Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Rififi

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

You wanna see a BADASS fuckin movie, you see RIFIFI. That’s what I wish somebody woulda told me a long time ago. Instead all they told me was how excellent it was. Now look, you know how much I care about excellence. But there’s alot of excellence in this world. I think Criterion is on number 300 or something now. How’m I supposed to watch every one of them? It won’t happen.

Unfortunately no matter how many movies a guy watches, there’s still ten thousand you’re never gonna get to watch in your lifetime. So you hear the name of these classic movies over and over again and sometimes you think “yeah yeah yeah, great movie, I know” but it doesn’t even occur to you maybe you should watch it. Look man, I don’t mind black and white, I don’t mind subtitles, I know this is Criterion Collection. But I need a hook. Nobody told me “it’s about four ex-cons planning a jewel heist.” That’s all you had to say, man. (read the rest of this shit…)

xXx: State of the Union

Friday, April 29th, 2005

When Rob Cohen, the director of the original XXX first talked about a sequel, it was still gonna star Vin Diesel. And I read some interview where he said one of the ideas he had took place in Washington DC, and it would have a scene where Vin rode a mountain bike up the capital dome.

Well it’s a low down shame we didn’t get to see that but otherwise XXX2 (which ended up being made with Ice Cube instead of Diesel and Lee Tamahori instead of Cohen) is more fun than the first one in almost every way. I’m not saying it’s a good action movie or even a great bad movie, but as an honest individual who tells it like it is I gotta cop to enjoying the fuckin thing. (read the rest of this shit…)

Scarface

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Shit man, there’s no other movie like SCARFACE, is there? Even the original SCARFACE, I bet, is nothing like SCARFACE. We got several high quality American gangster epics, but they’re always about gangsters of the Italian American persuasion and usually in New York, New Jersey or Las Vegas or somewhere. This one feels so unique because it’s about Cuban-Americans and it takes place in Miami. It has a real strong sense of place. Its wicked heart pumps the tainted blood of that godforsaken Floridian peninsula, even though they got chased out of there and had to film most of the movie on neutral territory in L.A.

This is the perfect exaggerated painting of the 1980s and the cocaine wars. The good old days. And it even makes you root for this psychotic egomaniac shithead, Tony Montana (Al Pacino [Scarface]). ‘Cause first you see him as an immigrant getting hassled by the man, working as a dishwasher and tough talking his way into bigger work, dropping off some money for some cocaine. His higher ups (small time hoods themselves) don’t believe in him. But when the dealers pull a cross on Tony and his friends and it turns into an insane bloodbath (literally, come to think of it, because alot of the mayhem takes place in the shower), all involved must admit that he handles it with, uh, flair. He leaves with the money and the yayo (a term now popular because of the movie), tells the middlemen to fuck off and brings it all straight to the area boss, who is very impressed. This is typical of his quick rise up the totem pole. Initiative, elbow grease, bootstraps, etc. (read the rest of this shit…)

Made in U.S.A.

Monday, April 18th, 2005

How’s this for a weird eight-legged-pig-fetus-in-a-jar of a movie: Jean-Luc Godard experimental noodling based on a Richard Stark novel! I knew it existed thanks to our friends at the Movie Database of the Internet, but I never figured I’d see it. Then I discovered a PAL CODE 2 triple feature Godard set that includes it along with PRENOM CARMEN (First Name: Carmen) and PIERROT LE FOU (Parrot Kung Fu I guess).

Now first of all I gotta admit upfront, I couldn’t make ass or tits of this picture. I didn’t get it. I know about that wave the french had over there. As in, I know they had it. I seen a couple of your Truffauts and I saw SEVEN DEADLY SINS once but that’s about it. So if you want to talk to somebody who knows what the fuck they’re talkin about when it comes to Monsieur Godard, I ain’t the one. Ask the cinemasters. There’s a couple good reviews of this on IMDb by people who know their Godards, so you can go to them for a perspective if that’s what you need. (read the rest of this shit…)

King of New York

Sunday, April 17th, 2005

In this movie Christopher Walken plays Frank White who is the King of New York. He is not literally a king but actually some sort of crime boss of New York. He’s fresh out of the joint and unlike certain heroic individuals who choose to turn their life around and follow a path of Positivity, making the world a better place through art and culture, he decides to be king of new york. But he says he’s gonna build a hospital so that makes it okay.

The director is Abel Ferrara, an asshole director who I sort of like. I mean I never met the guy obviously but he’s one of those greaseballs like Vincent Gallo where, before you even see an interview with the guy, you just get the feeling he’s an asshole. In his movie DRILLER KILLER I didn’t even realize he was the star (he used a pseudonym) and I kept thinking this star really thinks he’s hot shit, it’s not just the character. What a fuckin asshole. But then I listened to the commentary track and heard Ferrara say the same exact thing about himself. So I had to like him. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Hot Rock and The Stepfather

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

DONALD WESTLAKE DOUBLE FEATURE:
THE HOT ROCK and THE STEPFATHER

Most of you fuckers probaly think Donald E. Westlake is just the creator of your precious Father Dowling Mysteries*, but actually he’s got a whole big resume behind him. In fact, in these parts he’s more famous as Richard Stark. I’m not sure which one is the real guy and which one is the alter ego but Richard Stark is the hard motherfucker who wrote the Parker books I love so much. Twenty Parker novels so far and also four about Parker’s part-time actor, part-time thief associate Grofield. Stark’s books inspired POINT BLANK, PAYBACK and several not as memorable but pretty good movies. (read the rest of this shit…)

City of Industry

Friday, April 1st, 2005

Here’s a small time crime picture for you, never got much attention as a child but grew up to be a pretty good movie. It starts out with Timothy Hutton stealing a car (very believable hotwire scene here with actual hammering of the dashboard, not just pulling some wires out) then going to pick up his partner for a job. They eventually get together their crew for a jewel heist, it consists of Timothy Hutton, his older brother Roy Egan (Harvey Keitel), Jorge (some guy I thought I recognized, but turns out he was only in a handful of movies before he died) and an obnoxious hotshot jackass named Skip, sort of a Stephen Dorff type (Stephen Dorff).

There is a pretty strong Richard Stark feel to this for a while as they prepare their heist. No funny stuff, no fancy talk, just straight business and some primal percussion type soundtrack shit to get your heart beating. Everything goes smooth actually until after the heist when this fucker Skip decides to shoot everybody, burn down the motor home and take off with the boodle. Fucking asshole! So the rest of the movie is about Roy trying to find and kill Skip, Skip trying to have Roy killed before he finds him. Very simple. That’s what I like. (read the rest of this shit…)

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…)