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Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Thursday

Friday, February 17th, 2006

This poor bastard Skip Woods. How was he supposed to know? He stumbles across this winning formula of late ’90s independent quirky crime drama, and it just so happens that another individual, somebody named Quentin Tarantino, has already done it.

You gotta feel sorry for Skip. How was he supposed to know that Tarantino loved to take larger than life movie archetypes and show the mundane parts of their lives? Like this opening scene where three criminals who obviously don’t realize how annoying they are (Aaron Ekchart, Paulina Porezkova, James LeGros) stop in a convenience store after a big score to get coffee, and argue over the price until they end up killing the clerk and then have to pretend to work there when a cop comes in. And how could Skip have known that when he has the cop ask, for no reason, whether Eckhart prefers Picard or Kirk… that it JUST MIGHT look like he was some fuckin idiot jackass blatantly and embarassingly trying to copy the most superficial elements of Tarantino’s formula? (read the rest of this shit…)

Bubble

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

I might’ve mentioned before, I like this Steve Soderbergh guy. Number one, he knows what the fuck he’s doing. Number two, he does what the fuck he wants. He’s the epitome of the guy who does smart but crowdpleasing commercial movies (OCEAN’S 11, ERIN BROCKOVICH) then turns around and makes a crazy no budget weird ass movie (SCHIZOPOLIS, FULL FRONTAL). I wish he’d make more badass crime movies like THE LIMEY and OUT OF SIGHT but that’s just me. If I could tell him what to do that would violate number two (see above). A violation like that would probaly ruin the roll he’s on and all the sudden he’d start doing half-assed FINAL DESTINATION sequels or something.

Now that this guy has a best director Oscar (for TRAFFIC), a Criterion Edition (for SCHIZOPOLIS), an outlaw award winner (THE LIMEY) and the all important misunderstood sequel (OCEAN’S 12), he decided there was one thing he was missing: a series of six digitally shot improvisational movies starring non-actors in their real home towns to be released in theaters, on dvd and on cable all at the same time. BUBBLE is the first in this ridiculous experiment and let’s be honest here. Even if you don’t know exactly what you’re getting into, you do know what you’re getting into. First motherfucker that watches BUBBLE and complains that it’s not INDIANA JONES gets a knuckle sandwich. This is not designed to entertain the whole world. It’s designed to be the type of movie you shoot quickly with a low budget on hi-def video and release on DVD at the same time as theaters. (read the rest of this shit…)

Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power

Friday, January 27th, 2006

Geez, I shouldn’t have put off seeing this movie so long considering it really is my beat. This is kind of a miracle actually. This is the rare DTV movie that could’ve passed for a low budget theatrical movie. The only thing really holding it back is being a prequel with a different star from the original, which is a real good reason not to release it in theaters. Going straight to video lowers the expectations and makes it only half count as a sequel or prequel, which gives it a better shot at working. And for me it did. Even if you don’t go for it I think you will be awed by its competence. This is definitely a landmark in DTV sequelization.

I love the original CARLITO’S WAY, but I haven’t seen it in years, so that probaly helps. I never knew this but DePalma’s movie was based on the second book in a series. The book was called After Hours, but they didn’t want it confused with the Scorsese movie of the same name so they called it CARLITO’S WAY, after the first book in the series. RISE TO POWER is actually adapted from the book Carlito’s Way, according to legend. (I haven’t read the books so who knows.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Match Point

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

MATCH POINT is the new Woody Allen picture. The title refers to tennis but to me it sounds like just some generic name of a place title like GOSFORD PARK or PACIFIC HEIGHTS or LAND OF THE DEAD. If it was up to me it would be called KEEP YOUR DICK IN YOUR PANTS. You know, like, “This winter, director Woody Allen invites you to… Keep Your Dick In Your Pants.”

This is the first Woody Allen movie in a long time that doesn’t seem exactly like every other Woody Allen movie. It takes place in London with a mostly british cast. Jonathan Rhys somebody (a guy from TITUS) plays a guy named Chris. He’s a former pro tennis player who’s kind of a cheapskate, always trying to bum shit off of people. So one day he’s taking advantage of a rich tennis student’s generosity when he falls for the guy’s sister (Emily Mortimer). And then as soon as that’s rolling he falls even harder for the guy’s fiancee (Scarlett Johansen [hubba hubba]). He wants Scarlett bad and tries to make a pass at her but it doesn’t work out. So what the hell, he marries Emily. He gets a good job out of it and her parents pay for him to have a nice apartment and shit. And she wants some babies, now. (read the rest of this shit…)

Crash (2005)

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Unfortunately this is not the pervy Cronenberg movie I’ve never gotten around to seeing about the people getting off on car crashes. This is the race relations movie directed by Paul Haggis, writer of Clint’s MILLION DOLLAR BABY. I gotta be honest, my reason for seeing this was not that I thought I would like it, but that I was just real damn curious. Because it got so many rave reviews, and Roger Ebert chose it as the best of the year, but every single person I knew who had seen it said it was corny, overwrought bullshit.

