Archive for the ‘Crime/Detective’ Category

You: Season 2 – **

Posted: January 16, 2020 in 2019, Crime/Detective, TV series, USA, XX

Damn.

This sequel is a drag. The first season was so good. Yet this time around the story doesn’t excite. Joe moves to LA, meets a new woman he falls in love with and starts to stalk. But that’s not the core of the story anymore.

Nothing is really the core of the story. There’s a bit of everything going on. Sure, that’s a good change from the first season where the love/stalk story was too present. But then again, that was also its coolness. Maybe it’s the setting. Los Angeles isn’t New York. And its inhabitants just aren’t quite like the ones of the Big Apple. Most of the new characters in this show are tiresome stereotypes of Angelenos. And that’s the biggest flaw.

Not a season to binge watch.

 

Knives Out – **(*)

Posted: December 22, 2019 in 2019, Crime/Detective, USA, XX1/2

This is quite an entertaining, well-scripted, well-edited whodunnit with some great acting performances and a few interesting plot twists. The character depiction is very superficial though, which is disappointing, And the suspense never really kicks in.

A rich publisher is found dead in his study. It looks like suicide, at least that is what the police have concluded. But a private detective is hired to exclude foul play. He wants to hear the version of events by everyone who was present the night before the death/murder.

The set up is great, but somehow it doesn’t make sense that a few characters, who were present, are not heard by the police/detective at all.

But, still, it’s really good. Not really predictable, but the end doesn’t come as a surprise either.

www.imdb.com/title/tt8946378

The Irishman – *

Posted: December 8, 2019 in 2019, biopic, Gangster Movie, USA, X

Wow. Glad to not have bought a cinema ticket for this 3,5 hour Scorsese mob tale.

No, it’s not the best movie of the century. Maybe if this is your very first mobster movie you might be impressed. Not if you have seen dozens. It is not really terrible. It’s just too long. And nothing in the direction feels like it’s been done by a master genius. Martin Scorsese disappoints. And so does Robert De Niro. And what’s with the ‘special effects’ making the actors look younger? It’s silly. So are many discussion and many scenes that add nothing to the story.

The acting is not good (apart from Joe Pesci maybe, even though he doesn’t actually do much) and the story isn’t really exciting. None of the characters are sympathetic. And there’s no suspense. The main character works his way up to being some kind of bodyguard for the most notorious union leader of the US, who mysteriously disappears. One google search reveals what happened. Especially if you read about what book this movie is based on.

Maybe. Tonight just wasn’t the right time to watch a mob movie with aging actors.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1302006

 

A young lawyer, working for the public prosecutor’s officer, has been living in guilt for many years. As a child, she was the snitch that made her older brother go to jail for drug trafficking. Unwillingly of course. But her father always made her believe she did the right thing.

When she’s working on a case in which her incarcerated brother is involved, she gets drawn into his world. First out of curiosity, later out of necessity. An act of beneficence gets her in trouble. She forges a document to make sure her brother gets a better treatment in jail. But this illegal misstep is the start of one rollercoaster ride of misery and drama. Her entire career is ruined. Unless she helps a detective by infiltrating into the brotherhood gang that her brother is leading…

Though flawed, this is a very enthralling series. It’s a mix of a prison drama and a detective story with a main lead that plays a double part. It’s set in Brazil, so the drama is very dramatic. But it’s also very violent and grim. It deals about police brutality and corruption and a lot of murderous crime. People get beaten, tortured, killed by the dozens. It brings you the exact opposite of the cheerful and colorful image that Brazil has in many ignorant foreigner’s eyes. This is one dark tale. Even Cidade de Deus has characters laughing and dancing at one point. This one has zero joyful smiles.

But it’s worth the watch. Noreen Costa is phenomenal as the main lead. She not only needs to convince the detective that he can trust her. She also needs to convince the brotherhood that they need her. And more important: she needs to convince the audience watching at home that she can pull this off. Hermila Guedes is equally excellent as the wife of the imprisoned brother. In a very macho setting, these two actresses and their characters keep the show from being a total waste of time. Girl power!

