Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Babylon 5: The Illusion of Truth (1997)
A good idea, poorly executed
The idea of centralising an entire episode around coverage from ISN, is one that has successfully been carried out in previous episodes. It's a good idea, and if done well, as it was previously, can really add to the realism of the story.
In this episode it was poorly carried out. The news reporter was incredibly annoying, using a model of presentation that can only be described as mock-journalism. The melodramatic tone of his voice is completely unrealistic. The angle of the news station is best described as opinionated news, and is reminiscent of Fox news. Yet, the lack of subtlety is something even Glenn Beck would be embarrassed about.
The shot of the tortured prisoner confessing to his crimes is ludicrous. It's clear he has been tortured, so there's no incentive for the propagandist news to show this particular footage, given they want it to look like a wilful confession.
Then even more sloppiness by the cameraman and producer, as they try to suggest there is an inherent racism against humans on the space station culminating in humans living in poverty and being experimented upon, whilst aliens live in luxury, and dictating to the captain. Yet, we see several shots of humans walking past the captain whilst he is being remonstrated with by Mulari.
Then there's the psychiatrist. The writers can be forgiven for mistaking the Stockholm syndrome for the Helsinki syndrome. He is then asked by the news reporter whether this syndrome could lead to the Captain betraying his own people and the Dr offering scant evidence for it implies it's quite possible, perhaps probable.
Finally there's the footage of the captain and Dellenn's interview, which is very poorly edited to modify it's message. Any reliable footage would show both the interviewer and the interviewee in such a shot.
All in all, I feel with a bit more subtlety and a bit more accuracy, this could have been a very chilling episode, but it ended up being just quite annoying.
Double Indemnity (1944)
This film is not a timeless epic, it has aged badly. One whom describes it as a must for film-noir fans is probably doing so for all the wrong reasons. Sure, it has a snappy dialogue, the dame is desirable, the hero both lovable due to his sentimentalism, and exciting due to his high intelligence, the narration is very well done. The acting is not, contrary to popular opinion, that good. The main characters were not so hot, the best piece of acting was actually the portrayal of Keys, his character was almost Holmes-esque. The plot is very generic. Of course, this film may well have been one of the first to carry out such a plot, it may have been a real trend-setter, but I'm sorry that doesn't make it a classic by any stretch of the imagination. Regardless of how it received and how influential it was, it is not a great in its own genre. I adore film-noir and found this a let down.
The Big Heat (1953)
No spoiler here, so don't worry.
This film is- a wonderfully modest script, a superb example of film-noir drama, a prime example of realism, an example of the power of brilliant acting, a lesson for Tarantino that extreme violence is only affective in small doses, proof that film-noir works best when you know the back story well rather than just being thrown into the action.
Glenn Ford playing the role of a lifetime, throughout he plays the character with extreme subtlety, never overemphasizing his emotions, which is essential to the film, his lack of emphasis makes the emotional affect all the more powerful. Gloria Grahame is superb, so lovable, her character is captivating throughout, it makes you wish in some ways that you might have learnt more about her character's background, although it would have spoilt the film if you did. Lee Marvin's role is I think overstated, he's okay but nothing special. Katie Brando, is stunningly beautiful and her character is so desirable, the kind of woman that dreams are made of. Finally, Alexander Scourby plays the sleazy and amoral bad guy to great effect- there's a particular scene early on, indeed his first full scene, in which he shows his characters capacity to lie and continue to do so without any element of discomfort. He is a cold-blooded killer and yet he is entirely cool headed and rational, a rare novel character, matched only by Orson Welles in The Third Man.
All in all I loved this film, I was enthralled throughout. I recommend to any film-noir lover.