Thursday, March 21, 2019
Thursday Movie Picks: Private Eye
For the 12th week of 2019 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We venture into the subject of private eyes as people who are hired to solve a mystery as it gets more intriguing as it goes on. It’s often films that are typical of neo-noir pictures as it play into murder or some kind of disappearance as here are my three picks as they’re all set in Los Angeles:
1. The Long Goodbye
From Robert Altman is an offbeat adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s novel that explores a detective trying to solve the suicide of his best friend whose wife had been recently murdered. It’s a film doesn’t play by the rules of what is expected in a mystery yet it features a career-defining performance from Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe who is this private detective that is first seen at a supermarket trying to find the right cat food for his cat as he is more of an everyman than a traditional private detective. It’s a film that is a must for anyone that loves Robert Altman and Raymond Chandler as it also features an early film appearance from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
2. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Based on Brett Halliday’s novel Bodies Are Where You Find Them is Shane Black’s first film as a director in this high-octane yet humorous film about an actor and a gay private detective who both find a body as their situation worsens due to a series of misadventures. It’s the film that doesn’t play by the rules while not also afraid of being silly as it doesn’t just feature career highlights for its leads in Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer but also give audiences a formal introduction to Michelle Monaghan who gets to steal the film a bit from her leads as Downey’s girlfriend.
3. Inherent Vice
Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel is probably a film that one wouldn’t expect a major film studio to fund or support no matter how unconventional and offbeat it is. Yet, it is a film that is already gaining a cult following as it is unlike any kind of detective film that stars Joaquin Phoenix as private investigator Larry “Doc” Sportello who is investigating a disappearance in 1970 Los Angeles during the Charles Manson trials where the tension between police and hippies is at an all-time high. Featuring this incredible score by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, a killer music soundtrack, and one of the finest ensembles ever captured in film that include Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston, Eric Roberts, Jena Malone, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Benicio del Toro, Hong Chau, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Joanna Newsom, Jeannie Berlin, Michael K. Williams, Sasha Pieterse, and Martin Donovan. It’s a film that takes a while to understand and get into yet it is clearly a film that only P.T. Anderson can unveil.
© thevoid99 2019