Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Crime Thrillers’

15 Minutes – Starring Robert De Niro & Edward Burns

Posted by the editors on Monday, 16 January 2012

15 Minutes (2001)  Directed by John Herzfeld, starring Robert De Niro (The Deer Hunter (1978), Awakenings (1990), Cape Fear (1991) and many other excellent films) and Edward Burns (Saving Private Ryan (1998), Man on a Ledge (2012)).  This crime thriller, a well-merited condemnation of tabloid, sensationalist journalism features a solid Robert De Niro as a sharp, but sentimental, media-star New York City police detective, a correct Edward Burns as a somewhat naive investigative New York City fire marshal and two media- and money-hungry, brutally violent, frankly insane “eastern European” villains; there is no other word for them.  Perhaps simplistic in premise, 15 Minutes, obviously a reference to Andy Warhol‘s famous sound-bite “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes“, is energetically well-meaning with distinctly fast-paced directing by John Herzfeld, good, strong and subtle acting on the part of De Niro, and ridiculous, yet frighteningly plausible villains portrayed with charm and violent insanity by Karel Roden and Oleg Taktarov.  The best of intentions, however, do not necessarily make for the best of films, unfortunately, and 15 Minutes falls short of its possibilities:  some shallow writing, stereotypical characters, disappointing ending and perhaps an insufficient mastery of the attempted elevated pace of the film, could be its short-comings.  Nevertheless, there are some wonderfully filmed sequences, some interesting premises, and characters, and an always valid denunciation of the motivations and methods of sensationalist journalism. (PR)

See our previous posts on the films Guilty by Suspicion, starring Robert De Niro, and The Good Shepherd, directed by, and with, Robert De Niro.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

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French Connection II – Starring Gene Hackman

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 10 December 2011

French Connection II(1975)(DVD)   Directed by John Frankenheimer (Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Seven Days in May (1964), Grand Prix (1966)), starring Gene Hackman (Mississippi Burning (1987), Unforgiven (1992), The Firm (1993)) with Fernando Rey (Tristana (1970), Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)).  While this crime drama may not be up to the level of its predecessor, the enormously successful The French Connection (1971), French Connection II still qualifies as a tense and very good film, largely thanks to dominating presence and inspired acting of Gene Hackman, who portrays the narrow-minded and obsessively determined New York narcotics detective in both films.  Though The French Connection was ostensibly based on fact, and shot in a cold, hostile and decrepit New York City, which in fact was one of the striking screen presences in the film, French Connection II is admittedly purely fictional, and is shot in the French Mediterranean city of Marseilles, home of the dreaded international heroin smuggling organisation, the French Connection.  Marseilles offers an exotic backdrop, a mix of bikini-clad beach-goers and narrow, garbage-strewn ethnic quarters, for Detective Popeye Doyle’s (Hackman) dogged pursuit of French Connection king-pin Alain Charnier, called Frog One, portrayed by Fernando Rey in both films.  With excellent acting by Hackman and some wrenching and wonderfully tense scenes, French Connection II, though perhaps not quite achieving the iconic cinema status of the first film, is nevertheless a great crime drama and, frankly, in itself, a must-see film. (PR) (Pay special attention to the excellent scene between Hackman and Cathleen Nesbitt, as “The Old Lady”.)

See our previous posts on the film The French Connection starring Gene Hackman and on the film Scarecrow, starring Hackman and a very young Al Pacino.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

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Edge of Darkness, starring Mel Gibson

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 24 November 2011

Edge of Darkness (2010)(DVD)  Directed by Martin Campbell (GoldenEye (1995), The Legend of Zorro (2005), Casino Royale (2006), Green Lantern (2011)), starring Mel Gibson (Braveheart (1995), The Passion of the Christ (2004))Ray Winstone (Nil by Mouth (1997), Sexy Beast (2000), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)) and others.  In this crime/conspiracy thriller, a film adaptation of the 1985 BBC television series of the same name, Gibson portrays a Boston police detective investigating the murder of his, clandestinely, activist daughter,  and uncovering political conspiracies and nefarious politico-industrial cover-ups in the process.  Edge of Darkness offers a grim, classic Mel Gibson, an array of smugly slimy villains, and an enigmatic Ray Winstone, as a rather mysterious enforcer (a role initially destined for Robert De Niro). (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com: 

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The Town – Ben Affleck

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Town (2010)(DVD)  Co-written, directed by, and starring, Ben Affleck (as actorGood Will Hunting (1997), Hollywoodland (2006), State of Play (2009), and, as director, Gone Baby Gone (2007)), also starring Jeremy Renner (28 Weeks Later (2007), The Hurt Locker (2009), The Bourne Legacy (to be released in 2012)), and others.  The Town is a taut, sharply shot and orchestrated crime/heist thriller set in Boston, Massachusetts.  Affleck’s directing is really very good, and his acting is fine; Jeremy Renner as Gem is excellent; unfortunately the female roles are less well-developed.  Nevertheless, for a tense entertainment The Town is to be recommended. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

See our post on State of Play, starring Ben Affleck, here.

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