Dirty Money (Un Flic) review

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Dirty Money (Un Flic) review

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed May 06, 2009 9:07 pm

What is the deal with Judge Stewart's review for this movie? Half the review is about the shock of it being a French movie, and the potential "problem" of someone picking it up by mistake. Fortunately, he reassures us that it's "not as bad as [we're] thinking." The final charge includes a criticism of LionsGate for not blatantly advertising the language on the front of the DVD packaging. As if international films, especially classics, didn't have enough trouble getting exposure in North America, now distributors should be warning skeptical viewers away (despite the fact that an expertly made heist film like this might actually encourage someone to broaden their cultural horizons)? I would expect the critics at the Verdict to encourage a slightly more worldly outlook on foreign cinema. Besides, the packaging is no more misleading than that of any other international title I've encountered.
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Re: Dirty Money (Un Flic) review

Postby BenSaylor » Thu May 07, 2009 2:13 pm

"Expertly made heist film"? That's Le Cercle Rouge, which Un Flic never comes close to touching in terms of quality. To me, Un Flic, while not a complete disaster, is nonetheless a shadow of the director's earlier work. Also, I'm not sure whether someone who had no familiarity with French cinema and/or existential French crime thrillers would want to watch any more if Un Flic was their first dip in either or both of those pools.
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Re: Dirty Money (Un Flic) review

Postby Andrew Forbes » Thu May 07, 2009 2:42 pm

BenSaylor wrote:"Expertly made heist film"? That's Le Cercle Rouge, which Un Flic never comes close to touching in terms of quality. To me, Un Flic, while not a complete disaster, is nonetheless a shadow of the director's earlier work. Also, I'm not sure whether someone who had no familiarity with French cinema and/or existential French crime thrillers would want to watch any more if Un Flic was their first dip in either or both of those pools.

It takes a lot to approach Le Cercle Rouge. Un Flic may not have the depth of Melville's most masterful films, but in terms of craft, style and pacing, it is very well made (barring the awful miniature work). When choosing what movie to use to ease a mainstream-oriented viewer into French crime movies, I'd choose the shallow-but-stylish 90-minute job over the 140-minute masterpiece. Taste is acquired gradually.

And, I repeat: the packaging is no more misleading than most of the other international releases out there.
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Re: Dirty Money (Un Flic) review

Postby Dan Mancini » Thu May 07, 2009 5:34 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:And, I repeat: the packaging is no more misleading than most of the other international releases out there.

Except for the fact that Un Flic was never released under the name Dirty Money prior to this DVD (that I know of, anyway). That smacks a little of "let's change the name so people who don't like subtitled French films will check it out...and not like it, since it's a subtitled French film; also, let's design the DVD case so it looks like a sequel to Layer Cake"-style marketing.
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Re: Dirty Money (Un Flic) review

Postby Andrew Forbes » Fri May 08, 2009 8:51 am

Dan Mancini wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:And, I repeat: the packaging is no more misleading than most of the other international releases out there.

Except for the fact that Un Flic was never released under the name Dirty Money prior to this DVD (that I know of, anyway). That smacks a little of "let's change the name so people who don't like subtitled French films will check it out...and not like it, since it's a subtitled French film; also, let's design the DVD case so it looks like a sequel to Layer Cake"-style marketing.

I suppose. But browsing through the world cinema section at HMV, I really don't see a lot of difference between this foreign-language release and others. At least they stuck a picture of the Eiffel Tower on the front. And the first sentence in the synopsis refers to the main character as a Paris detective.
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Re: Dirty Money (Un Flic) review

Postby Dan Mancini » Fri May 08, 2009 11:16 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:I suppose. But browsing through the world cinema section at HMV, I really don't see a lot of difference between this foreign-language release and others. At least they stuck a picture of the Eiffel Tower on the front. And the first sentence in the synopsis refers to the main character as a Paris detective.

In order to sufficiently protect subtitle-hating viewers from needless suffering, they should have included pictures of a baguette and a beret on the cover, too. It's only common courtesy.
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Re: Dirty Money (Un Flic) review

Postby Steve T Power » Sat May 09, 2009 7:44 am

Dan Mancini wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:I suppose. But browsing through the world cinema section at HMV, I really don't see a lot of difference between this foreign-language release and others. At least they stuck a picture of the Eiffel Tower on the front. And the first sentence in the synopsis refers to the main character as a Paris detective.

In order to sufficiently protect subtitle-hating viewers from needless suffering, they should have included pictures of a baguette and a beret on the cover, too. It's only common courtesy.


Or just printed the following descriptive on the cover:

"An Existential French Heist Film!"

Then again, they probably wanted to sell more than 4 copies.
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Re: Dirty Money (Un Flic) review

Postby JimS » Sat May 09, 2009 8:32 pm

My point was that viewers who don't normally pick up French films shouldn't be discouraged by subtitles. I led off the review with the idea that a renter might pick it up by mistake--a possibility I suspect the film distributors were hoping for in changing the title and putting a prominent picture of Richard Crenna on the cover--because it was a good opportunity to make that point.
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