Night Nurse Review

Night Nurse is a film that feels relatively uneventful for the most part. It’s a fairly by the numbers film that is really old so in a way what is considered by the numbers now, probably wasn’t at the time. Even so I had a good time here but what really made the film fun was the ending. It’s a real sudden ending that is a blast and makes the whole thing worthwhile. I don’t feel as though this film will ever really stand out in a crowd but I had a good time and that’s what counts.

The movie starts off with Lora trying to get a job at the hospital but unfortunately the interview doesn’t go well. The head nurse barely even looks at her since her formal education was not up to the hospital’s standard. Lora gets lucky when she bumps into Dr. Bell outside and strongarms him into letting her join up. It was impressive that she got in but I do remember thinking it was a bit rude the way she practically threatened Dr. Bell. The guy was just trying to have a nice day and she immediately got real aggressive. Well, her days go by smoothly and she even treats the wound of a guy named Mortie. Things get tricky when she is given more of a private position to look after Mrs. Ritchey’s kids who seem rather malnourished and unhappy. The kids’ mother is a drunk and there’s a shady guy named Nick around. They have a private doctor looking after he kids who cannot be questioned and so the whole setup seems rather nefarious. What can Lora do about it?

The tough part is that there isn’t a whole lot that Lora can do at first. She’s a nurse who is brand new to the job and so she has no sway. She’s told that this is just the way their doctor wants things to go in order to cure the kids and without more experience it’s hard for her to just go against that. She needs some kind of captivating evidence and it’s not easy. It’s a good thing that she has a friend in Mortie though because that guy comes in handy.

See, Mortie knows a lot of people all around the city. His connections may not always be above board but he definitely gets results. I like his energy and he really helps Lora out in a lot of ways. One of the most direct ways was when he stepped in later on to face off against Nick. He wasn’t going to let Lora get attacked while he was around and then the ending scene is the cherry on top. While you probably don’t want the films to romanticize the crooks too much, this was a pretty nice take on getting to his good side. Lora helped him out when he was in a pinch and so he quickly returned the favor. It was just nice all around.

Meanwhile Lora is a solid main character because she takes a whole lot of risks in order to help those kids. A lot of other nurses probably would have looked the other way and just justified this by saying that the doctor knows best. Instead Lora went with her gut instincts and helped out here. It was also fun to see her really intimidating the drunk guy who attacked her early on in the film. Her getting some revenge was good since that guy was definitely a creep all the way.

The main villain here is Nick as he has big plans for the future and is willing to murder anyone to achieve his goals. Naturally punching a lady isn’t even beneath him here. If he can push someone around then you better believe he is going to do that. The guy has no scruples and definitely doesn’t hold back. I also have to blame Mrs. Richey a whole lot here because she sort of knows what is going on but doesn’t care because she is drunk 24/7. She’s trying to just completely avoid her life which is the most irresponsible thing you can possibly do as an adult. She had responsibilities and just threw them to the winds.

Lora had a friend in Maloney who made for a good colleague. She ultimately doesn’t do a whole lot when it comes to the actual climax and taking care of the plot but it’s always good to have at least one friend around. Otherwise you’re truly on on your own and that makes everything harder. Dr. Bell was also solid even if he gets pushed around a bit. The guy knows his stuff and was a good ally to have.

In terms of the film being a bit uneventful, I think it could have used more scenes of Lora sleuthing around a bit. Maybe have her looking through files and trying to find evidence of malpractice. She certainly took a lot of risks and still uncovered the crime but it could have helped you feel like the movie was doing more. Skip the scenes of her trying on clothes which basically just exist for low hanging fanservice bait and have more scenes involving the main plot itself. This film is fairly short so you could definitely extend it a little and I don’t believe there would be any issues. It never got boring either but there’s still more you can do here.

Overall, The Night Nurse has aged well for its time though. Lora’s a tough protagonist and I’d say she compares favorably with a lot of the other heroines from back in the day. Most were not quite as proactive as she was. Lora never turned away from danger and just kept on pushing. That’s exactly what you want to see from your nurse because then you know that your kids are safe under her care. As for the milk bath idea that the maid kept suggesting, I could see it being good for your skin but ultimately I doubt it’s much of a treatment in itself. I just can’t see it being some kind of miracle treatment but in desperate times it is important to try out anything if it gives you a chance. I always thought it would be interesting to try once but in general baths aren’t really my thing so I’ll stick to the showers. If we ever get a remake to this film, the most important thing is to keep Mortie’s role almost untouched. He provides a lot of good humor here but also satisfying moments in general.

Overall 6/10

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li Review

It’s kind of cool that Street Fighter actually got a movie as recent as 2009. It was certainly a bold take to do a movie about Chun Li with very few references to the world at large. You’d almost think they were trying to make some kind of cinematic universe for Street Fighter. Well, whatever the objective was, I can’t say that it worked super well since nobody talks about this film. It’s too bad since the movie was good although it does have enough issues to where I can’t call it great. Mortal Kombat remains as the elite fighting game movie.

The movie introduces us to Chun Li early on and how she really enjoyed fighting. It was a way for her to connect with her father and she was also quite good at this. It wasn’t long before she would end up being one of the top fighters around but he was kidnapped a while back by Bison. Chun Li’s mother dies later on and the heroine decides she will continue to live a brave and tough life no matter how dangerous it is. So when she receives a scroll that may have the answers she needs to find Bison and take him down, she can’t overlook this. Is Chun Li really ready to take on these powerful villains though?

