Category Archives: Crime

The Iceman (2012)

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The Iceman (Crime, Biography, Drama, Thriller 2012) (15) D: Ariel Vormen: W: Morgan Land (screenplay), Anthohny Bruno (book): C: Michael Shannon, Winoa Ryder, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans 1h 46m. USA.

 TAGLINE : Loving husband. Devoted father. Ruthless killer.

 Synopsis: The true story of Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer and family man. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters have any clue about his real profession.

Luke warm and sentimental melodrama of a heartless serial killer Richard Kuklinski. The original story of this ruthless mob based killer could write the most chilling and gritty crime film by simply details a disturbing childhood, and the various stone cold assassinations he preformed during the four decades that he killed over 100 people in many grisly ways. Unfortunately film encapsulates a mushy warm non eventful drama version in which Kuklinski emerges as a compulsive murderer who’s pussy whipped by the mob but takes on the role of their very own terminator to fulfill his need to kill.

Michael Shannon gives a solid performance in a character that is only similar to w Kiklinski, this doesn’t develop or grow as the movie plods through the timeline missing out most gruesome details.

Starting out not with the traumatic childhood but instead the life of Kuklinski as a quiet mild mannered decent guy, falling in love with Deborah (Winona Ryder) later to become his wife and mother of his two daughters. He keeps his psychotic dealings from her while his violent streak sparks interest in the mob namely wise guy Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta) who gets Kuklinski into the distribution of porn movies for him then doubling up his wages through hit jobs. Soon he is out whacking people in partnership with Robert Pronge (Chris Evans) who is the tutor showing him how to freeze bodies and dispose of them later so the cops can’t determine the time of death.

There are various déjà vu scenes throughout detailing hints of a troubling childhood, possibly pointing blame in that direction. The odd change in haircut and clothing gives a hit of the times but there isn’t really any attention to details in this, no bother to link it with other historical events. The brutal slayings, family drama, mob bravado and dirty night clubs is a reminder of Goodfellas (1990 ) but without the depth in the characters, wit, or catchy soundtrack and it has no hint of the black comedy of other gangster style movies.

Iceman

Great attention is paid to Kuklinski’s character throughout, after all this is a movie about him, but the sinister nature of the iceman is translated into a the many stony faces Shannon, not giving much emotion or depth when dealing with killings or his family, makes the film stagnant. There is a lot more going on with the mob politics which is important but the interesting aspects about Kuklinski lie more within the beast inside the man, He kills people, a lot of people but there are only a few scattered death scenes, a montage or two would have been fierce, instead we are presented with an opaque peep into what we already know. If there is a movie to be made of this real life devil then it will deal with coarse details of the murders, and what happened outside of his mob instructions, real flashbacks of his antics as a child and more emphasis on the duality of his adoration of his family and his ability to switch that off in a second then back on again. He was cold but he had character a lot of it, but it’s lacking in this film.

Yet this film does demonstrate an accurate timeline of events, the acting is good throughout but it’s just lacking that kick to the gut, that real shock and horror of events. It is certainly effective and is one of the better serial killer recounts.

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Rating : 6/10

R: Bundy: An American Icon (2008), Ed Gein (2000), Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas (2009)

Q: Mr Kiklinski, do you have any regrets about the things you’ve done?

BS: Ending Sequence where Michael Shannon re inacts part of the Iceman Tapes is the best acting in this film. He immiates Kuklinski perfectly.

L: Selected Serial Killer Films,

5B: Michael Shannon, Winoa Ryder

DGI: Chug a beer for every murder.

Gangster Squad (2013)

GANGSTER SQUAD (Crime, Action, Drama 2013) (18) D:Ruben Fleischer C: Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Holt McCallany. 1h 53m. USA

Los Angeles, 1949: A secret crew of police officers led by two determined sergeants work together in an effort to take down the ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen who runs the city.

