Archive for the Crime Category

Cold In July

Posted in Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery, thriller with tags on October 20, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Jim Mickle.
Screenplay: Nick Damici, Jim Mickle.
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell, Bill Sage, Brogan Hall, Kristin Griffith, Ken Holmes.

“Well, boys, it’s Howdy Doody Time”

Jim Mickle is not a director who’s name you might instantly recognise but he’s one that’s been chipping away at career for himself. Along with writing partner Nick Damici, they’ve delivered some relatively successful, low-budget horror films over the last few years with Mulberry St, Stake Land and a remake of the Spanish film We Are What We Are. With Cold In July, they’ve delved into a different genre altogether but, again, the results are quite impressive.

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Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Posted in Action, Crime, Film-Noir with tags on October 14, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Directors: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller.
Screenplay: Frank Miller.
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Lloyd, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Jamie King, Juno Temple, Stacy Keach, Marton Csokas, Jamie Chung, Lady Gaga, Bruce Willis.

“No one’s ever really guessed what hell is. It’s watching the ones you love…in pain”

After a nine year gap, director Robert Rodriguez finally returns to the dark graphic novel’s of Frank Miller’s Sin City and it’s pugnacious inhabitants. Fans of the original (myself included) had been waiting with bated breath for more of the same but sadly this doesn’t deliver as well as it could and feels somewhat flat in comparison.

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Reservoir Dogs

Posted in Crime, Drama with tags on October 7, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Quentin Tarantino.
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino.
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Lawrence Tierney, Randy Brooks, Kirk Baltz, Eddie Bunker, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Wright.

“Somebody’s stickin’ a red hot poker up our asses and I wanna know who’s name’s on the handle”

Before becoming a cinematic sensation, a young Quentin Tarantino worked in the film rental store Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, and would often recommend little-known titles to customers. On one occasion, he suggested Louis Malle’s Au Revoir Les Enfants, to which the customer mockingly replied, “I don’t want to see no Reservoir Dogs.” And so the title of Tarantino’s blistering debut film was born. It was originally planned as a $30,000 personal film with his friends, before Harvey Keitel showed an interest in the script and came onboard as the star and co-producer which helped hike the budget up to $1.5 million. The rest, as they say, is history. Tarantino had finally made his mark on the movie map and has since become one of the most highly praised directors of his, or any other, generation.

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Serpico

Posted in Biography, Crime, Drama with tags on June 16, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Sidney Lumet.
Screenplay: Waldo Salt, Norman Wexler.
Starring: Al Pacino, Tony Roberts, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe, Biff McGuire, Barbara Eda-Young, Cornelia Sharpe, John Medici, Alan Rich, Edward Grover, Norman Ornellas, James Tolkan, Richard Foronjy, John McQuade, M. Emmett Walsh, F. Murray Abraham, Kenneth McMillan, Tracey Walter, Judd Hirsch.

Frank, let’s face it, who can trust a cop that won’t take money?

With their second collaboration in 1974, Al Pacino and Sidney Lumet delivered one of the very best films of the decade with “Dog Day Afternoon“. It was a taut and captivating true-life story of a bank robber that gets way in over his head. Two years previously, though, they worked on another true-life story from the opposite side of the law. This time it was NYPD officer Frank Serpico and how he got way in over his head with police corruption rife all around him.

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Blue Ruin

Posted in Crime, Film-Noir, thriller with tags on June 6, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Jeremy Saulnier.
Screenplay: Jeremy Saulnier.
Starring: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack, Eve Plumb, Brent Werzner, David W. Thompson, Stacy Rock, Bonnie Johnson, Sidné Anderson.

The keys are in the car… the keys are in the car… the keys are in the car

Many didn’t pay attention when Jeremy Saulnier made his directorial debut in 2007 with the little seen comedy/horror film “Monster Party“. I know I didn’t. Now, though, it’s going to be hard to forget him as his sophomore effort “Blue Ruin” hits our screens (and our jugulars) with an impressively handled and assembled dark thriller that brings reminders of the arrival of the Coen brothers and all the taut and twisted glee of “Blood Simple“.

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Out Of The Furnace

Posted in Crime, Drama with tags on May 15, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Scott Cooper.
Screenplay: Scott Cooper,
Starring: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Tom Bower, Dwight Wolfe.

Working for a living? I gave my life for this country and what’s it done for me? Huh? What’s it done for me?

After finally helping Jeff Bridges to a long overdue Oscar in “Crazy Heart“, director Scott Cooper follows up that tale of a downward spiralling musician with another one of downward spiralling blue collar workers. Narratively, it’s lacking a certain something but one thing’s for sure with Cooper; he certainly knows how to bring out the best from his actors.

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Taxi Driver

Posted in Crime, Drama with tags on April 24, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Martin Scorsese.
Screenplay: Paul Schrader.
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Albert Brooks, Peter Boyle, Leonard Harris, Joe Spinell, Victor Argo, Martin Scorsese, Diahnne Abbott, Steven Prince, Norman Matlock.

Listen, you fuckers, you screwheads. Here is a man who would not take it anymore. A man who stood up against the scum, the cunts, the dogs, the filth, the shit. Here is a man who stood up.

Now regarded as a cinematic classic, I have to admit that Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” was always a film that left me as isolated as it’s lead character. The first time I saw it, I thought it vastly overrated. Admittedly, I was in my teens at this point and never managed to fully grasp it’s themes. With each viewing it did grow in stature but I could never really get over my initial judgement. It’s not often that I’ll backtrack on my opinion but I have now come full circle and can appreciate just how good a film it is, and why it’s regarded as one of the true greats of American cinema.

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