Archive for the ‘Crime/Detective’ Category

Life Of Crime – *(*)

Posted: March 19, 2019 in 2013, Comedy, Crime/Detective, USA, X1/2

This came on and looked intriguing. Two amateur criminals decide to kidnap the wife of a rich businessman. However, they didn’t prepare the job that well. They had no clue that the rich businessman has an affair with a younger starlet and is filing for a divorce. And they also had no clue that the wife has an affair with her neighbor, who shows up at the moment of the kidnapping.

The first 20 minutes are okay. The movie feels a bit like a Coen-brothers production. It has all the elements of a dark satire. But then somehow things get serious. And the story becomes a mess. The jokes aren’t funny anymore. The end is okay again, but by then, it feels like they had to wrap it up fast. Too bad. It had potential.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1663207

 

Advertisements

Ten minutes into this French television movie, you’re wondering if the tourist office of Lille has financed this detective crime story. The drone shots of Lille are fabulous. Perfect for any city trip destination commercial. Then, after some research, it turns out this television movie is part of a French series of ‘murder mysteries’ that take place in tourist destination. And each story is linked to some local legend. It’s a great concept. And this episode makes you want to watch others. Not so much for the acting or the stories, but for the getaway experience.

In this movie, the body of a sculptor is found inside of one of his sculptures, at display in the excellent Piscine of Roubaix (an art museum in a former art deco swimming pool). The local police captain gets the help of a superior from Paris, who grew up in Lille. She’s standoffish and cold and reluctant to revisit the city in the north, where she is confronted with her past. In fact, one of her best friends was an assistant to the sculptor.

The crime story is silly. It’s not exciting or thrilling at all and the finale is a disappointment. But the acting is quite good and again, the location scouts did an excellent job. Too bad it’s not the pilot of a series, because both the captain and his supervisor are great characters. The captain’s assistant is also intriguing.

But it’s a television movie. And when it’s over, it’s over and you only remember how great Lille can look.

Recommended by a lot of people (and almost all over them are 40+), this high school mystery drama is quite the guilty pleasure. The fact that the parents of these kids have almost as much screen time as the teenagers has got something to do with its success. But in the end, it’s just a high school mystery drama though. A fast-paced mystery drama. A big contrast with a series like The Crown, in which a 45 minute episode feels like 4,5 hours of your time. Here there’s a plot twist every 5 minutes. It’s crazy. Best friends swear to never speak to each other again one minute and then try to solve a murder mystery 5 minutes later. Suddenly out of nowhere, secrets from the past are revealed; characters appear out of nowhere; girls who are sworn enemies support each other one moment and then later hate each others’ guts; cool characters are introduced, who end up playing no important role at all in the next episodes, etc… It’s a mess, but it’s fun.

Not sure about watching season 2 though. It’s not that good.

Oh, it’s about a teenager who was found murdered in the summer and a group of ‘friends’ trying to solve the murder in the first quarter of the new school year.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5420376

Jessica Chastain is excellent as Molly Bloom, a former freestyle ski champion who started running illegal gambling nights. First in Los Angeles (with tons of celebrities) and later in New York (with several mobsters). Two years after she quit the gambling game, she gets arrested by the FBI, who wants to put her in prison or at least get information about the gamblers that visited her games. Molly refuses to co-operate and wants to plead guilty. No lawyer is interested in backing her, apart from one man who is intrigued by this powerful woman.

Apart from the lawyer, played impressively by Idris Elba, all of the previous paragraph is based on true facts. Which is amazing. This woman did exist. She did run those games and did encounters lots of celebrities and several mobsters.

It’s an entertaining movie. Captivating as well. The dialogues are brilliantly written. They are tough to follow as they contain so much gambling/court/FBI vocabulary, but they are uttered with such an ease by the aforementioned stars that it feels like this is really how they talk on a daily basis. Remembering those lines and saying them out loud in a convincing way deserves all possible credit.

It’s a fast paced drama. Until the last 20 minutes or so when the story drags on a bit. There’s a lot of dialogue throughout. There’s no time to just enjoy the images. But the editing of the movie is well done and it’s visually interesting as well. Worth the watch!

www.imdb.com/title/tt4209788

 

Ocean’s 8 – **

Posted: July 18, 2018 in 2018, Crime/Detective, Heist, USA, XX

It’s quite remarkable to make a heist movie with an all-female cast that is quite entertaining without ever being funny, mesmerizing, action-packed or thrilling. Maybe it’s just the speed at which the story unfolds and the clever editing. The soundtrack is good too and it all just looks like pure fun. It’s definitely not the story itself. A bunch of women decide to steal a century old necklace during the Met Gala. Mission impossible, made possible, by making it look easy. It’s also not the great acting. Apart from Anne Hathaway maybe, none of the stars really convince. No, this is a movie, which doesn’t annoy, even entertains at moments, but is so easily forgotten.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5164214

So, ‘retired’ director Soderbergh made his comeback with yet another heist story. Coen brothers style. It wasn’t a hit. It got rave reviews, sure, but it flopped at the box office and didn’t win awards. It starts of good, as a quirky comedy, a gentle satire. But then it becomes an action thriller without suspense. The humor dies after a while, which is sad. The unique characters just become way too serious at one point. The over the top performances aren’t really helping either. The lead actors (Adam Driver and Channing Tatum) are surprisingly good. The supporting actors (a.o. Katie Holmes and Daniel Craig) are embarrassingly bad. Somehow this movie doesn’t work. But hey, give it a shot. Maybe you just have to be in the mood for a daft story.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5439796

Not as captivating as Season 1, this follow-up to Top Boy is more violent, more dark, (even) more depressing and less realistic. Sure, it’s probably based on some true stories, but it’s just too much. The acting is still okay, but the characters are not at all appealing. Ashley Walter’s Dushane, the top boy in London’s crime world, can’t charm as much as in the previous episodes. Sure, he’s thinking of getting out and investing in real estate. But to cover up a murder, he continues to intimidate and kil. Unethically. The fact that he starts something sexual/romantic with his lawyer makes it all a bit too far-fetched. Malcolm Kamulete’s Ra-Nell was a total revelation in series one and plays fourth fiddle in this season. Sad, there’s more to tell about this kid. In fact, there are so many characters this time and they are not explored well enough. So, hardly anyone to care about.

Netflix is going to produce season 3. Not sure what that will bring.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1830379/