Category Archives: Crime

SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL (2020): The Things I Liked…

Spenser Confidential (2020), Mark Wahlberg, Netflix
Spenser Confidential (2020), Mark Wahlberg, Netflix

Spenser Confidential isn’t a perfect movie, but it is a fun action/comedy with some well-executed standout scenes.

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Winston Duke, Iliza Shlesinger and Alan Arkin; director Peter Berg’s story about an ex-felon who takes on Boston’s criminal underworld to solve a twisted murder conspiracy, may have a dip in pace near the beginning. It may also feel as though at least one specific aspect of the story comes across aa tad contrived. But overall, there’s enough humour, action and well-executed scenes to make Spenser Confidential more fun than not.

My favourite line in the whole film is ‘Don’t play with me right now, Ok? Give me the cloud.’ I promise it’s more amusing in context, which I haven’t provided here as that would spoil it.

In terms of the most memorable scenes, The first one take takes place at a Mexican restaurant, while the other involves much of what happens at ‘Wonderland’ towards the end.

Watch Spenser Confidential if you’re curious and for a central mystery that you’ll want to see solved.

Happy Film Loving

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INFAMOUS (2020): New Trailer Starring Bella Thorne, Jake Manley, Amber Riley…

Infamous (2020), Bella Thorne, Vertical Entertainment US
Infamous (2020), Bella Thorne, Vertical Entertainment US

New crime/drama Infamous stars Bella Thorne and Jake Manley as two young lovers who rob their way across the southland, all while posting their exploits to social media.

Written/directed by Joshua Caldwell; additional key cast includes Amber Riley, Billy Blair and Marisa Coughlan.

A modern day Bonnie and Clyde, perhaps?

I’m hoping that this will be an interesting and well-executed take on the so-called ‘fame hungry youth.’ Specifically the kind with a drive to become famous at any cost.

Robert Peters, Michael Sirow, Paul T. Taylor, Kyle Jacob Henry, Todd Jenkins, Jennifer Rader and Joey Oglesby also star.

Infamous Release Dates: June 12th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME (2020): New Trailer From Edgar Ramírez, Michael Pitt, Sharlto Copley…

The Last Days of American Crime (2020), Edgar Ramírez, Netflix
The Last Days of American Crime (2020), Edgar Ramírez, Netflix

Based on the graphic novel by Greg Tocchini; The Last Days of American Crime is a new action/crime movie starring Edgar Ramírez, Michael Pitt and Sharlto Copley.

Directed by Olivier Megaton, the story is set in a not-too-distant future. A future where America’s final response to terrorism and crime is the the government having the ability to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit a crime.

I’m in to find out more about the ‘freezing crime’ capabilities. Fingers crossed that the story around the tech is equally compelling.

Anna Brewster, Jay Anstey, Inge Beckmann, Sean Cameron Michael, Tamer Burjaq, Robert Hobbs, Daniel Fox and Clayton Boyd also star.

The Last Days of American Crime Release Dates: June 5th, 2020 (US)/ Netflix…

Happy Film Loving

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BIRDS OF PREY – AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN (2020): The Things I Liked

Birds Of Prey (2020), Margot Robbie, Warner Bros. Pictures
Birds Of Prey (2020), Margot Robbie, Warner Bros. Pictures

What I enjoyed most about Birds Of Prey – And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn is all the moments that Margot Robbie was on screen as Harley Quinn. I liked Robbie’s performance and the film’s very colourful and visually pleasing aesthetic. 

Directed by Cathy Yan and set just after Harley Quinn breaks up with the Joker – then ends up joining three other female superheroes, I have to admit that I was unconvinced by all the female solidarity. I’m not saying that all that happened isn’t very possible. It’s just that the way the stories of each of the characters played out and led to all four coming together for one cause didn’t feel as smooth / seamless and satisfying as I’d imagined. 

After the disappointment of Suicide Squad back in 2016, I had feared that Birds of Prey would leave me wanting, and it seems my fears came true. It certainly doesn’t help that I didn’t quite like Ewan McGregor as the villain either. I’ve just seen more engaging and interesting superhero movie villains in other stories.

Overall, even though I appreciate the message behind the story, I didn’t fully enjoy the delivery. I only really made it to the end of Birds of Prey because of Robbie and all the hype about Harley Quinn. 

As some of you may have gathered, I’m more of a Marvel fan when it comes to superhero films. I mean, I’ll take Batman (the Christian Bale era) and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, but everything else DC can keep.

Happy Film Loving

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THE GENTLEMEN (2020): The Things I Loved

The Gentlemen (2020), Matthew McConaughey, STX Entertainment
The Gentlemen (2020), Matthew McConaughey, STX Entertainment

I don’t remember the last time I saw a movie that was so incredibly sexy, without hardly any sex taking place’.

The above is my immediate response to the question:So, how was The Gentlemen?

There’s no denying that near enough all the men in The Gentlemen are handsome and well dressed, which helps. But it’s ultimately the great performances and clever dialogue/wordplay combined with Guy Ritchie’s filmmaking style, that for me, made The Gentlemen so special.

Ritchie’s film is a smart crime/comedy/action movie. One that stars Mathew McConaughey as Michael Pearson, an American ex-pat who’s trying to sell off his highly profitable marijuana business. Except things don’t quite go according to plan.

