Ed Lynskey's Blog: Cracked Rearview Mirror - Posts Tagged "movies"

My wife and I recently went to see the Coen brothers remake of TRUE GRIT starring Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, and Matt Damon. We'd seen the Duke in the first version the night before. I ended up enjoying both movies for different reasons. The Duke was in fine form playing Rooster Cogburn, funny and over-the-top. The Coen brothers played their movie grittier and stayed more faithful to the Charles Portis novel which I read this summer. Hailee made for a more convincing Mattie. From a larger perspective, does this re-make of TRUE GRIT signal a new run of Western films turned out by Tinsel Town? I can't imagine why not if TRUE GRIT/2011 does well at the box office and picks up some weighty awards. At any rate, I look forward to watching any others in the pipeline.
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Published on January 10, 2011 13:21 • 154 views • Tags: movies, novels, westerns
The low budget film noirs arising in the post-WW II era seldom fail to engage me. I rarely pay to watch today's Hollywood mainstream stock. I prefer gritty, authentic acting over the glitz and digital wizardry (No Avatar for me, thanks). Take Aphalt Jungle out on DVD, for instance. Leaving aside Sterling Hayden's somewhat wooden, oafish performance, consider Sam Jaffe as Doc, a slick crook who's flaw is his lust for the nubile young thangs. Or Marilyn Monroe and her 10,000-watt aura playing the pouty mistress. The following are my favorites chosen off the top of my head.

Disclaimer: Your mileage will probably vary.

Drumbeat, please. In no particular order, and away we go...

#1. The Hitch-Hiker

#2. Out of the Past

#3. Gun Crazy

#4. Asphalt Jungle

#5. Double Indemnity

#6. Dark Passage

#7. The Maltese Falcon

#8. Force of Evil

#9. Laura

#10. Kiss Me Deadly

Ed Lynskey
@edlynskey
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Published on April 01, 2011 01:45 • 156 views • Tags: classics, film-noir, maltese-falcon, movies
The drive-in movies theater has gone the way of the dinosaur and dodo bird. Extinct. Gone. Disappeared. Some relics deserve that fate. 8-track tapes, for one. But the drive-in is different.

Life was a gas to sit in your car and watch movies. I'm not talking about the mousetrap-sized screens I see playing in the new models. You could wear what you liked to the drive-in, even if you were dressed like a grub.

The big silver screen literally made the films larger than life. But this blog isn't to bemoan a lost pleasure of the good, old days.

The last flick I ever saw at the drive-in was some easily forgettable title starring Peter Fonda. Yeah, he was the whipcord lean guy of Easy Rider fame. It seemed to me every picture I saw him in involved a fiery car crash or a gory shoot-out. While in ole Mexico in '74, I caught Peter Fonda flick with Spanish subtitles. That was a tad weird. Years later, I enjoyed Mr. Fonda in Ulee's Gold, a well-done film proving that he was a skilled actor.

I understand a few hardy drive-in theaters still dot the American landscape. If I'm ever in such a town, I'll be sure to drop in one evening and relax. If the picture splashed on the enormous screen features Peter Fonda, I'll know I've hit a time warp, and I won't be in a such big hurry to leave it.

So, please let me know if you live near a drive-in still alive and kicking.
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Published on April 09, 2011 01:48 • 174 views • Tags: film, movies, peter-fonda
Tis the hot, hot season when the studios release their blockbuster movies hopefully to be as hot. Like probably you and your family, we also enjoy to catch a flick in the cool succor of an air-conditioned theater. Sometimes the choices for us to pick from are lean. Bummer city.

For instance, right now I see from the online listings, there's nothing that lights up my fun meter. Harry Potter is a big turn on. Too bad I never got into the series, and it's now all but finished, or so I'm told by tweeters. I'll see it on DVD.

I remember years ago the epic Gone With the Wind ran every summer. Seeing GWTW was a summer ritual. Memo to self: add Margaret Mitchell's book to your reading bucket list. More recently, we saw George Clooney in The Perfect Storm. Great flick but there was too much water. I sloshed out of the theater feeling like a damn drowned rat.

Of course, there's pay-for-view, streaming, Netflix, and Blockbuster. No wait, Blockbuster is no more. They've gone the way of Borders and the passenger pigeon. But you see, I still dig the old-fashion movie-going experience (two popcorns, hold the butter). So, that's where my discretionary income is earmarked--to buy me a cinema ticket.

See you at the movies!

By Ed Lynskey
Twitter: @edlynskey
Author of Lake Charles
"Good new gritty thriller."
Joemmamas.com via twitter
Ed Lynskey
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Published on July 22, 2011 01:50 • 132 views • Tags: ed-lynskey, movies, summer, writers
Bogie, what can I say? He was the stone-cold epitome of style. As PI Sam Spade recovering the "dingus," he defined the private eye, so there's a connection right there for me. If you like watching old movies, he's probably going to be in one of them. I heard somebody make the point that Bogie had a distinctiveness to his acting that male leads no longer possess. Maybe that's because he toiled in a slew of B-movies before his break out came. Anyway, here are my faves:

#1. The Maltese Falcon

#2. High Sierra

#3. Dark Passage

#4. Casablanca

#5. African Queen

#6. The Harder They Fall (last movie)

#7. Key Largo

#8. The Caine Mutiny

#9. They Drive by Night

#10. The Big Sleep

By Ed Lynskey
@edlynskey
Author of Lake Charles
"Satisfying."
The Rap Sheet/Kirkus Reviews
Ed Lynskey
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Published on July 02, 2011 02:11 • 152 views • Tags: bogart, classics, movies
Going to the cinema is still a big treat for us. I like the b-i-g picture on the splashed on the silver screen. It's more transformative than gaping into my palm at some gizmo. But I wonder if I'm missing out on the TOTAL moviegoing experience. Consider these goodies from the past that were also offered at the theater:

Newsreels
These short documentary films preceded the main feature. I've seen them on TV run before the old movies but never in a theater although newsreels ran until the 1960s.

