Dec. 1, 2008, 7:20 a.m. CST
... but I wasn't convinced by the ending. The hypnotism thing just didn't work for me.
Dec. 1, 2008, 7:50 a.m. CST
So I'll stay away from this articles for at least a week, I guess.
Dec. 1, 2008, 7:55 a.m. CST
I had my doubts. And I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see how you handle AMAD during BNAT. You've proved the doubters wrong tenfold by now. I'd go ahead and take the rest of the year off if I were you. (after Cincinnati Kid)
Dec. 1, 2008, 7:56 a.m. CST
Dec. 1, 2008, 8:13 a.m. CST
Cab Calloway! Ann-Margret! Edward G.! As for this movie, I don't think we have the ability to really do heist movies as well as the French (Rififi, Le Cercle Rouge), but then again those movies are pretty humorless. Props to Ron Leibman who doesn't get that much to do in The Hot Rock, but was an absolutely great Paul Lazzaro in Slaughterhouse-Five.
Dec. 1, 2008, 8:13 a.m. CST
His real forte was behind the camera.
Dec. 1, 2008, 10:10 a.m. CST
How can you not like a film that can make that phrase integral to the plot
Dec. 1, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST
Dec. 1, 2008, 10:59 a.m. CST
Dec. 1, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST
The Hot Rock is an overlooked gem, however most people agree with your opinion; that the film didn't really work. <br> <br> I couldn't like this movie more though and think it's outstanding. It's one of those movies that you kind of have to let grow on you. Watch it one morning after a long night of drinking or play it in the background if you're up working late; the film gets better each time you watch it.
Dec. 1, 2008, 11:26 a.m. CST
Given all the great material to be found in the Dortmunder series of books by Westlake it is amazing to me that there has yet to be a good movie made from the sources. Redford is a great actor and I like nearly all his movies but he is not, nor could he every be John Dortmunder. The perfect actor to portray Dortmunder is John Hedeya. Read the books, you'll agree!
Dec. 1, 2008, 11:38 a.m. CST
While I think the majority of the movies coming up will be considered disappointing (Day of the Dolphin; Mickey and Nicky) at least they are "interesting" disappointments, and they were trying something. I always appreciate when someone fails by reaching to far then someone who fails because he doesn't even try. <p> Two of the films coming up are true classics: Who is Afraid of Virginia Wolf and Carnal Knowledge. Love the part in Virginia Wolf when Taylor channels Bette Davis, “What a dump.” <p> I noticed that almost all of the films coming up come from my favorite period of filmmaking, the New Hollywood movement (1967-1980). Hopefully this stretch will continue and you’ll have some of the other underrated gems from that period: Hicky and Boggs, the Long Goodbye, Elektra Glide in Blue, Friends of Eddie Coyle, Panic in Needle Park, etc.
Dec. 1, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST
by Major Hockshtetter
Easily our greatest crime writer next to Elmore Leonard. Like Leonard, his work seldom translates well to film. I believe they did the next book as a film too, Bank Shot, with equally mixed results. There's probably a great Dortmunder film to be made one day but it hasn't happened yet. This book was particularly unfilmable, I felt, because of its episodic nature. A Dortmunder TV series would probably be much more effective.
Dec. 1, 2008, 12:15 p.m. CST
...is easily Point Blank. Not saying it is faithful to the book, but it is a great movie in its own right.
Dec. 1, 2008, 12:38 p.m. CST
Same director, never on video, based on the book that Elmore Leonard considers the greatest crime novel of all time. Of course, that means it's not exactly a tight story, huge chunks of the book are literally nothing but conversation, and the movie is fairly faithful. Robert Mitchum plays this small timer and you keep expecting him to turn into a badass, but he's just a small timer. I really like it and think it was probaly an influence on RESERVOIR DOGS.<p> I like THE HOT ROCK though. Not an all time great crime movie, but a fun comedy sort of in the vein of the OCEAN'S movies. I like to imagine that Christopher Guest's cop character is the same guy from the end of DEATH WISH.
Dec. 1, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST
You would love Straight Time, the most realistic crime movie about West Coast crime ever (I should know, I went to jail for being about as dumb as Hoffman in that movie). Have you seen that film?
Dec. 1, 2008, 12:57 p.m. CST
Quint's just lazy, but so what? He's digesting A LOT of movies.<p>Keep 'em coming.
