365 films, 365 days, a year of cinema.

Waking Life September 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — welch742 @ 3:19 am


Day 33


Just by looking at the picture above, it is very clear that Waking Life is not your typical film.  Everything from its look to its plot, to its characters are radically different than any film I have seen in a while.  In fact, after watching Waking Life I’m not sure if it is correct to classify it as movie/film without using major clarifications.  Waking Life is in reality a long philosophical journey that covers all aspects of life and dreams.  It is built around the lucid dreams of the main character, whose name and back story we don’t know, but mainly he is a vehicle for the viewer to experience many conversations about what life, reality, and dreams have to do with real life.  Through in the fact that Waking Life was overdrawn and has varying levels of animation quality the film can sometimes be a little more different than it needs to be.  However, it has a lot of interesting things to say about philosophy, science, and general life topics which makes it a worthwhile film to view.

I won’t even try to describe the plot for you since it really isn’t all that important, but I feel like some explanation for the cell shaded look of the film is in order.  Waking Life was actually shot normally using digital video, but Richard Linklater (yes the same guy who did Before Sunrise and Before Sunset) decided to have artists digitally draw shapes and colors over the frame, giving it a pseudo-animated look.  This is the same type of look used in the film A Scanner Darkly, but in this film the quality and consistency of the animation is very varied.  It is tough to describe the overall look in the film without having seen it, but here are two images that give an example of the varied look the movie has.














This technique is called rotoscoping, and while it can be somewhat distracting at times, it provides a dream look that keeps the film grounded in its themes.  It also allows for Linklater to use fluid transitions and on-screen animations to emphasize some of the more “out there” theories and actions used in the film.  It”s a very unique way to visually present the movie and it wouldn’t work for most films, but Waking Life isn’t like most films.  It keeps you in a dreamlike and somewhat confused mindset throughout and the rotoscoping technique only heightens this distance from normal reality the film attempts to create.

The plot is just as scattered as the aesthetics, but Waking Life covers a wide variety of interesting topics and theories.  From telescopic evolution to “The Holy Moment” to talks about hitchhiking, the film covers a random assortment of crazy topics.  Some of them did move a little too far into philosophical theory, but overall Waking Life is a film that will constantly make you think.  That means it isn’t necessarily the best date movie, but it could generate some interesting conversation topics if viewed with company.  Ultimately though, Waking Life is a worthwhile film because it accentuates the individual experience.  The variety of topics and opinions can be interpreted many different ways and the nice thing about Waking Life is that Richard Linklater doesn’t push the viewer to accept any of the viewpoints he expresses.  The film merely presents various theories and allows the viewer to digest them at his own discretion.  It’s a far cry from the artificial emotion usually created in movies,  which allows it to be a much more rewarding film to watch.  While watching Waking Life I took by far the most notes I have on any film, but in hindsight there were merely aspects of the film that I found interesting, and not any technical or thematic revelations.  I figured I would spare you from them since the point of Waking Life is to take from it what you want.  However, I would definitely urge you to watch this film and take some notes of your own.


Up Next: I head back to normalcy and watch the Ben Stiller comedy The Heartbreak Kid.


Captain America: The First Avenger September 16, 2011

Filed under: In Theaters — welch742 @ 3:37 am


Day 32


Unlike some other forms of entertainment the title of a movie isn’t that important.  With books, the title is one of the biggest reasons why people will pick it up and give it a chance.  They do have plot summaries on the back cover, but unlike with film, books are unable to effectively broadcast a sense of what they will be like.  Movies have trailers to suck potential viewers in, as well as provide a short plot tease and give an idea of how they will be composed visually.  If we like a trailer a bad name isn’t going to stop us from seeing the film, and actually it seems nowadays that movie producers try to chose the least harmful titles possible.  What we are left with are very short titles that give us an idea of what we are looking at, but don’t reveal enough to push us away, Ex: Drive, Contagion, Our Idiot Brother, Warrior.  However, sometimes a title ends up saying a lot about a film even though we may not have realized it when we purchased our ticket.  Captain America: The First Avenger was one of those films.

