The Big Sleep

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The Sin City movies are remakes. Not of other movies, but of the comic books they’re based on. Before you argue that this means they’re “adaptations,” not “remakes,” let me explain. More than perhaps any other comic book movies, these are so faithful in style to the source that they’re redundant. They’re just like the old cartoons we watched as kids that took children’s books, lifted the pictures right off the page and animated them. Now we see a lot of that done in documentaries about artists, such as the recent one on Ralph Steadman. The main difference is that Sin City and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For use actors in a sort of moving tableau vivant recreation of Frank Miller‘s drawings, panel by panel — or shot-for-shot. Another thing the Sin City movies are, of course, is a series of film-noir-influenced anthologies that are far more violent and explicitly sex-filled than any true entry into the classic film genre. Unless you want to count all the remakes of films noir that came about in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, when Hollywood realized they could recycle a lot of golden age works for a new cinematic era, post-Hays Code, allowing for graphic violence and, more importantly, graphic sex and nudity. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is likewise noted for its nudity, nearly every review pointing out how naked Eva Green is in the movie — not a surprise given that the original, banned poster depicted the actress in a fairly revealing […]

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Laura

Film from the ’40s is perhaps best remembered for all of the dark and moody crime dramas it produced that kicked off the film noir genre. Hundreds of films full of fog, dicks, and dames have been made over the years, but really there are only an elite handful that stand the test of time as the big ones everyone thinks of when they think about noir. 1946’s The Big Sleep is definitely one of those films, and seeing as it was directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, it stars the iconic duo of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, it was adapted from a Raymond Chandler novel, and it features one of the most famous fictional detectives of all time, Philip Marlowe, it’s not hard to understand why that’s the case. This thing has pedigree to spare. Laura, an Otto Preminger-directed film from two years earlier, doesn’t quite share the same reputation. Though Preminger is certainly an accomplished director in his own right, he’s not one of the few quintessential masters that modern audiences still name drop the way Hawks is. And though its stars—especially Gene Tierney and Clifton Webb—are all fine actors who had lengthy careers, their names haven’t passed into legend the way Bogart and Bacall’s have. Admittedly, Vincent Price lends Laura some modern day notability, but the point I’m trying to make is, despite the fact that film historians largely dig what Preminger accomplished here, Laura isn’t the sort of movie that lives on in the public […]

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Movies We Love: The Long Goodbye

Snarky, unlit-cigarette-gritting Private Detective Philip Marlowe is visited late one night by an old buddy, Terry Lennox, who asks Marlowe, without explanation, to drive him to Tijiuana.

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In keeping with our exploration into 007 this week, Jorge Sosa digs into the dark dirt of The Big Sleep a noir that might have inspired some of the Bond myth.

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