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Oh I love this film even though it’s not an actual great movie. I do love the style it was carefully birthed around the same time as LA Noire I think?? Maybe not..  as we all love a 1920’s crime/ganster movie and GAME at the same time and I don’t remember them making a game for this. So La Noire will have to take it’s place. Mickey Choen was one of the lesser glorified gangsters, but then it would take a lot to knock Al Capone off the top spot. Sadly a lot of this movie reminds me too much of The Untouchables, hard working and highly dedicated cop grouping together a bunch of elite officers who share his vision to kick some gangster ass. And while the movie is about 40% slow mo ass kicking and pistol whipping it is still fairly entertaining. Sadly Penn doesn’t really look enough like Choen for it to be really all that believeable but then De Niro didn’t really every look like Capone. I felt no mega pressence from Brolin it was like the director was having a hard time trying to make Brolin tough and dumb AND Ryan Gosling adorable. The only really rememberable characters were the gun slinger and Ribisi they kidna stood out a lot more than the leads..
06

Killing Zoe (1993)

Killing Zoe

(Crime,Drama,Thriller 1993) (18D/W: Roger Avery C: Eric Stoltz, Julie Delpy, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Gary Kemp 1h 36m. USA/France

 killing zoe title

Zed has only just arrived in the beautiful Paris and already he’s up to no good. Having just slept with a call girl, he spends a night on the town with his dangerous friends

 

The movie starts out with the iconic cars scenes shot in the back streets of Paris, one of the only parts of the movie which was actually shot in France.

It was quite iconic along with a lot of early 90’s movies to have that sense of “Libertie” that Paris is supposedly all about, like Nikita and Betty Blue smashed together with films like Reservoir dogs

It addresses the language barrier quite early on.  Most of the cast will speak English when asked to unless they are going to be a pain in the ass like the concierge for example. Although you are pulled through the movie along with Eric Stolts and it’s presumed that you don’t speak any French either. It’s at this early stage of the movie that your introduced to Zoë’s character and this is when the stage is set, who and how is Zoë going to be killed. The sex scene that follows curiously has slips from the 1922 Nosferatu in it, not entirely sure why. The scenes are mostly the arrival to Whitby and the death scenes, so it loosely relates to the arrival of Eric to France, the falling in love with Zoë and ultimately death??

There are a lot of connections between this movie and Reservoir Dogs, three main factors are that RD deals with the before and after of a “job” where are Killing Zoë deals mainly with the job itself, it’s like they are alternative chapters of the same story. Also there is the Epic Tale, In RD it’s Tim Roth telling a story about a faux gangster toilet scene, killing Zoë is a bit more poignant as the joke that Bruce Ramsey/Ricardo tells is about a prostitute and its overhead by Zoë who has pointed out that she’s not a prostitute which is obviously a sore point for her. Finally there is the scene where the cop if fucked up by Michael Madsen/Mr Blonde and the security guard is equally tortured by the bomb blast during the robbery.

From the beginning of the film Eric/Jean Hugues points out that he doesn’t want anyone getting AIDS, obviously this was around the same time that Diamanda Galas was bringing awareness to the “plague” and it was big news worldwide. Again the movie is right on the pulse of Generation X’s thinking.

It’s still a mystery at this stage as Zoë has been kicked out of the hotel and you don’t see her anymore, how the hell does she get killed now?!

Religion.. I didn’t want to mention this as I don’t think it’s the correct reasoning. But I’m not an expert on the colour of bank vaults, maybe they are all painted red. I think it relates to the decent into hell and madness of the main characters. From the first scenes of the film when Eric/Zed is being taken into his hotel room the Red White and Blue colours are prolific throughout the film. It really is about the essence of France. Everyone is trying to show Eric/Zed the REAL FRANCE. Everything at first is predominantly blue with hits of red and white. The hotel/jazz club are all mostly blue in tone, then from the bank job onwards everything gets really red, as the pace quickens and the blood starts to flow.

kiklling-zoe-RWB

Back to the religion side,  of things, the first three characters could be Zed/Jesus Zoe/Mary Magdalene and Eric/Devil. Some of the imagery of him as the devil I think is amazing like the black suit, red background when he is in scene the shot where he flicks his lighter it like the fire/sparks come from him. He just needed some horns!