The movie may be close to the 2010s era but it feels more like an early 2000s film with the jarring scene transitions and narration throughout. The colors are also different, it’s almost blue at times which is something that makes me think of older films as well. It does help the movie to stand out I suppose which is good but some of the techniques haven’t aged really well. Instead of coming across as cool, it just feels like the movie is trying to tell you how intense it all is.

I’ll give the film props for the fight scenes though. They’re more on the simple side but each one goes hard. I liked Chun Li’s battle against Vega as she destroyed the guy. Yes, he does look pretty bad here but I don’t mind since we saw Li training a whole lot during the film. She had to really pull herself to the limits of what she could take and she did this well. (I do think the training was still excessive as there is one moment where she almost dies because she’s nearly pushed into a saw type device) Vega has likely been assassinating people who can’t fight back for a long time so I doubt he’s been training as extensively. This would end up being a bit of a wake up call for him. The two tend to be natural enemies in the games so it was a nice tribute to that.

Vega still had the initial scene of taking out some delegates which was really cool though. I do feel like these gangsters always take a lot of risks though. Of course as the viewer we know that Bison is going to absolutely destroy these guys but even without that, why not bring a bodyguard to these meetings? If you are told not to then just don’t go right? What is to stop Bison from murdering these guys? Nothing and that’s the problem. It seems like it’s real easy for Bison to go all the way to the top. I’ll still give him credit because he was determined from the start but it was a bad look for the other villains all around.

Bison is portrayed more as a classic villain tycoon as opposed to a supervillain in this film but it works out well. I would have been upset if he couldn’t fight but he still has his hand to hand skills on point and even starts to overwhelm Chun Li during their fight. The movie never forgets that he is one of the top fighters and that’s a good thing because he should be generating a good amount of respect. It takes a lot of people to defeat him and that’s as it should be. He makes for a fun villain and even has a bit of an honor code where he will spare kids if he can help it.

As for Chun Li, I definitely liked her portrayal here. She has definitely lost herself in the quest of vengeance for a bit but considering how much she has gone through that definitely makes sense. As the film goes on she learns to fight with others as well and to not let this get as personal. It’s a very complete journey for her and by the sequel (If it had gotten one) she would have really been a top professional all around. If any character could get a film aside from Ryu it would definitely have been her. It would have been nice if she could have worn something that looked similar to the costume in the games though as a fun reference.

In the B plot we have Nash who has been trying to find Bison for years. Well, in a way he’s found him but it’s hard to get any evidence to put him away. This time he has some help since the cops led by Maya are here to help but in the end none of them are able to help all that much. The most embarrassing scene by far for them is when they are on a stakeout and have to make sure they don’t lose track of the villains but take time to quickly embrace and mess around. While they’re doing that the villain just drives off….that was just bad. It was such a sad moment.

From the start Nash seemed interested in Maya as he would stare at her and make comments so you knew he wasn’t a great agent. You just hoped that Maya would then be the one ready for action but that wasn’t the case either. So both of them aren’t very good and you really could have cut them out of the movie entirely. It really wouldn’t have changed much at all because they don’t contribute. Sure, they beat up some minions from time to time but Chun Li and her mentor do all the hard work. The mentor character was solid from start to finish at least. While I disagree on his training methods, at least he is strong and does a lot of work for himself. He may not be a match for Bison anymore but he is still tough overall.

The film can get a little dark like with Bison murdering one guy Man of Steel style and as we see the state of the city but for the most part it’s a fairly light action film. One thing I disagreed with for Chun Li though was in deciding to not keep any money or assets at all so she would just live on the street. I know that the scroll said she needed to really be within the city in order to make a difference but this was a little risky. Maybe use your money to help people out in the neighborhood and draw out Bison or at least get yourself a little room. It’s like getting yourself arrested on purpose to check out a jail, I feel like the plan’s risk level outweighs the benefits. Things worked out for Chun Li but they easily could have failed.

I could also have gone without the dancing scene. You figured it was inevitable that Chun Li would have to use attraction to distract a villain as it seems to be mandatory for any female agent but you always have to shake your head at that. I’d rather she just busted in and started taking some names. It does lead to a fight scene at least where she dominates the opponent but lets just jump right into the action. The movie definitely understood that Chun Li is a premiere fighter so after the training she crushes most of her opponents. Those are the scenes you really want to watch at all times. “Street Fighter” is still in the name after all and this film could have benefited from more fights. There’s a good amount of action but I think a few more fights would have fit in quite nicely.

Overall, It’s a bit of an odd Street Fighter movie but it gets the job done. Maybe you should just look at it as a normal revenge film and then you’ll appreciate it more. Just hearing the names is always fun as you feel that nostalgia though. There still aren’t many games that can really match the pure hype and name recognition that this series has. It’s why just including Ryu in there for a little bit or as a stinger at the end would have been perfect. Maybe next time I suppose.

Overall 7/10

The Ladykillers Review

The Ladykillers is an old school comedy movie that has aged rather well. It’s got that low key humor which is always fun and while the movie may run a little on the long side as the pacing isn’t super dynamic, I would say that you’ll still have a good time with this one. You may just shake your head at how the main characters handle things at times. They definitely didn’t plan all that well for this caper and only get so far thanks to coincidences and luck.

