Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Sin City

Friday, April 1st, 2005

There’s alot of comic strip books turned into movies but usually they Hollywood em up alot. They change the story and the super hero clothes and turn brits into americans and alot of the fans are fundamentalists so they get pretty upset. Batman doesn’t have nipples because bats don’t have nipples, Super-man isn’t supposed to wear that shade of blue it is actually a different shade of blue, that kind of thing.

So what Robert Rodriguez did for this comic strip SIN CITY, he actually brought in the writer/cartoonist from the comic, made him co-director, and apparently pretty much used the comic as storyboards and script. He used his cool digital movie cameras and convinced a great cast to come in and fuck around in front of green screens and used computers for almost all the backgrounds. According to my team of expert nerds, there are scenes and lines from the funny pages that they cut out here and there and they mixed things together a little bit at the beginning in order to combine three stories into one. But for the most part the shots are based on the drawings and everything written on the page is said out loud in the movie. An obsessive level of faithfulness never thought possible even by Harry Knowles himself. Maybe the most faithful movie adaptation of anything ever, including plays, novels and trading cards. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Woman Chaser

Thursday, March 24th, 2005

Here’s one of those small time, low budget independent movies you never really heard of, because it never really caught on. This one’s not even on DVD, and I think it’s out of print on VHS. Made in 1999 and with no recognizable faces except the star, Patrick Warburton, that big deep-voiced goofball I guess was on Seinfeld.

The twist is, this movie is pretty good. This is one of the rare independent rookie movies that remind you why you try watching all the other ones – ’cause you’re hoping you’ll find one of these ones. I picked it up because it’s one of only a handful of movies based on books by Charles Willeford, the writer of COCKFIGHTER (book and movie) and MIAMI BLUES (book only). I haven’t read this book but seeing the movie, I’m betting it’s a great one. (read the rest of this shit…)

Hostage

Monday, March 14th, 2005

Legend has it that the times we’re in create the movies we watch. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes subconsciously. I mean who the fuck knows how it happens but the fears and the turbulence and the shittiness of troubled times somehow soaks into the celluloid and poisons the screen. So Vietnam and racial unrest soaked into the PLANET OF THE APES pictures, for example. The atomic age bred giant crabs, Hiroshima gave birth to Godzilla, Ronald Reagan caused ROCKY 4 and RED DAWN, AIDS made THE FLY.

Well, HOSTAGE is not a political movie but it is a Bruce Willis action thriller for the fucked up age we are currently being sat on by. In the DIE HARD pictures he fought terrorists, so now that terrorism is more of a realistic threat, he’s going back to fighting criminals again. But because it’s the Bush era, this is a dark, ugly, sometimes gorey thriller. A story about a bunch of psychotic, sadistic, greedy assholes terrorizing each other, and all the rest of us who get caught in the middle. A movie that wears a mask and has your wife and daughter tied and gagged in the back of a van and forces you to break your moral code and risk your life to get what it wants. It’s a real intense, well made thriller but what I’m saying is, this is 2005. Don’t expect to get blown through the back wall of the theater and have a good time and all that. (read the rest of this shit…)

Be Cool

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

This is the sequel to GET SHORTY. Based on another book by Elmore Leonard, but this book was made after the GET SHORTY movie and with the idea that it would become a movie too. So this is a movie about sequels based on a book that was a sequel to a movie based on a book. Which means there’s all kinds of metapostmodernistical type business running around calling attention to itself. Hey, look at me, I’m a character in a sequel talking about how sequels are bad. Now I’m a character in a PG-13 movie talking about how if you say fuck twice you get an R.

(John Travolta, as badass loanshark turned movie producer Chili Palmer points this out and says, “You know what I have to say about that? Fuck that.” And if only he had repeated “fuck that” again for emphasis I guess he would’ve gotten the R and I could’ve seen this movie in a quiet theater full of adults and not a fuckin high school cafeteria. But that’s a subject for a separate rant.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Maria Full of Grace

Thursday, February 17th, 2005

This is a movie about a beautiful teenage girl from Colombia who works a shitty job dethorning roses, gets in an argument with her boss, one thing leads to another and suddenly she’s pursuing other opportunities. Around the same time she finds out she’s pregnant, gets in an argument with her boyfriend and they announce they don’t love each other and begin a new journey of life travelling on separate paths. (A convenient way for the guy to avoid responsibility. Well played, deadbeat. Well played.) Also she meets a new guy and this guy has some connections with drug traffickers. Which leads to an exciting new moneymaking opportunity.

