johnlink ranks L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997)

Hadn’t seen this movie in way too long. Probably been a dozen years. I remember so much, especially the surprise Spacey/Farmer-from-BABE scene. I’m closing in on 200 movies watched since the start of this project. There are some movies I want to see before I hit that 200 recap. L.A. CONFIDENTIAL falls under that category.

I watched L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997) on 9.16.10. It was my third viewing of the film, but first in probably a dozen years. TRAILER HERE

Where to start with this great modern noir? The acting is absolutely top notch from its leads, namely Spacey, Guy Pearce, Crowe, Basinger (who won best supporting actress), the farmer from BABE, Ron Rifkin, and Danny DeVito. Some of the support is less perfect and a little cliche, but that is such a minor thing that it can’t detract from this film. It’s also arguable that those sort of archetypes are necessary to help sell the film’s 50s feel.

The writing is amazing. Putting so much into a film and still having it be so easy to follow is incredible. These characters are not simple by any means, and you really get to see the three heroes develop, be imperfect, and try to make the best out of a shitty situation. The dialogue is to the point and always entertaining (even if not laugh out loud funny). I think the best thing about it is that the audience gets all the payoffs they want. It’s really a lesson on great scriptwriting.

Having lived in LA, it’s funny to see some locations that didn’t need much work to sell the 50s feel (like the Frolic Room next to the Pantages). The movie has a great look setting-wise, and there were some times I longed to see a real noir look in the filming. It shows up in the climax, great beautiful shadows with smoke and gunfire, but I wanted to see it permeate the entire thing.

But heck, this is a movie that is awesome and iconic. I can’t knock it too much for its small flaws when it is such a great flick. I can’t believe it took me so long to watch it again!





~ by johnlink00 on September 16, 2010.

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