The male leads are only slightly less impressive. Danilo Grangheia as the detective is great. So is Seu Jorge as the brother and leader of the prison gang. We just don’t get to know their characters that well. It’s all very superficial and the show fails to create empathy or sympathy for them. Where you believe the women immediately and you understand their actions from start to finish, it’s much harder to understand what these male characters are all about.

The story may be full of inaccuracies and illogical situations, but the storytelling is well done. Each episode ends with a good cliffhanger that make you want to continue watching. And the ideas are quite clever and flow in a constant entertaining pace. The last episode is a bit too much though. It’s inconsistent and feels rushed. It also isn’t conclusive. There’s no end. Not even an open end. A lot of questions remain.

So watch this by the millions so netflix will make the second season. Because we need to know what’s going to happen next !!!

www.imdb.com/title/tt8905964

After visiting The Third Man Museum in Vienna, it’s kind of obligatory to eventually (re-)watch the movie that inspired the museum.

But.

Be ready to be disappointed.

Sure, it’s a classic movie. It’s really well filmed. The cinematography is great. There are several beautiful scenes that have influenced the work of many future directors. The acting is solid too and the setting (post-war divided Vienna) is intriguing.

However, the story is very predictable. When the movie was released, the big surprise was a big surprise to audiences around the world. But seventy years later (7 decades!) the surprise isn’t a surprise anymore. Especially if you know that the movie stars Orson Welles and he’s not onscreen for the first hour. Somehow there is no tension at all in this ‘thriller’. Even when you see it for the very first time.

But still. Worth the watch.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0041959

German television thrillers aren’t really made with big budgets and the stories are pretty predictable, but sometimes when you’re in a lazy mood and there’s nothing else on while you are flipping through channels in a German hotel room, then it’s a good 90 minutes of fun.

Tatort has been going on for a long time, but the main leads have changed over the course of the years. This episode has two female leads, who are pretty sarcastic, especially in their remarks to their pseudo macho chief. As you are introduced to them, you want to see how this duo is going to solve the crime. Both are great, but actress Karin Hanczewski has this sassy Amy Adams look and her character is really feisty. A real treat.

The story is set in Dresden where a famous schlager singer is found murdered, a few days before a big folkore festival will take place that had him on the line-up. The setting of the story makes the episode a bit more fun as well, as the schlager world is often depicted as a world of the intelletually challenged, both on and in front of the stage. Even though that leads to some funny scenes, it also leads to a big sigh at times as it’s ‘cheap bullying’.

www.imdb.com/title/tt4982674 

No trailer, but you watch the episode online. If you understand German of course.

 

This is quite the surprising indie-action thriller !

Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughan are detectives who get suspended after one of them was filmed using an unorthodox technique during a drug bust. They are in financial need – at least Mel Gibson’s character is – and decide to steal money from a criminal. Little do they know that they will get caught up in a horrifying heist.

It’s a very entertaining movie. The acting is solid. Mel Gibson gets rave reviews for this part and with reason. Vince Vaughn and Tory Kittles are excellent too. But the directing is excellent. It’s a slow movie and the scenes are long, but that’s sooo important right now. There’s a whole new generation who will find this incredibly boring, because of its pace and superfluous scenes, but it’s quite nice to see a new movie that shows scenes and not one second fragments. That one scene in the car during the stakeout where Vince Vaughan enjoys eating a sandwich and Mel Gibson then says, after 4 minutes or so, that ‘a single ant could have eaten it faster’… Well that scene is typical for the movie.

There’s also a scene in which a guy tries to swallow an important key to hide it from others. What happens next is predictable, but also done in a very detailed way. It’s pure gore, but clever and detailed and just totally fucked up. But hey, that’s what cinema should be.

Yup. Recommending this. Even though most viewers will find it pretentious.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6491178/