Archive for Crime

Max Payne movie

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2008 by funofmovie
Max Payne movie

Max Payne movie

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Duration: 1 hr. 39 min.

Starring: Beau Bridges, Chris ODonnell, Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Olga Kurylenko,

Director: John Moore

Producer: Julie Silverman, Scott Faye

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Release Date: October 17, 2008

Writer: Beau Thorne based on the characters in the same game title by Sam Lake

There are guns blazing, mysterious winged creatures, a symbolic tattoo, an elusive blue elixir, an unresolved murder and big stunts, yet Max Payne is surprisingly lacklustre. Based on a video game, there’s plenty happening on screen, but it’s hard to feel much for any of the characters, even Mark Wahlberg’s brooding Max, who is obsessed to avenge the senseless murder of his wife and child.

The storytelling is secondary to the action with adverse results as director John Moore battles to create a credible world couched between reality and fantasy.

To me, the most striking element is the production design in which perpetual snow falls, gusts whirl over a snowy backdrop and torrential rain teems down soaking volatile characters at vulnerable moments.

When we first meet Wahlberg’s Max, he is freefalling in an ocean filled with dead bodies. In voice over, we hear that it is not heaven, in which he believes, but pain, fear and death. We quickly understand the world in which Max lives: one that involves loneliness, regret and hate. We watch in superficial fascination as Natasha (the stunningly beautiful Olga Kurylenko) tries to seduce Max, wearing a flimsy, ultra short red silk dress with thigh-high black boots, but he is only interested in her tattoo.

Then there’s Natasha’s hard-nosed sister Mona (Mila Kunis, unrecognisable from her likeable character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Chris O’Donnell as a drug company executive and Beau Bridges as BB Hensley, head of security. Frankly it’s hard to believe any of them. Amaury Nolasco however, is terrifying as Jack Lupino, whose handsome features are decorated by two large facial tattoos and whose demons come alive all too often.

There’s no shortage of firepower (Max shoots everyone in sight) and even if you ignore some of the plot’s unanswered questions, we are left with a cavalcade of bullets, noise and chaos.

The sum of the parts is more impressive than the whole and more’s the pity.

movie review by: Louise Keller

Frozen River – movie review

Posted in Movies with tags , , on July 31, 2008 by funofmovie
Frozen river movie

Frozen river movie

A woman on New York’s Mohawk Reservation takes up illegal-immigrant smuggling to survive.

Genres: Drama and Crime/Gangster
Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min.
Release Date: August 1st, 2008 (limited)
Distributors: Sony Pictures Classics

Starring:       Melissa Leo, Misty Upham, Charlie McDermott, Mark Boone Jr., Jay Klaitz
Directed by:     Courtney Hunt
Produced by:     Chip Hourihan, Heather Rae, Alfonso Trinidad

A desperate single mother living in upstate New York resorts to smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States as a means of making ends meet in first-time feature director/screenwriter Courtney Hunt’s emotionally wrenching drama, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Ray Eddy is in an impossible position; it’s two days before Christmas and her husband has suddenly disappeared with all of the family savings. Now, as the newly single mother of two realizes the futility of attempting to cover the house payments on her meager Yankee One Dollar Store wages, her children are forced to exist on a nutritionally devoid diet of popcorn and Tang.

Deciding that her only hope for survival is to find a man who will support her and her children, Ray sets out to find a husband but instead makes the acquaintance of street-smart Mohawk Lila Littlewolf. Lila, too, has been struggling to keep her head above water amidst economic despair, and has recently stumbled across a rather unconventional solution to her dire financial situation.

Lately, Lila has been earning a living by smuggling illegal immigrants into the U.S., but her tribal elders vehemently disapprove of the scheme and have recently attempted to stop it by forbidding the local auto dealers from selling her a car. As fate would have it, Ray’s Dodge Spirit may just be the only thing the destitute mother can count on anymore, and as this unlikely pair gas up the tank for a daring dash across the iced-over St. Lawrence River, their fates become forever intertwined in ways that neither could have ever anticipated.