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Found 13 results

  1. I saw "Pulp Fiction" when it came out in 1994, and *hated* it - it was my first Quentin Tarantino film, and I was so turned off by all the gratuitous violence that I just couldn't stand the movie. My second stub of a Tarantino film I saw was "Reservoir Dogs" which did nothing to ingratiate him to me. I am simply not impressed by how much violence you can throw up on a screen, unless that violence is there for an artistic purpose. That said, I really enjoyed "Django Unchained," but oh my God it was hard to watch (remember Paul Dano making the slaves clap while he sang?) And, since I liked Christoph Waltz so much in that film, a friend recommended that I watch "Inglorious Basterds." What I'm hoping, is that in the past twenty years, shows like "The Walking Dead" have gotten me so numb to graphic violence that it won't bother me as much, and I'll be able to "look through it," whereas I was unable to in the past - it makes sense, as things have changed a lot in the past two decades - was Quentin Tarantino the Jack Kevorkian of violent directors? (I used to think Kevorkian was a terrible person, opening up this can of worms; now, I've matured, and strongly support physician-assisted suicide, death-with-dignity, etc., and look at Kevorkian as something of a trailblazer that I was simply not personally ready to handle. Maybe it's a stretch - maybe a *big* stretch - to equate Tarantino with Kevorkian, but it's the same general principle ... I think. I'm not 55 minutes into the film, and I see it more as a comic book-like form of escapism, without any deep meaning (unless I'm missing something), and also without such a terrible amount of violence (Samuel L. Jackson's and John Travolta's shocking kill scene notwithstanding). Travolta is currently rushing Uma Thurman to the hospital, pretty much peeing his pants at the thought of what might happen if things go completely wrong. My biggest issue with Tarantino - not so much "Tarantino" as "Tarantino fans" - is that so many of them seem to think he's such an intellect, and all I see is a kid with brass balls, willing to speak his mind and do what he wants to do, exploiting shock value as a substitute for serious artistic merit. He's kind of like David Mamet with gory pictures. There's nothing wrong with that (goodness knows, I have my little cache of entertainment completely devoid of substance (and no, I'm not talking about porn; I'm talking about some of the more vapid TV series I've been power-watching over the past few years), and I make no pretense that they're any kind of high art). After Thurman and Travolta shook hands on keeping Marcellus in the dark about her OD, and Travolta says he's going to go home now and have a heart attack, she said to him, "Vincent!" He turns towards her. She says, "Don't you want to hear my 'Fox Force Five joke?' Okay, now that came so far out of left-field that it made me laugh out loud - it was truly funny because it was just so random. Tarantino gets points for his capacity to come up with a John Cleese-like joke in the damndest of situations. That was wonderfully silly, especially since the joke itself wasn't funny in the least. Okay! Okay! Christopher Walken's "watch delivery" routine was low humor at its absolute apogee - as it kept going, it kept getting more-and-more outrageous, funny, and cringe-worthy, all at the same time. Like the kid is going to know what dysentery is! Oh, this is just too much! I honestly wonder how many takes the scene took before Walken didn't laugh - he was masterful, but there's a zero-percent chance any human being could have done this in one take without laughing, and once you start laughing, it becomes infectious, so maybe it took twenty takes - regardless of how many it took, the end product was worth it. And sure enough, the watch becomes a major MacGuffin going forward - something powerful enough to compel him to (cue George Takei: "Oh, my!") go back to his old apartment. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** (Don't read this part if you haven't seen the movie yet.) "Pulp Fiction" seems (and I don't remember it well, because I haven't seen it since 1994) like it's about to take a major pivot at the point where Bruce Willis shoots John Travolta. Did anyone notice what book John Travolta was reading in the can? He was reading the pulp-fiction classic, "Modesty Blaise." - pretty good humor, but man, Travolta's visage was grim, grim, grim (I mean, I guess that's understandable when you've just been pumped full of lead, but still - he didn't look dead; he looked depressed). I think if I chose a caption for this screen-shot, it would be, "Oh, fuck." Paired with the James Bond-inspired, "00Fuck" and "What the fuck?" I mean, I guess you sow what you reap, but this is pretty brutal (and I'm calling bullshit on how silent the silencer was; nevertheless, that was an imposing piece of iron). Hmm, I wonder if Butch's (Bruce Willis's) chance encounter on the roadway with Marsellus (Ving Rhames) was a tribute to Janet Leigh experiencing the exact same thing in "Psycho" with her boss, Vaughn Taylor - I can't imagine it wasn't, because it was just too closely parallel - they were walking in the same direction, and everything. Anyway, that