Rss

  • linkedin

Archives for : crime

Review: “Firestarter” & “Candy”

This week I review the remake of a Stephen King classic, “Firestarter” and Hulu’s new crime drama series, “Candy”.

“Firestarter is currently playing in theaters and “Candy” is available to stream on Hulu.

Share

Movie Review: “The Outfit” is a Stylish Thrill

Zoey Deutch (left) stars as “Mable” and Mark Rylance (right) stars as “Leonard” in director Graham Moore’s THE OUTFIT, a Focus Features release. Courtesy of Focus Features

All is not what it appears to be in Graham Moore’s directorial debut, “The Outfit”.

The Academy Award winning writer takes a stab behind the camera and cuts out an intriguing gangster saga. “The Outfit” follows a quiet Englishman, Leonard (Mark Rylance), who tailors to the mob. His Chicago tailor shop is a “drop spot” location for the local mob Boyle Crime Organization, run by an intimidating senior boss, Roy Boyle (Simon Russell Beale).

Just when you think Leonard’s “business” is running smoothly, the contents of a simple envelope lead to an unexpected turn of events. Leonard witnesses an incident that now has him caught in an unfortunate situation. Now, if he wants to live, he must outwit the dangerous group of mobsters that won’t let him or his innocent secretary (Zoey Deutch) leave the store.

“The Outfit” does have a bit of a slow start. Moore has also co-written a film (Alongside Johnathan McClain) that almost reads like a stage play. The entirety of the movie takes place at the tailor shop, which at the beginning makes things a little stagnant. However, once two of the regular mobsters, Richie (Dylan O’ Brien) and Francis (Johnny Flynn), rush into the shop after Richie has been injured, things pick up really quick. From there the story keeps you on the edge of your seat and you can really see the fine threading in the plot. Every detail shot and written is well delivered. The film is a refreshing take on a beloved genre we rarely see anymore.

The shining elements to this dapper film are Moore and McClain’s sharp screenplay, AND the phenomenal performances by the entire cast. Dylan O’ Brien does a wonderful job as Richie, a cocky son of the boss, who’s constantly competing with his dad’s favorite employee. Johnny Flynn as Francis is witty, pompous, and terribly frightening. Zoey Deutch is fantastic as Mable, the secretary who knows more of the mystery than she lets on. And Mark Rylance as Leonard is a smooth operating tailor who masterly weaves the actions of that tragic night.

The less you know about “The Outfit” the better. Just sit back and enjoy this clever, nail-biting, twisted thriller.

“The Outfit” opens in theaters March 25, 2022.

Rating: B+

Share

“House of Gucci” – Lady Gaga Interview

“House of Gucci” is Ridley Scott’s new crime, drama that’s creating a lot of buzz during this awards season. I spoke with Oscar/Grammy Winner Lady Gaga about her transformational performance as Patrizia Reggiani. They discuss what she would hope a future biopic about her would capture and which of her songs means the most when quoted to her.

“House of Gucci” is currently playing in theaters.

Share

Movie Review: “Zola” Fascinating and Disturbing Tale

At first glance, “Zola” might have you wondering; “What in the world am I watching?” Some may even want to stop the film all together. If you power through, you will treat yourself to a captivating story and some intoxicating performances. 

“Zola” is based on the viral 148 tweets by the A’Ziah “Zola” King. In the film, Zola (Taylour Paige) plays a Detroit waitress who meets a stripper, Stefani. (Riley Keough) Stefani lures her on a road trip to Florida with her boyfriend (Nicholas Braun) and “roommate” (Coleman Domingo) under false pretenses. What she thinks will be an opportunity to strip from some quick cash turns into a terrifying sequence of events.

The best way I can describe “Zola” is like watching a really bad, but visually satisfying car accident unfold. You just can’t look away even though part of you might want to. And when it’s over, those images will forever haunt you.

What happily stays with you are the incredible performances by entire cast. Paige and Keough carry the film with their cringe-worthy, odd friendship. Stefani is unbelievably offensive and shows no self-awareness, while Zola is the voice of reason that will keep audiences sane. Another polarizing stand out is Coleman Domingo, who plays Stefani’s “roommate” aka her pimp. He is both humorous and frightening. Domingo creates a powerful presence anytime he is on screen.

“Zola” is meant to make audiences feel uncomfortable and pull you into the world of the two leads; where they are trapped and forced into unwanted sexual encounters. Director/Writer Janicza Bravo wants you to feel the same fear that these young girls are feeling.

Some will find “Zola” to be a smart, stylish, summer joyride. While others will see it as a dirty, annoying movie that gets under their skin. Either way you view it, the film is absolutely hypnotizing. And after it was done, Bravo had me under her trance.

Rating: B-

“Zola” is currently playing in theaters and coming soon on VOD.

Share

“Spiral” Interview with Darren Bousman & Josh Stolberg

A criminal mastermind entraps those who have done wrong in the justice system and unleashes a twisted, cruel form of righteousness. “Spiral” is the terrifying new chapter from the book of “Saw” starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson. Susan Stephens sat down with Director Darren Bousman and Co-Writer Josh Stolberg to discuss the mystery horror.

