Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Get Carter

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 12 Oct 2000

Kevin wrote:

"Recent HB-ish films, say, post-Pulp fiction, worth watching include, just off the top of my head, Twilight, Payback, Jackie Brown, The Zero Effect, Copland, L.A. Confidential, and the Coen Bros. one about the bowling doofus turned temporary private dick with Jeff Bridges."

That last would be The Big Lebowski. I'd drop the awful Payback and add a bunch of smaller films like Usual Suspects, Palookaville, Underneath
(recently saw its source Criss Cross, great Burt Lancaster film), Bottle Rockets, La Haine, Last Seduction, The Set Up, Phoenix, City of Industry, Thick As Thieves and the not as good, but still appealing Suicide Kings (mainly for Christopher Walken's performance), Romeo Is Bleeding and Deadfall, among many others. For all of the complaining about Tarantino-wannabes (and a lot of bad straight-to-cable films have been made in his wake, some starring him) he certainly led to an increased market for crime films, many of which have been good.

Brad replied to Kevin:

"Two of the biggest rules: have a sympathetic hero and have an upbeat ending. The original "Get Carter" has neither. Although I agree with Kevin that the below films are good or great, all have sympathetic (if marginal) heros and in the end, the good guys always win."

Now that is a problem. The Way of the Gun is the only recent film I can think of that really breaks those rules (the last was probably Reservoir Dogs; even Pulp Fiction ended upbeat, with Travolta again alive at the flashback end following his death in the middle of the film). And I'm all too afraid that this amazing film didn't do well enough to convince the suits that there is indeed a market for this kind of downbeat film. It certainly didn't seem to stick around the theaters very long.

Finally, this talk of Get Carter has reminded me to re-recommend Hodges's latest film, The Croupier, a very nice, low-key, character-driven noir.


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