I have wondered what another sequel would be like, sadly there will never be another Killing Zoe as most of the characters situation, although a follow on could possibly happen as a prequel.

It has a great soundtrack by Tomandandy especially the Canaan song which is based on an old traditional medieval song. BUT it doesn’t appear on the OST. There is a version sung by a dude but not the one that appears in the drive out ending scene, not quite sure why I’ve tried to find it online but it seems the only version that exists is a recording of that final scene!! That’s what I had to do to listen to ..

There is also a cute unaccredited cameo by Ron Jeremy and something I didn’t realise is that Tom Savini did the special effects!? WOAH!

There are some really nice comedy moments in this psychological breakdown between the two friends. We never really work out, Or I never really work out why it’s called Killing Zoë. There are theories that the blood from Eric/Jean Hugues covers them at the end of the film and therefore Zoë will die from AIDS but it got everywhere, he was fucking Tai Thai as well so he’s gonna die from AIDS too if not from the bullet he took in the gut. So it’s really not about Killing Zoë. It’s probably a good time to point out that Zoë is a Greek word for life!? Who knows.

R: La Femme Nikita (1990), Leon the professional (1994) Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Pido nunmuldo eobsh/No blood no tears (2002)

PIDO NUNMULDO EOBSH : NO BLOOD NO TEARS

(Action, Crime, 2002)(18) D/W : Seung-wan ryoo W: Jin Wan Jeong. 1h 56m. South Korea

TAGLINE : Enough is Enough

She drives a cab on the night shift and meets every scum there is, Gyung-Sun lives a scant life day by day

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A single macho woman car driver vs the pretty trophy girlfriend of an out of work boxer… Actually they aren’t against each other they end up working together, taking down a bully and a small time gangster in their pursuit of freedom and happiness.

This has probably been classed as a girl power movie by many people. Fair enough two women manage to liberate themselves against male tyrants and gangsters and take a hell of a beating in the process. I’d imagine this is a Korean Thelma and Louise?

As a second full length feature from Rye Seung Wan who (for me) seems to have a hit and miss career, when he gets things right he makes two of my favourite movies of all time, this and City of Violence (2006) and when he gets it wrong he makes a total fuck up like Crying Fist (2005).

This film plays more like a Tarantino Richie pulp style movie as apposed to a “proper” action film and it’s loaded with small snippets of random surreal comedy that enhances the film all the way through. The film also features Doo Hong Jung (one of my favourite Korean actors) and his incredible fighting choreography is used throughout including the final showdown which is almost Riki-O (1991) tough and adds to the violent undercurrent of the film.

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Q: “You can stop pretending to be tough now…”

BS: The fight showdown between the boxer douchbag and the silent guy, there is some back stabbing, hanging, crazy beating goodness!!

R: Crying Fist (2005), City of Violence (2006), Thelma and Louise (1991).

9/10

09

Loft (2010)

LOFT

(Crime, Thriller, Drama 2010) (18) D : Antoinette Beumer W: Bart De Pauw/Saskuan Noort P: Hilde De Laere. 1h 48m Nederlands.

TAGLINE : Five friends One deadly secret.

Five best friends, all married, decide to share a loft apartment for their extra marital affairs.

loft 2010

Another remake of a great classic story, actually not totally how classic the story is but it’s been done before and it will be done again. (judging from the imdb.. this year)

Basically a group of successful and obnoxious business boys rent a shared loft apartment for fucking their one night stands etc etc. Obviously such a good thing must come to an end, this one is a slightly messy affair when a dead bint is found in the loft.. so the movie turns into a “who killed the ho” hour. As you’d expect everyone gets a little shifty and the plot finally thickens with various accusations and flash backs to various social events where the husbands like to party together (and picking up ho’s) and with their wives (trying to remain under cover). The relations between the men break down and harsh words are thrown around like a sexy lil frisbee.

