Archive for Crime Story

EMI Film Distributors, G.W. Films Limited,

Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Derek Jacobi, Tom Bateman, Marwan Kenzari, Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Sergei Polunin, Miranda Raison

This remake of the 1974 classic film is based upon the Agatha Christie novel of the same name, a well known series of books about the notable investigator Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Barnagh). A number of passengers aboard the glorious Orient Express a train that crosses eastern Europe are stranded when an avalanche knocks the engine off the track and forces a team from the next station to send workers back to dig the train out. But during the night a passenger named Edward Ratchett (Johnny Depp) is murdered in his cabin, and Inspector Poirot is put to work to solve the case before the train is freed to move along it’s way. Set in the 1930’s this is a classic mystery tale of murder and suspense.

This is a really well done film, and the style and feeling of the movie really takes us back to the great mystery films of old, but with the newer technology making it look old, but sharp and spotlessly clear. The scenery and the train itself are dazzling, and the list of stars is mind boggling, just as the 1974 version was. The only problem I have with this remake is that I already knew the ending, so the who-done-it that makes the story so exciting is gone for me. But since it’s been since 1974, there are new generations that probably have never heard of this story or who Agatha Christie even was. For those folks this is perfect film with an opportunity to see a classic mystery story of old from a whole new perspective. However, the problem is that these kinds of stories are not big on action and adventure, but a close look at how the mind of Hercule actually works and a strong tendency to try to solve the murder as he does. But as someone who has seen the 1974 version and remembers the story, it was a different experience to watch the formulation of the movie and to see the baby steps along the way to presenting the mystery and rolling out the clues. And of course the final solution of the murder and the collection of suspects where Poirot unveils the killer is really classic cinema. This is an excellent film, and whether or not you’re familiar with the story or not, you should give this film a try to enjoy the entire experience.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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The Film Community, Electric Entertainment,

Josh Charles, Julia Stiles, Avan Jogia, Tracie Thoms, Leo Fitzpatrick, Mike Houston, Jasper Newell

Tom Seymour (Josh Charles) is a psychologist, married to his wife Lauren (Julia Stiles), and the two are down by the sea when they notice a young man jumping off the pier. Despite his wife’s warnings, Tom climbs the fence and jumps in to save this young man from drowning himself. When he meets his new patient, Danny Miller (Avan Jogia) he learns that he is the same man that he saved from drowning, but also the man was the boy of 11 that his testimony sent away to prison decades before. How odd that the two are once again together, but Tom soon finds Danny inserting himself into his life in very strange ways. Was it all a coincidence, or is Danny really dangerous? This is an eerie mystery and a creeping insight into Tom’s secrets.

This seems like a movie based on a book that might be very, very good. But the movie lacks a lot. The characters are relatively well developed which is more than I can say about the story itself. The script never gets off the ground, and is a bit of an abortion. I’m not sure what the makers of this film were aiming for, but I’m disappointed that they seemed to miss the mark entirely. The film is very slow and dragging, and each moment you think that something is going to make sense, it doesn’t. All in all, the air above my head was filled with question marks throughout the whole film, and I never figured out what it could possibly mean. Who is Julia Stiles supposed to be, and what use is she to the film. Sadly, she has a mysterious role that we never get a clue of. I don’t know who this kid/man is/was, and by the end I really didn’t care. Is the doctor an evil bastard, an abused wimp, or a hero of some sort? Hell if I know. It ended, and the big surprise ending didn’t do anything to bring anything to a close either. After it was all over, I’m just completely confused as to what it was all about. This movie really looked like it had a superior idea for a story that just fizzled out after the initial rescue and never recovered. Now I’m left wondering if this actually based on a decent book that could give me some peace at understanding this tale, or if it’s just something I need to forget and move on to the next movie and forget this ever happened.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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ChubbCo Film, Blackbird, Code Red,

Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Hall, Chloë Sevigny, Adepero Oduye

Former Teacher Paul (Steve Coogan) and his wife Claire (Laura Linney) meet for a very fancy dinner with his older brother, politician Stan Lohman (Richard Gere) and his wife. But there is another reason for the meeting and it’s not social. Their children have committed a horrible crime that has the city in an uproar, as it was caught on a security camera. But the kids have not yet been identified, so the problem is for the parents to decide what to do about it. How far are they willing to go to protect their kids, and what is the truth about the event? Was it a stupid mistake, an evil deed, beyond their control, or something that just got a little out of control. There is a lot to think about and a lot to decide, and the four people have four different opinions on what to do.