Looking back at the title I should have been able to see it before hand, but just as the colon in the title suggests, Captain America really is an amalgamation of two different films.  On one hand you have Captain America, Marvel’s take on the origin story on one of their most beloved superheroes.  Yet, on the other hand you have The First Avenger, Marvel’s extended commercial for their big upcoming franchise hit The Avengers.  Now the split between the two films wasn’t quite as exaggerated as I make it seem above, but while Captain America was an extremely entertaining and well-crafted look at the story of Captain America, the need to tie the film into a larger story world kept it from being great.

Honestly, if Captain America: The First Avenger could’ve been a one off movie it might have been my favorite action film of the summer.  It was filled with some excellent and really likable characters, and beautifully captured the WWII aesthetic.  In particular I really liked Chris Evans as the titular hero.  I thought he would struggle to maintain Steve Rogers scrawny kid mentality throughout the film, but I thought he did an excellent job maintaining his character’s personality and motivations throughout the film.  Even when he was saving the world as a super soldier, Evans was able to portray Roger’s quiet confidence and continued anxieties.  Not to mention that Dominic Cooper was awesome as Howard Stark, and Hugo Weaving was his usual menacing self as the main villain, the Red Skull.

Still, despite these performances Captain America: The First Avenger struggled when it needed to make its main character more than what he was.  I don’t want to ruin anything, but all of the action sequences after the 2/3 mark of the film were way too over the top and didn’t have any emotional build up.  They also did not really seem to fit in with the rest of the film.  The whole first 2/3 of the movie was there to show that Captain America overcomes any of his physical limitations with heart and desire, and then they made him more superhuman than he needed to be.  Also the framing story that allows for Captain America to make it into the present really kills the emotional connection between the characters.  The first sequence pretty much gives away the ending, and it makes all of the connections Roger’s makes in the past seem hollower and unnecessary.

Overall, the film was great.  It had great action until the end, and was filled with some well-developed characters.  Its minor failures were the product of trying to make the film something more than it needed to be.  Captain America was good enough on its own.  It didn’t need to evolve into a 2 hour Avengers commercial.


Grade: 7.5/10


Up Next: I take a trip far away from Hollywood and partake in the experience that is Waking Life.


Before Sunset

Filed under: Uncategorized — welch742 @ 12:24 am


Day 31


After I finished watching Richard Linklater’s 1995 film Before Sunrise, I said in my review that I wouldn’t really be able to judge that movie without watching the 2003 sequel Before Sunset.  That was nothing against Before Sunrise, but the lack of real world grounding made me skeptical of how the movie played out.  After watching the sequel I feel much better about both movies and I’m glad that I watched Before Sunset even though I didn’t love Before Sunrise.

The sequel picks up nine years after the first movie ends with Jesse (Ethan Hawke) doing a book signing in Paris for his book whose plot very nearly mirrors his night with Celine.  Celine, having seen a sign advertising his book signing appears at the end of it and the two of them walk around the city catching up before Jesse has to go and catch a plane back to America.  The passage of nine years has had a substantial impact on both, and the dialogue in this film is far more concerned with their lives instead of their views on particular issues.  They do still move into  hypotheticals, but this time when they do it is clear that it is based more on their experiences.  Some of the cliffhangers from the first movie are answered like whether or not they went back to Austria six months later (he did, she didn’t) or whether they had sex (twice!), but overall the conversation is about their respective lives.  Both Jesse and Celine’s lives have not gone quite according to plan, and it is clear they relish the opportunity to be able to talk frankly about their successes and failures.  It makes for much more interesting conversation pieces, and the talks are far more emotional than before.

My problem with the first film was that the it seemed more that both Jesse and Celine fell in love with the idea of a perfectly honest night, and not with each other.  However, Before Sunset is excellent at showing just how comfortable the two are with each other, and how the presence of the other let’s them finally be completely honest with themselves.  Their ridiculous idealism hasn’t left completely, but it has been hardened by nine years of real life.  At the end of the film I still had doubts that they could make it as a real couple, but Before Sunset makes it clear that their night together had an enormous impact on both lives.  Hawkes and Delpy’s chemistry is even better than in the first film, and the slow burn between them is a pleasure to watch.  Both have significant others and many other obstacles keeping them apart, but it is clear this time around just how much they love each other.  The film even does a good job of answering many of the questions I still had, but leaving it somewhat open ended.

