YOF#4-6 | Pride and Glory, Three Days of the Condor, The Parallax View

Some quick takes for the next few… 

Year of Film # | 4
Title | Pride and Glory
Release| October 2008 (USA), November 2008 (UK)
Format Viewed | Blu-Ray 

A surprisingly great crime drama that went relatively unloved by the critics. Jon Voight heads a police family that includes his sons (played by Ed Norton and Noah Emmerich) and a son-in-law (Colin Farrell). Noah’s character is the head of a unit, four of whom are killed during a call out gone bad. Ed’s character has to investigate, and the deeper he gets, the murkier the waters become. 

All of the principle cast are on top form, the story is decent and well played out. If you like gritty cop stories, then definitely check it out. [4]

 

The next pair are older films that I turned up as the result of search into quality conspiracy films. 

 

Year of Film # | 5
Title | Three Days of the Condor
Released | September 1975 (USA), Unknown (UK)
Format Viewed | DVD

Robert Redford plays a CIA Analyst. He’s part of a team it is to ‘read every book ever published’ to look for secret communiques between clandestine groups. He goes out to lunch one day, only to return to find all his colleagues murdered. Alive only by a stroke of luck, he goes on the run while trying to work out who killed his friends and co-workers. 

Mid 1970’s Redford is about as safe as you are going to get for a leading man, and he puts in a solid turn here. Aspects of the story make little sense (Faye Dunaway’s character falling for his minimal charms despite having a boyfriend herself is a bit naff), but otherwise this is a well paced intrigue. Plus, it has Max von Sydow as a master assassin. [3.5]

 

Year of Film # | 6
Title | The Parallax View
Released | June 1974 (USA), October 1974 (UK)
Format Viewed | DVD

The opening scene sees a presidential candidate assassinated while at a public gathering. The gunman falls to his death when chased across the top of a building. Fast forward three years, and it appears that people who witnessed the murder are themselves being bumped off (except, they’ve all been made to look like accidents). 

Beatty plays a newspaper journalist that was present that day. He only believes the conspiracy theory when a friend dies in similar circumstances. This leads to him going undercover to find out who was behind the killings. He is really good in the lead role, and helps make it a better film than it is. 

Despite being shorter than 3 Days… by about 15 minutes, it feels longer. I think this is because so much stuff is crammed into its runtime it can almost feel overwhelming (only from volume though, this isn’t the most complex of films).

One thing bugs me about the whole thing. Beatty only gets involved because of the multiple murders. These only seem to happen to cover the fact that there was more than one gunman in building and the antagonists aren’t taking any chances with the witnesses. Except, nothing is actually coming of it – they are overreacting. There’s a brief mention of newspaper sensationalism, but nothing with any substance or evidence, nor anything involving those witnesses. 

Either way, Beatty’s performance helps make this a good-but-not-great flick. It would probably work better as a six or eight part drama with the amount that they cram in!  [3]

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