Cartoons
This one really grates on me. I recall when one or two cartoons ran before the main feature. I also crave a traditional cartoon fix not Beavis and Butt Head, Simpsons, or South Central Park.

Trailers
Just opposite applies here. I can do with fewer trailers pitching me before the main feature.

Advertisements
Huh? You mean after ponying up $12 for a movie ticket, I have to sit through advertisements for cars and laundry detergent? I can get that sitting at home in front of the idiot box.

Motion Picture Rating
Don't the kids already have easy access online to view the raunchy stuff, and worse?

Walk, Do Not Run to the Nearest Exit!
The booming voice is for the hard of hearing. This one thing I don't mind. Have you ever been inside a theater when a fire starts?

Hope all your moviegoing experiences are rewarding and entertaining ones for you.

By Ed Lynskey
Twitter: @edlynskey
Author of Lake Charles
"Nice addition to anyone’s summer beach reading schedule."
Florida Times-Union
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Published on June 22, 2011 09:31 • 112 views • Tags: films, movies, theater
I run across a lot of "spoiler alerts" in email messages posted on the various boards. A reviewer will often inadvertently give away the ending in discussing a mystery, including my own published titles. I may've been guilty of putting in spoilers myself.

Readers are disappointed if they know how a book will end before they begin Chapter 1. The elements of surprise and fun are destroyed. I can understand their point. But spoilers don't bother me as much.

For instance, I just finished reading Ken Kesey's explosive debut novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I'd see the movie at the cinema in 1975, so I remembered how it ended. No biggie there. I still enjoyed reading the novel.

On the other hand, I've learned to be sensitive about spoilers for other readers. And I also have to admit it would've been an extra thrill for me to NOT know how Cuckoo's Nest ended.

By Ed Lynskey
@edlynskey
Author of Lake Charles
"Satisfying."
The Rap Sheet/Kirkus Reviews
Ed Lynskey
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Published on June 27, 2011 09:31 • 370 views • Tags: books, endings, movies, spoilers
In honor of today's birthday boy, I wrote this blog. I first saw Al Pacino in Serpico at the cinema, and I must say I've enjoyed his early work more his later movies. In not particular order, here are the top five films of his that I've watched.

1. Sea of Love

2. Serpico

3. The Godfather

4. Scent of a Woman

5. Dog Day Afternoon
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Published on April 25, 2012 09:02 • 292 views • Tags: dogs, ed-lynskey, film-noir, movies, mystery, romance, thriller
A while back, there was some discussion on the Rara-avis Hardboiled & Noir Yahoo Group about the last of the tough guy movie stars.

They just don't exist anymore. Who do we have? Clint Eastwood? Sean Penn? Harrison Ford? Russell Crowe? I don't know about that them. Maybe Sean Connery.

At any rate, here's a list of deceased tough guys I've enjoyed watching in films.

1. Charles Bronson (The early Death Wish titles)

2. James Coburn

3. Robert Mitchum (Out of the Past. Enough said.)

4. Paul Newman (Hud. The ultimate SOB.)

5. Johnny Cash (Hey, "shot a man in Reno" counts.)

6. Charlton Heston (Soylent Green)

7. Steve McQueen (The Getaway)

8. Lee Marvin

9. Richard Widmark (Tommy Udo)

10. Lee Van Cleef (Spaghetti Westerns)

By Ed Lynskey
@edlynskey
Author of Lake Charles
"Definitely recommend you take a fictional journey to Lake Charles."
Elizabeth A. White's Musings of an All Purpose Monkey
Ed Lynskey
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Published on July 09, 2011 08:56 • 280 views • Tags: movies, tough-guys
I like to draw up lists from time to time when writing my blog posts. I use different categories, and this time I thought it'd be fun to write down some of the funniest movies I have watched. I go to the cinema house, but I'm more comfortable just hanging out at the house and checking out the movies. One thing occurs to me. I remember laughing at the time I watched the movie. Would that still be the case if I saw the movie again now? I don't really know. Of course, I've seen all the funny scenes and know all the punch lines that are coming. I did see Animal House again, and I got a few laughs, though not nearly as many as the first time I viewed it on the silver screen. Without further ado, I give you the list. Drumroll, please...

1. The Pink Panther series

2. Animal House

3. Something's Gotta Give

4. Little Miss Sunshine

5. Julie & Julia

6. Napoleon Dynamite

7. A Christmas Story

8. Tootsie

9. Some Like It Hot
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Published on June 24, 2013 07:09 • 104 views • Tags: comedy, movies

Cracked Rearview Mirror

Ed Lynskey
Hi, I'm Ed Lynskey. You can subscribe to my crime fiction books newsletter by clicking here and dropping me an email. My FB Author "Fan" Page is http://is.gd/OAohco. I'm on twitter.com/edlynskey.
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