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The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans [ 2009 ] [ Hits:2636 ]
Review: It's really difficult to comment on Werner Herzog's latest offering, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. First off, the title should alert you to the fact that this is a send up of the cop crime genre, which is not to be confused with Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant (1992) starring Harvey Keitel. Both focus on a bad cop with a drug addiction, are based on the same script but are made with different intentions. Herzog has made a name for himself as a daring and unorthodox director with fi...

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day [ Hits:2533 ]
Review: The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day features the same cast and the same writer-director that made The Boondock Saints famous. It would seem natural for the progression to mirror the original cult classic, however that is not the case in this sequel. Instead of counterbalancing the Saints with an agent like Smecker (Dafoe), Duffy decides to incorporate a Jodie Foster type character with a Southern drawl called Bloom (Benz). While Julie Benz (Dexter) is a stunning redhead with a bit of spunk, i...

Public Enemies [ 2009 ] [ Hits:2483 ]
Review: Public Enemy was one of the film's that ironically cemented Jimmy Cagney in the old Hollywood. His performance as Tom Powers was extraordinary and marked the rise of the crime genre and of the legend of Cagney. This is what Public Enemies is missing... a powerhouse performance that delivers substance, backbone and true gangster grit beyond the rattle of the tommy gun. While Public Enemies is competent, solid, action-packed entertainment with a fine cast, based on an intriguing true story with to...

American Gangster [ 2007 ] [ Hits:3072 ]
Review: Ridley Scott introduces American Gangster, an epic American crime film based on a true story. Detective Richie Richards (Crowe) makes in-roads into Frank Lucas’s (Washington) heroin empire in Manhattan. Drug abuse is rife during America’s involvement in Vietnam, and Lucas smuggles narcotics from Thailand only to establish a monopoly with ‘Blue Magic’ a purer, cheaper alternative for U.S. junkies during the 1970s. Scott is supported by Academy Award winners, Denzel Washington and Russell...

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead [ 2007 ] [ Hits:2159 ]
Review: Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead is a powerful crime thriller that brings “the family” closer to home as two brothers plan a heist on their parent’s jewellery store, which goes horribly wrong. Instead of the mob, it’s the immediate family that does the job. Sidney Lumet directs a film that loosely mimics Kubrick’s The Killing in terms of narrative and plot. Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers a sterling performance, which was bundled together with The Savages to earn him an Oscar nomin...

Kings of South Beach [ 2007 ] [ Hits:2994 ]
Review: Kings of South Beach comes to you from the writings of Nicholas Pileggi, author of Wise Guy (Goodfellas) and Casino, two books that became Martin Scorsese crime epics. He writes the script for Kings of South Beach a decade later, which is based on a true story. This made for television feature may not have the big budget flair of The Departed, but manages to entertain nevertheless. Donnie Wahlberg teams up with experienced TV maverick, Jason Gedrick in something of a buddy movie. These boys are ...

Max Payne [ 2008 ] [ Hits:3014 ]
Review: Max Payne gets its long-awaited adaptation into film. Anyone that has played Max Payne will agree that Max Payne (2008) captured the atmosphere from the game. The subways, dark alleys and dark light are Max’s world, and translate well on the big screen. However, the story and characters could have been lifted from a script for another film. Max Payne is void of key Payne elements, which would align the adaptation to the video game. The movie adaptation substitutes pain killers for a top secret...

Burn After Reading [ 2008 ] [ Hits:3299 ]
Review: Burn After Reading is a Coen Brothers film riddled with a host of regulars including: George Clooney (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou), Frances McDormand (Fargo) and J.K. Simmons (The Ladykillers). Burn After Reading tells the story of two gym employees, who discover a CD with information about the CIA’s operations. Linda (McDormand) wants several cosmetic surgery procedures done, and Chad just wants a “prize” for recovering the invaluable information on the disc. This comes after Osbourne (Mal...

Boy A [ 2007 ] [ Hits:2469 ]
Review: Boy A is a film by John Crowley (Intermission), starring Andrew Garfield and Peter Mullan. The title refers to the court practice of giving adolescent defendants anonymity. Boy A is based on the novel by Jonathan Trigell, who maintains that Boy A is fiction. However, many believe that there are too many similarities between Boy A and the murder of James Bulger by two 10-year-old boys. In their case, the defendants were referred to as Child A (Venables) and Child B (Thompson), so it would seem th...

