Tag Archives: crime

85 – Dial M for Murder 3D

It’s Eavesdropping’s first anniversary and we celebrate with a film Mike’s been looking forward to seeing for almost a decade. Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder was released at the tail end of the short-lived Fifties 3D craze, and has rarely been seen in that format (even at the time). But it rolls around every so often and this week came to the Electric, so we jumped at the chance to see it.

A dialogue-heavy chamber piece, Dial M for Murder might not seem the obvious choice for the spectacle of 3D, but it’s for this reason that we find it interesting. José, who has seen it before in 3D, recalls his previous impressions of the importance of items – the keys, the handbag, the scissors – and how the stereoscopy relates to it. Mike, who wrote on 3D film at university and has defended it ever since, places Dial M for Murder in context, comparing it to both 3D of the time and today, suggesting how it was ahead of its time.

Away from the 3D, we find the film slight, a trifle, though enjoyable throughout and respectful of the audience – the film’s methodical nature is lovely. We find some of the performances disappointing, and one in particular delightful. We’re glad we saw it, even though José’s spectacles were broken.

José’s note on Dial M for Murder can be found here: https://notesonfilm1.com/2013/08/07/a-note-on-dial-m-for-murder/

The podcast can be listened to in the players above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

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72 – Sicario 2: Soldado

We only thought of it in this way after we finished the podcast, but Sicario 2 is the best movie for watching on a plane we’ve ever seen. It’s pacey, entertaining, catchy, and entirely insubstantial. José discusses some issues he has with the film, including how many Mexicans it’s happy to kill while keeping every American alive, and the lack of tension in scenes that are crying out for it – Mike agrees with everything José says and knows he should have a problem with this stuff but just doesn’t. We agree that it’s a joy to see so much of Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin, and when they share the screen there’s a special feeling, but the conscience that Emily Blunt brought to the first film is perhaps lacking here.

It doesn’t live up to the first Sicario – and really, how could it – but it’s good, rough, dark fun.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

68 – Ocean’s 8

The all-female reboot of the Ocean’s franchise sees Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett leading a team of women to infiltrate and rob the Met Gala. We discuss how the heist failed to meet our expectations, the weak integration of Ocean’s personal motivation, and the underwhelming displays of glamour, but we find things to like, including Anne Hathaway’s performance in particular and how the film depicts the characters eating. But ultimately we’re left with the question: If a woman can’t get the job directing a film like this, just what is she allowed to direct?

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

49 – Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

We try out Mubi, a curated streaming service that gives you 30 films at any one time, and only 30 days in which to watch them. Our choice is Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, a 1970s Italian satire on police corruption and the politics of power. It leads to discussions on its expressive imagery, its topsy-turvy plot, sexual kinks, peccadillos, and lifestyles, the performance of power and authority, and male jealousy and rage.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

29 – Molly’s Game

Eavesdropping celebrates the New Year with a snappy, sharp crime flick about the world of underground, high-stakes poker. We discuss the material’s weakness, our different takes on Molly’s character, the film’s descent into schmaltz, daddy issues, Sorkin’s directorial mediocrity, the audience’s response to his dialogue, and the way Star Wars is dominating every bloody screen in every bloody cinema. At the end José makes Mike choke on his own laughter.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

19 – Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

We visit Sidney Lumet’s classic version of Murder on the Orient Express to compare and contrast with Kenneth Branagh’s. Which performances do we prefer, what do we make of the differences in style and tone? José, with Poirot-esque precision, interrogates Mike, because it’s his first time seeing the 1974 film, and indeed it turns out that Mike is the real murderer.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

18 – Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Innocence meets experience. Mike doesn’t know whodunnit; José remembers the 1974 adaptation fondly. Mike wants to talk plot; José wants to talk cast. Mike’s enthusiastic about the film’s Poirot-centric approach; José is less keen. Although we approach it from different angles and don’t always see eye-to-eye, we find a great deal of food for thought in Kenneth Branagh’s film of Agatha Christie’s classic novel.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.