The movie starts off by introducing us to Wilberforce who is always running to the police with wild stories. As a result they don’t believe her anymore and it’s a shame because she just wants to help but unfortunately isn’t very good as doing the detective work on her own. This would have at least let her filter out the crazier stories and could have saved her a lot of credibility with the cops. Well, one day she is approached by a Professor Marcus who asks if he can have the room she was offering in her house. She is glad to have a new tenant and agrees. The guy is even part of a musical band so now she gets to hear some free music.

What she doesn’t realize is that Marcus is a big thief. They pull off a rather large robbery at the railroad and even trick her into being an accomplice. Now they are just biding their time before leaving. Will she be able to get to the truth of this before they leave or is all that money about to vanish? Additionally, she may not be as safe as she thinks since these villains can sometimes get a little extreme about their money.

Naturally the humor here is that she’s having a merry ole time and is completely oblivious to what’s going on here. The villains aren’t exactly subtle and it’s just that she’s not too quick on the uptake here. If only she had more detective training then she may have been able to solve this. Since you know who the villains are from the start, it’s imperative that you find this amusing or you likely won’t enjoy the film as a whole very much. That is really the meat of the film after all.

And I would say it works out well enough. It’s not even too over the top silly for the most part as there isn’t a lot of slapstick or anything like that. The chase for her pet parrot comes awfully close though. It’s the kind of nice adventure that pads the runtime out a bit but feels rather random. At least it showed that the thieves were willing to go quite far to protect their cover as a nice musical band that is always here to help.

I can’t say I was a big fan of some of the villains though. The best one would probably be the leader Marcus. He’s the one who came up with the plan. While it may be a bit convoluted, it does end up working so you have to give him credit there. He’s also not someone who jumps into a fight too easily but is ready to mix it up if he’s disrespected too much. Louis tends to push him rather far. That guy’s the meanest of the group and the only one who is quite eager to take Wilberforce out even though she’s an older lady. He feels like she’s a threat to the plan and must be eliminated.

The other thieves at least aren’t on board with this but while they wouldn’t suggest it or commit the act personally, it doesn’t feel like they would do much to stop him. Ultimately that’s why you shouldn’t trust villains too far. Even if these guys may not be the ultimate evil or anything like that, there will definitely be times where they may cross the lines. They’re already criminals after all so it’s not a stretch that they could commit another crime.

I will say that the film’s climax/ending was rather unexpected. Given how calm and low key the whole movie was, I was expecting the ending to follow that trend. It ended up being a whole lot more exciting and explosive than I would have ever suspected. It still plays into the humor angle while also being rather serious there. It was a good way to end the movie and a wise move by the writer since it makes the whole thing a lot more memorable.

The music in the film was decent I suppose. It’s always nostalgic hearing those really old tunes. The thieves probably should have switched the track a little more often though. If the old lady was listening a little closer she would realize that it always sounds the same and may have realized that something was up. You could tell that some of the thieves weren’t really in with the plan from the jump though and weren’t super supportive about the whole thing. You’d think it would be a small price to pay for the money though, why grumble so much about something that’s rather minor? It’s why these guys never ended up being the top level thieves around.

Overall, The Ladykillers handles the comedy/action mix rather well. It’s so low key that some parts may start to feel a bit dull but the movie is just short enough where this isn’t a major concern. If it had been much longer then I think the film would have suffered for it. I probably would have taken the film in a bit of a different direction like having them all help the old lady out when a bigger thief shows up. I would say that they could do that for a sequel but it doesn’t feel likely. The premise itself is good though and works better as a comedy than as a really serious title. If you haven’t watched this film yet then it’s worth picking up.

Overall 6/10

High Sierra Review

High Sierra is a film about a criminal who takes his journey to its logical conclusion. From the start you have a general feeling for how this will play out. The main character is an unrepentant criminal who has stayed in the game for too long. At this point your criminal career doesn’t tend to end until death so he just keeps on going until he can’t anymore. I thought the movie was good but the particularly weak cast keeps it from going to the next level.

The movie starts with Roy being able to leave jail at last. It pays to know criminals in high places after all and Big Mac asks Roy to do one more heist for him. The guy desperately wants his riches and Roy agrees but the one thing the lead doesn’t like is that he will have to team up with two rookies, Red and Babe. These two are amateurs in absolutely every area of the business and they’ve even brought along a lady named Marie for the ride. These two choke under pressure and are always talking tough so Roy’s going to have a hard time on his hands> Can he still pull off the heist and what’s this about bringing a dog along for the ride as well?

Throughout the movie you can see how Roy gets frustrated at the rest of the cast because they do have a habit of making things more difficult on him. When you can’t trust your partners in a life or death situation then that makes things a lot tougher right off the bat. Sure enough, they do get into trouble. Red and Babe are the worst characters in the film by far and the sooner they were written out of the film the better.

The dynamic with Roy and Marie was much better even if she was not quite ready to be a big time criminal either. She has been around the block long enough not to make any big mistakes or get in the way but at the same time this isn’t completely her scene. She is part of why the main characters keep Pard (the dog) around and I am glad that she is so nice to him the whole time. I don’t think Pard should be in such a dangerous environment though. One wrong shot or step and it could be too dangerous so the sooner he wasn’t on screen the better.

