#1135 Trouble in Mind (1985)

I wish I’d checked out the poster of Trouble in Mind before watching the movie as I was more than a puzzled at first what to make of the movie that first looks like your ordinary film noir influenced action movie featuring a cop beaten by life.

Trouble in Mind is all this, but what sets it apart from similar movies is its comedic, surreal tones that I first thought were completely unintentional misfires by the director Alan Rudolph. But I’m not completely to blame for this as the movie starts pretty normal but turns somewhat quirky only later as the story moves on to showing the underworld of the fictional Rain City.

While I did not care much for Trouble in Mind, I did find something intriguing in its setting of an alternative timeline combining 50s and 80s and it will go my list of movies to check out later again. I might like it more on the second run.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 48%

#1075 Kill Me Again (1989)

Kill Me Again begins kind of lame as for some reason deems necessary to rerun all the banalities of the neo-noir genre. It’s only after the movie finally starts steering away from the obvious clichés that it finds its own tone of voice, ending a much better than anticipated thriller.

Although the then-couple Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley make for a dynamic beat up private detective treacherous femme fatale duo, it’s Michael Madsen that ends up stealing the show as the menacing, force of a nature antagonist.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 81%

#852 Body Heat (1981)

A lawyer falling for a femme fatale plots to kill her husband in Body Heat, a critic acclaimed thriller that launched the career of the director Lawrence Kasdan, Kathleen Turner and one Mickey Rourke.

I admittedly hated the movie title that reeks of a cheap erotic thriller and the first half of the movie seemed to confirm this presumption. But it was after the murder that the movie really took off, turning out to be one of the best neo-noir movies of the era. Kasdan not only manages to have a good time with the genre and its clichés without the movie ending clichéd itself, but also successfully translates the elements of film noir to the present day.

I always admire the unexpected and mysterious qualities William Hurt manages to bring to his character, and in Body Heat he perfectly captures the timidness and uneasiness of a man who often goes over his head. Mickey Rourke greatly understays his welcome in the movie, appearing briefly as an arsonist.

80s-o-meter: 51%

Total: 84%