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Lots of grain and gristled chins


I watched the HD DVD release of Running Scared last week. I can’t say I particularly warmed to the film it all, unfortunately. On paper, it sounds like an interesting premise (a minor gangster is charged with disposing of a gun used to kill an undercover cop, but the kid living next door to him steals it, uses it to shoot his abusive father and runs off, prompting the aforementioned gangster to head off on a madcap chase through the city to track the kid down and get rid of the gun), but, as is usually the case with me and gangster movies, it didn’t click at all. I found it all a bit boring, to be perfectly honest, with the occasional inspired idea (the climax, set at an ice rink, is pretty unique) not really doing enough to hold it all together. It’s a shame, because I really liked writer/director Wayne Kramer’s earlier film, The Cooler. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

At least fans of the film will not be disappointed with the HD transfer. EMS has given this movie a stellar presentation, accurately depicting the film’s heavily stylised, contrasty, grain-wrought appearance. Given the often jittery camerawork, and the fact that it is the moving grain particles that gives the film much of its detail, the static screenshots below might not completely do it justice, but take my word for it, this is a very, very nice transfer, and one that would probably have been in my personal Top 10 (or at least Top 15) transfers of 2007 if I’d seen it in time for it to qualify.

Running Scared
(EMS, Germany, VC-1, 20.9 GB)

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Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 1:53 PM | Comments: 6
Categories: Cinema | HD DVD | Technology



To be fair to the genre you do seem to pick basically the most hum drum and uninteresting gangster films to watch. I would agree that quite a number are terrible particularly of the more recent films from the Uk and America but that is true for every genre basically.

Here is a list of some of my favourites through the years:
The Penalty
The Public Enemy
Scarface (both versions)
Pepe le Moko
The Roaring Twenties
White Heat
Salvatore Giuliano
The Godfather I & II
The Long Good Friday
Once Upon a Time in America
The Untouchables
Miller's Crossing
Carlito's Way
Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead

Posted by: , January 22, 2008 2:52 PM


Is there a huge gulf between a gangster film and a crime film? RONIN, USUAL SUSPECTS, LA CONFIDENTIAL, HEAT, these are all great, great modern movies.

Posted by: Charlie Farley, January 22, 2008 4:14 PM


Nice list and pleased you included The Long Good Friday.

A few supplements;

The Departed
King of New York
Reservoir Dogs
Mean Streets
Donnie Brasco

Posted by: Avanze, January 22, 2008 4:18 PM


By far my favorite film of 2006.

Posted by: ARCVILE, January 23, 2008 3:08 AM


This is, indeed, a terrific piece of entertainment.

Posted by: Anon, January 23, 2008 9:54 AM


Anyone who picks a Paul Walker film as their favourite anything needs a good hug.

Posted by: anephric, January 24, 2008 11:01 AM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:


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