Category Archives: Crime

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

G

CAPONE (2020): New Trailer From Tom Hardy, Linda Cardellini, Matt Dillon, Kyle MacLachlan…

Capone (2020), Tom Hardy
Capone (2020), Tom Hardy, Vertical Entertainment US

Directed by Josh Trank; Tom Hardy, Kyle MacLachlan, Matt Dillon and Linda Cardellini are the stars of Capone, a new crime / thriller based on the notorious American mobster Al Capone.

At the age of 47 after spending 10 years in prison, Capone starts suffering from dementia and finds himself haunted by his violent past.

I’m in for a good Hardy performance, and with all those prosthetics he has going on, it’s just as well that I don’t only watch Hardy movies because of his undeniably handsome face.

Knowing that Tony Montana of Scarface (1983) was inspired by the real life story of Al Capone, I’ll have my eyes rested and ready to spot any similarities in the two films. Especially since before even know this truth for sure a few seconds before typing it, some images in this trailer already reminded me of moments in Brian De Palma’s famous classic.

Noel Fisher, Jack Lowden, Kathrine Narducci, Al Sapienza, Tilda Del Toro, Mason Guccione, Sue-Lynn Ansari, Wayne Pére, Jhemma Ziegler, Patti Brindley and Rose Bianco also star.

Capone Release Dates: May 12th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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THE QUARRY (2020): New Trailer Starring Shea Whigham, Michael Shannon, Catalina Sandino Moreno…

The Quarry (2020), Michael Shannon
The Quarry (2020), Michael Shannon

The Quarry is a crime / thriller about a drifter (Shea Whigham) who kills a traveling preacher and takes his place at a small-town church. Unfortunately for him, the local police chief (Michael Shannon) suspects foul play.

Directed by Scott Teems; Catalina Sandino Moreno, Bobby Soto and Bruno Bichirare among the key cast.

What on earth was the drifter thinking and how much research did he carry out in order to even think his plan would work? I’ll be watching to get an answer to these questions and for Michael Shannon’s performance.

Alvaro Martinez, Jimmy Gonzales, Abel Becerra, Anthony Reynolds, Rose Bianco, Julia Vera, David Jensen and Giovanni Cohea also star.

The Quarry Release Dates: April 17th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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ARKANSAS (2020): New Trailer Starring Vince Vaughn, Liam Hemsworth, John Malkovich, Clark Duke…

Arkansas (2020), Clark Duke, Liam Hemsworth
Arkansas (2020), Clark Duke, Liam Hemsworth

In new crime / thriller Arkansas, Liam Hemsworth and Clark Duke play two criminals who work for Frog (Vince Vaughn), a drug kingpin they’ve never met. When a deal goes horribly wrong, deadly consequences and a meeting with Frog himself suddenly seems far more likely.

Co-written / directed by Clark Duke; additional key cast includes John Malkovich, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Kenneth Williams and Brad William Henke.

The main reason for my interest is John Malkovitch. The second is because this looks like a ‘reckless fools doing crime‘ type of movie that could also be fun. The kind of fun that’s reminiscent of Lock Stock And Two Smocking Barrels (1998). We’ll see what happens next month.

Patrick Muldoon, Eden Brolin, Jacob Zachar, Jeff Chase, Barry Primus, Juston Street, Jared Bankens and Adina Galupa also star.

Arkansas Release Dates: May 5th, 2020 (US) on Apple, Amazon, On Demand Platforms, Blu-ray and DVD.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE POSTCARD KILLINGS (2020): The Thing I Liked…

The Postcard Killings (2020), Jeffrey Dean Morgan
The Postcard Killings (2020), Jeffrey Dean Morgan

‘Overall, it’s watchable’ is really the best I can say about Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Famke Janssen, Cush Jumbo and Naomi Battrick’s latest crime / mystery, The Postcard Killings.

Based on a book by Liza Marklund and James Patterson, I was hoping for a truly thrilling serial killer movie experience. What director Danis Tanovic delivers instead is a story where the killer is not quite what one might expect, which ordinarily would have been a great thing. Only I really didn’t quite buy into the story of the killer, their motivations, let alone completely believe that they were even fully capable of the crimes in question.

Part of the problem is that the film’s edit didn’t serve the story well overall. For example, there are one or two moments in Tanovic’s film that could have been truly memorable in a good way. Particularly in terms of the shock and surprise they could have induced. Except the way these moments were captured just made it all fall almost completely flat .

There was admittedly one or two suspenseful moments where I held my breath in anticipation. Nevertheless, The Postcard Killings is still not a movie I’d insist you watch unless you absolutely must. Some of acting was OK at best but had the story edit, casting and direction been even better, one can only imagine. 

