Thanks to a lovely flu, I've had a few days off work to catch up on a bunch of movies, much easier for a clogged head than reading. I watched quite a few more than the ones below, but I thought I should concentrate on the crime flicks here.

Rendition

Great to see a movie present a mostly balanced look at all sides of an international issue, but still a little too clear cut for my liking. And I wish Jake Gyllenhaal had a few more dimensions than just a blank worn out stare.

No Country For Old Men

Beautifully shot and acted, paced with a brilliant balance between the stillness of wide open spaces and the tension of action. Has one of my most favourite bad guys in the cinema of late. It also never tired me when it took the time to flesh out character details that weren't necessarily relevant to plot.

Crank

I haven't had this much fun watching a film in ages. Some wildly implausible situations are completely forgiven by the tongue that's been super glued to the inside of the director's cheek. Killer soundtrack and hilarious action throughout, this is the film Shoot Em Up only wished it could have been. Loved the 80s videogame references too!

Anyone else seen some good crime flicks lately?

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absolutely. Hey! what a great way to lose weight.
I recently watched Caveman Valentine. It starred Samuel Jackson. He plays a character that was classically trained as a pianist, who later lost his mind and currently lives in a cave in a park. A man is murdered near his cave. Jackson is talked into looking into the man's death. Drawn out of his cave and back into the world, he struggles with the voices in his head, weaving through psychotic episodes and reality. It has a very original plot and intense performances by Jackson and the rest of the cast.
You know i have that novel! i didn't know they made a film out of it, I'll have to get a hold of it. Samuel L. Jackson is a fav actor of mine! sounds really good!
I just saw Body Count last night. Thought it was very good, although it was very violent.
Criminal is one of my fav films, too with John Reilly. It's about one con after another. Grifters like you wouldn't believe with a great twist at the end. so good!
I just got back froma trip to the States and on the plane I watched Rendition. I did like it but I thought after it raised so many questions it didn't actually take them on. In the end Jake just let the other fella go and he went home. End of...
I also watched We Own The Night which was fabulous. Go watch it now it you haven't seen it.
I also saw a fantastic George Clooney movie about a lawyer/fixer who gets involved in a conspiracy to cover up lethal pesticides. I can't remmber the fecking name...okay I'd had several G&Ts by this point.
Due to a mix up over seating I had to sit away from my husband and kids so all in all a great flight!!!
HB x
Michael Clayton?
That's the fella.
There was a great line in it when the police say some lawyer killed himself but didn't leave a note and his boss doesn't buy it.
'The man didn't take piss without dictating a memo.'
Maybe it was the booze, maybe it's because my old man is a lawyer...either way I laughed a lot in that crazy way that bothers people at 20 000 feet.
HB x
One of the movies I’ve watched recently is THERE WILL BE BLOOD. I loved it! I do have a question, though.

A lot of the people I’ve met who’ve seen it said they liked most of it, but hated the ending. They felt that the very end “canceled out everything that came before” and that “the ending negated the rest of the movie.” I have no idea why they felt like this, I thought the ending worked perfectly and was completely in character.

Anybody have any insights on why people think the ending ruined the film?

John Weagly
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http://www.johnweagly.com
hrm. I think the endings of the two biggest films of last year, There Will be Blood and No Country for Old Men were perfect. They left things open, in a way. Both were based on books which ended slightly differently so they were certainly the director's choice. I might suggest that the ending of TWBB could be criticized because of the vengeful and angry man the main character became. People might have been looking for him to 'go bad' and then redeem himself. Even though he's a bit strange and cruel, the way he is played left me, at least, with some sympathy toward him, though one would suspect that you shouldn't have the slightest bit of sympathy toward him. It was the amazing acting that pushed this.
I think, in the end, a lot of people still like the 'happyish' Hollywood ending. Neither of these films offered this.
Richard Price was on Charlie Rose Show last night (Price writes for TV series The Wire) talking about his latest book, Lush Life. I can't wait to read it. But here's the thing. Did anyone see Freedomland, the movie based on Price's earlier book? It starred Samuel L. Jackson and Juliette Margulies (... am I getting that right? or it was Julieanne Moore? in any case she was terrific), and Edie Falco in a small off-beat role.

Story line: white woman works at inner city school, her child goes missing, black man is accused of the crime. Jackson plays the cop. I thought it was terrific, but it pretty much sank like a stone at the boxoffice.

Your thoughts?
Didn't see the movie, but the book is very good. Seemed it was too long and complicated to be movie material. The book was pretty clearly based on the woman in South Carolina (I think) who claimed she was carjacked by a black man and her kids were in the car. Price moved the action to a housing project in New Jersey but kept the racial tension and a lot of other issues.

It's really not the kind of material that movies do well (but, of course, I just don't like many movies, so that's probably just me).
It was Julienne Moore. Lush Life is wonderful. Love your hat.

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