RocknRolla [ 2008 ] [ Hits:2141 ]
Review: RocknRolla is classic Guy Ritchie. After a lapse in filmic enterprise, the hotshot British director has made a stylised return to the days of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Ritchie’s trademark subject matter and comedic crime escapade oozes cool. Gerard Butler (300) and Tom Wilkinson ensure that RocknRolla has all the juice it needs, and Thandie Newton, Mark Strong and Jeremy Piven drive this point home. Underground crime syndicate, rich Russian property developers, junkies an...

Gran Torino [ 2008 ] [ Hits:2621 ]
Review: Gran Torino follows in a long line of comebacks… Bruce Willis reprised John McClane in Die Hard 4, Sylvester Stallone gave Rocky a few more rounds in Rocky Balboa and Clint Eastwood gets his Dirty Harry attitude back for Gran Torino. Eastwood is in his late 70s, but that doesn’t stop him from tearing things up in Hollywood. He’s taken a backseat, the director’s actually, over the last few years since his turn in Million Dollar Baby. However, the chance to play an older, wiser “Dirty Ha...

White Heat [ 1949 ] [ Hits:2181 ]
Review: “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” is a famous movie quote from 1949’s film noir classic, White Heat. It stars James Cagney in one of his best performances as Cody Jarrett, a psychopath criminal with a mother complex. After a train robbery doesn’t go to plan, Jarrett’s gang of hoodlums decide to stay low for a while. Cody’s headaches, and unpredictability start to wear down the gang and serves as a perfect opportunity for Big Ed to vie for power. Especially when Jarrett is tracked down...

The Black Dahlia [ 2006 ] [ Hits:2157 ]
Review: The Black Dahlia is a Film Noir piece based on James Ellroy’s novel, and directed by Brian de Palma (The Untouchables, Scarface, Carlito’s Way). The Black Dahlia boasts a fresh talent cast including Josh Harnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank. The performances are overshadowed by the cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond, which was nominated for an Oscar. It’s set in the 1940s and two boxers are partnered as cops after a big fight. A love triangle develops between Dwight ...

City of God [ 2002 ] [ Hits:3293 ]
Review: City of God aka Cidade de Deus looks and feels real. You know you’re about to see something special, when the opening scene rolls. Chickens are being plucked and prepared, while festive music fills the air. In the City of God, the children are the criminals. They all run around playing ‘cops and robbers’. Only this ‘cops and robbers’ leaves some dead. When they’re not playing soccer on the dusty fields, they’re toting handguns and holding gas trucks up for money and loot. The polic...

Touch of Evil [ 1958 ] [ Hits:2342 ]
Review: Orson Welles is right up there with Polanski, Kubrick and Hitchcock. He’s arguably the most acclaimed “directed by, written by and starring in” film-maker of all time. Some of his most famous works include Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil, a film noir piece that starts with one of the longest shots in Hollywood history. Welles plays Hank Quinlan in Touch of Evil, a hulking mound of flesh with a drinking problem and a questionable reputation within the police department. His screen presence i...

The Brothers Bloom [ 2008 ] [ Hits:2175 ]
Review: The Brothers Bloom comes from the mind of Rian Johnson, the writer-director who introduced us to the world of high school film noir with the acclaimed detective story, Brick. This time round, Johnson has clad some more experienced name stars to his utility belt with Rachel Weisz as Penelope and Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo as The Bloom Brothers. The film is made up of many genres, ranging from off-beat romantic comedy through the rungs to fantastic adventure and then down again to family dramed...

Next Day Air [ 2009 ] [ Hits:2289 ]
Review: Next Day Air is a Benny Boom film with boom in terms of gunfire and boom in the Afrikaans sense of the word. Boom’s MTV video direction must have raised some eyebrows, because the man’s made a name for himself in the movies. His feature film debut is an uneasy mix of Quentin Tarantino and a Spike Lee joint, starring Donald Faison, Mike Epps, Cisco Reyes and Mos Def. Now dropping Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee’s names into the melting pot may get your attention, but Next Day Air falls shor...

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