Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Police Movies


It's Thursday, so as per every Thursday, we're talking Thursday Movie Picks with Wandering Through the Shelves!  If you aren't playing along, the question is WHY!?!?!  The process is simple; you get a theme and you chose three movies that represent that theme to share with the rest of the blogosphere.  So get to playing!

Now, the theme this week is:


There are quite a few that come to mind almost instantly with this theme.  In fact, I had a list of about fifteen before I started scraping away at the list to come up with a final three.  So, I went with a gritty film not many have seen, a classic genre reinvention that remains a cult favorite and a little seen foreign film that more people should see!

Bad Lieutenant
This 1992 gritty cop thriller is the definition of GRITTY, and Keitel's performance just seethes at the mouth with such savage honesty.  It's a hard film to stomach, and it doesn't waste time getting into the darkness (depravity) of it all, but the evolution of this man's soul is so richly presented and dissected that this is a film that begs to be seen.

L.A. Confidential
One of the greatest films of the 90's, without question, this is a film most all of you have seen and no doubt savor.  The way that the tapestry of 'good cop/bad cop' is explored and woven into the fabric of every frame is no joke.  Just astonishing, a complete rebirth of the noir and a film that has yet to be repeated.

Polisse
I don't know how many of you have heard about this film, but if you haven't now you have and I hope you seek it out.  Spun like an episode of SVU, but with fleshed out pockets of characters who all live and breathe a job that causes them to lose their breath, this is a seriously underrated French drama that will punch you in the gut.

36 comments:

  1. The only film in that list I haven't seen is Polisse which I hope to rectify. Everything else I have seen including Bad Lieutenant which was fucked up.

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    1. Bad Lieutenant is completely effed up, but remarkably so, and Harvey is just on fire.

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  2. I'm surprised from the six posts I read that LA Confidential has only been mentioned just this once. I have it on mine was expecting it to be a popular choice. The other two sound interesting, will check that out one day.

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    1. I highly expected L.A. Confidential to dominate these lists.

      I hope you get a chance to check out the other two on the list, as they are very different films yet both very compelling.

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  3. Great picks! Your post just reminded me that I need to watch Polisse, it's been in my watch list for ages.

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    1. It's one of those films that came and left and I feel is largely forgotten, if anyone heard of it to begin with, but it's so worth watching. I hope you get to see it soon.

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  4. L.A. Confidential is an amazing film. Haven't seen Bad Lieutenant, but I did see the remake starring Nicolas Cage. Yeah, I'd rather not think about that. Haven't heard of Polisse, but it does sound interesting. Great work.

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    1. I haven't seen the second film (it's not a remake, but a splintering of themes) but the 1992 flick is an intoxicating and chilling experience.

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  5. L.A Confidential is popular today. I haven't seen any of these. I've heard Bad Lieutenant described as "gritty" before too. I've always been curious about that one. Polisse sounds interesting.

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    1. In the first, like, ten minutes of Bad Lieutenant, Harvey Kietel's 'policeman' pulls over two teenage girls, harasses them and then jerks off onto their car while talking to them.

      Gritty is kind of an understatement.

      And you have a cinematic duty to see L.A. Confidential, like now.

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  6. I thought The Departed and Hot Fuzz are the only darlings for this week, but it seems L.A Confidential is also a sweetheart.

    Great picks!

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    1. L.A. Confidential is pretty much perfect cinema.

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  7. I haven't seen any of these, though Polisse sounds like it could be interesting. I can see what you mean when you said that you thought of "gritty" films. I actually avoided putting Dirty Harry on my list because I thought that would be too obvious, so I'll have to admit I'm surprised that so far virtually no one has included it.

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    1. I kind of assumed that Dirty Harry, L.A. Confidential and The French Connection would dominate.

      I was wrong.

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  8. Polisse! Directed by Maïwenn, who played The Diva in The Fifth Element! I really want to see it. LA Confidential is of course a classic, and I want to see Bad Lieutenant, too.

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    1. Holy effing WHAT!?!

      I had no idea that Maiwenn directed Polisse. LOL, here I am telling everyone to see it, and I don't even know who the director is. BAH! See it though, it's really great.

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  9. I LOVE L.A. Confidential, so well made and beautifully acted. I didn't care for Bad Lieutenant though Harvey Keitel was very good in it. I'm going to have to track down Polisse, it sounds terrific.

    There are so many choices for the theme I could only get down to four for the week.

    Stakeout (1987)-Buddy movie is just what the title suggests. Two cops, Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez, are running a surveillance on an ex-girlfriend, Madeleine Stowe, of escaped convict, Aidan Quinn. All goes well until Dreyfuss accidently runs into Stowe and then falls for her. What separates this from the pack is the terrific chemistry between Dreyfuss and Estevez, good work by both Stowe and Quinn and an excellent pace set by director John Badham.