Pard was a really great dog of course and knew a lot of tricks but I don’t think he would really want to be a criminal. Pard seems like an upstanding citizen to me. While Marie is good, she does get a bit jealous at one point and I think she focuses too much on romance. Romance is probably something you shouldn’t pursue when you’re in the company of criminals. Not the best batch of options after all.

As for Roy, well I liked him in a lot of ways but also not in others. His positive qualities boil down to the fact that he is confident and efficient. He is also a decent guy compared to the rest as he quickly steps in to help Marie and isn’t about to let these criminals do whatever they want. Nobody pushes Roy around and it’s easy to see how he became such a respected figure where nobody wants to mess with him anymore. Now as to why he was not particularly good. He ends up falling for a lady named Velma who can no longer walk.

Roy agrees to fix this for her and even calls in a surgeon. Keep in mind that the family is very poor and could not afford such an operation so Roy agrees to do it. Velma’s grandfather lets Roy know that she is taken but he doesn’t care. So the surgery is a success and then he asks her to marry him and sulks when she says no. My main problem with this is that the operation going well should have been the best day of her life and yet Roy had to ruin it by bringing this up.

He couldn’t take a hint either and just as bad was the fact that he didn’t try to hide his disappointment. So he goes out of his way to make Velma feel absolutely terrible on her big day and then he also insults the guy she intends to marry right away. Not only was his infatuation really rushed as it came out of nowhere but it just hurts him as a man. The instant he said he would pay for the surgery he should have been able to put on a brave face no mater what happened. You just end up feeling bad for Velma and the family by the end of it all.

As to the actual plot, well the heist is fairly quick but doesn’t go all that smoothly for the main characters. The two guys ended up holding Roy back quite a bit and the whole thing also just took too long. They should have definitely been out of there before the final interruption so I don’t get how it was taking them so long. The time they went wasn’t even that bad and the plan was decent but nothing works forever and that’s why time was of the essence.

The writing in the film was pretty solid. The pacing is good too and so the movie is always keeping your interest from start to finish. I thought the ending was effective and so you get a complete package here. The film is fundamentally sound so even if I think it could have been better, it’s one that I could recommend. Personally I just would have either removed the Velma subplot or made Roy handle it a little better. I just didn’t think it made sense how much the whole experience broke him since he seems like a guy with a lot of experience who would have been in this situation before.

Overall, High Sierra should have skipped the romance but even with it, this is still a solid title. I guess you could call it a heist film but that doesn’t seem right and calling it a thriller makes it sound more action packed than it is. I almost think drama would be the best genre for it, but either way just think of it as a low key film where the lead is trying to pull off a really big crime. It also serves as a reminder on why you shouldn’t drink too many beers as that can end up having a heavy cost.

Overall 7/10

The Client Review

The Client is one of those films where you have different factions who are both technically good guys but they’re at odds with each other so you have to choose who to root for. Meanwhile the real villains are still on the loose so you have to hope that the heroes can take them down in time. The Client is definitely a solid film, one that would have been even better if the main character was older but still good all the same.

The movie starts with Mark and his brother Rick out in the woods when they see a guy trying to destroy himself using fumes from his car. Mark decides to prevent this from happening but ends up being caught. Fortunately he is able to escape right as the guy is blown up but this traumatizes Rick so that he can no longer talk. This ends up being a big deal because the guy who destroyed himself had the big testimony that was going to seal the case for Reverend Roy. Roy figures that he may have told the kid the location of the missing body that would be the ultimate proof to convict one of the gang heads known as Muldano.

Mark is approached by the mob and told not to say anything though or they will destroy him and his family. As evidence of their sincerity they burn down his home but of course nobody can prove it. Mark figures that he will need an attorney and hires a lady named Reggie. She is nice enough to be doing this case for free but how much can she help Mark when the guy is keeping so many secrets from her? The trial is in a few days so everyone is on the clock.

The Mob and Roy both want to be the first ones to the body to destroy or salvage it and they each have a hurdle here. The Mob knows where the body is but have a hard time getting past security to find it. Roy wouldn’t have that trouble since he is security but doesn’t know where the body is. That’s why the whole situation with Mark keeping the secrets tends to be annoying. I’m often not a fan of kids being the main character in a film like this and this movie really reinforces why that is the case.

There are a lot of scenes here where if Mark was a grown up then the film would have ended early. Strike a deal with Roy to enter the witness protection program or something and then tell him about the body. That would have been the best way to do things and would have ended the film in minutes. The problem is that he won’t tell anyone including his own attorney. I thought Mark was very ungrateful to her considering that she doesn’t even need to be helping him. Reggie does everything that she can but Mark tends to storm off every other scene instead of actually helping.

Suffice to say, he was one of the worst characters in the film. Any scene with him was one where he was impeding the legal process and just putting everyone into more danger than they needed to be. Reggie would have wrapped this whole thing up a lot sooner otherwise. Maybe tell her that a member of the mob broke into the hospital so they could get some more security around the place? That would have been productive at least. His mother’s also rather mean to Reggie for no real reason either.

