy who is being played by Bridgette.
Where is does work is in its use of the film noir language and mise en scene, and also features lots of geeky references to classic noirs like Double Indemnity: at one point Fiorentino calls herself Mrs Neff, the main character in DI was called Walter Neff.

291 - Rocco And His Brothers - 3 stars
An Italian film that has five, well I guess they are called chapters, each about a different brother but most of the action revolves around two brothers Simone and Rocco.
For a long time the film had no real plot instead revolving around the characters until a choice made by one of the brothers threatens to destroy the family.
Rocco becomes romantically involved with Simone's former girlfriend, a prostitute called Nadia, and Simone, mad with jealousy because Rocco now has the career and girl that Simone wanted, beats up Rocco and rapes Nadia, destroying the relationship.
The film was supposed to show how the event affects the whole family but despite the fact that there are five brothers and a mother, we don't see enough of them and how they deal with it.
I think that the film could have been improved by scaling down the number of brothers and simply focusing on the two brothers Simone and Rocco because the performances are great by the three leads.
By doing this it could have cut down on the excessive three hour runtime!

For fudge sake, I've done it again. Somehow I've gone and overestimated the number of films I had actually watched. I blame my trip to Canada as the error seems to have come at some point just after I got back. With only a dozen films left on Lovefilm and all the other films physically sitting next to my dvd player, I have tripled checked the number of films left to watched by doing two seperate lists (marking them off in Empire magazine and keeping a written list of the films watched).
So 46 films left to watch with 44 days to watch them in. However that does include Movie-Con weekend so I think I'll need to get a few more done before heading to London for Empire's own (smaller scale) version of Comic-Con to have three glorious days of movies.

Days remaining - 44 Films remaining - 46

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