While I enjoyed the film and could watch it again I think it’s popularity is due to people wanting to see some rich people suffer.

I love that this version was directed by a woman, I would love to see an alternative version where the women rent the flat for their affairs, the only problem with that it everything would be so well organised nothing could go wrong and therefore the movie would just be a prono.. lol nothing wrong there.

Overall the movie is funny, thrilling and very stylish, after all who wouldn’t want to see a bunch of yuppies crash and burn in the flames of their own greed and stupidity.

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Q : Hey your numbers come up, don’t forget half of everything you win is mine.

TIL : No matter how awesome you are, your man is going to be ad faithful as his options.

7/10

07

Ex Drummer (2007)

EX DRUMMER (Crime, Drama, Surreal, Comedy, Music 2007) (18D: Koen Mortier W: Herman Brusselmans 1h 41m. Belgium

Three handicapped losers who form a band ask famous writer Dries to be their drummer. He joins the band and starts manipulating them.

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Wowies! I have been trying to get hold of this movie for some time. Any film with a dude standing on the celling on the cover is bound to be “up my street”. The movie is beautifully surreal, stark, gritty and pretty much plays like the most disgusting scenes from Trainspotting (1996) mixed with the best of any local drunken battle of the bands night. It’s got a paramount assortment of anal rape, vomiting, parent beating, comedy, drug abuse, murder, violence, talking corpses and music any modern movie can give.

The movie starts with the outsider; Dries, explaining the story. He stands out from all the others, he’s not handicapped, he doesn’t play any instruments and even thought he’s not all there it’s not on the same level of depravity as the others, his house is clean, his girlfriend is err.. mostly normal and everything surrounding him is pretty clean and organised.

The rest of the cast are generic fuck ups, all with several physical and mental disorders. As the movie progresses things spiral further out of control and into the darker pits of the disabilities and paranoia, sadly I never quite work out why the lead guitarist/singer lives upside down, it’s cute seeing him wander around brushing is teeth and coughing up blood while walking around on the ceiling but it all adds to the oddball nature of the entire movie.. I mean why not!? Fuck it!? He’s obviously happy up there.

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The movie doesn’t claim to be pushing any boundaries, it will be shocking to some, funny and exciting to others. If you’re happy looking at life from an alternative scumbag point of view then it will interest you as much as any other lowlife point of view movie. Sadly if you think that there should be some “high” standard of living then this will disgust you to no end.

Q : “ I hear you can’t drum” OST : Mogwai –Hunted By a Freak, Millionare –Mongoloid. RTrainspotting (1996) Spun (2002) Pusher (1996), Requiem for a Dream (2000)

8/10

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Green Street (2005)

(Crime, Drama, Sport, 2005) (18) D/W: Lexi Alexander W: Dougie Brimson 1h 49m. UK

TAGLINE: Stand Your Ground and Fight.

A wrongfully expelled Harvard undergrad moves to London, where he is introduced to the violent underworld of football hooliganism.

Another footie hooligan movie and another Elijah Wood being a preppy yank in the UK!? I remember trying to believe his character in The Oxford Murders (2008) but it was really hard. This was just as difficult, I just can’t take the freaky eyed hobbit all that serious. Anyway I really enjoyed Cass (2008) and Awaydays (2009), this doesn’t have the gritty nature of the other two but it does feature some of the cast. As a passage to manhood movie for little Elijah it’s not that bad, a lot of it was totally unbelievable but it was a good movie.

There are some interesting snippets in the movie, I think to try and illustrate that hooligans are real people too?

Anyhoo.. . Elijah’s sister has hooked up with an ex hooligan gone straight because he’s now a responsible father (yeah it happens just like that) The ex football hooligans little brother is also a thug and ends up baby sitting Elijah and chucks him into a world of violence with he laps up with gusto! Lots of crazy shizzle happens and there is a big stand off with Millwall who never disappoint.

