Wednesday, 9 June 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 267

102 - The Hustler - 5 stars
The best sports movie ever made with Paul Newman oozing cockiness and charm as Fast Eddie Felson, and some of the best pool action seen on screen (until The Color Of Money).
After losing to Minnesota Fats in an epic 24 pool game, his confidence is crushed. He slowly rebuilds his life after meeting Piper Laurie, but gets involved with slimy George C. Scott. Unable to let go of his dream, he makes a deal with Scott to finance one more rematch with Fats but is unprepared for the actual cost of the decision he makes.
A dark moral tale about the lengths that some people will go to, and the sacrifices they make, in order to become a winner, even if only in their own head.

61 - The Usual Suspects - 4 stars
I'm going to be controversial now and say that this is actually just an average crime thriller that has been elevated to classic status due to the great twist at the end that sparked endless debates about just who was "Keyser Soze".
It is a fantastic reveal that is superbly edited, made even better by having a false conclusion a couple of minutes earlier, that turns the whole movie on its head and make you shake your own head at not spotting it sooner.
I know that in Adaptation screenwriter Robert McKee says "wow them in the end and you've got a hit" but is a great final five minutes enough the excuse what up until that point is just an OK film?
Lovely to see an early performance by Benecio Del Toro stealing the show as the mumbling Fenster.

Days remaining - 98 Films remaining - 109

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