This is another example of a great story gone to waste. As this started out, I really expected it to be an interesting movie, but boy was I disappointed. The longer this movie went on, the more boring it went. The story is that the writer of the novel would not even attend the premier because he was so disappointed with the way the film was made. I wish I had skipped this one. The actors are really talented, and I don’t really know why this failed so bad for me. It just never got rolling and it was really dreary. I wanted to smack them all as time went on. I’m not sure if it was the screenplay or the directing, or what, but it simply didn’t work. Worst film I have seen n long, long time. Skip this one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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ATO Pictures, Werc Werk Works, Spare Room Productions,

Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, David Harbour, Lea Thompson, Bob Balaban, Michelle Arthur, James Detmar, Michelle Hutchison, Chris Carlson

Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear) is a slippery insurance salesman who will apparently say anything to make a sale. But while at a convention, he runs across a drunk lady in the bar who insists on coming up to his room. Next morning his wallet is gone. He heads home, already in financial trouble only to find out his credit cards have been maxed and he’s about to lose everything. But when he meets a elderly corn farmer named Gorvy Hauer who wants to pay for his insurance in pennies, but has an extremely rare valuable violin that the he isn’t even aware of, he thinks up a plan to sell the violin and taking the money. But one lie leads to another, and pretty soon Mickey is so buried in lies and troubles that he’s in deep, deep trouble.

This film was a good vehicle for Greg Kinnear. This is right in his wheelhouse. This is an interesting story which bears a second viewing. The first time through, it’s a really good crime story, with lots of crosses and betrayals and a lot of false leads, but the second time though, after you’ve seen the crime story, it’s a whole different film. This is a really clever sting movie that is intricately setup and worthy of Hitchcock. The nicest thing about this movie is the great acting found in it, as with talent like Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, Lea Thompson, Bob Balaban, you can’t go wrong. THe cast had a blast making this film, and could see that it was a lot of fun developing their individual characters. This is similar to some of the other heist movies like Ocean’s Eleven, but the fun part is that you don’t know how any of these folks fit together until the very end. Watching Greg’s character Mickey slowing figure it out is a pleasure, but when he thinks he has it, he doesn’t know the half of it. This is a little movie without a huge budget, but really fun, and well put together. Though this film has been rolling around in my queue for years, I’m glad it finally bubbled up to the top. This was an enjoyable little mystery, and I can recommend it as something out of the ordinary.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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SBS Films,

Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, Anthony LaPaglia, Caitlin Gerard

Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez) is a cold blooded killer for hire. But when he kills the brother of rogue doctor Rachel Jane (Sigourney Weaver) he’s in for the ride of his life. Dr. Jane is a famous transgender surgeon who has been known to bend the law and finds herself with her license suspended and working underground. But when Frank is kidnapped, he wakes up as a full female as punishment by Dr. Jane, and he/she doesn’t like it a bit. She starts out on a vendetta to find and exact revenge on those who cause this to happen, and it’s ain’t pretty.

Michelle Rodriguez was really good in this movie. She did a great job. Along with the rest of the cast including Sigourney Weaver as the mad doctor, literally in a straight jacket through most of the movie, we’re treated to a rollercoaster ride back and forth between the flashbacks to what happened and how Frank dealt with it, and the present where Dr. Jane is fighting for her freedom. It is a cerebral movie which is more thought and reflection that actual action, although the violent parts are intense as well. This is a psycho drama, though, most of all and really looks at the strange situation of a hard-core male bad guy suddenly waking up as a woman and having to deal with that situation. It is a punishment of the strongest degree without hurting the person as much as physiologically injuring him instead. Dr. Jane also has a lot of reflection to do to determine why she did it, and to face the retribution Frank is going to send her way that is also really intense. It is a weird film, well acted, and quite interesting. It will make you think. I am still thinking about the movie days after watching it. It’s not a major film, it’s a little film, but not too bad and worth watching if you’re cool with the R rating it carries. If you like psychological thrillers, you will probably enjoy this one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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