6.9 Bully 2001 meta 45
6.6 Wonderland 2003
6.5 8MM 1999 meta 19
6.3 Tough Luck 2003
6.3 Montana 1998
6.1 The Badge 2002
6.1 Palmetto 1998 meta 43
6.0 Gunshy 1998
5.8 Brownís Requiem 1998
5.5 Purgatory Flats 2003
Comments extracted from my reviews follow.
Bully: "...told entirely from the point of view of middle-class teenagers who have cars, do drugs, and are promiscuous. We are taken directly into the sex and drug-filled lives of this circle of teens and their parents. Their language is constant expletives. The unrated version takes the sex and nudity for granted. The movie mercilessly depicts the clueless and ineffectual parents and relatives who have raised these indulgent teens who have been using drugs for years. The wider culture is clearly a failure as well. This case is the extreme result."
Wonderland: "The cinematography and film editing, the production design, and the coloration of the film all support it tremendously, and, I repeat, the actors are right into their roles, supported by a realistic script."
8MM: "above-par detective-thriller and solidly neo-noir" The movie is very suspenseful, especially as it gets toward the end. At that point and earlier, it is quite dark too, in theme and look. The direction and production design are very good. The script is above-average in developing themes."
Tough Luck: "This is the kind of story where the police put in only a token appearance fairly early on, and instead all the main characters have illegal agendas and all are willing to double cross each other. This keeps you guessing and is quite a lot of fun."
Montana: "The story was original and fresh. The acting was very good. Itís definitely a neo-noir with a slightly comic tinge of irony." "The plot is about betrayal in the gang and an attempted takeover of the operation. This has many interesting twists and turns." "It develops quite strong emotional elements as the story matures."
The Badge: "I liked "The Badge" (2002) again, upon second viewing. Itís partly a neo-noir crime story, a murder tale steeped in the corruption of a Louisiana parish thatís under the political thumb of judge William Devane. Billy Bob Thornton is a sheriff who has to follow orders or lose his job, and so when he starts investigating too thoroughly he comes under a great deal of pressure. The story is also a character study of Thorntonís sheriff and a story that humanizes the approximately 4 percent of Americans who identify themselves as LGBT."
Palmetto: "...is unambiguously a neo-noir based upon a James Hadley Chase novel. Woody Harrelson has done two years in jail after being framed when, quite suddenly, new evidence in another trial shows him innocent. Heís released from jail with the intention of going to Florida, but his loyal girl friend and independent artist (Gina Gershon) heads him back to Palmetto in Georgia. After some dithering around, he conspires with seductive Elizabeth Shue in a fake kidnapping of her step-daughter, the equally seductive Chloe Sevigny. Needless to say, there are serious complications and Harrelson finds himself in plenty of trouble, despite the fact that he is cautious and investigates before he commits himself."
""Gunshy" (1998) is a neo-noir that boasts a fresh story, interesting characters, and two fine performances from William Petersen and Michael Wincott.
Criminal personalities, criminal situations and gang dynamics work into strong tensions that are best left as surprises to the viewer."
Brown's Requiem: Michael Rookerís hoarse voice and manner are perfect as a private investigator, in a well-written part. The story is tortuous, which we like, uncovering layers upon layers and moving through a variety of locales. Voice-overs are numerous, and they work in this movie. The movie is not as polished as "Chinatown", not as original, and the direction is not as capable, tense or crisp. Where "Chinatown" milks every scene, gesture and nuance, "Brownís Requiem" glides through its itinerary. Still, this is a worthy addition thatís appreciated. The source is a James Ellroy novel, and that places it on something of a firm basis right out of the gate.
Purgatory Flats: "Vincent Ventresca is a mild-mannered ex-doctor who has just been released from prison. He served some years for vehicular manslaughter in an accident caused by drinking, driving and making out with his wife while driving. She was the victim. Wanting to get his act together, he refuses his brotherís help and LA, instead wandering into this little town."
"Since this is a noir tale, it is not long before trouble comes his way despite his good efforts or actually because of his good efforts."
"This kind of noir story has a long history. A good example is the 1950 "Quicksand" in which Mickey Rooney, a basically honest guy, gets into a lot of hot water with Jeanne Cagney. There are many, many variations on the basic idea. When these are collected, noir becomes something of a genre because, as in westerns, we pretty much know what to expect in general terms. This one is quite typical and entertaining."