immediately popped into my mind. Of course, what happened immediately afterwards in the two movies could not have been more different. You know what? I can already tell that I've been desensitized to ultra-violence over the past twenty years, which is kind of a shame - "The Walking Dead" pretty much completed the process for me. The violence in Pulp Fiction - which is *very* violent - just comes across to me now as cartoonish (which, I gather, it was always supposed to be, but twenty years ago, it really bothered me). Society has gone to hell, and I've gone with it - handbasket and everything. I'm not sure this is such a great thing, but it is unquestionably true. What's next for me - maybe ISIS beheading videos won't bother me any more? Damn it, I don't *want* to be like that. Still, the only way anything can be grosser than "The Walking Dead" is if the violence is portrayed more artistically (cf: "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover." which is a serious piece of art, with violence that's much more disturbing than any of these cartoonish movies and shows). My goodness, speaking of homages - and I don't know how I missed this before - the rape scene *must* be a tribute to "Deliverance": The only thing that's missing is Ned Beatty. I'm every bit as sure of this as I am about "Psycho," and it makes me wonder how many other tributes are in this film that I"m *not* picking up on - I suspect there are several, perhaps even quite a few: The format of the movie lends itself perfectly to random insertion of tributes. (Trivia: Did you know that there was an actual banjo player hidden behind Billy Redden, playing "Dueling Banjos" in "Deliverance?" I've watched that scene a lot of times, and it's amazing how real they make it look.) It's so coincidental - yesterday, I watched "Dog Day Afternoon," and at the end of the film, the FBI agent repeatedly tells John Cazale to point his gun up, in case they "go over a bump in the road." I had a pretty good idea that was a load of BS, but I don't ever remember having heard it before in a film. In "Pulp Fiction," John Travolta turns around and talks with Marvin, who's sitting in the back seat, and guess who accidentally gets a lead facial? All because Travolta wasn't pointing his gun up - and it truly was an accident: I cannot name a third picture where I've seen the subject broached before, and yet, it played a key role in both of these films. Ugh, I just got to the part where Quentin Tarantino tries to act - he can't. I'm not saying he hasn't gotten better in the past 23 years; I'm just saying his acting in this movie was pretty lame. And Samuel L. Jackson is funny as hell. <When they're cleaning out the car from the shooting of Marvin> ... "You the motherfucker should be on brain detail!" The UC Santa Cruz *Banana Slugs*? How can you not be amused by this dialogue? Vincent: Jules, look, what happened this morning, man, I agree it was peculiar. But water into wine, I ..." Jules: "All shapes and sizes, Vincent." Vincent: "Don't fucking talk to me that way, man." Jules: "If my answers frighten you, Vincent, then you should cease asking scary questions." Vincent: "I'm gonna take a shit." Then, it turns out that this is the Epilogue of the Coffee Shop Robbery, the Prologue (which was the exact same moment in time) having been shown during the film's opening, but from a different perspective (the Prologue's perspective of Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer) and Pumpkin (Tim Roth); the Epilogue's perspective of Jules and Vincent). Wow. When Pumpkin held Jules at gunpoint, and forced him to open the briefcase, the contents of which remained unknown, but clearly contained a mysterious light, shining from within, there was yet another, absolutely unambiguous reference to another classic film: "Kiss Me Deadly." Confidence level? Pretty close to 100%. Some people might think "Raiders of the Lost Ark," especially because Pumpkin looked inside, and said, "It's beautiful" (remember Belloq, in Raiders, opening the ark, and crying aloud, "It's beautiful!"?) But make no mistake - this homage is to "Kiss Me Deadly," not Raiders - the light, which has absolutely no reason to be there, is the giveaway. It took me 23 years to regress into liking "Pulp Fiction." Or, did it take me 23 years to progress into liking "Pulp Fiction?" I'm vastly - vastly - more educated now than I was 23 years ago, and I'm a completely changed person - a much, much better person, and a much, much kinder and gentler person, than I was 23 years ago. Am I simply able to look past the violence now, and recognize the quality of this film? Or have I become so numb and inured to violence, which was prejudicing me from recognizing this film's qualities before? Is it good that I can now look through violence as if it doesn't matter? Or is it bad? Am I reverting to my childhood, or am I progressing into old age? I honestly don't know, but I do know that I really, really liked "Pulp Fiction" this time, and perhaps more than any other movie, I'm glad I saw this again, with a completely open mind. And when Vincent excuses himself before the robbery, what is he reading in the can? Think for a moment before I answer ... Think. Re-read this post if you have to, but think ... He's reading Modesty Blaise.