Reggie is really given a tough task here but she still does her best to get to the bottom of this in every scenario. She talks tough to Roy during each of their confrontations and usually comes out on top. Only time she is left on the defensive is when Mark withheld more crucial info from her that Roy was able to find. It’s tough to defend someone when they give you fake stories all the time. Ultimately she did go with him to the dangerous spot to find the body and really came in clutch each time.

As for Roy, he was a fun character. I like the levels of confidence he brought with him to each of the hearings. It’s easy to see why he is known as one of the best in the business. When he has an opening he takes it and just rides this all the way to the end. He does want to get more political power but it’s clear that he has earned the position that he has currently. He studied a lot to get to this point and it’s all paid off quite nicely. Even in his first questioning with Mark he was able to defeat the kid quite handily. A few more minutes and he would have won if not for Reggie showing up.

The villain Muldano is more on the forgettable side though. There’s not really a whole lot to him. He flies off the handle too much which is what gets him into these jams in the first place. When the alarm went off in the climax his only hope was to quickly charge the heroes since fleeing would confirm that they got the bodies. Ultimately he wasn’t quite brave enough for this and that’s why he’s not the top boss of the mob.

The Client is really solid because the writing is strong. Put the kids to the side and you can really focus on the solid banter between Reggie and Roy. They’re both professionals on opposite sides of the fence here so they really have to go at it. The court scenes with the judge were a lot of fun as well. These bits don’t take up most of the movie but the scenes that we do get are really presented well.

We also get a good amount of thriller elements and a reasonably tense atmosphere that works well here. I don’t really have any big negatives here aside from the main character who was just really grating the whole time. I would have written him out after the intro scene so most of the big scenes were with Reggie instead as the mob goes after her. It would switch the movie up a bit but also ensure that all of the characters are solid.

Overall, The Client is a good film and I’d recommend checking it out. You really get to see the dangers of being a witness and ensuring that you have a good deal set up before telling all that you know. If Reggie wasn’t there to make sure of that, it seems like Roy’s team would have left the witness off to dry. In a dangerous business like this you have to keep your guard up and wits about you at all time. I’m always up for a film that deals with the court room so this worked out nicely.

Overall 6/10

His Girl Friday Review

It’s time to look at a comedy film from a while back and I have to say that it has aged exceptionally well. The dialogue is sharp and quick with a lot of great lines constantly thrown at you. The characters are solid and despite having a long runtime the film never lets up or loses your interest. That’s something that can be rather difficult and gets more difficult the longer your film is. That’s why I can say with great confidence that this is a pretty great film.

The movie starts with Hildy heading to Walter’s office to explain that she is about to marry someone. She had divorced Walter a while back although he keeps trying to win her over. She figures that now maybe he will finally stop in these attempts since it just didn’t work out. She also made sure not to give him a lot of time. She is moving to Ohio in a matter of hours. Walter knows he must move fast so he quickly decides to treat Hildy and her rebound Bruce to a quick dinner. During that dinner he sets his plans into motion. He’s got quite a complicated plan but if it works out then he will have gotten Bruce out of the picture and finally gotten back together with Hildy. Will Bruce stand for this or even realize what is going on?

The setup here is perfect from the start. The movie introduces Walter as a very fast talking guy who is used to getting what he wants. The opening banter with Hildy already establishes her as the only character who can really keep up with him. The rest either get slammed out of the office or tricked into doing what Walter wants. A big part of the film is really a battle of the minds between Walter and Hildy. Walter comes up with plans and Hildy uses her reporter skills to outwit him at every turn. The problem is that Walter is playing with a full deck of resources while Hildy only has Bruce as her backup and he is decidedly not one of the smartest characters here. More on him in a bit, but this just shows how well Hildy was doing to be able to keep up with Walter under these circumstances.

She was a reporter for many years and according to Walter, one of the best as well so this is no surprise. She shows her skills on many occasions as well as in some subtle moments. One good example of this is when the gunshots started going on outside. All of the reporters ran outside instantly while she stopped to set up the story and then left. The rest got back way before her but only with pieces of the story and some unrelated findings. Hildy made sure to get the complete story before returning. A lot of comedy hijinx would ensue but that was a quick way to clue in the viewers that she was clearly experienced and knew what she was doing. The whole thing is handled really well.

Once Walter arrives they also team up and pick up on each other’s plans rather quickly. It shows why they were perfect teammates in a story and why they are so deadlocked when they go up against each other in a battle. They’re both just very used to the usual games that go on. So the banter here was quite excellent throughout and the best part of the film. They really tear into each other although Walter always keeps up the appearance of being a super nice guy while Hildy keeps going for shot after shot. It’s a clever ruse on Walter’s part to make it look like he’s taking the high road the whole time.

The supporting cast is pretty solid as well. I can’t really say that there were any characters I disliked. The one that made the most impact was probably Louie. He’s a very loyal member of Walter’s team who is even willing to commit crimes in order to help out. Walter wouldn’t have made it nearly as far without him at the ready. Walter’s group is also quite diverse in how they handle his different crimes. Forget different reporting divisions, Walter has whole crime divisions set up! Now let’s talk about Bruce. So he’s the token “nice guy” who means well and does want to make Hildy happy. He’s not able to keep up with the quick banter or wit of the other characters but what should that matter as long as his intentions are good right? Some people just aren’t able to act in that wildly high speed interaction style. The main problem with him is that aside from that he’s not too smart. He isn’t able to see through any of Walter’s plans.

