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Film Noir (2007)

6.5
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Private detective Sam Ruben's clever plan falls apart with the onset of amnesia. Everyone is trying to kill him and he doesn't know why. The classic film noir milieu now comes to you in the form of an animated feature.

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Title: Film Noir (2007)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Mark Keller ...
Hero / Sam (voice)
...
Angela / Stripper / Mrs. Lopes / Police Dispatcher (voice)
...
Detective Riley / Dr. Kaplanski / Bearded Man / Honest George / Dr. Barnes / Bank Manager / DaVinci / TV Reporter / Krumb / Pilot / Policeman 1 / Policeman 2 (voice)
...
Randall Stern / Doorman / Goon / Teller (voice)
Kristina Negrete ...
Samantha (voice)
Victoria Ryan O'Toole ...
Susan (voice)
Elaine A. Clark ...
TV Reporter / Krumb's Wife / Exotic Dancer / Receptionist (voice) (as Elaine Clark)
Amy Provenzano ...
Krumb's Daughter / Exotic Dancer (voice)
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Storyline

Private detective Sam Ruben's clever plan falls apart with the onset of amnesia. Everyone is trying to kill him and he doesn't know why. The classic film noir milieu now comes to you in the form of an animated feature.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

First you wake up. Then the nightmare begins.


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Details

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Release Date:

13 November 2008 (Hungary)  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the names on Ruben's building directory is Lars Ulrich, This is the name of the drummer and founding member of the American heavy metal band, Metallica. See more »

Connections

References World Trade Center (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Ask, I Don't Remember
Performed by Mark Keller
Music & Lyrics by Mark Keller
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User Reviews

 
Junk Noir
30 January 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Made by a small crew of Yugoslavian animators, "Film Noir" is a low budget animated film given a limited release in 2007.

The film opens with our noir hero coming to consciousness under the famous Hollywood sign. He finds a gun in his hand and the corpse of a dead LA policeman at his side. We quickly realise that our protagonist is amnesic. He has no memory, no idea who he is, what happened and why he killed this police officer. Desperate for answers, he drives to the house of Rodney, an address and name which he finds on a small slip of paper. Problem is, Rodney is the name of the cop he just murdered. What's worse, Rodney is being thrown a surprise birthday party by the entire LA police force.

Five minutes into the film and the audience is hooked. With its rain swept cityscapes, jazzy soundtrack, hardboiled characters and lush narration, this is a film completely in love with all the signifiers of noir. It's an onslaught of aesthetics, the film creating a cosy space which half exists on screen and half exists in your imagination. The film trawls a pop-culture past, absorbing noir clichés, signifiers and details and then spitting them back out at us as a series of referentials. The title itself, the unimaginative "Film Noir", lets us know that this is an embodiment of all things noir. But more than that, it is a perverse continuation of noir. It's noir taken to its logical end point.

Like "Sin City" this is self-conscious pop noir, but unlike "Sin City" it is genuinely sleazy and genuinely exploitative. Distributed by the French, filmed in English and animated by Serbians, the film is filled with gratuitous nudity, relishes its B movie plot and our hero is always ready to drop his pants for a quick bout of sex. Like "Sin City", the femme fatales have also all been reduced to leather clad dominatrixes, sluts and fetish objects, but while Robert Rodriguez balked at having Jessica Alba writhe her body in the nude, director Jud Jones is not afraid to push his film into more perverse territory.

Hollywood is obsessed with consuming itself and spitting out "corrected" copies, desperately seeking a kind of perfect representation of a past image. Noir, like the action genre, is evolving toward a spandex clad form of pornography, where every familiar prop, line and character is fetishized, aestheticized and turned into a signifier; one noir film after the next, each trying to get closer to some intangible hyper-reality, the violence harder, the sex sexier, the dialogue thicker, the shadows darker, the rain wetter.

Such hyper-reality used to be hard to approach, but now with CGI, animation and modern SFX, we can get closer to, not a truth, but a familiar lie.

For about half an hour, "Film Noir", like "Saving Private Ryan", is brilliant with its hyper-atmospherics. It immerses us in its noir world, every movement, sound and action super calculated...but after half an hour of cinematic masturbation, it explodes into a frenetic ejaculation of easy violence, pointless sex and dumb action scenes.

The tease is gone, the promise is undelivered and instead, like the fantasies of a juvenile imagination, we're left with humanity at it's most base: sex, violence and easy blood lust. This is your payoff. Take it or leave it, we already have your money.

6/10 - Watch the first 30 minutes and then switch off. Or watch the whole thing and mock "Sin City" for lacking guts.


17 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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