Archive for the ‘Crime/Detective’ Category

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.





Uptown Saturday Night – *

Posted: February 26, 2018 in 1974, Comedy, Gangster Movie, USA, X

This is one boring and bad gangster comedy! Sydney Poitier may be heralded as one of the most talented black men in movie history, but in this piece of cinematic bullshit he clearly isn’t showing any of that talent. He even directed this blaxploitation movie. The acting (especially his own) is embarrassing. Comedy is NOT his cup of tea. The scenes are way too long. Every joke gets explained. And none of them are funny. They are sexist and outdated. And they just don’t make sense. It starts off really bad with Sidney Poitier depicting his character as a loving husband who fell for his wife because of her behind! Then they show the wife and she doesn’t have a behind at all. What the fuck? Here this guy is charming his wife of 20 years by raving she has the biggest butt he ever saw and then they show a woman who’s skinny as hell. That’s the start! And it hardly gets any better after that.

But it’s a camp movie. It’s so bad, that it becomes kinda good. It also has Bill Cosby in it and Richard Pryor and Harry Belafonte. They are quite remarkable in being goofy. But the main reason to watch this is for Calvin Lockhart, a motherfucking king of cool! He only has a small role and you only get to see him at the end. And his performance is not really worth the rent. (2.99 $ on iTunes). But the anticipation of his participation is exciting.

The story? Two common guys go out to a fancy club with prostitutes and gamblers, but get robbed. The next day, it turns out one of them has won the lottery, but his lottery ticket is still in the wallet that got stolen. SO the common guys (can’t stress it enough) go look for the gangsters who robbed the club…

Apparently Will Smith and Denzel Washington want to do a remake. Fingers crossed.


Top Boy – ***

Posted: February 22, 2018 in 2011, Drama, Gangster Movie, TV series, UK, XXX

Letitia Wright, impressive in Black Panther, made me watch this BBC crime series, in which she also plays a role. It’s been filmed 7 years ago, but she still looks the same! She just has a supporting role. It’s not that impressive, but you do see that she got talent!

The main stars of this series though are Ashley Walters and Malcolm Kamulete. Not sure why they haven’t turned into major league actors yet. They are phenomenal. Malcolm’s character reminds you of the kid from Cidade De Deus. He’s young, smart, wants a normal future, but is surrounded by gangs and drugs and reluctant to be a part of it. No Rio this time, but London. Ashley’s character is the up and coming drug captain of the block, also smart and with a conscience, but ready to kill when needed.

The series is well written, well acted, well-directed. It’s a lot of drama in only four episodes. A bit too much really. If HBO would have produced it, it would have been double as long with more diverse settings. It feels a bit like The Wire. It shows you a reality in a dramatic way. It’s heartbreaking at times. It’s great television. And the soundtrack is haunting at times.

Worth checking out.

The Night Of 24 October 2014: a business student isn’t getting a ride from his best friend to get to a party in Manhattan and decides to ‘loan’ the cab of his father. He doesn’t know how to switch off the ‘available sign’ and a girl gets in the car, expecting to get a ride. It’s a pretty girl and although he’s eager to go to the party, he decides to spend the evening with the girl. The unusual date ends up in her apartment with drugs and sex. But when he wakes up a few hours later, he finds her dead in her bed, stabbed 22 times. In panic, he decides to run, taking away evidence of drugs and the blood covered knife….

The pilot of this 8 episode series is an absolute masterpiece of story and character introduction. It’s so fascinating, you cannot but binge watch the rest. The pilot shows you exactly what the prosecutors will use against the suspect. Every single step is shown. In details. The only part that is a mystery is the time between the start of the sex and waking up finding the girl dead. The suspect can’t remember any details of that time frame and the viewers won’t know what happened either.

The other episodes are fascinating as well. The student gets arrested, goes to prison, needs to adapt to life behind bars while awaiting his trial. The prosecutors and detectives think they have a solid case, but still have doubts. The defendant’s lawyers try to do their own research and also have their doubts. The family of the student experiences the backlash to what their son’s actions… And it’s all filmed in a very detailed way, showing parts of an investigation that hardly ever get shown.

