Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NYC Confidential

There is a surprising lack of imagery for these old movies on IMDb, I've noticed! Well, I can't be bothered with photographing the screen every time I see an image I like!
Anyway, there were 8 million stories in the naked city (New York City) back in the day when this film was named. At least 10 million today. Fortunately, they picked a pretty good one to tell. Lots of twists and turns in the ol' plot. All the while, we get the occasional colorful shot of the city, and people on the move. And narrated by some joker who's above the fray... ouch. Apparently, this movie killed him off.
Some may call this a mystery picture, but I say it's obviously a sci-fi/fantasy flick. I mean, look at these cops! They've got, what, 10 people working on this case? Two guys trailing a suspect at a time, a total of six working 8 hour shifts? At the center of this maelstrom of police activity is Muldoon, portrayed lovingly by a Mr. Barry Fitzgerald, the Robert Prosky of his day. What a voice! He would've been a colorful narrator. But who will carry on these men's legacy? Ethan Suplee perhaps, if he puts back a little weight.
As I usually do, I don't want to give away too much of the story, for some reason, but if this were made today, Will Ferrell would play the Howard Duff role of Frank Niles. Some advice to Ferrell: if a good director helms the project, abdicate to his wishes! Act, damn it! You don't want to be the funny man for the rest of your life, do you? Isn't it time to strive for something more? Something... golden? Something... Oscar-shaped? Why, even the... oh, dear. Well, the Razzies haven't nominated you for anything since Land of the Lost.
I still can't believe that the Maltin guide gives this three stars. Three and a half, at least, I say. Although an argument could be made about the racial layering of the movie: all the stoic white people doing the white collar crime, and the sleazy ethnic types doing the actual dirty work. Something like that. Or that it's a mere G picture in today's NC-17 world. Makes me think of that one joke this comedian told about a guy renting a porno from a video store, but getting The Wizard of Oz by mistake... am I the only one? Damn. I thought so. But Google comes to the rescue once again! Ah, God bless the bottomless memory hole.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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