All posts by manofthepast

Maltese Falcon Review- One of Hollywood’s Greatest Detective Stories!

Written by Joshua Winchester

Some of the best films ever made by Hollywood over the years have been tales of mystery and intrigue, often revolving around the protagonist and supporting cast dealing with an object of immense wealth and intrigue.

Warner Bros. 1941 classic The Maltese Falcon, directed by John Huston, is one of the seminal examples of classic detective films. Adapting the story written by celebrated mystery and crime author Dashiell Hammett (originally published in 1929), this films stands high and proud as of the great films of Hollywood’s Golden Age thanks to John Huston’s successful adaptation of the story (two prior adaptations from 1931 and 1936 were box office flops).

Maltese Falcon is a intriguing and compelling piece of detective cinema. With an in-depth plot beginning with the murder of Detective Sam Spade’s partner Miles Archer, the plot escalates into an adventure of blackmailmore murder and deception, all while various parties race to obtain the mysterious and valuable Maltese Falcon statue. But what else helps make the movie stand out from other detective stories is the cast, in particular Humphrey Bogart.

Bogart has often been hailed as one of the great serious actors of classic Hollywood. His role as  Sam Spade in Maltese Falcon helped launch his fledgling career which was further cemented with his starring in the war-time drama/romance Casablanca (released the following year in 1942). After these two breakout films, he would go on to make many other fabulous movies including Dark Passage, Key Largo and The African Queen.

The movies supporting cast includes screen beauty Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Ward Bond, Gladys George and Lee Patrick.

Maltese Falcon is a movie that has continued to stand the test of time and hold its own alongside other great films over the years. It is an exciting and thrilling story that audiences of all ages will enjoy and continue to enjoy for generations to come.

If you want to hear more about my passion for movies and pop culture, tune into The Comic Boys every Wednesday night from 7pm-8pm on WCRX 88.1FM and online at WCRXFM.com

 

Advertisements

Touch of Evil Review- Classic Crime Thriller

th

 

by Joshua Winchester

In the annals of American cinema, there have arisen many great actors and directors, leaving their mark on the silver screen with works that have continued to delight audiences for years. But one of the true greats is a man who not only acted and directed, but wrote his movies as well. I am speaking of the late, great Orson Welles.

Throughout the years of his life Welles made many great films, Citizen Kane, Magnificent Ambersons, and the list goes on and on. But one of his films that I believe is truly great came at a later point in his life. It has been hailed as one of the last great noir films of the genre, with a cast of amazing actors, a plot so compelling it keeps you in your seat and cinematography that is astounding to behold. I speak of the great crime thriller film Touch of Evil.

Touch of Evil has everything a person could want in a crime thriller film. Action, suspense, gorgeous leading ladies, a handsome leading man, and Orson Welles filling the role of a villain who is so obviously vile and wicked it isn’t even funny.

Two things stand out the most in this movie. One is the cast…and what a cast it is. Charlton Heston is leading man in this picture, with Janet Leigh in the role of leading lady. Filling in secondary roles are such stalwarts of the big screen as Akim Tamiroff, Joanna Cooke Moore, Ray Collins, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Marlene Dietrich and of course, Orson Welles.

The cinematography in the movie is the second thing that stands out. Wide angle shots, tight close ups and the use of shadows as a means of heightening tension in a scene that showcases Welles talents as a director and storyteller.

If ever there was a film that stood out in Orson Welles career as one of his later great achievements, it is truly Touch of Evil.

Listen to the Josh Winchester Show every Monday afternoon from 3 to 7pm only on WCRX-FM, Chicago’s Underground.

Inside Out Review-A Glance at Human Emotion

By Josh Winchester

insideoutposter

There comes a time when a movie comes along that stands out from others in terms of overall story and what it evokes from its audience. Pixar’s “Inside Out” is just such a film, delivering the compelling story of emotions (represented as human like figures) guiding the actions and life of a young girl, and how each emotion plays a significant part in the overall character of said girl.

Using stellar animation, combined with an amazing voice cast, this latest Pixar film shows that faith in the animation company can remain strong, despite public opinion of some of the Pixar’s films being less than stellar.

But faith once more can be put in the hands of Pixar Studios, and I for one am putting my hand back into the Animation Studio and looking forward to further great films that the company will produce (hopefully).

I encourage everyone who reads this review to go see the film. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry (depending on the person) and it will make you stop and think, genuinely think and feel something inside you, on a level unlike anything felt from watching an animated film before. It certainly made me think and recall the anxiety I went through when I moved to a new place growing up, leaving my old life behind for a new one. Any film that can evoke that kind of emotion is for sure worth going to.

All in all, I give it five out of five stars for plot, animation, characters/casting, and for resonating with me and hopefully other movie goers on such a deep, personal level.

Tune into the Josh Winchester Show on WCRX and WCRX.com, Monday afternoons from 3-7pm

Listen for my feature “Costumed Comments” which includes my thoughts on the latest movies, movie news, comic books, super hero news etc.  Share your thoughts on Chicago’s Underground Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Wcrxfm