I’m actually on a roll with my movie viewing. I’ve seen three very good crime films in the last month, and I’m moved to comment on them. You know how rarely I have something nice to say about movies? Okay, that was rhetorical.
Anyway, three crime movies I feel confident in recommending — and in no particular order.
EASTERN PROMISES - London midwife gets involved with the Russian mob. Naomi Watts and Viggo Mortensen. I’m thinking you’ve probably heard about the shower scene — and it is violently impressive — but there is so much more here in the textured layers of characters and their motives.
MICHAEL CLAYTON - Quietly intense thriller about a burnt-out lawyer who discovers he’s part of a corporate cover up. Mostly an intelligent character study. I really enjoyed this one for the lack of histrionics.
AMERICAN GANGSTER - Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington face off in this supposedly-based-on-a-true-story crime epic about a Harlem crime lord and his unknown nemesis — a stubborn New Jersey cop. Again: a film for grown ups. It’s all about the characters and the choices they make.
So those are my thumbs up. What are you watching? What can you recommend to the viewing audience? And if you saw these films, what did you think?
Hey, and I almost forgot! HAPPY ST. PADDY’S!! Are you wearing green?
We loved GONE BABY GONE, although we weren’t completely happy with the way they handled the Angie character. I loved her in the books, and she just didn’t have enough to do in the movie. But Casey Affleck actually pulled Patrick off, something which I’d been highly dubious about.
EASTERN PROMISES was indeed excellent, but I’m still a little puzzled by the ending, which is not always a bad thing.
ALPHA DOG was amazing…who knew Justin Timberlake could act?
by J.D. Rhoades on March 17th, 2008 at 6:13 am
It’s not a mystery, it’s a horror but not totally a slasher. 30 Days in Night is a vampire flick that actually has a plot and the vampires are more realistic. The hero character is nicely done as well.
But I liked The Others.
I’ve been wanting to see Michael Clayton.
by Lynn on March 17th, 2008 at 6:51 am
Dusty, I’m with you on GONE BABY GONE (see: snippet from my post tomorrow ).
I’m so behind on movies. August Rush was very good (again, see tomorrow’s post).
And Diana…Happy St. Paddy’s day to you, too! May the luck o’ the irish be with you!
Ahhhh, and an Irish blessing (my very favorite “poem” ever). Ahem–by memory, no less:
May the Road Rise Up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back
may the sun shine warm upon your face
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
by Laura on March 17th, 2008 at 7:02 am
This weekend, WW (Wonderful Wife) and I watched Michael Clayton and NO Country For Old Men.
No Country For Old Men: The story definitely pulls you right in. Tommy Lee Jones does a fine job narrating the beginning and setting the story. Javier Bardem makes the perfect antagonist. This is what we should all strive for in our books. Almost perfectly evil, except that tiny hint of a code of ethics. And he has some interesting weapons.
Josh Brolin makes a good. flawed hero. But, I never really grew attached to him.
Tommie Lee Jones has a bunch of great lines. I’m not sure anyone actually talks like that, though.
WW and I agreed on the entire movie until the end. For those that haven’t seen it, I won’t say a thing. However, WW didn’t like it, I thought it was pretty darn good.
I found Michael Clayton to be a bit boring and predictable.My mind was wandering through the film, so it either didn’t capture my attention or the project I’m contemplating for a third book is better.
I watched American Gangster a couple of weeks ago. We had some other people over and I was playing host. I’ll have to watch it again. I wasn’t all that impressed on the first go around.
by Will Bereswill on March 17th, 2008 at 7:34 am
A documentary, My Kid Could Paint That, about a 4-year-old’s amazing abstracts. The first part explores what art is, and as the doc progresses becomes a mystery that turns back on itself and makes you question the nature of docs themselves.
As someone who loves art, it reinforced the old advice, buy what you love, regardless of hype.
by David Terrenoire on March 17th, 2008 at 9:16 am
I love gangster movies! Among my favorites are A Bronx Tale and Reservoir Dogs. There’s also the classic Godfather trilogy. A Clockwork Orange kind of freaked me out. Then again… I guess it was supposed to. If you want a crime movie mixed with some romance I’d recommend A Bronx Tale.
I am currently wearing bright green shoes in honor of St. Patrick’s Day!!!
by Onelia on March 17th, 2008 at 1:26 pm
I saw Eastern Promises and I really did think it was very good up until the end. I didn’t feel that ending was adequate for the story…
Just saw Miss Pettigrew in theaters and it was fantastic! Great movie and now I have the book in my TBR pile.
by Stephanie on March 17th, 2008 at 1:27 pm
Stephanie, what was it that didn’t work for you with the ending of Eastern Promises?
I have to check Miss Pettigrew out. Haven’t heard of it.
by Diana Killian on March 17th, 2008 at 2:12 pm
Thanks, Laura, I always love the St. Paddys where we don’t have gigs. I get to relax and drink Baileys and eat corned beef like all the normal Americans.
by Diana Killian on March 17th, 2008 at 2:15 pm
Hey, JD, Gone Baby Gone is on my list — Mr. Thrilling really enjoyed it (and was also pleasantly surprised by Affleck).
Alpha Dog — that hits a little too close to home. My parents were close to the family; I don’t think I could handle it.
by Diana Killian on March 17th, 2008 at 2:19 pm
Hey, Lynn, that sounds interesting. I just saw ETERNITY, which is one of the worst vampire films ever made. GAH! If only I had time to rip it to shreds over at Girl Detective. If ever a film was truly deserving of dissection.
by Diana Killian on March 17th, 2008 at 2:23 pm
That’s interesting, Will. I think I was just enjoying the quiet exploration of character. I can’t remember if I thought either film was predictable or not — but then sometimes I like predictable.
by Diana Killian on March 17th, 2008 at 2:27 pm
Onelia, I am very proud of you and your green shoes!
One of my favorite NY crime films is BULLETS OVER BROADWAY. I love it!
by Diana Killian on March 17th, 2008 at 2:28 pm
Sounds interesting, David. I usually enjoy things like that — well, really, almost anything about art is interesting to me.
by Diana Killian on March 17th, 2008 at 2:29 pm
very strange, with too many shifts in time imo, but worth watching for the period detail
A French foreign film - really cute, and really worth the time
DEATH AT A FUNERAL
A British farce that starts off slow but has some good - albeit silly - laughs.
by Michelle Moran on March 17th, 2008 at 10:28 pm
Diana — the ending was just didn’t feel finished! I felt like there needed to be more, more, more! I guess it was very anticlimactic for me. No sense of “ah, the world is right.” for me. Does that make any sense?
by Stephanie on March 18th, 2008 at 11:18 am
I can understand that, Stephanie. I wanted more, but I guess there was no possible finish to that — they had each made their choices and the choices were still in motion. If that makes sense?
by Diana Killian on March 26th, 2008 at 12:17 pm
Hey, Michelle, three films I haven’t seen! Very cool. Thanks.
by Diana Killian on March 26th, 2008 at 12:24 pm