The year was 1997 and the film was L.A. Confidential. Based on the James Ellroy novel of the same name the film tells the story of corruption and murder in 1950’s Los Angeles.
The film follows the investigations of three distinctly different cops. The first is the ambitious career-mined Det. Lt. Edmund Exley (Guy Pearce) who makes a name for himself on honesty and a willingness to throw those who don’t agree to the wolves.
The second is Officer Bud White (Russell Crowe) a blunt instrument with a strong desire to help women in trouble and more brains than most people, even himself, give him credit.
And the third, Det. Sgt. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey), is a fame obsessed cop drunk on the Hollywood scene, his small role as a consultant for the cop show Badge of Honor (think Dragnet), and his ties to sleazoid magazine editor (Danny DeVito).
“We’re below the city, below the subways. There is a whole world of tunnels and chambers that most people don’t even know exists. There are no maps to where we are. It’s a forgotten place. But it’s warm and it’s safe, and we have all the room we need. So we live here and we try to live as well as we can, and we try to take care of each other.”
After being attacked society girl Catherine Chandler (Linda Hamilton) is nursed back to health in the bowels of New York City by Vincent (Ron Perlman). Here begins a fairy tale love story between a beautiful Assistant District Attorney and her protector, a beast with the soul of a poet.
This first season introduces us to the world of “down below” and the characters who will become staples of the series. It also sets up Catherine’s world above with her boss Joe (Jay Acovone) and her on-again, off-again, suitor Elliot Burch (Edward Albert). “Son of Orpheus” reveals Father’s (Roy Dotrice) past and his reasons for retreating from the world above and creating the underground society. “An Impossible Silence” and “China Moon” are set in the distinct worlds of a deaf girl (Terrylene) and Chinatown. “The Alchemist” introduces the recurring villain of Paracelsus (Tony Jay), and Vincent’s childhood friend returns in “Promises of Someday”. The nature of the lovers relationship is put to the test in “A Happy Life”
Both critics and fans were split this summer about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Ian liked it enough to name it one of his favorite movies of the summer, but me, not so much. In case you missed it in theaters, or want to give it another try, the movie along with an all-new boxed set (is this the third or fourth one, I’m loosing count?) is coming to DVD and Blu-ray on October 14th.
In the documentary comedian and talk-show host Bill Maher travels around the country interviewing people about God and religion. Check out the official site and the Wikipedia page. The film opens in limited release in select cities on Friday. Larger trailer available in the Full Diagnosis.
I’m afraid. I’m afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I’m a… fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it I can sing it for you. Damn I did it again, I keep getting Eagle Eye confused with 2001: A Space Odyssey, how clumsy of me.
Jerry (Shia LaBeouf) is an underachiever, he does very little to simply get by; shortly following his brother’s death Jerry is thrown into a whirlwind of shit and finds himself in a life threatening situation with a perfect stranger. Rachel (Michelle Monaghan), a beautiful and young single mom, is forced by a mysterious phone call to assist Jerry in some diabolical plan that has them fleeing from Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton) a sarcastic butt of a FBI agent, and eluding Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson), Air Force Officer.
The latest from Spike Lee is an adaptation of James McBride’s book itself inspired by events in Italy during WWII. A murder and the discovery of a priceless artifact lead to a tale forty-years before involving four African-American soldiers in a Tuscan village and a disturbed child, the lone witness to a monstrous act.
Aside from the beginning scenes and the epilogue the majority of the film takes place in 1944 where four members of 92nd Infantry Division (Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller) find themselves cut-off from their unit and trapped in a small Italian town in the Tuscan countryside surrounded by German troops.
The film is about secrets which are slowly unveiled to the audience, though not necessarily the characters, over the course of the movie. The discovery of the small child (Matteo Sciabordi) in 1944 who survived the Sant’Anna di Stazzema massacre and the murder and discovery of the artifact by the police at cub reporter Tim Boyle (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in 1983, at the beginning of the film, are but two pieces of a much larger story.
If you have a sensitive gag reflex then Choke is not the film for you there are plenty of scenes that will make you gasp, feel your tongue swell and the bile rise. Throughout the story there is never a redeeming quality about any one single character and ultimately they are all pathetic and desperate, but this merely adds to the humor.
Victor (Sam Rockwell) is a med school drop out, a sex addict, a sleaze ball and a very confused clone of Jesus….of who? That’s right; Vic’s mom Ida (Anjelica Huston) was part of a top-secret experiment in Rome, when 5 women were impregnated with the genetic material from the Holy Vessels foreskin. And if you believe that, then I’ve got another story to sell you about a hairy beast that lives in the woods with a big foot.
Seriously part of the story runs a muck when Ida tells her lawyer, aka son Victor that she’s been keeping a secret all these years and must tell Victor who his real dad is before she’s moved up to the 3rd floor, the floor for the dead.
The film, except for small cameo roles, is a three-man piece. Two soldiers wounded in action (Rachel McAdams, Michael Peña) with 30-day furloughs and one (Tim Robbins) on his way home for good travel home on the same flight.
Do to circumstances beyond their control the threesome find themselves renting a mini-van and travelling west.
Cheever (Robbins) just wants to make it home to his wife (Molly Hagan) and son (Mark L. Young) in St. Louis. T.K. (Peña) is on his way to Las Vegas in hopes of curing an unfortunate medical problem caused by his injury. And Colee (McAdams) is traveling to Vegas to return a friend and fallen soldier’s guitar to his family.
Their journey across the country will lead to surprises and disappointments as the world they fought so hard to get back to has change and dreams they had for their futures turn to ash.