Archive for the ‘Gangster Movie’ Category

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

 

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/ 

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/

 

 

 

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.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072351/

 

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.

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

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.

Good:

  • 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.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6438030