Lastly, it’s really got to be time for me to re-watch Se7en. That film really is serial killer movie excellence.

Happy Film Loving 

G

THE POSTCARD KILLINGS (2020): New Trailer Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Famke Janssen, Cush Jumbo, Naomi Battrick…

The Postcard Killings (2020), Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cush Jumbo
The Postcard Killings (2020), Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cush Jumbo

Read my spoiler-free movie review of The Postcard Killings (2020).


New crime / mystery The Postcard Killings has Jeffrey Dean Morgan as New York detective Jacob Kanon. Kanon is investigating the death of his daughter who was murdered in London during her honeymoon…

Based on the book of the same name by Liza Marklund and James Patterson; directed by Danis Tanovic; Cush Jumbo, Famke Janssen and Naomi Battrick are among the key cast.

I’m getting Taken (2008) vibes for more reasons than Janssen playing the mother role in both movies. Morgan’s Kanon also has something in common with Julia Roberts’s The Secret In Their Eyes (2015), where Roberts plays a law enforcement officer whose daughter is murdered.

A good Morgan performance and a hopefully memorable mystery are my reasons for wanting to see this one.

Ruairi O’Connor, Joachim Król, Eva Röse, Lukas Loughran, Steven Mackintosh, Dylan Devonald Smith, Sallie Harmsen and Pål Espen Kilstad also star.

The Postcard Killings Release Dates: March 13th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

JOKER (2019): The Things I Liked…

Joker (2019), Joaquin Phoenix, Warner Bros. Pictures
Joker (2019), Joaquin Phoenix, Warner Bros. Pictures

I’ve liked Joaquin Phoenix ever since his brilliant performance in Ridley Scott’s much loved Gladiator (2000). I therefore had no doubt he’d deliver a truly memorable performance as Joker, Gotham City’s most iconic villain.

Watching Aurthur Fleck’s journey from social outcast to psychopathic murderer is a viewing experience I enjoyed for more than just Phoenix’s brilliant physical and emotional performance. Before Joker, I don’t think I’d truly paid attention to the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life. The clever use of this song, the film’s musical score and soundtrack is another key highlight. 

Joker (2020), Joaquin Phoenix, Warner Bros. Pictures
Joker (2020), Joaquin Phoenix, Warner Bros. Pictures

Joker is undeniably a good film. Yet, for me personally, there is something about it that meant I found myself not particularly overly enthusiastic post viewing. One might even say that Joker is quite depressing because it’s almost ‘too real,’ when compared with what’s been happening in the US. Another reason it seemed something of a downer is the film’s heavy focus on people who are, to put it lightly, ‘unpleasant’. I of course understand director Todd Phillip’s reasons considering the nature of the story being told. Yet it’s never easy for me when the protagonist is also an anti-hero of the most insane and murderous kind, particularly when there’s no humour involved. 

Overall, what I like most about Phillip’s film, is how well mapped Joker’s journey from victim to anti-hero is. From powerless to fully empowered and in control. From ‘how much more can he take?’ ‘Where can he go from here?’ to ‘There it is’. ‘The camel’s back has completely snapped and there’s no going back

Lastly, I can’t deny that my colour loving self rather enjoyed the red suit, yellow vest, plus  green shirt and hair look. Especially while Joker was on those famous stairs.

You’ve probably already seen it. If not, do it for Phoenix’s performance and all else that’s good about it.

Happy Film

G

SPIRAL (2020): New Trailer From Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella…

Spiral (2020), Max Minghella, Chris Rock, Lionsgate Movies
Spiral (2020), Max Minghella, Chris Rock, Lionsgate Movies

Spiral is a new horror / mystery that has Chris Rock as Detective Banks. Banks and his rookie partner (Max Minghella) take charge of a grisly investigation, but soon at the center of the killer’s morbid game.

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman; additional key cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Marisol Nichols, Zoie Palmer, Dan Petronijevic…

I just got the heebie jeebies as I imagined what on earth could possibly lead me to decide to slice my own arm off. The answer came quickly. Especially as I first thought that Rock’s character was in a subway underground setting. All I’d need in that situation is to see one rat, then two inching towards me. That’s if I don’t pass out from the shock and disgust of such a nightmare predicament first.

I can’t quite tell if Jackson’s character is supposed to be the bad guy. It would certainly be intriguing if he were.

Nazneen Contractor, Morgan David Jones, Edie Inksetter, K.C. Collins, Josh Stolberg, Ali Johnson Brian Cook, Leila Leigh and Christopher Tai also star.

Spiral Release Dates: May 21st, 2021 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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