Writer: Robert Towne (Screenplay)
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman, Darrel Zwerling, Diane Ladd
Plot: A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.
Tagline – The most highly acclaimed film of 1974!
Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Classic Mystery
Story: Chinatown starts when J.J. Gittes (Nicholson) gets hired by Evelyn Mulwray (Dunaway) to investigate her husband, it seems like a routine job, follow him around, until he ends up dead and Gittes must uncover what led to his death.
J.J. ends up learning about a bigger cover-up which involves the city’s water supply, the place where Hollis worked before his death, which sees him investigating Noah Cross (Huston) the former owner of the water department.
Thoughts on Chinatown
Characters – J.J. Gittes is a private investigator, he usually handles affairs and has a great track record. He is hired to learn whether Hollis Mulwray is having an affair, only to find himself digging into a bigger cover-up within the water supply after Hollis is found dead. Gittes is involved in every single scene of the film as we only learn the story from his point of view. Evelyn Mulwray is the one that hires Gittes to investigate her husband potential affairs, she soon learns the truth and wants Gittes to learn the truth about what happened to her husband. Noah Cross is the former partner of Hollis who between them owned the water, he seems interested in his own business. He is one of the prime suspects in what might have happened to Hollis. Escobar is the lead police detective that is trying to learn what happened, he doe shave a past with Gittes too.
Performances – Jack Nicholson in the leading role is wonderful as always, he is filled with the quick wit required and keeps us on edge as we work to follow the investigation unfold. Faye Dunaway shows us just how mysterious she can make her character. John Huston brings in the rich figure role well, while Perry Lopez shows us how we get the cop role done without any struggles.
Story – The story follows a private investigator that start by looking into an affair only to find himself in the middle of a much bigger case which would bring him into a city-wide cover-up. When it comes to mystery stories we need to be kept guessing which is what this investigation does, we only get to see how everything unfolds through Gittes eyes which is helpful too because we learn the twists just as fast as he does. It does give us a story that does keep on taking twists along the way which like most detective stories too and shows us just how even a shady figure will do everything right to make sure the truth comes out.
Mystery – The mystery in this film comes from just who murdered Hollis, we get to see just how everything unfolds as we try to put the pieces together to learn the truth ourselves.
Settings – The film is set in LA showing us just how the powers of the city will do anything to remain in control of the power.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the all time classic mystery movies, it shows how one person will do everything to learn the truth in the 1930’s LA where the corrupt rise to power with ease.
Overall: All time classic.
Writer: Suzanne DeLaurentiis, Dale Fabrigar, Everette Wallin (Screenplay)
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Frank Lammers, Tonya Kay, Jack Betts, Shae Smolik, Gregg Christie, Daniel O’Reilly, Carter Scott
Plot: Passengers on a train that crashes into a river must decide whether to risk waiting for help in the wreckage or take their chances in the murky depths below.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Brilliantly Surprising Story
Story: D-Railed starts when Abigail (Smolik) a young girl is joined by Everlyn (Scott) on a murder mystery train adventure, preparing for the big event, explained the rules by the Host (Lammers), the lights go out and the first murder occurs. Within a flash it has turned into a real heist seeing the criminals taking the actors and the guests jewellery, but this does leave the Conductor (Betts) injured and the train derails.
Thoughts on D-Railed
Characters – Manny is the host of the mystery journey, he is meant to be the one to give the clues as he is the only one that isn’t meant to be in the room for the murder, he worries about the condition of the train and his actors, when the robbery starts up. Evelyn is one of the guests on the train, she is one of the few that get out of the wreck, trying to protect the young girl within the young girl looking to survive. Abigail is the young girl that is desperate to enjoy a murder mystery adventure, she has dragged an unwilling parental figure and is the one that everything is trying to save. Thomas is another one of the guests doing everything he can to survive and save the young girl. When it comes to characters it does feel rushed in places when it comes to meeting the number of guests or actors or robbers.
Performances – Carter Scott takes the leading role in this film, she shows the desperation to survive through the night and doesn’t panic as much as the rest of the crew. Shae Smolik does a wonderful job for her character, showing a child in peril. The whole supporting cast are strong throughout the film, nobody seems to look out of place even if they don’t get the full amount of time on camera.
Story – The story here follows a murder mystery train adventure that takes a nightmarish turn which sees the passengers getting hunted down by a creature from the deep. This is a story that goes in very different directions, it stays with what seems like a simple train journey, leaves us with a huge part of uncertainty, before turning into a B-movie creature feature, with an ending you simply won’t see coming. While we do have to keep guessing and we never get to feel comfortable knowing where things are going or what we are dealing with, we do jump onto the next stage way to quickly for us to keep up with what is happening to the number of characters we meet. For the pure surprise factor of what happens during the story, we must praise this story, because what better way to keep us invested, than keeping us guessing.
Horror – The horror in the film comes from creature that is picking off the passengers, it is bloody, creepy and doesn’t seem like a creature that could be stopped.
Settings – The film is set mostly on the train, it makes the action feel contained and with the deadly creature waiting on the outside waiting to eat them. Having a trapped location adds tension involved because the people can start turning on them.
Special Effects – The effects are brilliant when we get to practical, with the creature and kills, wonderful, there is a couple of CGI moments with bugs, that just looks cheap though.
Scene of the Movie – The create gets to eat.
Final Thoughts – This is a horror thriller that just keeps you guessing from start to finish will continue to surprise you until the end.
Overall: Creature Filled Horror.