One of the other huge improvements over the first film is the fact that it takes place in real time.  Obviously, Linklater couldn’t have done that with the first film since it takes place over 16 hours, but Before Sunset really benefits from it.  For one Linklater uses many long takes, mainly walking shots, and these do an excellent job keeping the focus on Jesse and Celine.  The use of Paris could’ve became a distraction if Linklater used more scenic cuts, but he does an excellent job of using the location only when it made sense in the conversation.  After all, the film is only 81 minutes and the focus should be solely on Jesse and Celine, not their surroundings.  Real time also means that their conversation is extremely authentic.  We get to hear every awkward pause, every time they stumble over words, and every time they make a breakthrough.  The moment is very important for the both of them and Linklater makes sure that the audience gets to experience every moment of it.

In the end the nice thing about both Before Sunrise and Before Sunset is that they are both extremely personal films, in that every viewer will see them differently.  Essentially the films are simply moments in time, and the basic presentation in both allows you to take in whatever aspects you want.  Both films say a lot about life and love in general and depending on your worldview it is possible to interpret these films an infinite number of ways.  There is something beautiful about both the perfect moment they share in Before Sunrise and the repercussions it has in Before Sunset.  In the end, the only way to really evaluate both is based on how you felt when and after watching them.  That sounds cliche, but it’s the honest truth.


Up Next: I take in one of this year’s last summer blockbusters in Captain America: The First Avenger.  How will it stack up against the rest of the field?


Food Inc. September 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — welch742 @ 8:57 pm


Day 30


When Food Inc. was released in 2008 it received overwhelmingly positive critical and commercial attention.  I heard good things about it from everyone I knew who had seen it, with most saying that it changed the way they thought about the food industry.  At that point I was very intrigued and excited to see Food Inc., however it took me a while to actually sit down and watch the movie.  After all I love eating junk food, even though I know better, and I hate watching things that make me feel worse about my food consumption.  Still I knew at some point that I would have to let go of my pride and give Food Inc. a chance.

Now that I have seen the film I’m wondering why I worried so much in the first place.  Yes Food Inc. did make me feel bad about how poorly animals are treated by farmers and slaughterhouses.  It also made me angry about the fact that genetic patents exist, and that corn is used so poorly.  After watching the documentary I felt pretty bad about the business of food, but that feeling quickly subsided.  That’s probably because the key issue about Food Inc. is that is all about business.  There is nothing really personal at all about the documentary and that is where it falls way short.  Issue documentaries are all about addressing a serious problem and providing some potential for a solution, or at least an effective way the individual can get involved.  Food Inc. was never able to bridge that gap between problems with the industry and problems that are at the individual level.

Now that may make me seem heartless that I wasn’t able to personalize with all of the problems shown in the film and how these big, bad corporations did nothing about them, but to be honest I’m just being realistic.  These food industries exist because they are good at what they are supposed to do, which is to make money.  The methods that they use are in place because they create the highest profit margins, and while they may occasionally cause problems, they are something like 99.9% effective.  Also this means that when problems do break out they use the least-cost solution, which may seem heartless, but is just good business. Ultimately the only way problems like this get fixed is with new technology or by innovation that makes it less expensive to be able to raise and slaughter animals with the least amount of environmental harm.  My biggest problem was with the idea that life, in this case seeds, can be patented.  That seems pretty insane to me, but once again the only way to change that is with government policy.  I hate to be a cynic, but I doubt that will happen, so everyone will just have to get used to it.

At the end of the film Food Inc. tried to make a push for individual involvement and while it was an admirable one, it actually was somewhat insulting.  Their push was for people to whenever possible buy from companies who practice sustainable methods of farming or animal production.  There were so many issues brought up during the entire film, and that was really all they could push at the individual level.  Now personally, I would love to buy only organic or free-range food, but sadly i’m poor just like most of America.  If most people had enough money to make conscious food choices we would all purchase the highest quality food, but sadly most of us do not have that luxury.  Food Inc. even brings this issue up during the documentary and then at the end it decides to condense the problem as one that only rich people can afford to help with.  The fact that that was the only solution they could come up with is proof that Food Inc. is ultimately a failure.  It may succeed in showing people that we as consumers are not getting the best product, but then the only solution provided is just to buy the best product.  That is not an answer or even a suggestion that is acceptable nowadays.  I felt even less empowered than I did before watching the film and that is not something that an effective issue documentary does.  Even worse, I had no food in the fridge and it was 10 o’clock at night, so I went to Wendy’s and got myself some food.  The problems in Food Inc. didn’t seem like they were mine to solve so I enjoyed my meal guilt-free.