I hate to be a centrist but I think it falls somewhere in the middle. It seems well intentioned. It’s trying to point out different kinds of subconscious racism, it’s trying to show that people are complicated, racists maybe have a chance of being redeemed, people who don’t think they are racists might end up shooting a black dude, etc. It’s one of those movies where there’s a bunch of different characters tangentally connected by coincidence and you find out as the story unfolds what they have to do with each other, which can be fun. And there’s some good little moments and whatnot. One of the best scenes actually involves a cop trying to save somebody from a flipped car before it blows up. In other words, a scene you can see in every single episode of CHiPs. But this is better directed so it’s pretty intense. Also Tony Danza has a cameo. (read the rest of this shit…)

Hustle & Flow

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

I had a good feeling about this movie from right about the time the title came on the screen. It was a shot of a pimp (Terence Howard) and a ho (Taryn Manning) driving in a car, and it freeze frames to write the title in yellow ’70s style lettering.

I always like Terence Howard but I’ve never seen him in a lead role before. He’s always the supporting role that steals the movie. Here he has a lead role that steals the movie. I haven’t seen GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN but I would be surprised if Terence Howard’s performance in this movie doesn’t run a hundred circles around his co-star in that movie, both as an actor and as a rapper. True, he does mumble alot in this movie (you almost need subtitles) but I still feel his enunciation is better than Fifty Cents. (read the rest of this shit…)

Bad Santa

Monday, December 26th, 2005

Well I seen this picture a while back when it was in a theater. I remembered it was pretty good so I wanted to watch it again for Christmas. Because it’s about Christmas. It’s called Bad Santa. (I mentioned that above so you probaly know that already)

Well I watched it about a week too late so this review is not very timely. But since this review will still be here to read next christmas I feel this bad timing should not count against my 2005 New year’s Resolution, A Commitment To Excellence. If you disagree take it up with the magic new year baby.

Anyway what this BAD SANTA one is about is Billy Bob Thornton is a character called Willie, a self loathing alcoholic safecracker who every year gets a job as a department store Santa. His partner Marcus (Tony Cox from FRIDAY) is a dwarf who is his elf. Then after closing time on christmas eve Marcus will be disguised as a snowman decoration or something, he runs and turns the alarm off and they rob the place. (read the rest of this shit…)

Le cercle rouge

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

Right now a thing is going on where alot of Americans hate the French. I’m not talking about any Americans I ever met or saw in person, even from a distance, but I am talking about people I saw on TV. They can do alot with computers now but I think these were real people. It’s hard to explain this feud, it’s like you know, why did Andre the Giant turn evil against Hulk Hogan? I don’t fuckin remember, man. But this one can be traced back to an incident where those fuckin French, man, they were telling us we shouldn’t invade Iraq, that they didn’t pose a threat to us and it would be illegal to invade, etc.

So we were like oh yeah well what about those weapons of mass destruction that they have stockpiled over there, what about that Mr. auteur theory with the beret and all that? And they were like I’m not wearing a beret. And we were like okay, Mr. I love Jerry Lewis. And they were like, what are you talking about, that’s an urban legend, plus Jerry Lewis is an American who had a long and fruitful career in America, and still lives there. Not to mention Carrot Top, Jeff Foxworthy, Gallagher, Sinbad, Jay Leno, the Police Academy series, the traditional american sitcom, etc. And we were like fuck you man. And they were like seriously though guys I don’t think they pose a threat to you, and you will be stuck in this shit for years to come. And we were like yeah right Frenchie, we’ll get back to you in a couple years and you better fucking apologize then. (read the rest of this shit…)

Unleashed

Friday, May 13th, 2005

(or DANNY THE DOG if you’re in Europe)

This is just your typical martial arts vehicle where the star (in this case Jet Li) has been raised like an animal in a cage and wears a collar and he’s trained by Bob Hoskins so that when the collar comes off he goes ape shit and beats the holy living fuck out of people that owe Bob Hoskins money. But then obviously he meets a blind piano tuner played by a respected Oscar winning actor (in this case Morgan Freeman) who teaches him about music and then the piano tuner’s stepdaughter teaches him to eat ice cream and then she gets her braces taken off so he becomes non-violent and refuses to fight in high stakes death matches.

Actually come to think of it this is not a typical martial arts movie at all, it’s pretty fuckin weird and that’s what I liked about it. Despite HERO I’m still pretty skeptical of new Jet Li movies, especially when he’s speaking the english type language. This is a good not great movie, but it’s a great move for Mr. Li because he plays a distinct character, he really gets to act, he fights in a different style and he even gets to put a sincere anti-violence message in there. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern returns to deliver the good word on Wesley Snipes direct-to-video flick 7 SECONDS!

Sunday, May 8th, 2005

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with everybody’s favorite outlaw, Vern, a bloke that has a certain way about him… a certain quality in his written adoration of action stars and their direct-to-video adventures. I can’t get enough of this guy. You tell me Steven Seagal or Van Damme or now Snipes has a new direct-to-video actioneer out I don’t think I’d bother to read the whole title, but damned if I wouldn’t read a 2,000 word review on it if it were written by Vern. I have a feeling that Vern’s reviews (negative or positive) are better than most movies he’s reviewing. Anyway, here’s the man himself. Enjoy!

Dear Quint –

Or whoever’s home. I got an important dispatch for you from direct-to-video land. This one is regarding one called 7 SECONDS which I only care about because it stars Wesley God Damn Snipes.

That’s right, Wesley’s gone DTV. This is actually his second. The first one was called UNSTOPPABLE which is a good title for a Wesley Snipes film, except in that one his character really was pretty stoppable. Or at least nobody was really trying to stop him from doing anything, as far as I could tell.

[Before I go any further, I want to say upfront that this is gonna be an essay about Wesley Snipes as much as a review of 7 SECONDS. So I don’t want to see any wiseasses asking where the review is. But I probaly will.] (read the rest of this shit…)