Director: Barry Shear
Starring: Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Anthony Franciosa, Paul Benjamin. USA. 1h 32m
A poetic slice of American history is adapted into this explosive crime drama, and only a few years after racial tensions ran extremely high during the “hot summer” riots, and makes the most of key Harlem locations.
Two prolific stars in their own rights clash as gangs and civil rights spark rage and chaos in the streets, initially the film opens with a daring robbery staged by Jim Harris (Benjamin) results in him and his crew stealing around $300,000 from a Mafia run Numbers Game, things turn bad and there’s a blood shoot out, leaving seven dead both black and Italian and police officers. The case is assigned to the ultimate odd couple , Lieutenant William Pope (Kotto), a driven black police officer is assigned to work the case with aging Captain Frank Mattelli (Quinn), a street-wise racist Italian-American cop. Obviously sparks will fly but deep down you know they will find common ground amongst the bloodshed. There’s a constant reminder that the older Italian officer is on his way out and the new more empowered black officer is rising up to replace him. The entire slice of stereotype pie is eaten. Continue reading Across 110th Street (1972)
AKA Natural Selection
Director: Mark Lambert Bristol.
Starring. David Carradine, Darren E Burrows, Michael Bowen, Joe Unger USA. 1h 31m
The offbeat style of this movie is incredibly alluring, as a possessive and unhinged FBI detective (Carradine) is tracking down a deranged psychopath but he might have bigger demons than the killer!? Eventually the story morphs into something very different as regular cop gets involved and the film takes on a documentary style, but despite being blasted from all directions this highly strange movie was on a duo disc with Satan’s Little Helper (2004) and if you’ve seen and enjoyed that, then there’s a chance you’ll get into this too.
Carradine’s character, Louis Dehoven, is brilliant, and possibly a requisite of his actual mentality at the time, but the Special Agent is tormented by demons who give him insights when he performs rituals with corpses and through self flagellation he gets clues for his case, there’s no real solid evidence that he’s anyway connected with the FBI as he claims but he’s certainly out for the killer. Continue reading Killer X (1999)
Director: Tarsem Singh.
Starring. Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D’Onofrio, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Jake Weber, Dylan Baker. USA. 1h 47m.
I missed the boat on this visual adventure I don’t feel too hard done by but I think if I had watched this 19 years ago then I might have got more of a wow out of the visuals but I’m sure I’d agree with myself that the story was a little weak. But what we didn’t know back then is that Tarsem Singh was only now beginning his his filmography of stunning but needful movies.
I got duped into seeing Anaconda (1997) and I’ll never trust J Low again, actually I didn’t watch her in anything until she acted alongside Viola Davis in Lila and Eve (2015) and I only watched it to see Viola do awesome shit.. but I was looking for visually stunning movies and it got mentioned, a lot, I knew that it involved some amazing costumes by Eiko Ishioka but I’m a sucker for a good story FIRST and stunning visuals to follow . This was a very lavish attempt at an insight into a killers mind while fueled up on bright dresses but also fell short at times usually when out of the dream world, the back up story just add up. Sadly it I was left feeling that this was just a poor rip off of Silence of the Lambs (1991) with an emphasis on style rather than substance, and masochistic imagery. Continue reading The Cell (2000)
Director : Andrea Arnold
Starring: Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Natalie Press . Scotland/UK/Denmark. 1h 53m.
There is a dynamic between a voyeur and the object of his or her desire, I’m in this chilling Scottish drama it’s quite easy to forget who is voyeur and who is the object. the film opens with Jackie (Dickie) who is a closed circuit television operator in Glasgow, she sits in front of a wall of screens watching some of the most impoverished areas of the city emphasising with the more quirky characters as they go about their daily lives, a cleaner silently dancing and then office blocks was she works, a shop owner taking his aged bulldog for a walk every evening come to a smile out of Jackie at her job at city icontrol division E. but all too often she catch his suspicious activities and has to report criminals to the proper authorities while scanning the worst neighbourhoods for signs of trouble and aiding victims. Continue reading Red Road (2007)
Director/Writer: Michael Crichton
Starring: Tom Selleck, Cynthia Rhodes, Gene Simmons, Kirstie Alley, Stan Shaw .USA. 1h 39m
When I first saw this movie it literally blew my socks off, I was at the tender age of about 6 or 7 and it didn’t take a lot to impress me, but the idea of a future littered with robots and advanced technology was always something that really sparked something in me. Growing up saw a few inventions, phones beame fun again and not just the colourful see through ones, but more and more technology slowly creeped into my life, and luckily without any of Skynett’s T100, but looking back at Runaway is something I have the urge to do periodically as I still really enjoy the movie despite the dated clunky robots and suspect acting, it still holds some Vaporwave charm, and is still lighting a new generation alive with the hopes of electric dreams.