Up Next: I provide the thrilling conclusion to Richard Linklater’s love story by watching Before Sunset.


The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Filed under: Uncategorized — welch742 @ 7:45 pm


Day 29


The top line on the poster for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance states, “Together for the first time,” and it is one of the few times when the hype was worth it.  The film combines two of the biggest Western actors, Wayne and Stewart, with the best director of Westerns, Ford, and even features an amazing supporting performance from Lee Marvin as the titular villain Liberty Valance.  The film may have come at the end of their respective careers, and of Wayne, Stewart, and Ford only Wayne made or starred in another Western of note, True Grit.  However, they all were at their best in Liberty Valance and the result is one of the best Westerns that combines the themes of both rugged Western expansion and the eventual need to bring law and order into the territory.  Liberty Valance is all about the difference between myth and truth as well as perception and reality, and how history can be a tenuous thing.  Note: Unfortunately to discuss this film I will have to ruin the ending due to the impact it has on the film’s meaning.  If you have not seen the film and don’t want the ending ruined, don’t read on.  All I will say is that The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a great Western that deserves to be seen by any fan of the genre.

The film hinges on the interactions between the two main characters Ransom Stoddard (Stewart) and Tom Doniphon (Wayne) and their respective relationship with the townsfolk of Shinbone.  Stoddard is a displaced lawyer trying to open a practice in Shinbone, while Doniphon is a rancher and gunfighter who fits in with the normal stereotypes of the old west.  The values are diametrically opposed  but they are tied together because they are both the man who shot Liberty Valance.  That might not make sense without having seen the film, but I shall explain as best I can.  Stoddard, in his attempt to use the law to bring down the murderous and thieving Valance ends up in a one on one shootout.  To the surprise of everyone in Shinbone, Stoddard appears to kill Valance with one shot, even though he has never shot a gun before, and he is praised by the townspeople.  After the incident Stoddard’s becomes a hero and is elected to represent Shinbone at the statehood convention. While their he is nominated to be the territory’s US representative and his new found fame makes him a shoo-in to win.  Stoddard, however, struggles with his guilt over murdering Valance until he is confronted by Doniphon.  Doniphon tells Stoddard that he was actually the one who shot and killed Valance, he did it from out of sight in an alley to the side of the shootout.  He then tells Stoddard that he is responsible for taking his fame and opportunity to bring order to the territory and make it a better place.  Stoddard accepts and is elected as the representative, the first step in a successful political career.

That last paragraph had a lot more plot synopsis than I normally like to include in my posts, but the particulars of that chain of events perfectly represent society’s development in the old west.  We love to glamorize the violence and chaos that made up the frontier, but we also make sure that this violence is palatable and righteous.  Larger than life figures such as Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Pat Garrett are celebrated for helping bring down dangerous outlaws, but how do we reconcile their role as both celebrated lawmen and murderous vigilantes?  It’s easy to give them credit for their actions, but the reality is that they are just as guilty of murder as the men they killed.

In Liberty Valance, Stoddard and Doniphon’s actions are used to emphasize this dichotomy between order and chaos.  Stoddard is the lawyer and their school-teacher.  He not only brings an expertise on law, but also a level-headedness and kindness not seen out of many people in the old West.  He represents the future of the community, and is the impetus in their change from caring only for themselves to acting like an actual town.  Stoddard also brings the potential for statehood, and more generally the ability to be a part of something bigger than just Shinbone.  Unfortunately, his way also means the end of men like Tom Doniphon and Liberty Valance, people who are unwilling to give up their independence for the greater good.  Yet as Stoddard learns at the end of the film, these sacrifices come with major costs, and he was lucky to have someone like Doniphon to do the dirty work.  The death of Liberty Valance brought Shinbone many great things, but at its most basic level it was a cold-blooded murder.  That is something Ransom Stoddard will always have to live with.

