Thursday, June 03, 2010

Boiling Point

I swear I had no intentions of racking up little appreciations of modest, present-day genre films lately. But that's what I'm doing. This time it's Boiling Point - no, not the Kitano film (though that's a really good one) - but instead the Snipes & Hopper crime movie, directed by James B. Harris, from 1993. It's somber, unhurried, and (like a solid B) feels both utterly formulaic and yet experientially absorbing, a new path through the same woods. (Or a new way of walking the same path.)

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"Boiling Point's central terrain is the hopeless shadow zone of smalltime law and crooks, each sucked deeper and deeper into their own hard-luck tragedies.

"Inevitably, Boiling Point was drubbed by critics, discontented with its lack of thrills and its aura in sour melancholy. That Harris has been permitted (albeit infrequently) by the system to make his resolutely unprofitable movies at all is a Hollywood miracle." (Michael Atkinson, "Genuine B Noir: James B. Harris")

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"Genuine B noirs in the purest non-reflexive sense of the word, Harris's films are inglorious, pipe-dream-beleaguered gutterdives, with the cheap integrity of bygone pulp fiction." (Atkinson)

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"The weird dreaminess and forced analogies slow the movie down." (Sragow)

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"Promoted like an action movie, but there's one problem - this movie has no action!" (Luke Y. Thompson)

1 comment:

Pat Fryberger said...

I'm glad to see this movie appreciated... you hit it right on the head.