Elijah comes across as a choirboy corrupted in this film but even by the end he still seems to be a little kid, maybe some facial hair would help here? The movie is totally owned by  the gang leader Charlie Hunnam, who shows a more honest manly dose of aggression and compassion which holds the entire movie together.

T: Cass Pennant makes a cameo. Q: “So he’s a Yank AND an undercover “journo”, looks like we’ll have to give the boy two funerals”.

R : Cass (2008), Awaydays (2009), The Oxford Murders (2008), Rise of the foot soldier (2007).

6/10

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Last Nights Movies 14-05-13

JOHNNY MNEUMONIC (Science Fiction, Action, Cyberpunk 1995) D: Robert Longo W: William Gibson 1h 43m. USA

TAGLINE: The futures most wanted fugitive.

A data courier, carrying a data package literally in side his head to large to hold for long, must deliver before he dies. OK Straight up I’ve never liked this movie, my best advice is to read the short story, there is much more going on, better characters and a more memorable ending. On the plus side this movie boasts a great cast including Ice-T and Henry Rollins (how musical) and the best performance Dolph has given to date. I feel that Beat Takeshi was thrown in as everyone associates cyberpunk with japan. Lets face it, anything taken from a short story can’t be written into a majorly long film, it fails most of the time, The Box (2009) and Screamers(1995) could have been pretty short films and not have lost any impact. So Johnny (Keanu) is a yuppie on the run with data that can change the world in his head, the Yuppie has to go and dwell with the street low lives in order to try and achieve his mission and to stay alive. The only problem is Keanu at his scariest is like a Care Bare with boxing gloves, I could have preferred to see Rollins punch his light out early on in the film and saved this day himself and all in under 1 hour. This movie could have has a memorable soundtrack but it sucks ass too. Q: “and it’s still our first date” R: Fortress(1992), Hackers(1995), Blade Runner (1982)

FOOTBALL FACTORY (Sport, crime, action 2004) D: Nick Lowe W: John King 1h 31m UK

TAGLINE : What else are you gonna do on a Saturday.

The football factory is more than just a study of the English obsession with football violence, its about men looking for armies to join. I’m expecting Danny Dyers face to bleed, an Indie Britpop OST, violence and the word c*nt. BINGO! I’m not saying this movie is totally predictable,it does deliver a few additional qualities that I really enjoyed among the usual football hooligan story. There is a powerful mini story with Bill, Dudley Sutton’s character, the movie boasts that it’s not all about football hooliganism but about men fighting a war, then you have Bill who has fought for his country in a war and is confronted by idiots who hold fascist views thinking they are on the same par as him. They don’t realise that they are the people ole Bill was fighting against. He sums it up in one quote “I don’t like him, I fought in the war against fascist views like his.” This helps demonstrate how pathetic and unaware the youth are today. Danny dyer has a few prophetic dreams during the course of the movie which reminds me of the ones similar to Valhalla Rising (2009). And surprisingly the most unsuspecting character has the noblest speech!

Q: “Oh, we have a few vans out on jobs most of the time. Yeah, sure it’s always busier in the summer, of course. Nothing like a soaring temperature to help the work, you know what I mean? Anyway, most of the time I just sit around the office waiting for the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I love the money the job pays. But my real passion lies in kicking people’s f*cking heads in at football. See, I got to channel it somewhere. As you can probably tell by my bulging stomach, I don’t participate in too many sporting activities. And I don’t do drugs. Well, that’s not entirely true, but not a lot. So I got to have my release in something, and a good fu*king fight seems like the best way. Wouldn’t you agree? Maybe not. At least I wouldn’t be walking around like you lot, fucking horrible cunts with sticks shoved up you’re a*ses trying to pretend your little suburban nightmare’s all right. Then again, I suppose it just depends which way you look at it.”

It’s not my all time favourite football hooligan movie but I did enjoy it. the little caption adverts that speak directly to Danny Dyer and the ending which details what the characters did after the film were quite entertaining.

R: Cass(2008), Green Street (2005), Rise of the white collar hooligan (2012), Awaydays (2009), This is England (2006), Rise of the Foot soldier