Category Archives: Crime

BLACKKKLANSMAN (2018): The Things I Liked…

Blackkklansman (2018), John David Washington, Topher Grace
Blackkklansman (2018), John David Washington, Topher Grace

Blackkklansman is the true story of Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado who successfully infiltrated the local Ku Klux Klan and became the head of the local chapter.

Starring John David Washington, Adam Driver and Topher Grace, Blackkklansman is an engaging, suspenseful and entertaining experience from start to finish. 

Considering the backdrop of a very racially tense time in America, director Spike Lee does a good job of delivering tension and suspense mixed in with humour and iconic imagery of the 1970s. From the style, fashion, music as well as the general mood and atmosphere. Lee serves it all up without forgetting the all important message, particularly in reference to the past and present encouragement of racial violence by political forces. 

I enjoyed the general cleverness of Lee’s directorial execution as well as the execution of Stallworth’s police investigation. The brotherhood between the investigative team is also a highlight, along with the vision of so many healthy looking afros and being reintroduced to the following rather joyful song…

Too Late To Turn Back Now by Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose

Watch it because all the tension and suspense pays off in quite the satisfying way.  

Happy Film Loving 

G

THE OLD MAN & THE GUN (2018): The Thing I Liked…

The Old Man & The Gun (2018), Robert Redford
The Old Man & The Gun (2018), Robert Redford

Starring Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Donald Glover and Casey Affleck, The Old Man & The Gun is a good, charming – as expected, well acted, engaging and sometimes a little amusing movie.

Part of what makes director David Lowery’s film a unique experience is that unlike most, if not all other bank robber movies you’ve seen, not to say that the pace here is slow because it isn’t, but this one is quite a relaxed experience. Especially when you consider that Forrest Tucker, the real person on whom Redford’s character is based was described by his victims as well mannered and a gentleman; one who even took to smiling as he robbed.

We get to learn a little about Tucker’s life before he becomes a  septuagenarian, yet I still felt as though I needed a whole documentary about him. Particularly since The Old Man & The Gun had me thinking about Tucker’s psychology. How hard did he really try to find something less criminal than robbing banks to make him feel as though he was really living? It’s one thing to be compelled to steal in order to survive, it’s something else to do it because it’s fun and delivers on that ‘alive feeling’.

Considering his polite gentlemanly approach, perhaps Tucker just decided to cause as little harm as possible whilst doing his favourite thing which happened to be criminal and best done whilst pointing a gun. Then again, perhaps not.

My conclusion is this: humans are complicated. Maybe watch The Old Man & The Gun to see an intriguing example of just that. Watch it for the charm and because I think it’s one of Redford’s last movies, if not his very last. I heard he’s retiring.

Lastly, Lowery does well to keep this film engaging but definitely don’t go into this expecting anything like the rather brilliant bank robbing opening sequence of The Dark Knight (2008).Make sure you’re relaxed, in the mood for an easy viewing movie experience and be ready to smile.

Happy film Loving 

G

A SIMPLE FAVOR (2018): The Thing I Liked…

A Simple Favor (2018): Blake Lively
A Simple Favor (2018): Blake Lively

Director Paul Feig’s crime / thriller about a mommy vlogger trying to find out the real reason behind her new best friend’s sudden disappearance is a movie I liked less than I expected to. 

Starring Blake Lively, Henry Golding and Anna Kendrick, what I liked most about A Simple Favor, besides Lively’s character Emily’s great sense of style is her embodiment of a young woman in charge who refuses to take nonsense from anyone.

It’s therefore no wonder then that Kendrick’s outwardly super sweet Stephanie was very much drawn to the clearly inspiring and very fun to watch Emily.

There was a moment after all the key characters seemed to have been established that I wondered where the story was really going. What I most certainly didn’t expect is that I’d find A Simple Favor to be rather unsatisfying overall.

Having never read the book on which this movie is based, I’d prepared myself for a different kind of experience; one that was a fun mystery with entertaining dialogue, but without things taking quite the the dark turn that they did. And when I say ‘dark,’ I’m really mostly referring to the truth behind Emily, her true nature. It’s clear to me now that I simply wanted to like her.

The last time a movie did something similar to me, almost like a bait and switch was The Lobster (2015). And just like the Lobster, I liked the earlier half of A Simple Favor more.

Watch it if you’re so curious, maybe you’ll enjoy the darkness.