  2. I'm not a big fan of violent gangster films - Bonnie and Clyde started it all in 1967, and it continued to "go downhill" (that's my own personal term) during the next 40-50 years, finally having reached its basal conclusion with as much graphic violence as the CGI staff has time to program. I don't like anything by Quentin Tarantino (not Pulp Fiction, not Reservoir Dogs, not anything), but I do enjoy several works by Martin Scorsese, in a "guilty pleasure" sort of way. In theory non-fiction, as it reflects Lucchese crime family associate Henry Hill - who narrates the film - I suppose it reflects real-world violence, and is, in that sense, "important." Looking back, it's hard to believe that this film was made on a $25 million budget in 1990, and brought in $47 million at the box office as recently as 1990 - a success, sure, but not a blockbuster given how famous the movie is. Roger Ebert named it, "The best mob movie ever," and GoodFellas is #94 on AFI's "100 Years, 100 Movies" list. There's no doubt about it: It's famous.
  3. *** SPOILER ALERT *** *** DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU PLAN ON SEEING THE FILM *** I sent DIShGo an email, with the instructions *not* to open it until she was finished watching "The Usual Suspects," which she finished last night. The email said this: "In my entire life, I have never felt more manipulated or cheated than I did from this movie. The ending made THE ENTIRE MOVIE IRRELEVANT. It could have been *anything*, depending on what they chose to put on the wall. It was insulting, it was bullshit, and it was a complete waste of the viewer's time - yet, all the sheep say what a great movie it is. Yeah, right. Bullshit." --- I'm going to say one other thing, and I may as well say it here: I am *so damned sick* of these wannabe film critics (and I fully realize that I *am* a wannabe film critic) throwing around the word "noir" as if every crime-related movie since 1940 falls into that category - these people are dumb as hell, and don't know what they're talking about, but boy, they sure think they sound smart by using that word. SPARE ME! Sorry.
  4. "Suspense" is one of the very first television anthology series, debuting in 1949, and running 6 seasons and 260 episodes until 1954. It was adapted from a radio program of the same name which ran from 1942-1962, and was broadcast *live*. Many of the scripts were adapted from literary classics by big-name authors, and also featured big-name stars as actors. Although the show was broadcast live, most episodes were recorded on kinescope, and about 90 out of the 260 episodes survive as of this writing. I continue to be amazed that so much early television is just plain *gone*, considering how important the medium is - they taped *over* productions in order to save money! The series has several Producers (one of whom being billed as an "Executive Producer"), and I'm not sure what the difference is between the two positions. Robert Stevens directed 105 episodes, and produced 102 episodes. Season One (Jan 6, 1949 - Jun 28, 1949) 1.1 - "Goodbye, New York" - Story by Cornell Woolrich ("It Had To Be Murder" (source for "Rear Window"), "The Big Switch" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents")), Sets by Samuel Leve Featuring Meg Mundy (Grandmother in "Ordinary People")
  5. I recently picked up the DVDs (including the incredible Dead Dog Records arc on iOffer) of my favorite TV series of my youth, and am amazed of how well it has held up. Ken Wahl was the eye candy of the series, but flanked by an incredible Jonathan Banks throughout the series and featuring some amazing actors thru the series: Sonny Steelgrave arc: Ray Sharkey, Eric Christmas, Annette Bening, plus the songs "Good Lovin'" and "Nights in White Satin" featured in the finale when first aired Mel Profitt arc (the first incestuous brother/sister relationship I recall on TV, now a fairly hackneyed conceit): William Russ, Kevin Spacey, Joan Severance (who "awakened" me as a teenage boy) White Supremacy arc: Fred Thompson, Paul Guifoyle Garment Trade arc: Jerry Lewis, Ron Silver, Stanley Tucci, Joan Chen Dead Dog Records arc (amazing, and not commercially available due to all the great music featured): Tim Curry, Patti D'Arbanville, Glenn Frey, Deidre Hall, Debbie Harry, Paul Winfield, Mick Fleetwood, Deidre Hall
  6. I'm not sure why some movies seem to be virtually unobtainable online, at any price; while others are only available for rent; and still others are available in various places for free. "The Shawshank Redemption" is one in the latter category - for whatever reason, it is available in high-definition on the internet, free-of-charge (if you Google it, you'll find it, but I was watching my version here). This is a film that I didn't love in the theaters (I was 33), but I enjoy a bit more now that I'm older - maybe it's the subject matter, or maybe it's because I can take my time watching it (I've been watching it over several days), or maybe it's because I'm fully aware of the importance and charisma of Morgan Freeman. Regardless, I like this movie, but don't necessarily love it. I'd be curious to know how others feel about it.
