Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Parker

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

tn_parkerstathamWell, yep. I’m afraid we saw this coming. Academy Award nominated director with unfortunately appropriate name Taylor Hackford’s adaptation of Richard Stark’s Parker book Flashfire is not very good.

Jason Statham plays Parker, the cold-hearted career criminal, professional problem solver and single-minded seeker of money. Or he’s supposed to be that character, anyway. He’s involved in a robbery but the other guys on the team want to use the loot as seed money for another heist, and he doesn’t want to. They shoot him and dump him in the water, but he survives and comes looking for them, planning to steal the proceeds from this other heist.

Michael Chiklis is Melander, the leader of the other heisters, who we don’t really get to know much about. Clifton Collins, Jr. is also on the crew, but I couldn’t name a single character trait for him other than Clifton Collins, Jr. looks a little older than last time I saw him in a movie. Parker wears a cowboy hat and pretends to be a Texas oilman so that he can look at mansions in Palm Beach and figure out where Melander and friends are hiding out. Jennifer Lopez plays Leslie, the real estate agent who shows him around, figures out that he’s not really Texan, and pushes her way into his scheme. (read the rest of this shit…)

Camouflage

Monday, January 21st, 2013

I wonder if they considered Leslie Nielsen for THE BOONDOCK SAINTS?

FROM THE OUTLAW VAULTS: I never get to take Martin Luther King Day off at my job, but I’m gonna simulate taking a day off here on outlawvern.com by posting an old review of a Leslie Nielsen movie you never heard of. This is a review I came across on my hard drive that I wrote two years ago shortly after Nielsen’s death, but never quite finished or posted. It’s not a movie I’m gonna go back and rewatch in order to complete the review, but I didn’t want to waste all that typing, either. So here it is.

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Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t find myself renting some 2001 Leslie Nielsen movie I never heard of. But the poor guy died recently and I happened to notice this one was written by Billy Bob Thornton (with his partner Tom Epperson and some guy who was in SPIDERBABY), so I wanted to see what the deal was.

 

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City Heat

Monday, January 14th, 2013

tn_cityheatCITY HEAT is a light-hearted gangster movie from 1984 that attempts to combine the powers of two of its era’s biggest icons of manliness: grimacing Clint and wisecracking Burt. They also have Richard Roundtree in there, but he’s playing kind of a weasel, so he’s not able to perform as a representative of blaxploitation swagger.

Burt is a behind-on-his-payments gumshoe, Clint is the Lieutenant who used to be his partner before he quit the force. Now they act like they hate each other, but of course they team up and work pretty well together. Their first scene together is a good one: Clint sits at the counter in a diner, drinking his coffee, staying out of it while two mafia thugs beat the shit out of Burt. He wants nothing to do with it until he gets bumped and spills some of his coffee, then he gets pissed. (read the rest of this shit…)

Killing Them Softly

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

I really thought it was a sure thing. Andrew Dominik, director of CHOPPER and THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD: THE MOTION PICTURE, doing another crime movie, this time based on the book Cogan’s Trade by George V. Higgins. I haven’t read it but I loved a different one by him, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, a book about small time hoods that’s made up mostly of long conversations, sometimes going for long stretches without any description, but never getting boring. And also made into a good movie.

After a long wait and a title change and everything we finally got Dominik’s movie, and it’s got all the great things I assumed would be in it: really good performances, a strong sense of tone, a willingness to take its fuckin time, lots of visually inventive scenes, lots of talking (in a good way), some brutality. It’s a solid, arty crime movie that I can almost love, but it also does this thing that makes me kinda hate it. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

I saw KILLING THEM SOFTLY today and I’m working on the review right now, and that made me realize that when I finally caught up with the director’s previous movie earlier in the year I didn’t ever post a review of it. But it turns out I did write some stuff in my notebook, so I dug that up and I don’t mean to brag but I am a pretty good typist so here is a quickie review for you, friends.

THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD has gotta be the longest title to a movie that I’ve ever reviewed. What’s that, 17 syllables? THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS is only 11, LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GAHOOLE is 12 or 13 (depending on your pronunciation of “owls”), and both of those have colons I think, so that softens the blow. This has no colons. This title is amazing.
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The Paperboy

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

“If anyone’s gonna pee on him, it’s gonna be me!”

THE PAPERBOY is the new one from Academy Award nominee for Best Director Lee Daniels. That’s the guy that did PRECIOUS, BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE as well as SHADOWBOXER, BASED ON THE IDEA THAT HELEN MIRREN AND CUBA GOODING JR. ARE ASSASSINS AND SHE RAISED HIM BUT ALSO THEY’RE FUCKING AND SHE HAS CANCER. I feel like the critical community embraced PRECIOUS without really picking up on how nutty it was, or doing a background check on Mr. Daniels’s previous work. So they did cartoony “wh-wh-whUHHH?” double-takes when THE PAPERBOY played at Cannes and had a part where Nicole Kidman territorially pisses on Zac Efron from HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL. Because it’s a Lee Daniels movie.
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Lawless

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Remember after THE ROAD director John Hillcoat had this movie called THE WETTEST COUNTY IN THE WORLD that was written by his THE PROPOSITION writer (and famed singer) Nick Cave, he had at-that-time-hot-stuff Shia LaBeouf signed on and everything but nobody would fund the fuckin thing. Then suddenly a mysterious benefactor named Megan Ellison comes into Hollywood and gives him money and gives P.T. Anderson money to make THE MASTER and Andrew Dominik to do KILLING THEM SOFTLY and a bunch of other guys like this. So the legends were true, there are some good rich people out there.
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Tightrope

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

After some family related emotional exhaustion this Thanksgiving I thought it would be a good time to seek the comfort of the ol’ Clint Eastwood box set. Clint and his movies are always there for us, even if we chose not to follow his political advice. He forgives us, that’s why his movies are still there.

Unfortunately when I flipped through the set the first one I came to that I didn’t remember seeing was TIGHTROPE. And it’s a pretty good movie but let’s just say it’s not the most wholesome and thankful one. It’s pretty nasty. This is about him exploring the sexual underworld to catch a serial killer-rapist. Pre-CSI sex crimes shit, with a not so pleasant view of humanity, in my opinion. And that’s including the good guys.
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The Samaritan

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Samuel L. Jackson, these days maybe he doesn’t get the greatest roles. I mean it’s cool that David Hasselhoff handpicked him as his replacement when he passed on Dr. Fury or whatever in the Marvel Comics Books movies, but that’s a supporting player. You don’t see him carrying too many movies anymore. That’s why I had some hopes for this lower budget crime picture produced by IFC and given a very limited theatrical release, probly less screens than he has lines in THE AVENGERS.
(read the rest of this shit…)

The Lost

Friday, October 26th, 2012

THE LOST pulled me in right away. On the screen it says “Once upon a time, a boy named Ray Pye put crushed beer cans in his boots to make himself taller.” And to the tune of what sounds like an old rock ‘n roll tune (but is actually a modern song I guess – the time period of the movie is indistinct) we see these boots strutting awkwardly toward an outhouse. Their owner surprises a buxom young girl (Erin Brown, better known as Misty Mundae) on her way out, buck naked. “I thought we were alone out here,” she says, embarrassed. He asks her if she has a cigarette.

This could go different ways, but since the movie is based on a Jack Ketchum novel I think you can guess it’s gonna be one of the bad ones. After they part ways Ray (Marc Senter) hornily spies on the girl and her female companion (Ruby Larocca) before going back to his two friends Jenn (Shay Astar) and Tim (Alex Frost, who I didn’t recognize as the main kid from Gus Van Sant’s ELEPHANT). And he does that horny thing – he can’t stop thinking about what to do with these girls, but he keeps circling around trying to play nonchalant for a while before he tries to convince them to go look at these girls, which clearly doesn’t please Jenn. (read the rest of this shit…)