"The Third Man" boasts everything any classic noir has: atmospheric cinematography, dark undertones, a femme fatale, and a classic score. The only difference is, "The Third Man" has those things and makes them each special. It brings together all the classic components of its genre and makes it its own. Carol Reed really puts his own spin on this film, starting with its European score that ends up getting stuck in your head with its uniqueness. Then to top things off, you've Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles giving the film dramatic backbone (though in noirs the acting is rarely ever the best part, unless it's directed by Billy Wilder). "The Third Man" is a gripping tale that doesn't fall into cliches and cements itself as one of the finest films ever made.
Kathryn Bigelow has a knack for making tense situations using wonderful cinematic techniques. Greig Fraser's cinematography gives not only spectacular visuals, but a dark look that gives us a sense of solemn undertone. Leading the film is Jessica Chastain, who truly gives us a journey. From the beginning to the end and everything in between, she holds nothing back. Her emotional range within the film can be attributed to the wonderful script by Mark Boal, and Ms. Chastain's portrayal. Kathryn Bigelow has created another war movie classic, and though it may run itself a bit long and lose it's pacing at times, it makes up for it with some intense sequences and wonderful acting.
An underrated noir that features fine acting from the cast. There's enough wit, sensuality, and violence to make this noir credible to it's genre. The highlight of the film is Thelma Ritter, to no surprise. Her veteran presence and perfect timing is the kind of stuff we've gotten used to in her performances. "Pickup on South Street" is the kind of film that draws you in with it's plot, keeps you with it's tension and sensuality, and entertains you with wit. An unappreciated noir.
Irving Berlin's finest number, "White Christmas" is introduced in this holiday classic. Starring two Hollywood giants of its era, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, this box-office attraction is pure entertainment. Featuring plenty of laughs and more than enough musical numbers to get you going, this family film is one of the finest of it's genre. My only gripe is that the screenplay makes Astaire's character a bit too unlikable, as it trusts that Fred's presence and reputation can move you from noticing his character's blatant unlikable traits. At least, that's what I thought. Nonetheless, this film is a must-watch not only when the season is right, but anytime of any day.
This adaptation of the stage musical takes away many of Cole Porter's wonderful songs, which proves to be it's biggest mistake. The plot is not strong enough, nor are the non-musical scenes without Astaire entertaining enough to fully keep our attention. I'd almost recommend skipping to the musical numbers and save yourself some times of boredom. This is far from Fred and Ginger's best musical, and whilst it's not bad (which is to say it keeps your attention), it's isn't great. But, I do insist you try and enjoy the most famous, and finest number from Cole Porter's classic score, "Night and Day"; it's the highlight of the film.