In that way The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is the perfect Western to usher out the careers of the genre’s greatest stars.  It is all about the landscape of the changing West and the idea that the frontier can’t live forever.  Unfortunately neither could Ford, Wayne, Stewart, and the peak of Western genre.  Just like Shinbone they all had to advance with the times and become part of the greater whole.  Still it’s nice to take a look back every once in a while.


Up Next: I sacrifice my appetite and watch the Academy Award nominated documentary Food Inc.



Double Indemnity September 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — welch742 @ 3:13 am


Day 28


So after a screwball comedy and a WW II film, Wilder moved away from both in 1944 to make the film-noir classic Double Indemnity.  When I chose Billy Wilder as my director to analyze this was one of the film’s that I was very excited to see.  I love film noir and Double Indemnity was one of the classics that established some of the standards for the noir films that followed.  Double Indemnity also was the first film that Wilder co-wrote without Charles Brackett, choosing instead to write with famous crime novelist Raymond Chandler.  This is important because this was one of the factors that led to the split between Wilder and Brackett, which is an important issue when analyzing his collective works.  This film also continues upon the work Wilder did in his first two films and it effectively combines the strong dialogue from The Major and the Minor with the shadowy lighting and harsh angles used in Five Graves to Cairo.  The result is a film that wasn’t the best film noir I’ve ever seen, but one whose visual and thematic techniques had an immense impact on the genre.

Double Indemnity revolves around the interactions between Walter Neff, an insurance salesman, Phyllis Dietrichson, the femme fatale who lures him into a plot to kill her husband, and Barton Keyes, the insurance claims manager investigating the mysterious death of Mr. Dietrichson.  However, the film is presented as a series of flashbacks, with first person narration from Neff.  This means that we know early in the film that Neff did in fact kill Dietrichson, and is going to get caught, but overall that matters less than the interactions between the main characters.  Double Indemnity isn’t a murder mystery, but an examination on guilt, greed, and manipulation.  This wasn’t the first film to use flashbacks to tell the story, but by giving away most of the ending early on the movie ensured that the interactions between the people involved in the act was more important than the end result.

It helps that Double Indemnity features excellent performances by all three leads (Fred MacMurray as Neff, Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis, and Edward G. Robinson as Keyes).  Stanwyck’s performance is thought to have helped create the femme fatale trope and she is excellent at switching between conniving and innocent, while all the way plotting to come out on top.  Her and MacMurray work well together and their power struggle and moral choices keep the film and characters fresh even when the outcome is certain.  However, the star of the film is Robinson as Keyes.  He never fails to steal the scenes he is in, and the pseudo father/son/mentor relationship he has with Neff continuously provides emotional weight to the story.

Still where Double Indemnity shines is in the innovations that Wilder included.  He already showed an excellent grasp of dramatic lighting in his previous films, but he takes it to the next level here.  Throughout the film uses the shadows from windows and doors to create tension and the feeling of being watched.  For instance he constantly uses the shadows of Venetian blinds to this effect.  Take a look at the picture below.



Clearly if you look at Neff, positioned on the left side of the frame you can see the emphasis on shadows and light.  While this tactic does not provide anything substantial to the plot it ratchets up the tension of watching and being watched.  The whole film is about trying to commit the perfect crime, and this attention to avoiding being seen works well.  Wilder also continued to use excellent angles and shot lengths to show the lack or presence of trust between the main characters.  Ultimately this visual queues may not seem important, but they reinforce all of the film’s themes and the general mood.

It’s tough to compare Double Indemnity to either of Wilder’s previous works because they are so different, but I will say this film definitely had the best combination of story and visuals.  It is a well crafted film that engages from the first frame to the last.  It’s not my favorite film noir that I have seen, for example I think Hitchcok’s Shadow of a Doubt from 1943 is better, but it’s easy to see the influence it had on later movies in the genre.  It also is the beginning of a stretch of critically acclaimed films, from now to The Apartment in 1960, that mirrors the best of any other director.  With Double Indemnity, Billy Wilder began to hit his stride and it leaves me excited to see what is next.


Up Next: For Billy Wilder his next film is the Oscar winning tale of alcoholism, The Lost Weekend.  Overall, I continue with a classic Western featuring two of the genre’s best actors, John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.


