Earl Hindman

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The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Review


Excellent
An archeological specimen from nearly two decades before the advent of the Metrocard, Joseph Sargent's expert thriller The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, like brethren Serpico and The French Connection, is another quintessential 1970s New York City movie that might read as alien dialect to those who aren't familiar with the geocentric love/hate relationship between the city and its inhabitants. To those who are familiar, however, the film will unfold like ghostscript, a bygone era of Abe Beame, Gotham teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, and President Ford's apocryphal claim that the city could "drop dead."

There certainly aren't any Urban Outfitters to be seen in 1970s Manhattan, though a train ride on the 6 is still a life-and-death proposition. That becomes a bit more literal for the dozen or so that are held hostage on a single car by a pack of hijackers who refer to themselves by color; a gimmick Tarantino would cop 20 years later in Reservoir Dogs. The leader is a coiled ex-soldier-of-fortune who goes by Mr. Blue (the brilliant Robert Shaw, a year before Jaws) with Green (Martin Balsam), Grey (Hector Elizondo), and Brown (Earl Hindman) under him. His foil, a metro cop named Zach Garber, is oddly played by Walter Matthau.

Continue reading: The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Review

The Parallax View Review


Very Good
Stylish yet devilishly confusing, this film has Warren Beatty as an investigative reporter trying to hunt down a conspiracy that begins with the death of a congressman and continues with the deaths of his reporter friends that are snooping into the affair. Beatty uncovers a company behind it all called the Parallax Corporation (think Scientology meets The Manchurian Candidate), which may be a kind of temp agency for assassins. Naturally, he applies for membership, getting in far deeper than he ever realized. Dreamily designed and archly retro, I had to watch bits and pieces three or four times just to put it all together.

Continue reading: The Parallax View Review

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