Dec. 1, 2008, 1:04 p.m. CST
by Major Hockshtetter
Good point on Point Blank, forgot about that one... of course, it was written by "Richard Stark" but, y'know, why quibble... Of course, now you are my new hero because you share the name of the greatest character in crime fiction history, are well versed in Westlake, and have done time like Eddie Bunker. As a fledgeling crime novelist, you are living the life I fantasize about daily!!!!
Dec. 1, 2008, 1:31 p.m. CST
The mention of Moses Gunn reminded me of one film I would like to request/suggestion, if you're taking requests or suggestions: William Peter Blatty's official "sequel" to THE EXORCIST and his directorial debut, THE NINTH CONFIGURATION. That film has sorta become my personal little cult movie, the one I subject others to at one time or another. It's weird in a way that no other film before or since has ever been weird, and filled with a who's-who of character actors (Stacy Keach, Jason Miller, Moses Gunn, Scott Wilson, Robert Loggia, Ed Flanders, and more). Definitely the sort of film that I think would fit in very well in this excellent series.
Dec. 1, 2008, 1:37 p.m. CST
You better get some better fantasies. I am probably the most pathetic criminal in LA County history. Talk about scared straight! <p> And Ninth Configuration! Good call Sam Bluestone.
Dec. 1, 2008, 1:44 p.m. CST
Geez, the more I read these the more I think - crikey, what films HAD you seen Quint? Why were we ever reading the opinions of a man who had apparently seen Jaws a few times and very little else? I recall enjoying The Hot Rock quite a bit when I caught it one afternoon on TV many moons back. It's one of those that surely they are going to remake pretty soon.
Dec. 1, 2008, 2:09 p.m. CST
But I don't know how good of quality version it is. <p> Man, this AMAD is really bringing up some good memories of great, forgotten action & tough guy flicks of the 70s. I mean, I am thinking about Joe, Hardcore and even Cockfighter.
Dec. 1, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST
Another good tough guy movie.
Dec. 1, 2008, 2:33 p.m. CST
Was great in Charly Varrick. I don't think I have seen Framed. Going to have to check it out, especially seeing how it was directed by Phil Karlson.
Dec. 1, 2008, 3:22 p.m. CST
Yes, it's on dvd (and they chose a very cool shot for the cover). But it's a different cut of the film than the one I have on vhs. I beleive I read, or there's commentaty on the dvd where Blatty explains the many cuts the film had over the years and, in his opinion, the dvd is his favorite version of the film. I actually prefer my old vhs cut. I can't think of any scenes that were added or removed, just scenes cut in a different order. And it just flowed in a different way. I also remember seeing it on cable many moons ago with the title: "Twinkle, Twinkle Killer Kane."
Dec. 1, 2008, 3:28 p.m. CST
A Slight Case of Murder, starring William H. Macy. Captured the Westlake feel beautifully. The Hot Rock was the book that introduced me to Westlake, and it's a shame that the movie made so many compromises, including eliminating the funniest scene in the book (the breakout of the attorney from the asylum). Also agree that the casting was wrong and skewed too young for the principals.
Dec. 1, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST
But I too have to disagree with you about The Hot Rock. It has such a sense of effortless fun, and anarchic humor that seems to only be found in certain movies of this era. And while maybe the sum of its parts don't add up to as much of a whole as you'd expect -- there are so many great parts that who care? I mean, come on... the scene in the upper-floor of the warehouse with the elevator shaft?! Awesome moment. But to each his own. I'm just saying you should give it another shot sometime without any expectations. You might warm to it a bit more.
Dec. 1, 2008, 4:18 p.m. CST
Another great scene was at the lake when they were testing the explosives. <br> <br> "...I liked school."
Dec. 1, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST
The movie is worth seeing just for the awesome fly-by shot of the Twin Towers which were under construction at the time.
Dec. 1, 2008, 8:40 p.m. CST
by Raymond Shaw
They gotta release "Robbery". I've never seen it so I don't know how good it is, but with Peter Yates and Stanley Baker it must be better than a lot of the stuff released on DVD.
Dec. 2, 2008, 10:28 a.m. CST
worthy, keep digging for others I worked in a video store throughout the nineties and remember taking this home but never watched it or could not get into it for some reason, maybe it was a bad copy. was that Christopher Guest as a cop with a line or two telling the captain they were under attack?