There are too many subplots and moments that don’t really help the main story line. Some are added for pure fun. The debate at the coroners for instance. Some are just annoying. The lawyer’s continuing search for remedies against his eczema outbursts for instance. Some don’t feel realistic. The drug smuggling scenes in prison.

But in general, this script is very strong and there are plenty more scenes that make you feel you’re living the nightmare yourself. Whether you empathize with the student, his parents, the detective, the prosecutor, the lawyers or the inmates… There’s a lot of empathy for these characters here and that alone is a great feat. Well written and well acted. Feature length movies can’t beat tv series when it comes to that.


The most hyped movie of the year is a disappointment. It’s a fun ride, but it’s not that all that spectacular. It’s like a rollercoaster that doesn’t really give you the thrills you want. Even though it has its highs and its lows. A rollercoaster ride needs to speed up all the time. When it slows down, it’s to gain power and energy to go up again. That’s not the case here.

The lows:

  • “Kind of Based On True Shit”. Okay, cool tag line. But it’s very basic shit. The story has been told a zillion times before. Small criminals decide to mingle with the big league and things go wrong.
  • The Typography. That movie poster title looks really bad. And it comes back in the movie.
  • The visual references to video games. We get it, they love playing video games, but to make certain scenes in the movie look like part of a video game doesn’t work.
  • The Narration by the main character. Annoying. The North African Antwerp accent is terrible, but it’s especially the monotonous tone in which the story is told.
  • Matteo Simoni. Great actor. Totally miscast.
  • The use of street slang that nobody has ever heard before. It’s going to be a challenge for those countries that dub movies and for those that need subtitles.


  • The Dutch actors. Werner Kolf and Ali B. Both remarkable as rivaling gang leaders.
  • The end credits. When you’ve seen the movie, you’ll understand.
  • The reverse ‘how drugs got to the drug user’ scene. Could have lasted longer, but good. In fact, the visual experience is entertaining.
  • Some of the one liners and dialogue. Again, especially by the Dutch.
  • The soundtrack. From the EBM to the Dutch pop rap to the Moroccan club track and the instrumental score… it works.
  • Antwerp! This city needs to be in more movies. Maybe in the next James Bond movie. Who knows.
  • The two lawyers. They just have a cameo, but they should get a tv series.

It’s the kind of movie you watch on a cheap long distance bus ride in India, South Africa or Brazil. This is really a BAD action comedy. But shot in a really cool way. Too much trying to be Tarantino and not quite getting to the next level shit.

This will forever be the movie that was reshot after leading star Kevin Spacey was named in a pedophile scandal. Director Ridley Scott called in Christopher Plummer to replace him and all the scenes with his character needed to be done all over again. Fast.

Well, it didn’t really work. Plummer’s performance does not deserve an Oscar nomination. Neither does any other performance for that matter. Michelle Williams is okay, but Mark Wahlberg looks totally disinterested. Charlie Plummer as the kidnapped kid makes you root for the kidnappers. And Romain Duris thinks he’s in a comedy rather than in a drama. A Frenchman as an Italian kidnapper? Really, there are no Italian actors to cast? There’s zero chemistry between all of these actors.

The story is based on true events. Back in the early seventies, the grandson of billionaire Paul Getty is kidnapped in Italy, but the man refuses to pay the ransom. There are all kinds of reasons why he doesn’t comply to the demand, but you’ll have to watch the movie to learn more. In fact, that’s basically what the movie is about. Don’t expect a suspenseful action adventure. No. It’s almost like a two-hour accusation of Paul Getty being stingy. 


This series is great !

Two awkward kids (check the trailer) hang out and go on a Bonny & Clyde like adventurous road trip! They are wild and just don’t give a sh*t. But they are still kids, yearning to be loved. By each other, but also by others.

It’s a fun series. The humor is dark. Pitch-dark. Marlon Wayans: watch this and cry. THIS is humor. Up until the last scene, the series keeps you intrigued. Not only by these two protagonists or their runaway story, but by all the other characters that you get to meet. It’s like each one of them can have a spin-off series. It’s quite a 2017 series. In a positive way. I hope there’s no sequel to it. It ends the way a series should end.

Watch it!