  7. I suspect some of our younger members have never heard of "The Thin Blue Line" (1988), but due to a Facebook post by Sweth, I was inspired to watch it again last night - the only other time I'd seen it was when it was released in theaters 27 years ago. I was raving about the film when it came out, and I think every bit as highly of it now, even though I knew exactly how the story ended. This is a non-fiction exposé of a murder conviction that might have been incorrectly decided. The two principal suspects, Randall Adams and David Harris (I'm purposely not linking to them so you don't peak at their fates since 1988) play a central role in this crime-re-creation (*) documentary which is about as *exciting* as any documentary I've ever seen. "The Thin Blue Line" is an incredibly important film, yet is only the 95th-highest grossing documentary produced since 1982, grossing a mere $1.2 million - unbelievably, this great film lost money; nevertheless, it is timeless, and will be just as great in 2042 as it is in 2015 as it was in 1988. One thing I never knew is that the music is by Philip Glass (see "Koyaanisqatsi"), but I was jolted into noticing the opening theme song, and when Glass's name came on the screen, I just smiled - he really is a terrific composer for the medium. Watch this movie on Amazon Prime ($3.99), and if you don't like it, I'll pay you back. (*) I originally didn't hyphenate crime-re-creation, but it came out as crime-recreation.
  8. I think you claim too much for Bonnie and Clyde, although the violence in that film, enabled by newer technology, possibly outdid anything that came before in sheer graphic immediacy. But have you seen White Heat (1949)? Hard to say it isn't a violent gangster film, and also hard (for me) to say it isn't one of the best movies ever made. Directed by Raoul Walsh, starring James Cagney. I highly recommend it. Oh, and I loved Goodfellas and detested Pulp Fiction, so we're on the same page there.
  9. I rewatched "The Silence Of The Lambs" this week for the first time in many years, and was struck by just how few minutes of screen time Anthony Hopkins had, compared to what I remember (and I've seen the film 3-4 times now, though some of it was, if you'll excuse the pun, in small bites). I feel almost guilty for not absolutely loving this great thriller more than I did, especially because it's probably a matter of it simply not living up to the considerable hype that I'd built up in my mind. And while I picked up nuances that I'd missed before, "Silence Of The Lambs" is, to me, largely an Anthony Hopkins showpiece, and when Hopkins wasn't on screen, everything seemed to drag a bit. Ted Levine didn't do much for me as Buffalo Bill - despite the entire film revolving around him, his character was, paradoxically, poorly developed. Yes, Jodie Foster was outstanding in her role of Agent Starling, and the much ballyhooed Pas De Deux between her and Lecter lives up to its billing. The strongest feeling I have about this movie is that I cannot imagine any other actor in the world playing the role of Hannibal Lecter. In all of cinematic history, this must surely be one of the all-time great actor-to-character fits. Hopkins stole the show, even when he wasn't there: The fascinating story of him talking his neighbor into committing suicide took place entirely off-screen, and yet the viewer can spend quite a bit of time imagining what must have transpired. The basic plot of using one serial killer to catch another is extremely interesting, and the human pathos of this man just wanting to be able to see a tree evokes a great deal of sympathy (see? I'm feeling sorry for a brutal serial killer - the ability to successfully manipulate the viewer is one of several remarkable achievements in this film). There's no doubt "Silence Of The Lambs" is a good movie, and there's very little doubt it's a great movie; but there are just too many things lacking, and it's just not complete enough, for it to be one of my all-time favorites, although I suppose it's one of my all-time favorites within the underachieving horror genre. The very end, for example - amusing as it may be - is poorly executed, and an extreme letdown. The phone call should have been breathtaking; instead, it was presented as a lily-livered (sorry) afterthought. Foster was much stronger than Hopkins in that scene - viewers should have walked out of the theater with echoes of a fortissimo chord clanging around in their heads, and instead exited with a bemused chuckle (although a case can be made that viewers are again being manipulated into cheering on the implied upcoming death of an unlikable character). This is a film that just about everyone has seen, and I would love to read what others think, even if it's just a few lines of writing.