“Spiral” is open in theaters now!

Share

Movie Review: “Nobody” – A Familiar But Fun Action-Comedy

Writer Derek Kolstad has graced us with the amazing “John Wick” movies; and for that I am forever grateful. If you don’t already know, John Wick is the badass who got ultimate revenge on those who murdered the dog his late wife left him. Each film has been an exciting thrill ride that leaves us wanting more. However, the same may not be said about Kolstad’s newest film, which feels almost too familiar.

Universal Pictures’ “Nobody” follows Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk), a middle-aged family man who barely has any life left in him. His marriage is stale, his son thinks he’s a wuss, but his daughter seems to actually like him. 

His repetitive, mundane routine is shaken up when two intruders break into his home and trigger a surprising rage in Hutch. We come to find out that Hutch is not just some mild-mannered man. He has a violent past and bears the skills of a trained assassin. He has sworn a life of normalcy, so he takes the high road and lets the intruders leave. But when he goes on a mission to take back what they stole from him, he witnesses a group of drunk men harassing a young woman on a bus. He channels all his pent up anger on them and goes full “Wick”. Unfortunately, those men have powerful ties that are now looking to get revenge on Hutch and his family.

Director Ilya Naishuller does a fine job with this movie overall, but the film has it’s flaws. The obvious being you are continuously comparing it to “John Wick”. Aside from that, there is a slow start. The action doesn’t really come into play until nearly halfway. Even the break-in scene is underwhelming for what is essentially the catalyst to Hutch getting back into his “old ways”. It doesn’t even come close to the feeling you have watching John Wick’s innocent puppy get killed by those monsters. (I wanted them all to pay!). In this movie they almost make you have empathy for the intruders. Which makes the later scene of him attacking the harassers on the bus feel a bit forced. Don’t get me wrong, it’s entertaining and fun to see the fight not take itself so seriously. But the entire time you’re watching, you’re wondering did these men really deserve such a blood bath?

However, it’s such a delight seeing Odenkirk in this role. He proves he is just as much of a badass as Keanu Reeves, Bruce Willis, and Denzel Washington. In fact, he’s the most realistic one. His minor injuries and reactions to pain makes him more human than the typical action star. The guy is a likeable character, which is more than I can say about his family.  With the exception of his father played by the great and hilarious Christopher Lloyd.

“Nobody” is short and sweet. There’s lots of value in it’s simplicity. It’s just hard to label the film as a stand out, because films like “John Wick” and “Equalizer” have done this story better. That being said, Odenkirk’s performance alone is enough to make this film worth watching.

Rating: 3/5

“Nobody” opens in theaters March 26, 2021

Share


Movie Review: “All My Life” & “I’m Your Woman”

“Ally My Life” is a sweet, yet heart-breaking true love story, and I’m Your Woman” is a sizzling, crime drama about a woman on the run. I have reviews of both films. Watch the video below!

“All My Life” opens in theaters December 4, 2020.

“I’m Your Woman” is available on Prime Video December 11, 2020.

Share

TV Movie Review: David Arquette Gives a Deadly Smile in Lifetime’s Original Film ‘Happy Face Killer’

We should already be weary of accepting rides from strangers.  But when that stranger is an unhinged, truck driving, murderer, we should probably avoid hitch-hiking all together.

David Arquette (Scream) stars in the latest Lifetime drama, “Happy Face Killer.”  The film is based on the true story of Keith Jesperson, a Canadian serial killer who drew smiley faces on his victims.  Jesperson had a troubled childhood. He was abused mentally and physically by his father, and tormented by other children.  At a very young age he began torturing and killing animals.  He married at age 20, and fathered three kids.  It was after his divorce 14 years later that Jesperson began to unravel.  Once he was denied his dream job as a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman, he snapped and began to release his frustration on the helpless women he would pick up.

Lifetime once again takes a twisted and sick true story, and turns it into an amusing guilty pleasure.  This enjoyment is due greatly to Arquette’s unsettling portrayal as the deranged Keith Jesperson.  After some knowledge of his background and a quick set up for the film, the story moves rapidly into his multiple killings.  The audience is shown how Jesperson rapes, beats, and strangles the women to death.  We also see how the authorities dealt with the psychotic killer that taunted them by sending letters signed with a happy face.

The head detective on the case, Melinda Gand, was played adequately by Gloria Reuben (Lincoln ).  Lifetime films in general tend to have a weak supporting cast; made up for by strong leads.  However, in this case, Reuben’s performance lacked emotion and energy, providing only one facial expression throughout the entire film.  Luckily, Arquette’s switch from loving dad to enraged truck driver was delivered well enough to distract audiences from noticing any lack of talent from the other actors.

In comparison to other Lifetime true stories, “Happy Face Killer” does not drag.  This movie will keep you intrigued and dying to know what will set the killer off next.  Set your DVR’s and make sure the kiddos are in bed before watching this exciting and disturbing thriller.

“Happy Face Killer” premieres Saturday, March 1 on Lifetime, at 8pm ET /PT.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com