It’s hard to imagine Ernst Lubitsch making something that isn’t a classy, urbane romantic comedy. "Heaven Can Wait" (1943) is an odd duck, though. For example, not many romantic comedies begin in Hell. Yet, it is here that we, and His Excellency, played by the devilish Laird Cregar, meet Henry Van Cleve (smoothie Don Ameche).
This was Delon’s first big movie, and even if he weren’t very good, you can see why. But Delon is shockingly good. His Tom Ripley is a criminal novice. Much of the pleasure of both Highsmith’s first Ripley novel and of "Purple Noon" is watching Tom come into his own as a sociopath.
Verbinski’s characters—his worlds—are loopy and sometimes it seems as though the stuffing is coming out at the seams. Characters teeter on the edge of our world, sometimes falling off into bizarre other-worlds where there exist things like the fanged feral rabbits in "The Lone Ranger," or, really, whole swathes of the fourth "Pirates" film.
To move away from his usual roles as a romantic lead, Power bought the rights to the novel in order to play its antihero, Stan Carlisle. The story begins and ends at a carnival sideshow, with characters musing about the show’s geek, a man brought so low that he bites the heads off chickens.
"Johnny Eager" (1941) is one of those movies that has a central heterosexual romantic relationship but in which the arguably more important relationship is the one between two male characters. Here, gangster Robert Taylor has Van Heflin at his side, as his best and only friend.
The zombies made me miss the Roundup last week. But now we have an actual developing story…perhaps even a scandal of sorts. So there’s no actual Roundup here, unless you think of it as a Roundup of one thing. I should make it clear that I have not yet read either Doherty’s or Urwand’s books…though
The Husband does not like zombie movies. Neither is The Husband a fan of apocalypse movies, though he’s perfectly happy reading Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year. Which is, let me assure you, much less action-packed than even the worst zombie movie.
Not really. It turns out this post is all about Hong Kong cinema. Other interesting tidbits will appear later this week. Well, now it’s been *two* weeks since the last post. Apologies. Since I’ve actually got a day job now, I have to learn how to manage my time. And I was experiencing technical difficulties.