Category Archives: Crime

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (2018): The Things I Liked…

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), KiKi Layne, Stephan James
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), KiKi Layne, Stephan James

Starring Regina King, KiKi Layne, Pedro Pascal, Stephan James, Ed Skrein, and from Moonight 2016 director Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk is a drama / romance set in early 1970s Harlem. 

Based on rightly celebrated American novelist and social critic James Baldwin’s book of the same name, at the centre of the story is Tish. Tish is a pregnant young black woman who’s desperately scrambling to prove her fiancé innocent of a terrible crime.

There are some moments in this movie where I wanted to hit the fast forward button for a few seconds. Yet, overall, I’d say that at first you may resist the sometimes almost dream-like pace of this story, but soon enough you surrender to it. And you do so on account of the well written dialogue, the musical score, the great performances and Jenkins’s depiction of a truly united, loving family – generally speaking and in the face of great injustice.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Regina King
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Regina King

It was during the most heartbreaking scenes in this movie that the full meaning behind Baldwin’s book title, ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ quickly came to light. And as it did so, my head and heart started wishing that the truth of the story would end up being ‘When Beale Street Spoke.’

Well edited with flashbacks that are expertly woven in, this one is a movie that will one minute break your heart and have you extremely disappointed in the capacity of the human to hate. Then the next minute make you smile at the beauty of love as you take a moment to appreciate the strength and love of family and friends when you need them most.

As a fan of great writing, I can only imagine the pride of the actors who got to speak Baldwin’s words. The writing stood out so much fo me that, had I not already known that Baldwin was behind it, as the movie played, I’d have definitely had to make a note to look this great ‘new’ writer up.

Watch it for all the reasons above. Especially the dialogue, the family unit, for some insight into being black in America, to discover KiKi Layne – if you didn’t already know – and of course, love.

Happy Film Loving

G

VELVET BUZZSAW (2019): The Things I Liked…

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019), Jake Gyllenhaal
Velvet Buzzsaw (2019), Jake Gyllenhaal

I had a good time watching writer / director Dan Gilroy’s latest movie, Velvet Buzzsaw. The fact that it’s set in sunny Miami Beach, Florida only has a little something to do with it.

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, John Malkovich, Zawe Ashton, Toni Collette and Billy Magnussen, Velvet Buzzsaw is a comedy / crime / fantasy movie about a group of art lovers who become revenge targets for a supernatural force. The catalyst for the vengeance being, the art lovers helped themselves to pieces of art they really shouldn’t have.

I immediately liked the early scenes where the different characters along with all their various motivations are established. Nevertheless, I did watch these scenes while somewhat impatiently waiting for the vengeance to begin. The true extent of my impatience didn’t really reveal itself until after the very first bit of rather thrilling revenge is enacted. Reason being, some of the scenes after that point weren’t always especially engaging. 

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019), Zawe Ashton
Velvet Buzzsaw (2019), Zawe Ashton

For me personally, thanks to my favourite characters in the movie, the ones played by Gyllenhaal, Ashton and Natalia Dyer, I feel like Velvet Buzzsaw had enough to make the nearly two hours I spent watching the movie worthwhile. I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s quite as good as Nightcrawler (2014)my favourite Gyllenhaal and Gilroy collaboration, but it does have some standout moments that I won’t soon forget. Especially in regards to the creative ways revenge is enacted upon the greedy art lovers. There’s also the moments of gorgeous cinematography and rich, vibrant colours. 

Another good movie that came to mind as I watched Velvet Buzzsaw is Final Destination (2000), a horror / thriller that did a very memorable job of thrilling and shocking its audience because of the very well executed death sequences – something Velvet Buzzsaw doesn’t do too badly at either.

Watch it if you’re so curious. Other reasons include the ‘funny’ replacement personal assistant, the chance to see Gyllenhaal really having fun in this role. Last but not least, watch it and be surprised by how much you actually enjoy the very last ‘piece of art’ shown in this movie. I know I did. I really could have looked at it for a while, if I were less busy.

Happy Film Loving 

G

SHAFT (2019): New Trailer From Samuel L. Jackson, Regina Hall, Jessie T. Usher, Richard Roundtree…

Shaft (2019),Jessie T. Usher, Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Roundtree
Shaft (2019),Jessie T. Usher, Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Roundtree

Directed by Tim Story, Shaft is the latest crime / action movie starring once again Samuel L. Jackson as New York City police detective John Shaft.

Shaft’s son John Shaft Jr. (Jessie T. Usher) is in town to enlist his father’s help to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death.

I don’t remember seeing the Shaft movies that came before this new instalment. All I know is that so far, I like the humour. Especially Shaft’s response to his son’s reference to James Bond: ”If that dude was real, he’d think he was me.