IT IS THE FUTURE. Machines are being programmed to turn against us. Someone must stop the madman who started it all. Continue reading Runaway (1984)
Director: José Padilha
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, Eddie Marsan, Ben Schnetzer, Lior Ashkenazi, Denis Ménochet . USA/UK. 1h 47m
I think this film was made with the idea that it would be considered as a critically acclaimed masterpiece but while it’s based on a tough hostage situation from 1976 It seems to be more determined to connect the horrific events with a dance routine than to give a clear and “entertaining” account, and while the dance is interesting it feels like a failed attempt to add some art house to an already downtrodden film that in hindsight is just a series of the depressing sight of actors struggling through dreadful material. Continue reading 7 Days in Entebbe (2018)
Director: Nicolas Pesce Writer: Ryû Murakami
Starring: Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa. USA/Japan. 1h 21m
Piercing, a movie about a man who plans to kill a prostitute in his hotel room, was an instant for my to watch list, but after seeing it get run into the dirt by many reviewers I did start to question myself. A tiny bit of research renewed my passion when I realised that this thriller is based on a book by Ryû Murakami, yep, the twisted individual that wrote the novel Audition who’s film adaption comes highly rated with it’s dark surreal undertones and horrific gore scenes. Top this off with the director of The Eyes of my Mother (2016) I can’t see how this could really be so bad..
A young father, Reed (Abbott) struggles to restrain himself from stabbing his baby daughter with a skewer, the pressure forces him to find a way to get this deadly desire out of his system. He hatches an incredibly details plan to hire a hotel room, rent a hooker and play out his stabbing fantasy, once she’s dead he hopes to return to his happy normal life.Unfortunately the unhinged hooker he encounters, Jackie (Wasikowska) has her own demons to exorcise and the two of them play an destructive game of cat and mouse. Continue reading Piercing (2018)
Director: Brian Smrz
Starring Ethan Hawke, Xu Qing, Paul Anderson, Rutger Hauer, Tyrone Keogh, Nathalie Boltt, Liam Cunningham, Jeremy Yong .USA. 1h 39m
The overall character is like a science fiction bourne movie, the strengths lie in the espionage action thriller but you can’t ignore the countdown timer in the leads arm. But the film has a huge anchor and this drags along in a sea of theology Travis is a man on a mission but it’s plagued with ghosts of the afterlife, as he stands looking into the abyss it’s looking back at him and he’s reminded that he needs to make amends.
Travis Conrad (Hawke) is introduced as a drunk, hanging out with his father-in-law they are fishing and drinking in preparation for spreading some ashes, afterwards the old man, played by the enigmatic Rutger Hauer passes out and Travis heads to the tittybar, grabs a hit and notices some men following him, in a shifty trick he immobilize them and sits down next to the man who sent them, his old friend who offers him a job worth $2 million. Accepting his new job of executing a unknown man he has to find him, and so he starts tracking the family of an operative who’s been hired to protect him. While learning the whereabouts he spares Lin (Qing) but she kills him after plugging him in the chest, but Travis awakens on a hospital bed where’s he’s quizzed about the location, after givin up the news he soon realizes his mistake and that he’s time is up (again) but he breaks free, the doctor explains that he’s got a timer which gives him 24 hours to live again he spares another woman and escapes to get back at his employer by protecting his previous target but to summarize the film in one phrase, Travis is having a particularly bad day. Continue reading 24 Hours to Live (2017)
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Based on: Hold the Dark by William Giraldi
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough, Malcolm Blair, Tantoo Cardinal, Julian Black Antelope. USA. 2h 5m
With just two major titles under his belt, Saulnier’s next project, was so highly anticipated it derailed the hype train, but the resulting ambitious drama was so different from the taut thrillers, Blue Ruin (2013) and Green Room (2015) that no one could really appreciate it in the same way and it generally got panned by the fans.
This misfire isn’t a total disaster, no one can find fault with the beautiful crafting that went into the film, Saulnier is so masterful that even if you didn’t get the movie you can easily enjoy watching it, but for me it’s just a perfect shot for a different audience. I found it just as gritty and nearly as bloody as the others, but the pushing and pulling between two fundamental ideas within the movie that would either make it a thriller or fantasy doesn’t ever come to a neat conclusion, leaving a gaping open ending which is going to piss off a lot of people but for me it’s a highly alluring project which is perfect as it is. Continue reading Hold the Dark (2018)
Director: David Michod.
Starring: Jacki Weaver, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, Sullivan Stapleton, James Frecheville, Luke Ford, Laura Wheelwright. Australia. 1h 53m
There is something extraordinarily authentic about Animal Kingdom, this sinister tale of a twisted criminal family is something can nervously be regarded as far fetched, but after an ounce of research into the criminal underworld of the Land Down Under, after watching this movie there’s a lingering fear that “based on a true story” might appear in the closing credits.
With characters like the notorious Chopper (2000) and the gut churning Snowtown (2011) just two pieces of projects based on real events and people, this just feels like the next step in a progression of a young country with a criminal culture that’s making up for lost time. Continue reading Animal Kingdom