Tag: Crime

Uncategorized

The Accountant (2016, Gavin O’Connor)

This is a kind of bizarre hybrid of an action movie with a serial killer-style crime investigation combined with forensic accounting – yes, I know how that sounds – that is surprisingly effective much of the time, but has some massive flaws that keep it from really working. Mild Spoilers

2015, Movies

Sicario (2015, Denis Villeneuve)

This is an extraordinarily tense and well-directed thriller about the escalation and increased militarization of the Ward on Drugs. For the most part, I really, really liked Sicario, but I struggled with something and I’m not sure whether or not it could have ended better. SPOILERS

2017, Movies

TIFF 2017 Racer and the Jailbird (2017, Michaël R. Roskam)

This is an entertaining, albeit slight, amalgam of the bank heist genre with one of those romances where the two alpha leads, who do risky things in their professional lives, fall in love with each other, but which is pretty much entirely ruined by an absolutely bonkers left turn (well, a series of left turns) …

2014, Movies

Cold in July (2014, Jim Mickle)

I’m not sure exactly what to say about this bizarre film that offers a new twist (or several) on the age old “redemption through violence” theme in American cinema. The plot goes a very different way than I would have ever expected which is to the novel’s credit, I guess. But that big left turn …

1968, Movies

The Bride Wore Black (1968, Francois Truffaut)

This has to be seen as the spiritual predecessor to Kill Bill, even if Tarantino insists he’s never seen it. The overall plot is just too similar, though Tarantino made far superior films. (I suppose it’s also possible someone just told him the plot, or he read the novel. SPOILER ALERT

2006, Movies

Cocaine Cowboys (2006, Billy Corben)

I have heard about this film from a number of people and wonder if we watched the same movie. This is a poorly made film that absolutely reeks of early digital technology (even if 2006 would suggest it wasn’t made with early digital technology). Why is it that so many people are okay with watching …

2016, Movies

Triple 9 (2016, John Hillcoat)

I am always flabbergasted by movies with huge, all-star casts that somehow suck. I am particularly flabbergasted when it seems obvious to me that these actors could have easily figured out the movie was going to suck. Such a movie is Triple 9, a film which somehow includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Woody …

2016, Movies

Just Not Married (2016, Uduak-Obong Patrick)

This film means well. It tells the age-old story of an elder (an older brother in this case) trying to prevent a younger family member following him into a life of crime. Many of the elements from these stories are present, and some of them are handled well. And it’s funny, at times.

2016, Philosophy, Science, Society

Detective School

If I have learned one thing from immersing myself in too many true crime podcasts, TV series and movies, it’s this: most detectives have never been taught to think. There seems to be an obsession with relying on instinct and (supposed) “known knowns” and nothing else; no rigorous investigation techniques, no awareness of the infamous …

2014, Movies

1971 (2014, Johanna Hamilton)

This is an interesting, albeit brief, look at a crime in 1971 that resulted in the first ever whistle blowing on the American government (to my knowledge, anyway). A bunch of radical hippies broke into an FBI office and released the files to the press and Congress. The film is your standard talking heads + …

2016, Movies

Tickled (2016, David Farrier, Dylan reeve)

It’s rare for me to see a movie that shocks me, that leaves me unable to process what I’ve seen for hours afterward. But this is one such movie. The GF and I kept having parts of conversations for hours afterward where we attempted and failed to process what we had seen. You should see …

1958, Movies

Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958, Mario Monicelli)

This is supposedly one of the classic Italian comedies, considered an all-time great film by numerous people. It is apparently a parody of Rififi, a classic film I have yet to see. So, one of the reasons it’s lost on me would be because I haven’t seen the target of its satire. Maybe that’s why …

1980, Movies, TV

Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

In 1980, there was no real way for for North American audiences to digest non-English language television. So, on occasions when multiple-episode television programs made there way over to North America, they were screened at film festivals as “films.” A number of European “art house” films from the ’70s and ’80s are actually made-for-tv. It …

2013, Movies

Bethlehem (2013, Yuval Adler)

This is a reasonably compelling film that appear to apply a sort of naturalistic crime drama lens to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. There’s no soundtrack and everyone is working at being as realistic as possible in their performances. But the conflict really does feel like it’s been reduced to a crime story: an informant is put …

2009, Movies

Backyard (2009, Carlos Carrera)

This is an ambitious film, based on a true story, that centres around a female cop and some other women trying to end an epidemic of violence against women and murder in Juarez. It takes the general serial killer tropes and expands them into a more serious, almost Traffic-style drama. I really wanted to like …

Movies

The Company You Keep (2012, Robert Redford)

So, the first thing that’s off with this is the ages: Redford is significantly too old to play his character – he would have been in his thirties when he is supposed to have committed these terrorist acts – and most of the other (admittedly fine actor) friends of Robert Redford are also slightly too …

2014, Movies

Killer Legends (2014, Joshua Zeman)

I remember sort of enjoying Cropsey, finding it kind of frustratingly made, but compelling enough to give it a pretty decent rating. I didn’t write a review, so I have no idea exactly what I liked/disliked about it. But watching this film, which could be called Cropsey II, I worry I was far too generous.

2012, Movies

End of Watch (2012, David Ayer)

This is a found footage film mixed with a cop drama that is regularly ready to abandon its found-footage conceit – a good thing and a bad thing in these types of movies – and which appears to treat serving in the LA PD as serving in the military. (Gyllenhaal appears to be playing a …

2011, Movies

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011, David Fincher)

Aside from the bizarre, music video opening – which also features a terrible cover of “Immigrant Song” – and the bizarre “Swedish” accents of all the Swedish characters (a huge pet peeve of mine in any English language film set in a foreign country), I think this is probably superior, as a film, to the …

2013, Movies

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, Martin Scorsese)

This is basically the Goodfellas of stockbroker films. It’s got so many things in common with his earlier masterpiece that I don’t really want to go into it. (I feel like going into it would take too long and, frankly, I am worried I wouldn’t do the most complete job.) Scorsese has created another brilliant …

Politics, Society

Please, everyone, just calm down

Please, everyone, let’s just calm down a little. Let’s try to have a sense of perspective. Let’s try to think about the big picture. I know that’s very difficult when someone you never met dies, but let’s try to be bigger than knee-jerk reactions this one time.

2012, Movies

Stolen (2012, Simon West)

This is a very stupid movie that tries to mash two genres together – the bank heist movie and the kidnapped child movie. The writer spent very little time worrying about whether or not the plot made much sense and the director doesn’t make the script any more convincing. (I would expect nothing less from …

2013, Movies

Pain and Gain (2013, Michael Bay)

I don’t like Michael Bay’s movies, at least I haven’t since I grew up. Some people have tried to defend him, claiming he is some kind of modern Godard-esque stylistic rebel. I have never felt that way. I usually feel like his films don’t defy internal film logic because of some kind of deep-seeded artistic …