Shaft Release Dates: June 14th, 2019 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

A VIGILANTE (2019): New Trailer From Olivia Wilde, Morgan Spector, C.J. Wilson…

A Vigilante (2019), Olivia Wilde
A Vigilante (2019), Olivia Wilde

Witten / directed by  Sarah Daggar-Nickson, Olivia Wilde is the star of A Vigilante, a new drama / thriller about a woman once in an abusive marriage, that now helps victims escape their domestic abusers.

It’s been a while since I saw Wilde in a movie, let alone one where she gets to kick behinds that are deserving of a good kicking.

So far in this trailer, Wilde’s fighting abilities look rather convincing; always a quality I always appreciate

Tonye Patano, Betsy Aidem, Kyle Catlett, Judy Marte, Cheryse Dyllan, Jim Ford and David Shumbris also star.

A Vigilante Release Dates: March 29th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE (2019): New Trailer From Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Angela Sarafyan, John Malkovich…

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019), Zac Efron, Lily Collins

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is a new Joe Berlinger directed biography / crime / thriller that chronicles the crimes of American serial killer Ted Bundy.

Starring Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Angela Sarafyan and John Malkovich, the story of Extremely Wicked is told from the perspective of Bundy’s longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer…

I want to believe I’ll be more impressed with the finished film than I currently am with the music choice and edit of this trailer, not that it’s terrible.

I also haven’t yet figured out whether releasing this trailer around the same time as the Netflix Ted Bundy documentary is a good idea. Either way, I want Efron to do well in this role.

Kaya Scodelario, Haley Joel Osment, Jeffrey Donovan and Jim Parsons also star.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile Release Dates…

Happy Film Loving

G

JOHN WICK – CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM (2019): New Trailer From Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Jason Mantzoukas…

Directed by Chad Stahelski, Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry and Jason Mantzoukas are among the stars of John Wick – Chapter 3 – Parabellum.

This time the Super-assassin has has become the target of hit men and women everywhere, thanks to the $14 million price tag on his head. That sort of thing tends to happen when you’re on the run because you killed a member of the international assassin’s guild…

I can’t wait to see just how fun Stahelski can make this instalment because I’m expecting lots of badass fight sequences, as well as bullets flying around at all times.

There’s also the cinematography; I love the colours, the moment on the horse, Halle Berry’s entrance and how well her character teams up with Wick towards the end.

Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Robin Lord Taylor and Lance Reddick also star.

John Wick – Chapter 3 – Parabellum Release Dates: May 17th, 2019 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

LITTLE WOODS (2018): New Trailer From Lily James, Tessa Thompson…

Little Woods (2018), Lily James, Tessa Thompson

Little Woods is the latest from Tessa Thompson and Lily James.

Written / directed by  Nia DaCosta, it’s a modern western / crime / drama about sisters Ollie and Deb who are driven to work outside the law to better their lives.

Ollie has been helping people in her town to access Canadian health care and medication. Eventually the authorities sense that something’s going on and Ollie decides to quit, except, then comes a desperate plea for help from her sister…

I definitely didn’t see the interesting pairing of Thompson and James coming. I’m looking forward to seeing how the story plays because sibling dynamics are often intriguing and I could be wrong but something tells me that there might just be some tragedy in store.

Luke Kirby, James Badge Dale, Lance Reddick, Elizabeth Maxwell, Luci Christian, Lawrence Varnado, and Alexis West also star.

Little Woods Release Dates: April 19th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

VELVET BUZZSAW (2019): New Trailer From Jake Gyllenhaal, John Malkovich, Toni Collette, Billy Magnussen…

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019), Jake Gyllenhaal
Velvet Buzzsaw (2019), Jake Gyllenhaal

Dan Gilroy, the director of my favourite Jake Gyllenhaal movie Nightcrawler (2014) is back with a new crime / fantasy movie, Velvet Buzzsaw which stars Gyllenhaal, John Malkovich, Toni Collette and Billy Magnussen.

After a number of art lovers help themselves to a series of paintings by an unknown artist, a supernatural force enacts revenge to punish all those involved for their greed…

I’m in for Gyllenhaal’s performance and who knows, maybe I’ll love what his does in this movie as much as I appreciate his great work in Nightcrawler.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the whole experience isn’t nightmare inducing. At time of writing, Velvet Buzzsaw isn’t categorised as horror, so there is hope.

Zawe Ashton, Natalia Dyer, Rene Russo, Daveed Diggs, Peter Gadiot and Tom Sturridge also star.

Read my spoiler free movie review of Velvet Buzzsaw.

Velvet Buzzsaw Release Dates: February 1st, 2019 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G