You probaly already heard of this movie so you know what it is. She becomes a drug mule. She swallows something like a dozen balloons of heroin, has to carry them on a plane to New York. She’s part of what they call “shotgunning” where they send a bunch of mules at the same time, figuring if one of them gets caught it will create a distraction for the others to get through. She knows some of the other mules (one of them is her whiny, pouty best friend) so it puts them in sort of an uneasy alliance/competition. (read the rest of this shit…)

Collateral

Monday, January 24th, 2005

First off I gotta say, Michael Mann is what you call overrated. What did he do, fucking Miami Vice – some asshole who forgot to shave fighting drug dealers in a pink shirt and no socks – we’re supposed to give the guy a fucking medal? I mean yeah it seemed like a pretty good tv show at the time but it’s not the fucking Parthenon. You belong to the city, you belong to the night. Let’s be a little more humble there, Michael Mann.

(To be honest I’m not sure what the Parthenon is, but what I mean is something good enough to last the ages and always stand as a proud beacon of achievement, etc. i.e. not Everybody Loves Raymond or even Miami Vice.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Absolute Power

Friday, January 14th, 2005

Okay, so everybody in their right mind loves the old Clint Eastwood pictures, and most people and critics love the Serious Clint Eastwood Pictures like Unforgiven, Mystic River and now Million Dollar Baby. But the period between Unforgiven and Mystic River is kind of an ignored period. The in between period is not as Serious or Important as those movies and they usually get mixed reviews. Well I was busy at the time so I missed most of these but now I decided to catch up starting with 1997’s Absolute Power.

Now this is a suspense thriller and the way it unfolds, it almost reminds me of a less flashy Brian DePalma. It even has the old DePalma voyeurism. But what I’m talking about is it takes its time setting up all the pieces and giving you the information you need a chunk at a time. (read the rest of this shit…)

Day of the Wolves

Friday, December 17th, 2004

One of Richard Stark’s most ambitious Parker novels is The Score (aka Killtown) where Parker, Grofield and a bunch of other thieves team up to knock over an entire mining town. It would make a great movie, and it already made some french movie called Mise à sac that is not available to mere americans. Day of the Wolves isn’t based on The Score but it sounded similar enough that I thought I should check and be sure. Anything to help out my man Richard Stark.

I gotta warn you, unless somebody decides to put this one out on dvd, I don’t know if anybody else is gonna find it. It’s one of those mysterious dust-covered tapes you find, recorded in EP mode, real bad full frame transfer. Movie you never heard of, director you never heard of, big cast of actors you never seen before, real low production values. The only major connection between this movie and my world is that the cinematographer, when I looked him up, turned out he did three of my favorite Steven Seagal pictures (MARKED FOR DEATH, OUT FOR JUSTICE and ON DEADLY GROUND). But let’s face it, you don’t watch Steven Seagal movies for the cinematography, or at least I don’t. So this movie is a mystery find. And usually those finds don’t amount to much. But this is one of the better ones. (read the rest of this shit…)

Ocean’s Twelve

Friday, December 10th, 2004

OCEAN’S 12 is a sequel to OCEAN’S 11 (the 2001 version [not the movie 2001, I am referring to the year 2001, the year the movie OCEAN’S 11 was made {the remake, not the original, that is why I brought up this year thing originally}]) so this will be the sequel to my review of that movie.

It turns out that the eleven do NOT die horribly as I predicted. But their past (the other movie) does catch up with them, and the sequel is all about them doing various heists in order to pay back the money, plus interest, that they stole the first time around. So that means that Ocean’s 11 actually have a net loss across the two pictures. I mean, think about that. That’s terrible! What does that say about the current state of doing a job right? You want to do the impossible, so you bring in 11 of the greatest experts from around the world, you pull it off, you win back your ex-wife, and you have a fun time doing it. And your reward is horrendous debt and threat of life and limb. That’s how this world rewards you for ambition, talent and dedication. (read the rest of this shit…)

Paparazzi

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

This is one of those mysterious movies that suddenly appeared out of nowhere one Friday night, then disappeared again a week later without so much as a puff of smoke. It straddles that blurry line between mainstream studio movie advertised on national television and straight to video thriller nobody’s ever heard of.

I actually saw an ad for it that week and I gotta admit I was a little intrigued. You just saw some dude falling down a fire escape and maybe a car flipping or something, and I thought maybe it was some gritty low budget late ’70s early ’80s style down and dirty revenge thriller. I mean there were no stars in it, it looked like the main character was that sleazeball Tom Sizemore (actually it’s Cole Hauser, some guy who looks kind of like Christian Bale but sounds kind of like Willem Dafoe). The only way they tried to make it sound like a Real Hollywood Movie was to brag that it was produced by Mel Gibson. (the guy from MAD MAX.) (read the rest of this shit…)