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Miller's Crossing

Miller's Crossing

By David Bird in Blog on October 31, 2011

Miller’s Crossing (1990)Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, Starring Gabriel ByrneTo tell the truth, I haven’t been following movies too closely for a long time. Like a lot of people, I am a wait for the video kind of fan, but my interest in film dropped off precipitously when I got a DVD player. One thing DVD has, hands down, over VHS is the television sets. Soon my film library was chock full of old shows, British imports, and fewer and fewer movies. There’s only so much I can afford. The pendulum is swinging back now, but if you’d asked me, back when I was a movie buff, what my favourite film was, I had ready answer: Miller’s Crossing.Last week’s movie’s opening made the mistake of telling viewers what it was all about. This movie’s opening does the same thing—it’s about friendship, loyalty, ethics—without ruining anything. At the center are two siblings, Verna and Bernie Bernbaum. Bernie is a weasel, exploiting his boyfriend’s relationship to a mob leader’s lieutenant in order to make a few bucks. Verna is the gun moll of another, and the dominant, mob leader, and is using her position to protect her brother from the wrath of the man he’s ripping off. Simple enough. The movie starts with the first mobster, Italian Johnny Caspar, making a courtesy call on the second, Irishman Leo O’Bannion. Leo tells Caspar that Bernie is under his protection and that he can’t kill him. Caspar tells Leo that he isn’t asking permission. That he has to give up Bernie. It’s a matter of ethics. Leo leaves with that ultimatum. Lines are drawn. Leo versus Caspar. Irish mob versus Italian mob. But things aren’t that simple. Leo’s lieutenant, Tom Reagan, agrees with Caspar. Bernie isn’t worth the mountain of trouble a gang war would produce. The rest of the movie is about Tom trying to brings things to the best resolution circumstances allow.Why was this my favourite movie? (And I only put the question in the past tense, because I don’t really think like that anymore. I’m not the movie fan I once was. No other movie has replaced it.)Why? Because it’s perfect! In an interview Barry Sonnenfeld, who was the film’s cinematographer, said they made the film with the intention of making it both beautiful and manly and , as unlikely a combination as that sounds, it is just that. The former is something that really pops out at you in when on watch it on Blu-ray. The lights, the sets, the costuming, everything is beautiful, and that carries over into the editing, the writing—though I will admit, there was more than one time, listening to them talk, that I thought of Rocky and Mugsy of the Bugs Bunny cartoons. As for the manliness aspect, the Coens do a wonderful job of recreating the tough guy persona of the 30s and 40s. Unlike today’s they don’t look like they spend half their days in the gym, and they don’t rely on quips. These are men you’d be afraid of getting on the wrong side of. These guys live in a world of criminality, but to avoid drowning in their own violence, they live by codes—friendship, loyalty, ethics. Playing a man, searching for a way to save his friend from himself, Byrne gives a performance that not only evokes the era of Bogart and Cagney, but stands equal to them. A rare thing. A great movie.---Interesting factoid. In the above mentioned interview Sonnenfeld says that John Turturro came up to him afterwards and thanked him for filming the movie. Sonnenfeld thought he was just being nice until Turtutto told him he’d based his whole performance on him!Originally Pubished at: David Bird

Miller's Crossing

Miller's Crossing

By David Bird in Blog on October 31, 2011

To tell the truth, I haven’t been following movies too closely for a long time.

UFC 137 Results and Discussion

UFC 137 Results and Discussion

By xaraan in Blog on October 30, 2011

UFC 137 Results and DiscussionAuthors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/12126394026

ourvaluedcustomers: He thought I should know…

ourvaluedcustomers: He thought I should know…

By xaraan in Blog on October 30, 2011

ourvaluedcustomers: He thought I should know… Authors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/12120792395

Comic of the Week winner! = Justice League #2 Click the pic to...

Comic of the Week winner! = Justice League #2 Click the pic to...

By xaraan in Blog on October 28, 2011

Comic of the Week winner! = Justice League #2 Click the pic to visit the Outhouse and make nominations on next weeks winnerAuthors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/12043498986

Cover of the Week winner! = Monocyte #1 Click the pic to visit...

Cover of the Week winner! = Monocyte #1 Click the pic to visit...

By xaraan in Blog on October 28, 2011

Cover of the Week winner! = Monocyte #1 Click the pic to visit the OH and make nominations for next weeks winnerAuthors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/12043458153

Review and Discussion for Batman: Arkham City

Review and Discussion for Batman: Arkham City

By xaraan in Blog on October 28, 2011

Review and Discussion for Batman: Arkham CityAuthors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/12039798468


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In episode #56 of the Why I Love Comics podcast, I am joined by ...

In episode #56 of the Why I Love Comics podcast, I am joined by ...

By xaraan in Blog on October 28, 2011

In episode #56 of the Why I Love Comics podcast, I am joined by Executive Produder and writer on Leverage, John Rogers. We discuss Jackie Chan Adventures, his first draft of the Transformers movie, the 3 years he worked on Catwoman for (the movie) his run on Blue Beetle with Keith Giffen, How awesome Whil Wheaton and Mark Shepard are and just so much more! http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/ - John’s blog! http://twitter.com/#!/jonrog1 - John on twitter http://www.tnt.tv/series/leverage/?SR=sr3_353175_go - Official Leverage website! As usual follow me on twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/EricRatcliffe) like the show on facebook (www.facebook.com/whyilovecomics) and check out my awesome webcomic (www.newcomicday.net) and don’t forget to subscribe/write a review on itunes!Also check out the Kirby Krackle, official houseband of the podcast! (http://www.kirbykracklemusic.com/)And stop by our new home, www.theouthousers.comAuthors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/12036605514

watchtheguild: Awesome photoset, thanks browncoat2511

watchtheguild: Awesome photoset, thanks browncoat2511

By xaraan in Blog on October 28, 2011

watchtheguild: Awesome photoset, thanks browncoat2511 Authors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/12036412917

Countdown to Modern Warfare 3 - all of the videos from Infinity...

