On days when things are a bit busy around here, I’m going to add some previously posted reviews. This rewatch review of The China Syndrome was originally posted in 2004 on another blog. I hope to rewatch the film again soon; it’s been far too long.
The China Syndrome (1979)
Directed by James Bridges
Produced by Michael Douglas, James M. Falkinburg, Bruce Gilbert, Penny McCarthy, Jack Smith, Jr.
Written by Mike Gray, T.S. Cook, James Bridges
Cinematography by James Crabe
Edited by David Rawlins
“She’ll do anything we tell her to do.” That’s one of the first lines of The China Syndrome, the film that literally shook the world in 1979. The line is delivered by decision-making men in a television news control room while watching Kimberly Wells (Jane Fonda), a redheaded LA news reporter. Kimberly covers mostly fluff human interest stories, but she really wants a chance to report hard news, even though she seems to sense the big stories are probably beyond her. Her boss (Peter Donat) even admits to her that she wasn’t hired for her intellectual capabilities.
Cooley High (1975)
American International Pictures
Directed by Michael Schultz
Produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff, Steve Krantz
Written by Eric Monte
Cinematography by Paul Vombrack
Edited by Christopher Holmes
It’s been called “The Black American Graffiti,” which is only moderately accurate and a mostly unfair comparison, but it is something of a starting point. While writer Eric Monte certainly could have been influenced by American Graffiti (released in 1973), Cooley High, doesn’t feel like a ripoff.
Rip Kirby Volume 1: 1946-1948 (2009) – Alex Raymond
My love for newspaper comic strips began just a few years ago when -thanks to Chris Marshall over at the Collected Comics Library – I discovered Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates and was hooked. It didn’t take long before I found that everything published by IDW’s Library of American Comics imprint was worth reading and probably essential to own. Yet I had some reservations about Rip Kirby…
It may appear that July is going to be a thin month in the graphic novel department, but I’m currently in the middle of a project that involves re-reading and studying an entire completed series which – while very enjoyable – is taking up a good bit of my reading time. More on that next time. For now, here’s what I’ve read during the first half of July:
Things were so crazy the last few weeks before vacation that I neglected to report any film noir Blu-ray/DVD releases for July, but August is looking pretty sweet, thanks largely to Kino Lorber, who’s releasing four noir titles next month. Here’s the full rundown of everything that’s coming out. If you know of any releases that I’ve missed, please leave a comment.
Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943) Roy William Neill
Produced by Howard Benedict, Roy William Neill (uncredited)
Screenplay by Bertram Millhauser, Lynn Riggs
Based (loosely) on “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Cinematography by Lester White
MPI Media Group Blu-ray
On a transatlantic journey from London to Washington, a British agent (Gerald Hamer) carrying a secret government document is abducted. Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Doctor Watson (Nigel Bruce) are hired to find the agent and – more importantly – the document before it falls into the hands of the Nazis.
Deadline at Dawn (1946)
Directed by Harold Clurman
Produced by Sid Rogell, Adrian Scott
Based on a novella by Cornell Woolrich (writing as William Irish)
Screenplay by Clifford Odets
Cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca
Edited by Roland Gross
Classic Film Noir Collection: Volume 5 DVD
Deadline at Dawn is a real oddity in the film noir canon. It seems more of a mystery than a film noir, but if you insist on calling it noir, call it a noir fantasy, one that makes up its own rules. I admire it for more-or-less staying within the bounds of those rules, even though the final product is only moderately satisfying.
Velvet, Vol. 2: The Secret Lives of Dead Men (2015) Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Elizabeth Breitweiser (Image)
Trade paperback, 128 pages
People have noted that the best espionage novelists have actually worked in the intelligence field: Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, John le Carré, to name a few. I don’t know if Ed Brubaker has a background in espionage, but then again, that wouldn’t exactly appear on his resume, would it? If Velvet is any indication, Brubaker has at least read a lot of spy stories, watched a lot of espionage films, and done his homework. Of course it doesn’t hurt that he’s a damn good writer.
I’ll be away from the blog for a few days, visiting this lovely place (which is related to one of the films I saw in June). In the meantime, I hope you’ll find something you’ve missed here at Journeys in Darkness and Light, but if you want more, I can recommend a few blogs/sites worth your time:
The Hollywood Revue
The Comics Alternative
Good Ok Bad
Collected Comics Library
The Comics Journal
Comic Book Roundup