Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

The Sugarland Express

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

tn_sugarlandspielbergTHE SUGARLAND EXPRESS is the feature debut of young TV director Steve Spielberg. It’s hard to think of it as his first real movie when DUEL was so damn good, but officially it’s the first one he made for theatrical release. Things have really changed, haven’t they? You don’t get hungry young up-and-comers starting out in TV and then making a splash in movies. There’s great TV now but it’s not a place for visionary directors.

To commemorate the 2 (two) new Spielberg movies that came out recently I decided to finally get aorund to watching all the Spielberg movies I’ve never actually seen. This is gonna include a couple that you guys will be surprised by because everybody else in the world saw them a long time ago. But mostly it will be the “lesser” Spielbergs. Not JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS or E.T. (read the rest of this shit…)

In Bruges

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

tn_inbrugesIN BRUGES is an intimate crime story about two hitmen – I know, but hear me out – forced to stay in the titular Belgian town while things cool down after a job gone wrong. Ken (Brendan Gleeson) is the veteran who’s happy to take advantage of the down time to relax and look at tourist spots, Ray (Colin Farrell) is his young partner who has no interest and pouts like a kid dragged along on the wrong vacation. He’s also the one that fucked up the job and is racked with guilt and depression.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Elite Squad 2

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

tn_elitesquad2aka ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN (title on American poster)
ELITE TROOP 2: NOW THE ENEMY IS ANOTHER ONE (bootleg-sounding literal translation)
ELITE SQUAD (title on marquee at the Uptown in Seattle)

ELITE SQUAD 2 (as the subtitle on the title screen says) is the 2010 follow-up to the 2007 Brazilian police epic. Same director (Jose Padilha), still writing along with Braulio Mantovani (CITY OF GOD). Wagner Moura returns as Nascimento, head of B.O.P.E., the paramilitary police unit that fights the drug gangs in the favelas of Rio. This is supposed to be quite a few years later, because the baby that was born in part 1 is now a sullen teenager. Luckily they don’t make Moura wear old man makeup or anything, they just ask you to go with it.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Juice

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

tn_juiceJUICE is an early ’90s “hood movie” about four young friends in New York who fall into some stupid shit. Tired of getting picked on by the Puerto Rican kids and the cops and not having money, they decide to get a gun (just one between them) and rob a little mini-mart where the guy is an asshole and yells at them sometimes. It’s not exactly The Thomas Crown Affair they’re trying to pull off, but they’re amateurs so they fuck up this small time crime and have to deal with the aftermath. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Devil’s Double

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

tn_devilsdoubleTHE DEVIL’S DOUBLE, the new film from the director of ONCE WERE WARRIORS and THE EDGE, is the fascinating true story of a man forced to be a lookalike decoy version of Uday Hussein, the most depraved of Saddam Hussein’s two sons. But shit, I can’t lie to you – Lee Tamahori is also the director of xXx: STATE OF THE UNION and NEXT, and the story is mostly bullshit other than how the poor guy got mixed up in this business. In fact, on the DVD Tamahori talks about how he wasn’t interested in doing a true story, saying it with disgust as if we’re all on the same page and he doesn’t have to explain why it would be boring to tell an incredible truth-is-stranger-than-fiction story. But oh well. I still thought it was worth watching. (read the rest of this shit…)

Inside Out

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

tn_insideoutDespite the prestigious WWE Studios logo I had no reason to believe in this crime thriller starring the long-haired pro wrestler now credited as “Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque.” I looked up the director (Artie Mandelberg), he’s a TV guy going back to Moonlighting. The writer (Dylan Schaffer) had no credits before this one. I almost didn’t rent it, but I thought it was funny that ’90s indie queen Parker Posey was in a WWE movie. I forgot she’d already worked with Triple H in BLADE 3. Could they be on their way to becoming this generation’s William Powell and Myrna Loy? (read the rest of this shit…)

Setup

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

tn_setupBruceFrom the director that brought you BEATDOWN and the letters that brought you STEP UP comes SETUP, Bruce Willis’s first DTV action movie. (I’m not gonna count ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT). So I raise a glass to you, Bruce, on this historic occasion. They might’ve meant it to be a theatrical release, but if so they should’ve told that to the guy writing the script (Mike Behrman, GHOST RIDER: INSIDE THE ACTION). Doesn’t seem like he was expecting that level of scrutiny. (read the rest of this shit…)

Drive

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

tn_driveRemember how the driver in Walter Hill’s THE DRIVER didn’t get a name, he was just “The Driver”? The driver in Nicolas Winding Refn’s DRIVE is so minimalistic he doesn’t even get a ‘the.’ Or an ‘r’. Ryan Gosling plays said driver, a mysterious toothpick-chewing dude who’s a masterful getaway driver and does stunt driving for the movies. He also works at a garage for Brian Cranston, who helps set up his jobs and prepare his getaway cars. When not working Drive is sparking up a relationship with his neighbor, Carey Mulligan and her son. He’s better with the kid than you might think – even offers him a toothpick. (read the rest of this shit…)

House of the Rising Sun

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

tn_houseoftherisingsunI’m not familiar with Dave Bautista’s work as a WWE Superstar™, but I thought he was cool in a supporting role in my old internet pal “Demon” Dave DeFalco’s action movie WRONG SIDE OF TOWN. So when I saw he had a starring role in this movie (which credits DeFalco as an executive producer) I was sure to check it out. And I was surprised, especially watching it immediately after TACTICAL FORCE, at its level of quality. There are some issues, for sure, but it’s a serious crime drama adapted from a novel, not some shitty excuse to bring him from wrestling scene to shootout to wrestling scene. It’s a pretty decent story, actually. (read the rest of this shit…)

Blitz

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

tn_blitzBLITZ went straight to video here in the States, so I kinda expected a lesser Jason Statham action effort like CHAOS. Turns out it’s not an action movie really, it’s a gritty police drama adapted from a book by Ken Bruen. I’m not familiar with Bruen’s works. Turns out I have a copy of this book Bust that he co-wrote and Hardcase Crime put it out, but I haven’t read it yet. But I got a buddy that swears by Bruen. I guess Statham’s character Brant and some of the others are in 7 different books by him. This is book 4. (read the rest of this shit…)