White Boy Rick

I thought this was another movie. I thought it was Bodied, about a white guy who enters the world of battle rap. That one’s not supposed to be that great, but this movie had a workman-like quality that made it watchable. White boy in a black world of drug dealing. Kind of cardboard characters, but everyone does a good job with their parts, and it’s not boring.

The Seven Five

In an era when dash cams and citizens with cell phones record the worst kind of police brutality and abuse of power, this story may seem like a quaint piece of history, but in his day… there was police corruption, and then there was Michael Dowd. Wow. This guy was epic, with his cash grabs and protection of dealers, etc.

However, in his testimony, as well as in the filmed interviews, he comes across as a pretty stand-up guy. And the fact that he refused to implicate any other of his fellow officers raises him in my estimation. I don’t think he ever shot anybody without justifiable cause…

Sicario

Despite my reluctance to accept Emily Blunt as an FBI undercover drug agent, she came close to convincing me. All except for the scene where she falls for the guy who’s going to kill her… that just didn’t ring true.

Otherwise, a respectable bit of storytelling. And it never seems to hurt to have Benicio del Toro in your movie…

Amy

Heartwrenching. Such extremes, everything – first and foremost her talent – exaggerated so far beyond the rest of us. But also of course the dark side – the binges, the drugs, the drinking. It’s not a unique story – others have burned too bright and too fast, and much has been made of the fact that she joined the 27 club when she died. But this doesn’t lessen the tragedy, and the real sense of loss that watching this engenders. All these songs that will never be finished…

  1. Blake Fielder-Civil was a motherfucker. I blame him, drug addict fuck that he was, for dragging Amy down with him. I hope he’s still in jail.
  2. Her father was kind of a dick too.
    I wish I could have seen her just once in concert. Although maybe not the one in Belgrade…

 

The Look of Love

Intriguing but very rambling. I liked the performance of Steve Coogan, and I liked the wardrobe and set design. I liked Imogen Poots (best name in film). I liked the boobs. There was a lot to like (there were a lot of boobs), but the bits and pieces were better than the whole.

I didn’t have the sense that we learned what was going on inside the head of Paul Raymond. And now, do I want to know more? Not really.

Cartel Land

I thought that Kathryn Bigelow’s name was associated with this film somehow… a producer, maybe? At any rate, well-directed by Matthew Heineman, about whom I think I know nothing at all…

Much was made of his access to the vigilantes at the center of the story, leading to some amazing shots. Shots of shots, in fact, as automatic weapons play a large role in the drug wars of Mexico. Tagged: gritty, gripping.

Cake

They always make a big deal of it when an attractive female actor is brave enough to go without makeup and look haggard in a film. Jennifer Aniston adds facial scars and greasy, unwashed hair to the mix, and it’s true, she doesn’t look very good. But in fact, I’ve never thought that she was very attractive.

Doesn’t matter. She’s terrific in the role, and following on Life of Crime I have a newfound respect for her acting.

Relentlessly non-sentimental. Bonus points for the scene where she’s listening to Billy Joel’s “Honesty” with white wine on the sofa, when she quickly tires of it and says, “Okay, enough honesty,” and hits the stop button on her remote…

The World Made Straight

One of those films that you want to like, but it’s just not good enough. Yeah, Winter’s Bone this is not.

The flashbacks to the Civil War past are clunky. The acting is second-rate, with the exception of the drug dealers – they are pretty genuinely scary. The professor is completely unbelievable – a sharp shooter ex-prof living in a trailer with a hot girlfriend who’s being hooked out by drug dealers she owes… And that’s not even the crux of the story.

The movie even manages to un-hot Minka Kelly…