  10. I watched "The Godfather" from start to finish for only the second time in my life a few days ago, and my overall impression might not curry favor with movie fans: While it must be watched with full knowledge that it was 1972, and the films that came before it were nothing at all like it, my takeaway was that "this film is certainly not underrated." I'll raise the ante a bit by saying that Marlon Brando's performance might be one of the most *overrated* performances I've ever seen. Mind you, "overrated" doesn't mean "bad"; it just means overrated - Brando was deified for this performance, and I don't see all that much in it that merits deification. He was *good*, he was even *very good*, but I can't see this performance and call it "great." I found it very difficult to keep track of peoples' names, in particular the suspected crime bosses who were betraying the Corleone family, and Marlon Brando - cotton stuffed in his cheeks - was almost unintelligible at times. That said, I've been watching a lot of films in the past couple of years from the late 60s and early 70s, and the viewer *must* watch the film in that context. Just six years before, we were enduring such tripe as "Alfie," "Fantastic Voyage," and "One Million Years BC," among some of the better films from 1966. Even among the best of those films, "The Godfather" must be considered groundbreaking. I remember very well when my parents and my aunt went to see it, and it was a *huge* deal to them to be going out to watch this movie. "Is It Just Me, Or Is 'The Godfather' Overrated?" by Joe Rivers on sabotagetimes.com "Is The Godfather Overrated?" on answers.yahoo.com "Is The Godfather (Movie) Overrated?" on quora.com "'50 Most Overrated Movies" on imdb.com Obviously, I trolled the internet looking for the terms "Godfather" and "overrated," and there are plenty more links to be found (look for yourself), but you can also find just about anything you want to on the internet - it has a 99% "Tomatometer" rating on rottentomatoes.com (95% by Top Critics), so I'm clearly in the minority here. That said, I would also rate the movie both "Excellent" *and* "Overrated," so I don't see a conflict here.
  11. I'd never seen the full movie of "Dirty Harry"; only a few clips from it, e.g., "Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" This line happens very early in the film, and serves two purposes: as character development of the protagonist, Harry Callahan, and as a memorable clip for posterity (*) - so if you watch it, you won't have spoiled a thing. It's also somewhat clumsily acted, and isn't representative of Eastwood in this film - he otherwise does a fine job. Somehow, he manages to inject a boyish smile into the gravest of situations here: A couple other notes: It isn't like there was anything at stake here - even if the bad guy had reached the gun, he wasn't going to get a shot off, and he certainly wasn't going anywhere. This is a great example of a scene contrived to become a classic - think of "I'll have what she's having" in "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993) - probably the all-time greatest one-liner in movie history (which, by the way, took place at Katz's Delicatessen (which just made me think ofMark Kuller, God rest his soul)). Also, this is an unfortunate time in our lives to be glorifying such a scene, but I can assure people who haven't seen the film that Harry Callahan - icy-cold bad-ass though he might have been - was a good guy through-and-through, and someone all viewers would want to pull for. This was a very good police thriller, with a certified looney-tunes villain very well played by Andy Robinson (as an aside, it isn't often a movie of this popularity doesn't even have two actors that most people could name, although the Mayor of San Francisco is played by none other than Dean Wormer himself, John Vernon). Clint Eastwood was (and still is) a damned handsome man. This movie also goes a level deeper than just being a cops-and-robbers crime film. Roger Ebert has a *great* line about the movie - one which you really can't argue against: "I think films are more often a mirror of society than an agent of change, and that when we blame the movies for the evils around us we are getting things backward. "Dirty Harry" is very effective at the level of a thriller. At another level, it uses the most potent star presence in American movies -- Clint Eastwood -- to lay things on the line. If there aren't mentalities like Dirty Harry's at loose in the land, then the movie is irrelevant. If there are, we should not blame the bearer of the bad news." "Dirty Harry" was both directed and produced by Don Siegel, which would be more than enough for an entire career, but he also worked on four other Clint Eastwood films, as well as the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"(1956), "The Shootist" (1976), and many others. On a personal note, Siegel directed two episodes of "The Twilight Zone: "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross" and "Uncle Simon" - I love the fact that, with a little time and effort, Hollywood is closing in on itself, and I'm starting to recognize heretofore obscure names and other things: I guess that, like with anything else in life, a little perseverance eventually pays off. By today's standards, "Dirty Harry" is easy-going violence, with much of it implied (the young boy, for example, who got half of his face blown off). For those who don't know, The Zodiac Killer, who was the inspiration for Scorpio - the antagonist in Dirty Harry - was very much of a real person, although the movie itself is entirely fictional. If this is one of those movies you've always intended to watch, but have never gotten around to doing so, I decided to watch it on a whim last night, finishing it today, and I'm glad I did - it was $3.99 (HD on Amazon Prime) and 102 minutes, both well-spent. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** When they hauled the teenage girl out of the hole, I was wondering how on earth there was 40 minutes left in the movie; the decision to let Scorpio go seems implausible, so at that moment, the movie lost credibility with me (could they not have done a handwriting comparison with the first note that Scorpio wrote? Oops!) However, it's interesting how closely that scene is related to the Ticking Time Bomb Scenario and Alan "The Needle" Dershowitz as pertaining to this one particular issue. In this regard alone, Dirty Harry is an important film that's ahead of its time, although I have no idea whether it was the first movie to directly address this scenario (I'm sure there were variations on this theme that occurred before 1971). Miranda v. Arizona was tried five years before, in 1966, and was surely an inspiration for this. The school bus scene was extremely powerful. I can't imagine what the driver must have been feeling, driving along while the children are singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" - the contrast was painful to watch. But flying away with the kids as hostages? Come on, that's ridiculous. Still, this whole sequence was brutal - however, when Callahan jumps on the bus, the movie turns into something resembling "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981). (*) Oh, by the way, there may have been a third purpose as well.
  12. I watched "The Departed" today, and while I loved the film, I'm a little surprised it won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Picture. It was an excellent, thrilling, double-twisting, head-scratching, mess-with-your-mind, crime thriller involving mirror-image good-and-evil juxtapositions that make you thankful you're watching it on video, since you're camped on the rewind button for half the movie. A great picture with mega, mega-stars? Yes! Best Picture of the year? Boy this must have been a very lean year, not that the Academy Awards are any arbiter of truth; still, I just don't see this as even being in the running, although the Academy has shocked me in the past with its mediocre winners. Don't get me wrong: It's an outstanding crime thriller which I really enjoyed; I'm just surprised so many critics thought so highly of it. How many films have you seen lately where Matt Damon is arguably the third-biggest draw, and where Alec Baldwin is perhaps the sixth-biggest? How much did they spend on salaries? I am very much in the minority in that I find Quentin Tarantino terribly overrated, and someone who relies far too much on excessive violence; this film clearly had a Tarantino-like influence over the far-superior Scorsese. Did he really need to make this such a bloodbath? Well, it added something, I suppose, and also like most audience members, I'm starting to become numb to gratuitous splatter films, so as long as movies aren't torture porn (and this didn't go that far) they've become socially accepted, and not even all that shocking which I think is a real shame.
  13. I watched "Hardcore" again for the first time since I was a freshman in college! I remember liking it a lot then, and I liked it a lot now - it's a very good, unheralded film that is - I *think* - the first major motion picture to tackle the hardcore pornography industry. This goes straight at the grimy underbelly of the 1970s California pornography underworld, and leaves you feeling like you desperately need a shower. While falling short of "outstanding" (the ending is just too much, in too short of a time, to really wrap things up in a thoughtful way), it is nevertheless worth watching and - without looking - I would be surprised if Scott wasn't nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award (then again, he's the only person ever to refuse his award (for "Patton"), so I doubt he endeared himself to the Academy. The real beauty of this film lies in the trust between Scott (a stern, Calvinist) and Hubley (a wayward prostitute) - their lives intertwine, and something of a meaningful relationship develops; the real tragedy in this film lies in what "must" happen to Hubley in the end. (No, I did not just give anything away.) If you've never heard of this film, and are wondering what to watch one night, it's worth a rental. Roger Ebert's review (which does contain spoilers).
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