Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

City On Fire

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

CITY ON FIRE, a 1987 Hong Kong crime movie by director Ringo Lam, is a vehicle for Chow Yun Fat’s charm. He’s not a God of Pistols, he’s one of these fuckup characters who loves the ladies but does pretty terrible with them. In a restaurant he argues with two different women, one I thought was his wife and the other his mistress, but that later seems to be wrong. Anyway one of them seems to be leaving him for an older guy who owns the restaurant, so he gets into a confrontation and a brawl.

The cops bring him in for what seems like questioning but is actually a meeting. It turns out he’s an undercover cop, or at least he was, but he doesn’t want to do it anymore. His boss pushes him into it, so he gets a couple guns out of a bowling alley locker and sells them to a gang of jewel thieves.

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Cop Land

Monday, September 17th, 2012

I always thought COP LAND was a sequel to WESTWORLD, but I guess it’s actually a police drama about a small town in New Jersey set up by the mob to shelter corrupt New York cops outside of the city limits. Could use some out of control robots obviously but otherwise it’s a good movie.

As the movie opens Freddie (Sylvester Stallone) is in a small diner where cops hang out, playing a cop-themed pinball machine. That’s how he spends his birthday. He’s drunk and can’t stop playing, is so into it he takes his sheriff keys to go open up a parking meter and get more quarters. This is him, playing a game at being a cop, watching the city cops talk, they get mad that he’s looking at them. And he can’t even hear what they’re saying anyway because he went deaf in one ear saving a drowning girl when he was young. It keeps him off the NYPD and makes him have to keep having people repeat things to him.
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Potnah

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

In these, the last days of movies that come in boxes, we still face the allure of a mysterious DVD cover. You’re in the video store and you come across some obscure movie you never heard of before, and you can’t stop wondering what the fuck it is. And eventually you have to watch it.

Or at least I do. I’ve been doing this thing lately, partly thanks to feedback from you guys, of submitting links to my reviews to the “external reviews” section of the corresponding entries on IMDb. I stopped doing that years ago so I’ve been trying to catch up, going through all the old reviews and sending them in. It forces me to see how many reviews are already linked for all kinds of movies.
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Takers

Monday, September 10th, 2012

TAKERS is a heist movie that features Paul Walker (THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 1,2,4-present) and Hayden Christensen (STAR WARS 2-3) as thieves, Jay Hernandez (HOSTEL, CARLITO’S WAY: RISE TO POWER) as one of the cops that’s out to get them, and Johnathon Schaech as their fence. Holy shit, this is like the EXPENDABLES of likable but bland, inarticulate would-be leading men! I bet they’re looking at Chris Klein for part 2. Maybe Scott Speedman.

Nah, that’s a cheap shot. The truth is I sort of like all those guys, or at least root for them to prove everybody wrong. Walker seems too nice to hate, and he’s been in a bunch of movies that I’ve enjoyed, and even been good in some of them. Hernandez – I liked the HOSTEL movies. Schaech channeled Swayze well in ROAD HOUSE 2. Christensen is all right, he’s just going down a path I cannot follow.
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Breathless (1983)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

I gotta confess coming to this one from a place of cinematic ignorance. I’ve seen the original Godard movie, but I don’t remember jack shit about it. I thought it was pretty good, I believe. That’s about all I got. Still, I’m sure less people could tell you anything about the remake than everything about the original. So this makes me smart.
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True Romance

Monday, August 20th, 2012

TRUE ROMANCE is an entertaining, uniquely textured crime movie, a celebration of youthful love, kitsch, Asian exploitation cinema, and great character actors. At the time it seemed like a new feel, especially coming from Tony Scott. Now it’s more notable as a record of young, undisciplined Quentin Tarantino manning the word processor. (Roger Avary was hired to restructure the original non-linear story and write an ending where the hero doesn’t die – yeah, that sounds like young QT all right.)
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Boogie Boy

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

I always root for Mark Dacascos to be in something really good. I love ONLY THE STRONG, and he’s in some other fun ones, like the ridiculous CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE. I’ve watched his movie DRIVE a couple times, not the one with Ryan Gosling but the one with Mark Dacascos. And Kadeem Hardison and Britney Murphy. People used to always try to push that one on me and I never really got into it, but he’s pretty good. He’s a good martial artist. I was always curious about this little known one from 1998 ’cause it’s him starring in some kind of crime movie executive produced by Roger Avary. Could be interesting, right?

Could’ve been. Wasn’t really. But here are a few words about it for the historic record.
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NATURAL BORN KILLERS addendum 2: revised third draft script, 1990, by Quentin Tarantino

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

After watching the movie again, and then reading about the production again, I realized I really had to go back to the source again in order to really understand it. The script is available at various places online and has also been published in actual book form. And it’s drastically different from the finished movie.

The opening scene is basically the same. Mickey and Mallory in a diner, Mickey eating key lime pie, Mallory dancing to the jukebox (she steals the quarter from a Jerry’s Kids donation jar), some rednecks move in on her and it turns into a bloodbath.
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NATURAL BORN KILLERS addendum 1: Killer Instinct

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

 Killer Instinct: How Two Young Producers Took on Hollywood and Made the Most Controversial Film of the Decade by Jane Hamsher

I got alot of problems with this book, but I kinda recommend reading it if it’s a subject you’re interested in. It’s got some funny stories about Oliver Stone and the crazy antics of Hamsher’s partner Don Murphy, probly best known now as a producer on the TRANSFORMERSes, but I remember his name because of many belligerent message board posts and open letters he’s written over the years. Because I’ve read so many of those it’s hard for me to buy Hamsher’s portrayal of him as a lovable madman, but there are good stories about him that aren’t about him yelling at anybody. I dug the one where it’s the middle of the night after a long hard shoot and he manages to get Oliver Stone and the whole crew excited about staying later for a product placement shot of a truck so they can all get free cowboy boots.
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Natural Born Killers

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Years ago I saw NATURAL BORN KILLERS, and I hated it. But that was years ago. Like Woody Harrelson says in the opening scene about the last time he ate key lime pie, I was a different person then. I’ve mellowed over the years. I’m more open to crazy shit and mega-acting. I’m not as strident about certain things. I’m ready to appreciate it as a weird crime movie, maybe, even if it still comes off as a ridiculously heavy-handed message movie about the most obvious fucking message in the world (have you noticed how the media exploits violence?). So let’s give it the same respect we give the pie. Let’s give it its day in court.

Of course, I got no clue why somebody would be skeptical about key lime pie. Maybe that’s the best clue into Mickey Knox’s derangement. Quentin Tarantino sure liked writing about pie when he was young. He wrote the original script this was based on but would only accept a “story by” credit after it was heavily re-written by Oliver Stone, Stone’s buddy Richard Rutowski and David PERMANENT MIDNIGHT Veloz.
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