    The Big Heat (1953)-Fritz Lang's noir masterpiece. A crooked cop commits suicide and leaves a letter full of incriminating evidence on the crime syndicate he was involved with. That letter is discovered by his Medusa of a wife who realizes it could bring down "the Big Heat" if exposed and uses it to her advantage. Honest cop Glenn Ford doing routine follow up on the suicide suspects something fishy and while probing gets a bit too close leading to tragedy and making him a dogged and determined man hellbent on justice. Punctured by burst of unexpected violence and tightly directed by Lang this has many fine performances and a stunning one by Gloria Grahame, perhaps her career best.

    Lured (1947)-One of a kind little number from director Douglas Sirk with a truly eclectic cast. Lucille Ball plays a taxi dancer who is recruited by the London police as an undercover agent when her friend and fellow dancer disappears and may have fallen victim to a lonely hearts serial killer who meets his prey through newspaper personal ads. She proceeds to have many strange encounters, including an extremely odd one with Boris Karloff. She also crosses paths with nightclub owner and self proclaimed incorrigible cad George Sanders who charms her but perhaps has a dark secret. Ball, miles away from frumpy housewife Lucy Ricardo, comes across very well as the level headed protagonist.

    Honorable Mention-No Way to Treat a Lady (1968)-A cat and mouse game between a prickly, mother ridden detective played by a hang dog George Segal and a serial killer who is a master of disguise, Rod Steiger in a scene stealing performance. It's a battle of wits between the two and George meets the knockout Lee Remick, who has her quirks too, along the way. A fun unusual ride.

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    1. I haven't seen...any of your pics! The Big Heat has been on my watchlist for a very long time. I need to get on that.

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    2. I am surprised you haven't seen The Big Heat but you're in for a treat! Gloria Grahame is dynamite, Lang actually wanted Marilyn Monroe for her role-she was still on the ascent at the time so Fox was willing at that point to loan her out but wanted too much money and the notoriously cheap Harry Cohn at Columbia said no, she would have been a fascinating Debbie but I can't imagine anyone being better than Gloria was. Would love to hear what you think of it once you've watched.

      I think you'll get a kick out of No Way to Treat a Lady as well, Steiger really goes for broke with his performance.

      Of course I think you'll like the other two as well.

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    3. I have No Way to Treat a Lady on my list of films to see already, since I strongly consider Rod Steiger one of the ten best actors to ever act a day in his life, but the film is unavailable at the moment through Netflix...so I must wait.

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  10. YES on L.A. Confidential!! I think yours is the first blog that includes that from what I've visited so far and I'd so pick that too! Haven't heard of Polisse but you've got me intrigued!

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    1. I hope you check out Polisse soon! I think you'd really like it.

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  11. As I've look through more and more of these posts today, I've seen L.A. Confidential more and more. That's good news! It is a great movie. I've wanted to see Bad Lt. for years. Need to get to it.

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    1. Bad Lieutenant is so effed up...like...my god...SO EFFED UP!

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  12. Love L.A Confidential! I have not seen the other 2 though. They sound interesting. I would pick "The Big Heat" as well-excellent film and you really feel for the Glenn Ford character. "Mother, Jugs and Speed is a film I love with Burt Reynolds, Raquel Welch and Harvey Keitel (guess who plays Jugs) which is a great comedy with some dramatic bits thrown in. Yup I am going there-"Police Squad"-I love Leslie Nielsen. His whole series of films and the TV show make me laugh every time I see them. They are great comedy fare

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    1. I haven't seen Police Squad! I really need to. It's a film that gets referenced so often and I feel so out of the loop.

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    2. And I am all wrong on the titel of Mother. Jugs and Speed-That is ambulance drivers-craps! it is with raquel but maybe the name is what i liked:) I meant FUZZ-That is the cops show-craps-How could I get that wrong

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    3. LOL, it is a great title!

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  13. I've never seen the french film, but i would like to know more about it. The original Bad Lieutenant with Harvey Keitel seriously disturbed me. Good movie though.

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    1. If this post causes everyone here to finally see Polisse then my job was done!

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  14. O.K., you've piqued my interest. I'm off to look up Polisse. :-)

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    1. Oh, I think you'd really like it! It seems like a movie you'd take to.

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  15. Another great round-up. Polisse is very underrated, indeed. I wish I could find room to nominate it.

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    1. I had it in Film Editing for a while, but I think it's had to settle for my Top Twelve.

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  16. Have never heard of Polisse at all, will try and look it up.

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    1. It's a great little film...earthy in tone and hits you pretty hard with the way it exposes the desperation and frustration within the SVU unit.

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