Happy Film Loving

G

TRIPLE FRONTIER (2019): New Trailer From Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal, Garrett Hedlund, Charlie Hanum…

Triple Frontier (2019), Garrett Hedlund, Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal, Charlie Hunnam, Ben Affleck
Triple Frontier (2019), Garrett Hedlund, Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal, Charlie Hunnam, Ben Affleck

Directed by J.C. Chandor; Triple Frontier stars  Charlie Hunnam, Ben Affleck, Pedro Pascal, Garrett Hedlund and Oscar Isaac.

This one is a  action / adventure where five former Special Forces operatives  plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. A major heist that turns into  an epic battle for survival…

Seeing the hurt in Isaac’s character’s eyes, I wonder how much sympathy these guys are going to get out of me. Either way, I’m hoping for a thrilling adventure and with a  cast like this, the chances should be good.

Adria Arjona, Sheila Vand and Reynaldo Gallegos also star.

Triple Frontier Release Dates: March 2019 (US): March 15th, 2019 (Internet)…

Happy Film Loving 

G

THE EQUALIZER 2 (2018): The Things I Liked…

The Equalizer 2 (2018), Denzel Washington
The Equalizer 2 (2018), Denzel Washington

In The Equaliser 2, Denzel Washington’s Robert McCall is, as aways more than ready to serve up an unflinching justice in the name of the exploited and oppressed. Since in director Antoine Fuqua’s sequel, one of the oppressed happens to be someone McCall loves dearly, he wastes no time in setting up a series of smart manoeuvres that prove arguably as thrilling and unexpected as in the first movie, The Equalizer (2014).

With a well-chosen supporting cast that includes Ashton Sanders (Moonlight 2016), Pedro Pascal and Melissa Leo, I particularly enjoyed the dynamic and chemistry between Denzel and Pascal’s characters. My favourite of the most thrilling moments involves the ‘panic room’ scene. A scene that was almost too intense and suspenseful for my little thriller loving heart to bear.

What unfortunately ensures that The Equaliser 2 is not quite as memorable as the first movie includes the fact that it’s a sequel and therefore has the element of familiarity strongly fighting against it. The other reason for me personally is how the beginning portion of the film felt a little disconnected from the rest of it. 

Overall, I say there’s still enough good stuff going on to make The Equaliser 2 a worthy movie. You will certainly be thrilled, moved and possibly find yourself feeling lucky and grateful, especially for all the good, helpful people you’re knowingly and unknowingly connected to.

Watch it if you’re so curious.

Happy Film Loving 

G

REPLICAS (2019): New trailer From Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Emily Alyn Lind, Thomas Middleditch…

Replicas (2019), Keanu Reeves
Replicas (2019), Keanu Reeves

Directed by  Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Replicas stars Keanu Reeves as a scientist determined to bring back his wife and children who died in a traffic accident.

Other key cast includes Alice Eve, Emily Alyn Lind, Thomas Middleditch…

More than the story and even though I’m far from a scientist, I find myself most interested in the cloning process and what Eve’s character felt as she realised something was wasn’t quite right.

John Ortiz, Emjay Anthony, Nyasha Hatendi, Amber Townsend, Amber Rivera and Aria Lyric Leabu also star.

Replicas Release Dates: January 11th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving 

G

DESTROYER (2018): New Trailer From Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan, Bradley Whitford…

Destroyer (2018), Nicole Kidman
Destroyer (2018), Nicole Kidman

Starring Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan, Bradley Whitford and directed by Karyn Kusama, Destroyer is the story of the moral and existential odyssey of an LAPD detective named Erin Bell.

Bell decides to reconnect with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace…

I’m in for what looks like a really good Kidman performance and to understand the nature of the wrongs that led to Bell needing to make peace.

Tatiana Maslany, Shamier Anderson, Toby Kebbell, Scoot McNairy and Toby Huss also star.

Destroyer Release Dates: December 25th, 2018 (US); January 25th, 2019 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

SHOPLIFTERS (2018): New Trailer From Director Hirokazu Koreeda Starring Kirin Kiki, Lily Franky, Jyo Kairi, Sôsuke Ikematsu…

Shoplifters (2018), Jyo Kairi, Sakura Andô
Shoplifters (2018), Jyo Kairi, Sakura Andô

From writer / director  Hirokazu Koreeda, Shoplifters is the story of a family of small-time crooks who take in a child they find on the street.

Key cast includes Kirin Kiki, Lily Franky, Jyo Kairi, Sôsuke Ikematsu…

I’m watching in hopes of the memorable  movie experience this trailer is suggesting and maybe even a happy hopeful conclusion, fingers crossed.

Shoplifters Release Dates: November 23rd, 2018 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G