At the start of the movie, you may sense a little bit of a slow burn, but worry not, because it only gets better and better. The Gentleman is the kind of film most, if not all film fans will enjoy; especially big fans of Ritchies first two movies, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000). And for anyone who may have been worried about how convincing Hugh Grant’s cockney accent was going to be, you can rest assured that he does a good job.

Watch The Gentlemen for all the reasons mentioned above. I had so much fun taking it all in that I can only imagine how much more fun the actors must have had bringing Ritchie’s characters to life.

Happy Film Loving

G

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (2019): The Things I Liked…

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), Brad Pitt, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), Brad Pitt, Sony Pictures Entertainment

I don’t remember the last time I sat down to watch a movie and thought to myself ‘Yep. This definitely wasn’t made for me’, but Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, 2019’s Quentin Tarantino film that landed the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Brad Pitt is one such film.

As a long time fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, Pitt and Tarantino, I knew, having seen the trailer months prior that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would be technically good, but also different from Tarantino’s previous films.

What I didn’t know is that as much as I appreciate Pitt and DiCaprio’s acting, the pace of this new movie would prove quite the challenge at times. I actually had to reach for my phone (then put it back quickly because I must focus) once or twice as the film played. All in search of something that worked a little harder to keep my impatient brain engaged and entertained. I’m quite sure that the pace of all that happened made sense for the look, feel, and period of this movie. I simply wish that I could have forgotten that my phone existed during the viewing process.

Thankfully things did become more interesting once we hit the one hour, fifteen minute point. Besides the aforementioned pacing plus the one or two tension-filled moments that seemed to drag on for a little longer than necessary, all else was well with Tarantino’s movie. A story about a specific period in Hollywood (1969) where a TV actor (DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Pitt) go about  their lives navigating their roles and place in the industry. We get to see an enviably close partnership / friendship captured in a way that gives the movie a kind of behind the scenes / documentary feel. One that shows us a glimpse into the middle aged actor experience; along with the experience of a few other Hollywood residents – unsavoury or otherwise.

In terms of great scenes, DiCaprio has some. Overall though, my favourites mostly feature Pitt’s Cliff Booth character. It makes sense since Pitt’s scenes contained a little more of what I love about Tarantino films. Including beautifully choreographed ‘badassery,’ undeniable cool, great dialogue, tension, music and so on.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is one to watch for fans of Tarantino, those curious about his creative evolution and fans of the great actors involved. Even though this one isn’t my favourite Tarantino film, there are scenes I’ll remember fondly. Especially the choreography of a specific scene involving a beautiful pit bull named Brandy.

What’s your your favourite Tarantino classic?

Happy Film Loving

G

KNIVES OUT (2019): The Things I Liked…

Knives Out (2019) LaKeith Stanfield, Ana De Armes, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Lionsgate Movies
Knives Out (2019) LaKeith Stanfield, Ana De Armes, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Lionsgate Movies

As far as murder mystery movies go, I certainly haven’t watched very many and can’t say that they’re my favourite. However, writer / director Rian Johnsons’s Knives Out isn’t a bad one. 

Centred around the sudden death of the patriarch (Christopher Plummer) of an eccentric, combative family, Johnsons’s film kept me engaged throughout. The story and familial tensions kept building and building until its final quite satisfying conclusion.

I enjoyed all the performances including and especially Daniel Craig as private investigator Benoit Blanc. I also rather liked the facial expressions of Jamie Lee Curtis’s character, Linda Drysdale.

Knives Out has humour, clever twists and surprises to keep you locked in till the end.  I say definitely watch it if you like murder mysteries, and Daniel Crag… and the rest of the talented cast which includes LaKeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas and Toni Collette.

Happy Film Loving

G

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE (2020): The Things I Liked…

Bad Boys For Life (2020), Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Bad Boys For Life (2020), Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Sony Pictures Entertainment

I’m really glad that Will Smith and Martin Lawrence waited for a decent script before finally saying yes to making Bad Boys For Life. Especially since the long awaited sequel to the Bad Boys franchise is a fun action packed experience. 

Started in 1995 with Bad Boys and followed by 2003’s Bad Boys II – both directed by Michael Bay, the script for this latest instalment makes good use of Smith and Lawrence’s great chemistry and comic timing.

Much of the humour in Bad Boys For Life comes from the way both detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) approach the fact that they’re now much closer to middle age than the rookies they once were. These very welcome humorous moments are balanced with visually impressive action sequences and the genuine brotherly bond between Burnett and Lowrey.

In terms of my engagement levels as the movie played, the way directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah captured the story kept my full attention almost throughout. Whether it was the energy, look and feel, filming style or the dialogue, I was right there and focused.

The only part of Bad Boys For Life that I found myself not fully on board with is the way the story is wrapped up after the films biggest revelation. For me, that last quarter of the movie was the weakest part because I didn’t quite buy how it played out as it felt a tad forced. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t say it’s reason enough not to see it because Bad Boys For Life really is fun, especially for fans of the previous films and the great comic duo that is Smith and Lawrence.

Lastly,  I’m definitely not a petrol head but that stunning blue car, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S is quite the beauty. Looking at it against the Miami backdrop was a definite treat.

Happy Film Loving

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