Double Indemnity: Classic Noir that Hits Home

Good day all,

Nice to be chatting with you all again, and nice to be free from the bike-lock hitching me to the support beam (think Walter in Breaking Bad Season One). Also happy to be discussing an absolute classic from a genre that I love; Noir. Something about a detective character digging around and solving the mystery just hits home with me, and the grittier the better. This movie essentially establishes all of the of the clichés in later crime movies that tried to rip it off (though Hitchcock deserves a nod too). This is one of the first great, beautiful-woman-walks-into-some-schmuck’s-office-and-plays-him-for-a-fool movie,  and, in this case, the poor sucker has no idea (more on that theme later). The leading lady is Barbara Stanwyck and she is hot in a way that a cracker just can’t put his finger on. She is not classically beautiful, but she has look that just smolders in the best way possible (know-what-I-mean, nudge-nudge). In this case the sap is an insurance agent that falls under the foul temptress’ spell and thinks “hey, I can pull off the perfect murder and keep banging this oddly hot chick.” Long story short, the sap is not as bright as he thinks, the lady has more dirty little thumbs in dirty little pies than first appears and the whole shebang blows up. The realization I had was that I am that sucker (minus the murder part), and I live as I do because of it. Catch me on Camera 3 for a public service announcement:

Hello again. Today’s topic is one that men in general just have to accept; that incredibly hot and cool chick that you’re dating, the one that seems too good to be true, is actually a crazy woman who will abduct and abuse you. Let me paint a picture: a twenty-five year old man heads out for the seventh date with the most amazing woman he’s ever met (hit it on the fourth and knocked it out, whoop whoop). There was something in the air that made me think of Old Marsbeth. She was introduced as “my girlfriend’s smart friend, she reads the same shit you do” by a welder friend of mine. The first date was a wreck (we saw Saw 2 because we missed our meeting point and missed Jarhead), but the second ended in a three-hour conversation at a sports bar, over beer, about baseball and music and football and, most of all movies. Back to date seven, when our strapping lad was in the car, on the way to the restaurant, and a little voice in his head said “this girl is way too good for you. You’re like a six, six-and-a-half tops and this woman is perfect” (you should see her). I lied and told myself I was awesome and talked down that little voice. Now I live in an underground bunker that she described as “my little place in the woods” where we would spend a weekend for our eighth date.I stepped out of the car to open a gate and got the Dexter treatment in the neck from behind. The point gentlemen is that if she is too perfect, and honestly too good for you, then she is probably playing you. Ladies, that goes for any guy with a six-pack that isn’t as clearly retarded as the Jersey Shore guys, or any guy about whom you’ve said “you don’t know him like I do, he’ll change” (psst, he won’t). Listen when I didn’t people, and avoid a poor hostage’s fate. Sigh.

The key to a great Noir flick is the detective character in the lead. They are not always a detective, I mean this guy is an insurance salesman, but they are placed in a position to either solve a crime or pull one off. This movie is the classic “she says he treats her badly, and she’s really hot, so we can totally get away with killing him” kind of story, you know, that old chestnut. Women tend to be either girls next door we don’t want or vixens that manipulate us that we can’t stay away from. We know they’re no good, and that they’re just after the evil husband’s money, but they make-a-the-sex-so-good that we keep on following them. The poor chump in this one thinks he’s the balls and can tie off every loose end, because he’s in the business see, and the whole thing ends up more complicated than he expected. Most Noir movies have the detective taking a few mean beatings on the way and I don’t think this movie is different. The beating for these characters is the impending and growing dread as the plan starts to crack. The performances are great, and the reality that they’re like every person that ever thought they would get away with it is harsh as balls. It’s a little light on action, but does a great job twisting up the suspense on the rise and fall. Basically it’s a classic and you should watch it.

The lady already stole Brick and Winter’s Bone to compare back, so I’m going to tie back to Noir without really looking like it; Dark City and Shutter Island. Dark City is a Sci-Fi movie in which a futuristic race recreates reality while we sleep every night and one, chosen man has been foretold to come and collapse the whole shebang. The character wakes up before the masters can imprint him and he has to solve the mystery (oh, and everyone on the world thinks he’s a serial rapist/murderer while he does it). The film is not perfect, and Jack Bauer as a scientist is the worst character I’ve ever seen, but it’s a trippy little flick that hits all of the marks of great Noir. Shutter Island is a classic detective flick with an atypical slant. For some reason the trend is to hate on this movie and I don’t get it. Leo gives a solid performance and the look of the film is spectacular. A lot of people hate that there is no real resolution, or that the whole thing is just pointless, but the psychological beating this guy takes on the way to the truth is brutal and it hits a lot of the elements of Noir without looking like classic Noir. Both are worth a watch, or another watch, and provide solid leads in trippy worlds.

Well folks, until the next time I have to chance to let you in on the truth about whatever she puts in front of me, learn from my mistakes. Listen to that voice that tells you true things you don’t want to hear, and take the time to have a background check done on that dynamite gal that steals your heart. You might luck out and have actually found the perfect woman, but you may end up watching The Wedding Banquet. Until the next time I pick the bike lock (it was pretty cool actually), see every angle and protect ya neck.

The Hostage

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~ by stew37 on April 21, 2011.

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