I wouldn’t blame him for this normally except that Hildy warned him from the start that Walter was no good. She told him time and time again and yet he kept believing Walter over her. Look, anyone can pretend to be a good guy on the outside for a while. I understand wanting to take that at face value which is a good thing but if your fiancee soon to be your wife in a day is telling you that her Ex is no good…shouldn’t you listen? I feel like that’s something that goes without saying so I kind of have to blame him for everything that happens. Even at the end he is very quick to run off without really listening to her. He could have waited til after the story but by this point he had been manipulated so much that you just can’t take him seriously. Still a nice guy, but unfortunately a very gullible one as well.

Walter and Hildy steal the show either way and are the best characters. Walter is one of the best main characters I’ve seen in a while and Hilda does the same for heroines. The film wouldn’t be nearly as impressive without them. I also liked the scene of Walter manipulating the sheriff into taking the desk away. It’s a classic case of reverse psychology and one that was being executed really well. I have to say that the Sheriff never really stood a chance here. He was completely outclassed in wit as soon as the round began and there was never a chance for him after that. There were a lot of corrupt guys walking around and by the end of the film the paper will have slammed most of them. You do have to recall the very first scene of the film where Walter sends the governor a letter though. That will become important for the final scene of the film which was a nice way to tie things together.

Overall, His Girl Friday is a great film. It really nails all the dialogue and plots running around. The film’s just a lot of fun. Some of these plots could have backfired if not executed exceptionally well like Walter’s sabotage efforts. The idea of the Ex trying to ruin a couple about to be married is something that can easily go sideways. The reason it works is because Walter may be corrupt and a trickster but at least he does actually seem like a very nice guy otherwise. He’s one of those “Nothing personal” guys. It’s a hard angle to do but the film got it. I’d highly recommend checking this out if you like a good comedy title. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Overall 9/10

Meitantei Conan: Hannin No Hanzawa-San

Conan’s got himself a new spinoff. Having the main character be one of the villains is definitely a fairly unique idea. We’ll see if it pays off for the series or if it’ll end up jumping over the shark here. One thing’s for sure, I’ll have the review up once the series ends.

Overall 7/10

The Woman in the Window Review

It’s time to look at an old school film that shows how one dangerous decision can put you on the path to ruin. I’ll give the credit for not making the main character be an obvious cheat who you can’t sympathize with as he stays classy for the most part. I would still argue that he knew how his decision was pretty iffy though by how many times he mentions that he really shouldn’t be here. At the very least he doesn’t actually do anything serious. It’s a fun movie overall even if you aren’t rooting for the lead.

The film starts off with Richard making small talk with two of his buddies. Richard is sad that he can’t be reckless anymore since he has gotten to be too old. His friends point out that this is true so Richard better not get any ideas. That’s when Richard notices a lady behind a portrait and she invites him to her place for drinks. It’s nearly midnight but Richard doesn’t care so they head upstairs. That’s when a guy runs in and attacks Richard. Richard quickly murders him and hides the body in a forest, but can he stay out of the papers? After all, his friend is a detective so this can get very messy.

While the film is played straight for the most part, I do think it had a little fun with Richard’s character during the early part. Richard is so oblivious to life that he keeps on tipping off the cops on how guilty he is. When the detective finds out that the culprit has a cut on his palm Richard quickly points out that he has an identical cut. I suppose being over the top like this could throw the cops off the trail…but it’s just such an unnecessary risk. Realistically nobody suspects him at all at this point so why put himself out there. There is literally nothing to trace him to the murder as far as he knows. Then he continually says things that he shouldn’t know and even walks over to the spot where the corpse was before the cops officially show him. He makes a ton of rookie mistakes. The film did say early on that he is usually scatterbrained but this is taking that to a bit of an extreme.

He also leaves his pen at the scene of the crime which the villain naturally gets his hands on. So, there was a bodyguard assigned to the victim and now he has decided to blackmail Richard and Alice. This is definitely the weakest aspect of the film as it wasn’t really needed and I would have preferred the tension to be that the cops are slowly zeroing in on the heroes. Instead this guy works well as the fall guy I guess, but naturally the plot turns into Alice having to use her charms to get him to lower his guard. That’s still one of the most tired film cliches out there and it makes the plot pretty bad. Still, the film doesn’t go too far with it which is good so it doesn’t hurt the movie all that much. At most it takes 1 star off. I’m also glad that Richard realized that paying the guy off wouldn’t solve anything since he would just return for another installment at some point. Calling his bluff would be best, but the guy would probably just end up murdering them.

Initially I figured that Alice intentionally set up the meeting with Richard and the other guy to bump him off, but the film never really goes in that angle. As far as I can tell it was just coincidence and the film doesn’t make Alice appear to be malicious. I do like the fact that she is also fairly smart though as she gets some extra insurance from Richard in case he ends up ditching her. That’s definitely the kind of thing you want to do in these films because you can’t trust anyone. She handled the situation much better than Richard in general as she got all of the hard jobs and didn’t panic the way that he did.