Countdown to Modern Warfare 3 - all of the videos from Infinity...

By xaraan in Blog on October 27, 2011

Countdown to Modern Warfare 3 - all of the videos from Infinity Ward covering multiplayer, survival mode, elite service, weapon proficiencies and more.Authors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/12009912100

Dreams and Memories

Dreams and Memories

By David Bird in Blog on October 27, 2011

Dreams are funny things. I rarely remember mine. They seem to dissipate as soon as I get up and its rare that I remember them at all. I had one about three weeks ago. In it I was eating with a friend. I can't remember which friend. There was somewhere we had to be, but we figured we had plenty of time. In the end we were rushing towards my place. I live in James Bay, a downtown neighborhood in Victoria. On the way I found myself in an area I had never been before. It was strange. I've lived in the city for 27 years, but I had no idea where I was. I looked at a building across the street. It looked very familiar. Then I woke up.I quickly forgot most of the dream, but the image of the building stayed with me. I knew that building. I puzzled over it all morning before I realized that the image was a memory and not simply something my subconscious made up. And I realized that because it was a childhood memory my perspective was a bit skewed. Buildings, distances, had seemed bigger than they do now and that added to the strangeness of the dream. I also figured it was in the Old Town or Inner Harbour area of the city--pretty much the same thing--but that was about it.Because dreams so seldom stay with me, I decided to track down the building. To find out what I was remembering. I didn't grow up in Victoria, but my father did and when we were very young he would take the family on trips to see his mother. She was already quite old and so he stopped including the children after a while--she was in a home and a bunch of bored kids was seen as something of a disturbance. So I had a time frame. The image/memory had to be from the 1960s.When I had a free morning I made my way to the City of Victoria Archives to look for a picture of the building. On my first visit I familiarized myself with how things worked. On my second I came equipped with a list of street names and had every intention to check each one. I didn't get very far, though, before I found the above picture in their Johnson Street file. Its the corner of Johnson and Broad Streets.Now, I know there are other buildings like it, and I realize that there is a small possibility that the memory could be of some place on the Lower Mainland (that's the Vancouver area for non-locals), but looking at the picture I felt very sure that this was it. I looked at some other files, but began to feel I was wasting my time and I stopped looking and bought a copy. With it I went to the corner and there it was! The exterior is red brick now, but the design so much the same that I suspect there was always red brick under the paint or plaster. Even more interesting, see the door in the center of the picture? That's the entrance to Curious Books and Comics, I place I shop at at least once a week.Now why I would remember my local comics shop as it was forty years ago, I have no idea!Originally Pubished at: David Bird

Dreams and Memories

Dreams and Memories

By David Bird in Blog on October 27, 2011

Dreams are funny things. I rarely remember mine. They seem to dissipate as soon as I get up and its rare that I remember them at all. I had one about three weeks ago. In it I was eating with a friend. I can't remember which friend. There was somewhere we had to be, but we figured we had plenty of time. In the end we were rushing towards my place. I live in James Bay, a downtown neighborhood in Victoria. On the way I found myself in an area I had never been before. It was strange. I've lived in the city for 27 years, but I had no idea where I was. I looked at a building across the street. It looked very familiar. Then I woke up.I quickly forgot most of the dream, but the image of the building stayed with me. I knew that building. I puzzled over it all morning before I realized that the image was a memory and not simply something my subconscious made up. And I realized that because it was a childhood memory my perspective was a bit skewed. Buildings, distances, had seemed bigger than they do now and that added to the strangeness of the dream. I also figured it was in the Old Town or Inner Harbour area of the city--pretty much the same thing--but that was about it.Because dreams so seldom stay with me, I decided to track down the building. To find out what I was remembering. I didn't grow up in Victoria, but my father did and when we were very young he would take the family on trips to see his mother. She was already quite old and so he stopped including the children after a while--she was in a home and a bunch of bored kids was seen as something of a disturbance. So I had a time frame. The image/memory had to be from the 1960s.When I had a free morning I made my way to the City of Victoria Archives to look for a picture of the building. On my first visit I familiarized myself with how things worked. On my second I came equipped with a list of street names and had every intention to check each one. I didn't get very far, though, before I found the above picture in their Johnson Street file. Its the corner of Johnson and Broad Streets.Now, I know there are other buildings like it, and I realize that there is a small possibility that the memory could be of some place on the Lower Mainland (that's the Vancouver area for non-locals), but looking at the picture I felt very sure that this was it. I looked at some other files, but began to feel I was wasting my time and I stopped looking and bought a copy. With it I went to the corner and there it was! The exterior is red brick now, but the design so much the same that I suspect there was always red brick under the paint or plaster. Even more interesting, see the door in the center of the picture? That's the entrance to Curious Books and Comics, I place I shop at at least once a week.Now why I would remember my local comics shop as it was forty years ago, I have no idea!Originally Pubished at: David Bird

The latest IGW looks at: Four Disney properties that could work...

The latest IGW looks at: Four Disney properties that could work...

By xaraan in Blog on October 27, 2011

The latest IGW looks at: Four Disney properties that could work in the Marvel UniverseAuthors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/11996259422

Top TV Reviews this week:

Top TV Reviews this week:

By xaraan in Blog on October 27, 2011

Authors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/11995963194

intellectualminds: superman vs. goku

intellectualminds: superman vs. goku

By xaraan in Blog on October 25, 2011

intellectualminds: superman vs. goku Authors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/11915984312

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