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Friday, August 8, 2008

Not That I Endorse Movie-Watching While at Work…

posted by on August 8 at 13:11 PM

…but The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is available for viewing over at Hulu. I just saw it for the first time a few months ago, and it’s a really fine thriller that makes most of the heist movies made in the last few years—with their nanosecond-perfect timing and high-tech gadgetry—look stupid. Walter Matthau is great as the frumpy hand of the law, and the ending is one of my all-time favorite movie endings.


Unfortunately, Pelham is currently being remade by Tony Scott (boo!) Denzel Washington (yay!) and John Travolta (boo! unless he’s inexplicably wearing the fat lady suit he wore in Hairspray, in which case double-yay!). I fully expect it to be one of those annoying modern heist movies described above. I do think that Denzel Washington is one of the few prettyboy mega-actors who could conceivably fill Matthau’s shoes, though.

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Hulu doesn't work in Canada. >:-C

Posted by Sirkowski | August 8, 2008 1:16 PM

Another Tony Scott movie with Denzel Washington? You don't say.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 8, 2008 1:19 PM

It's also worth mentioning how awesome the score and Robert Shaw both are in the movie.

Posted by Jonah S | August 8, 2008 1:24 PM


Word. If you dig Shire's early work, check out Paul Chihara's Prince of the City.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 8, 2008 1:28 PM

speaking of prince of the city, treat williams could play matthau's character in the remake. he is older now and can play that role.

i love those old movies that show the cities of the east coast before they were gentrified.

i hope they dont remake across 110th street. i mean who would play anthony quinn? or yaphet koto?

Posted by SeMe | August 8, 2008 1:59 PM

Goddamnit, I lost my comment, but it was to say that the ending sucked. It's a throwback to '30s-'50s movie morality, where no matter how absurd, the villian must be caught.

Maybe it's in the book, but it still ruins the ending of the movie.

Otherwise it's a fine movie.

Posted by argh | August 8, 2008 2:20 PM

there was a lame TV remake with vincent d'onofrio and edward james olmos about ten years ago. it couldn't be worse than that.

how soon until the dog day afternoon remake?

Posted by chops | August 8, 2008 2:41 PM

I lobbied Quentin to show Pelham at Havana Movie Nights this summer. It is one of my all-time favorite movies, and one of the best ever '70's cop films.

How the hell can you run a goddamn railroad without swearing?

Posted by kerri harrop | August 8, 2008 3:13 PM

Why does this post give me the sudden urge to watch Midnight Run again?

Posted by Jason Josephes | August 8, 2008 3:16 PM

How strange; I saw this for the first time a few months ago too! So, so good.

Posted by Levislade | August 8, 2008 3:52 PM

The poster alone is one reason I love it. But I'm pretty sure I saw the original when it came out when I was a kid.
The good old days of the hand painted poster are long gone :( (

Posted by Diana | August 8, 2008 4:14 PM

I saw this movie recently from netflix's instant-watch collection and I have to say that I also enjoyed it quite a bit. The soundtrack is rad (and I had heard pieces used in a DJ mix from Ninjatune several years ago but didn't know where it came from).

Quentin Tarantino totally stole the "bad guys named after colors" bit for Reservoir Dogs, but I don't blame him because he steals from the best.

Watch it, it's good times.

Posted by bearseatbeats | August 8, 2008 6:19 PM

also it shows how rapid transit is supposed to work -- underground -- duh -- not running down the street as we are building here.

Posted by PC | August 8, 2008 6:34 PM

The presence of Denzel Washington augurs nothing, at best - he was in the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, which was HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE.

I have never seen Pelham 123, but have always wanted to. The soundtrack is terrific.

Posted by Phoebe | August 9, 2008 6:43 AM

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