As I mentioned I wasn’t a big fan of Richard. He was a much better character than he could have been, but at the same time you still were never going to root for the guy. He also decided to take the easy way out at the end which is definitely never the right call. The ending can be seen as a bit of a cop out but you can also look at it in a more meta sense. It’s pretty clear that the film was not supposed to end the way that it did and since the movie is an indie you always look for the hidden meanings. You could make the case that the ending is actually the dream as he passes over to the next plain. It’s like the film has its direct ending and then the layered one that you can add on. Either way it doesn’t look good for the lead. I do appreciate that the ending gave the film a quick humor moment that actually worked though. In general I thought the film had a good balance of humor and mystery.

What the film could have improved on to be even better would have been to focus on the detective plot more. The scenes with the detective were some of the best in the film. I liked how Richard kept giving himself away and the detective would act as if he started to suspect something. His boss was also pretty solid in that regard with the constant banter. Seeing more of them would have been a lot of fun and that could have ended up being the main plot instead of the black mail guy. There will always be a lot of “Could have” moments in a film of course, but this would have been a pretty easy alteration with a good result. Maybe even throw in a court scene since those are always awesome.

Overall, The Woman in the Window was a solid film. The writing is on point and the cast is pretty good. The film is never too exaggerated and stays realistic without being dreary. You’re able to root for the cops without necessarily rooting against Richard because you can at least make the case that he was never going to cheat and he certainly didn’t expect things to go sideways the way that they did. I’d also say that he had to defend himself the way that he did because he definitely wouldn’t have lived through the night otherwise. As the film explains in the beginning, self defense is certainly way different from murder. This would definitely be the former. If you haven’t seen a good noir film yet then this is the one to watch. It’s not the best one out there or anything, but it’ll give you a good idea of what the genre is all about and holds up well for itself.

Overall 6/10

Murder on the Orient Express Review

It’s time for a mystery thriller from Agatha Christie. And Then There Were None is still her best work as it’s a perfect example of how a murder thriller should go. While this one couldn’t quite match that master piece, it’s a very solid film and one that you should add to your repertoire. With all of the suspects boxed in on the train, it’s the perfect scenario for Detective Poirot. Still, he’ll have to work fast since the snow won’t last forever.

Poirot was enjoying a very peaceful train ride and was off duty for a change. He hadn’t expected to have any problems, but then a dead body is found. He quickly begins to deduce that there was something more to the victim than it would appear. Poirot also decides to interview all of the suspects and there were certainly a bunch. First is Harriet, a bold woman who loves to voice her opinions and is constantly chattering. She has something to say about everything so it is difficult to actually find out what she knows. Next is Hector, the secretary of the deceased. He is fairly mild mannered and always nervous. Then there’s Beddoes, a seemingly perfect butler who is always ready to answer politely. He was close to the deceased and delivers the nightly wine. Princess Natalia may be rather old, but that would also make it easier for her to do something while staying inconspicuous. She has a maid named Hildegarde who has served the master faithfully for many years so maybe it was all for this moment. Diplomat Rudolf and his wife Elena appear to be rather quiet for most of the journey. Rudolf does blow up whenever someone talks to him though so are his nerves cracking or are they both quiet because they know something? Mary, the teacher is around as well and her scholarly knowledge could be sinister. The Missionary Greta always seems rather timid and doesn’t know English too well, but is it all an act? There’s also Antonio, a car salesman and one of the only reasonable people here. He’s loud and bold and certainly isn’t nervous like the rest of the passengers. He’s ready to help the country and that could be suspicious. Finally, there’s the actor Cyrus. He always seems to fade into the background and that may not be an accident. We also can’t forget Poirot’s friend Signor. Sometimes friends aren’t as innocent as they appear to be. Poirot has a lot of suspects to flip through so this’ll be tough.

I love a good mystery and the whole film is about that. Poirot’s interrogation of every member is pretty fun as he grills them. Since most of the riders are either lying or hiding something, it really does make his job very difficult. The only co-operative guy was the car salesman who also happened to be the best character in the film. It’s no coincidence as I was glad to see someone being at least a little co-operative. Perhaps he was a little too eager so that makes him suspicious as well, but something to think about for sure.

The pacing is pretty tight here. The opening which shows a crime in progress is fairly short. It just gives you enough time to see each of the characters and then we are quickly taken to the train. Once at the train, it never feels like the movie is dragging on. While the mystery doesn’t start immediately, it gives you a chance to learn about each of the characters and gauge the reactions of each when things finally start. Naturally in any good thriller, you know not to pay too much attention to the reactions though. The guilty party is typically an expert and can feign any reaction somehow.

I was pretty satisfied with the ending. It’s not really a cop-out or anything like that. It’s probably not an ending I would want to see all that much as it would then start to feel like one, but done sparingly like this it works well enough. We’ll see if you can end up guessing what happened.

The underlying story in the prologue is fairly dark, but fortunately the film doesn’t go into it much. It was handled optimally as you know enough to understand the situation, but the film doesn’t go over details or try too hard for the edgy angle. It’s something that I hope the modern remake is taking notes on. The writing is quite good as you likely have suspected. I don’t know how strict of an adaption it was from the book, but I suspect that the writing is rather similar. All of the characters are sophisticated and it makes for multi layered dialogue as a characters says one thing and means the other. It results in everyone trying to manipulate one another.

