Film Reviews by KW

Welcome to KW's film reviews page. KW has written 3 reviews and rated 14 films.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Drive a Crooked Road

An engaging slow ride in the noir fast lane

(Edit) 20/05/2021

Mickey Rooney is Eddie Shannon, shy and mild-mannered car mechanic and wannabe racing driver. Eddie is no hit with the ladies until Barbara Matthews turns up to make his heart go faster than a Grand Prix winner. She's setting him up though, for she has friends planning a bank robbery and they need a fast driver. Whether he likes it or not, Eddie is taking a trip down the fast lane....

Mickey Rooney gives a tremendous, understated performance in this movie, which is in Volume 1 of Indicator's Columbia Noir box set series. The film is well-written by Blake Edwards with none of the jokes that featured in his later movies but plenty of the Malibu locations that did. The slow burn allows the audience to get to know Eddie - his life is simple, he deserves more but it's a dark night of fast cars and gunplay and this is a film noir so don't count on a jolly song and dance routine with Judy Garland type of ending. Those days were over!

Extras on the blu-ray disc include an introduction by Martin Scorsese, audio interview with Mickey Rooney, film commentary, a bizarre showbiz featrette with Mickey Rooney and an even more bizarre Three Stooges short in which they play airforce car mechanics who inadvertently become spies after accidentally hiding in a bomb which is then dropped on Nazi Germany. In other words, the main feature is the real draw.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Gunfighter

Best supporting moustache

(Edit) 16/03/2021

Gregory Peck is Johnny Ringo, the fastest draw in the land, an outlaw who wants to settle down to a life more ordinary, but he is chased down by his own mythology, a man destined to pay not just for the deeds he has done, but the stories told about him.

This is a classic western, with a brilliant central performance by Gregory Peck’s moustache, and excellent supporting performances by Gregory Peck, Karl Malden, Millard Mitchell and Peggy Westcroft. Indeed, everyone is good in this and there’s not a wasted frame in the whole thing - it is perfect, characterful, lean storytelling.

 The theme is serious and the outcome inevitable, but I was surprised at the amount of humour in the film. I particularly enjoyed the moment where a fight breaks out in the street and it may be the least energetic fight in screen history. It has nothing to do with the main plot but it does prompt an observer to comment that ‘I seen better fights at a prayer meeting.’ Excellent! 

I rented the DVD - transfer okay but not amazing and no extras. There has been a Criterion Collection release in the US so maybe a UK version will follow here.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

1985

Moving

(Edit) 13/02/2019

There is a sense in which all of us play different versions of ourselves in different situations - the me at home is not the same as the one in a job interview, speaking to friends, or on hold to the phone company facing the impossible challenge of querying a bill. At a certain stage, many of us leave home and live in a different place, a process that changes us into different versions of ourselves that can make return visits home a time of tension. Interacting with parents we have cause to wonder which version of ourselves is the most authentic.

These identity issues are writ particularly large in this profoundly moving film about a man who has moved from the claustrophobic conservatism of life in an evangelical family in Texas to the relative liberation of life as a gay man in New York City in 1985. I say 'relative liberation' because this is the era of the AIDS epidemic, and this man does not have long to live. After four years he has come home but for what? To come out, say farewell, find salvation, escape the horror of the death all around him or all of the above?

Shot in black and white and on film, 1985 at times looks like a student film from several decades ago. There's a scene of singing in a church where the soundtrack is very clearly not the congregation singing, which is the kind of trick you pull when you can't afford to properly set up the sound in the church. In this scene it works really well though. This is a film with a soundtrack that really underlines the feel of the film without making the audience feel manipulated.

A very moving, heartfelt movie that impressed me enormously.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.