Black Narcissus

Filed under: Criterion Collection — welch742 @ 1:20 am


Day 27


If I had to wager a guess I would say that 100% of the people reading this sentence right now have never heard of the film Black Narcissus.  However, would your opinion of this unknown film change if I told you it was a movie in the esteemed Criterion Collection?  Some of you are probably still drawing a blank, but for those of you who know about the Criterion Collection I’m sure you know have a good idea of what type of film Black Narcissus is.  After all, after one glance through the list of titles in the Criterion Collection it becomes clear that most of them are what you would call “art films” or “critic’s picks”.  I would say that majority of Criterion films are foreign language classics, with other classic films and directors represented.  There aren’t many contemporary titles, and most directors are only recognizable to serious cinephiles or film studies majors.  However, that doesn’t tell the whole story of the Criterion Collection, which aims to take forgotten cinema classics and bring them back for a contemporary audience.  Not to mention the extensive restoration work they have done to bring films to Blu-Ray quality.  Yet, there still exists a serious stigma attached to films designated by Criterion, and many people feel like these films are not for mass consumption.  So every so often I will include a film from the Criterion Collection and outside of analyzing what I like about the film, I will also make a recommendation if it is a movie the common man could enjoy.

Black Narcissus was the first movie that I have ever seen from the famous British directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, more commonly known as “The Archers”.  I had heard that their specialty was the use of technicolor to provide lush sets and atmospheres for their films and in that regard Black Narcissus does not disappoint.  The film tells the story of a group of British nuns who attempt to start a convent high in the Himalayas, and their struggles with the environment, clashing cultures, and their own psyche.  It is a legitimately creepy film, and part of that comes from the unique way that “The Archers” choose to shoot the film.  It was released in 1947, in a time where special effects were non-existent, so to create the look of being in a Himalayan setting they used 2D matte painting and landscapes as the backgrounds.  For instance if you look at the picture in the header, all of the space behind and to the right of the convent is actually a blown up landscape painting.  This does create some awkward exterior shots, but overall the variations in depth and their ability to control color give the film a unique look.

In Black Narcissus color is the name of the game, and “The Archers” use the pure whites of the nun’s outfits, and the vibrant colors of both the backgrounds and local’s costumes to emphasize the disconnect between cultures.  It is clear from the very beginning of the film that the Sister’s are far out of their comfort level, and their struggle to adapt both mentally and culturally gives the film tension that slowly builds until it bubbles over.  The emphasis on color also allows Powell and Pressburger to utilize long shots and different angles to show the layers of interaction between the convent, the Sisters, and the local inhabitants.  These are intertwined with many close-ups of faces where we get a better idea of the real mental state of everyone involved.  The story may be slow, but Black Narcissus is always interesting visually which made it a much easier movie to digest than I expected.

So outside of Black Narcissus‘ technical achievements, how does it hold up to a modern audience?  As I mentioned before, the film’s plot is definitely slow, and it is clear “The Archers” emphasized visual appeal than creating a well thought out story.  That doesn’t mean the plot is boring, but it does have some very awkward sections that could’ve been left out.  Powell and Pressburger try to include a weird B-story involving a romance between a Prince and a sinful young woman who stays at the convent, but it feels like it was added to appease the studio.  “The Archers” never really had any commercial success and that plot line felt like their attempt to make the film more marketable.  However, the real meat of the story is the Sister’s struggles to adapt to their new home, and how it affects their psyche.  It actually does work decently well as a thriller near the end of the film, but it takes so long to get there I doubt the average viewer would want to stick it out.  However, I would recommend the film to anyone who loves the old-school look of technicolor or likes emotional dramas.  It also does feature some solid performances from Deborah Kerr as the head nun, David Farrar as the British caretaker of the convent, and Kathleen Byron as the creepy and sinister Sister Ruth.


Art Film, Mainstream Appeal, or In-Between: Black Narcissus ends up falling solidly in-between.  It certainly isn’t an art film, but even in its time it struggled to be mainstream.   However, it is from 1947 so a lot of that may come from the time it was produced.  I will leave you with a a haunting image of Kathleen Byron from the film, so even if you never watch the film it will at least affect your sleep.



Up Next: My look at Billy Wilder continues with the 1944 noir classic Double Indemnity.  It is considered one of Wilder’s best films, but will it live up to the hype?