If there’s one character who’s rather annoying (Aside from the guy who died rather instantly) it would be the missionary who has a hard time speaking English. Her scene dragged on for quite a while and it can be hard to get what she is saying. Moreover, it feels like what she is saying doesn’t actually matter. I’m sure it was relevant in some way as Poirot explained everything at the end and went into great detail with each member. It was probably relevant, but it didn’t feel like it was and I forget what part of it helped solve the case. I would have chopped that scene a little. Still, that’s really my only complaint with the film so you can tell that this is quite a solid one.i

Overall, The mystery genre is a tough one. I personally think it is one of the toughest ones to write and maybe it is The toughest one. Coming up with a good mystery sounds difficult and that’s probably why I enjoy reading them so much. It may be the best genre next to action, but it’s one that has to be handled delicately. Case Closed is an example of an excellent one. The only pitfall that they have is that the mystery only works once. They don’t have much replay value because when you watch it again, you already know the ending. It’s why the remake coming up should tread carefully. Granted, you won’t actually know if it’s the same ending until you’re at the end of the film so maybe it won’t matter all that much. Regardless, if you haven’t seen this film, I’d suggest changing that right away. It’s aged quite well and makes for an engaging watch.

Overall 8/10

Deadline – U.S.A. Review

It’s time for an old school mafia/gangster film. I haven’t seen too many of these yet so it’s nice to add another one to the list. It’s handled pretty well and makes for an interesting movie from start to finish. I think the main character could have been a little better to make it easier to root for him, but I suppose it was trying to show that he was just an ordinary joe who wanted to stick up for the paper. Bogart plays the role extremely well as always and it’s a film that has certainly aged well.

Hutcheson is a proud newspaper man. He’s never gone for sensational clickbait over the actual news. He goes for the facts and just that. Unfortunately this means that his paper is losing sales and a competitor wants to buy him out to crush it for good. There’s not much Hutcheson can do about it since the board of directors are okay with the sale. He has enough time for one last scoop though and decides to attack the vicious gangster Rienzi after one of his reporters is attacked for following the story. Nobody gets to take down one of his staff, not while Hutcheson is still on the case.

With all of the fake stories being spread around and alternative facts used instead of actual ones, this film is a good reminder that you have to be careful what you believe. All of the papers in this film were either paid off by Rienzi or were too scared to attack him. This meant that Hutcheson and his crew had to dig up all of the dirt on their own. Luckily, these guys are some of the best in the biz and were ready for such a challenge. Hutcheson is also a pretty confident and bold person himself so the villain’s threats never get to him. He defies the villains right up til the end and even if he is taken out of the picture, the facts have now been released for everyone.

The film has a very sudden ending, but one that works well. You can reasonably draw your own conclusions from it and they are positive ones. While we may not have gotten an epilogue, you can see how things will go from here. It may have all come together a little too well in some cases though. For example, Hutcheson’s one flaw is that he’s typically drunk and a little crazy. He forgot that he was divorced to his wife for a while because he had one too many beers and once he remembered, he wanted to call it off. It was a little late for that as she already found the rebound guy. It turns out that the guy didn’t have any dirt on him even though Hutcheson tried to find it. By the end, the ex-wife realizes that she doesn’t want a new man and comes back. It’s nice for the lead of course, but that part was maybe a little over the top. It was the one subplot where I couldn’t sympathize with Hutcheson at all. He’s a great newspaper man, but that was part of the problem for his social life. He had very clear priorities and his ex-wife was apparently not one of them.

As you’d expect from a newspaper film, the plot is very intricate and there are twists upon twists. More elements continue dug up by the reporters and then you get the full story at the end. It’s definitely a sad story all around, but one that will keep you guessing. It always seems like a fair mystery with my only issue being that some characters look really similar. For example, the rebound guy looked just like one of the gangsters so I was waiting for that twist. Rienzi is a decent main villain although he doesn’t get to appear all that much. He’s clearly a lot smarter than his minions, but it wasn’t enough as he gets outsmarted by the newspaper the whole time.

The court scenes were pretty fun. There wasn’t much that the heroes could do there since the paper’s owners had already given their consent, but it was still nice to see. The court rooms definitely haven’t changed much at all as it looks like an exact replica to the one I sat in a while back. The Judge made the right call since an appeal to emotion isn’t the right way to win a case. One of the executives did stand up in the end though so the paper got to have a happy ending thanks to that. Hopefully sales pick up so she can gain back her money.

Again, old films like this one are so good because of the dynamic writing and plot. The script is leagues ahead of anything you’ll see in the modern day. The characters all feel very real and professional. While this may not always help Hutcheson, it does work well with the film. The plot was good and handled well as we got to see how a lone newspaper can deal with a gangster threat. They may have fallen for the fake cops gambit, but they controlled the game otherwise. All of the reporters were very good at their jobs and everyone brought something to the table. The only plot that the film should have cut out was the drama with the ex-wife. It didn’t eat up too much screen time though so at least it wasn’t a huge issue, just a minor thing that would have made the whole experience even better.

Overall, Deadline USA is a good film. It’s certainly one that I hadn’t heard of before so it was a nice hidden gem to find. The film’s not very long so the pacing never slows down. As one of Bogart’s final films, I can safely say that it was a good decision to be a part of it. The film certainly would have lost some charm and charisma without his inclusion. It’d still be a film, but some leads were just made for the roll and he did a good job here. For once he didn’t even get knocked out despite getting in a car with the villains. You definitely have to love that confidence. I highly recommend checking this film out.

Overall 7/10