Tag: Crime

Twist

I often post interesting stories on how I ended up finding about a movie if it ends up being a more obscure piece. The story for Twist is rather unique for me given the circumstances.

You see, the director of Twist is Martin Owen. Martin Owen also directed a film last year called Max Cloud that I was given a screener for. But, I also interviewed Martin Owen, which is a shame, because I disliked Max Cloud a lot. It made my worst of the year list.

But in preparing for the interview, I looked up his past and future work, and also briefly talked about his upcoming movie Twist which had some actual famous people in it and a bigger budget. I wasn’t looking forward to Twist, because I disliked Max Cloud so much, but I was still curious on how it would end up.

PARKOUR
It would end up in parkour-land, apparently. 

Oh boy oh boy, our young Oliver, who is going to just go by Twist (Rafferty Law) (that’s the movie name!), is a criminal! Well, he doesn’t have a family, so that might as well be illegal.

But no, he is also a graffiti artist. He likes to spray paint the sides of buildings or whatever, illegally, because he considers himself to be an artist. And he often has to run from the law due to this fact, but the good news is, is that he is really good at parkour. Climbing up and down walls. Jumping over roofs and alleys. Shimmying up ladders. Whatever.

This gets him discovered by a gang of thieves! And they want him to help with the heist of a century. It is going to involve parkour, a lot of parkour. Also it is an art heist, so that keeps the theme in tack. But he is a new guy on a team. Can they trust the little bastard?

Also starring Noel Clarke, Lena Headey, David Williams, Jason Maza, Sophie Simnett, Franz Drameh, Rita Ora, Jade Alleyne, and of course, Michael Caine.

Michael Caine is in this movie
There is no parkour here, there isn’t even parcheesi. 

You may be asking yourself, is Michael Caine actually in this movie? Or is that a thing where he has about two scenes and that is it, so highly billed and advertised but not really in it? Nah…he is actually in it many times, as the head of the orphan art thieves. Go figure. But Michael Caine has said for years he doesn’t mind being in shitty movies, as long as he gets his pay day. That quote is paraphrased.

Twist, and let me remind you I really have no clue what the plot of the original is about, outside of an orphan wanting more food, tells a pretty dull tale. It is a heist film, and a secure painting must be found, stolen without anyone knowing, and brought back to the hideout. So a lot of shenanigans, and red hearings will be in the way, and probably some, oh what is that work, twists?  Ahh. Is that a pun technically? I hope not, because of course a heist movie will have some twists.

Twist is definitely better than the previous work, Max Cloud, and it might just be due to the budget. It looks nicer, there is some unique camera shots, and the acting isn’t as bad (although cheesy over the top acting was part of the point for Max Cloud). Twist is still overall a dull, and boring movie but at least it isn’t trash trash.

It is also quite forgettable. It took me almost two months to write this review, and who knows how long I will take to actually publish it as well.

1 out of 4.

Cherry

The Russo Brothers and Tom Holland go together like Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Both of them have careers that sometimes intersect and sometimes produce good movies. Yes, I did come up with that comparison myself, why do you ask?

I have a big fan of the Russos since their episodes on Community, and honestly, don’t know if they have done anything bad up to this point. They have done basically all of the best Marvel movies, so it is good to see them move on to a different source material. A book I have never heard of before. And if they bring along someone hoping to break from their boyish and charming mold, then it would be hard to pick someone better than Tom Holland right now.

What is Cherry about? I bet it ain’t about fruit.

spooderman
I think the Russo brothers intentionally made him look like Tobey Maguire Spider-Man here.

Cherry (Tom Holland) (I can’t really tell you if that is his first name or last or what) is a young college student, a bit off, a bit popular or cool, but still a bit out there. And he sees a girl, Emily (Ciara Bravo, also hoping to lose her kids tv channel roots) and he wants her. He has a girlfriend back at home, but she is the past, Emily is the future.

They begin to couple, and they have a time, but Emily doesn’t know if he is good for her, and decides some forced time apart is important. She goes to Montreal, so he decides to enlist, having not left in his life.

The rest of the film deals with his basic training, his time overseas, the amount of fucked up shit he sees over there, his PTSD from those events, and of course, some nice opioid and heroin addiction leading to a life of crime.

Is that not enough for you? It should be. It is quite a lot of topics for our hero (?) to hit and endure, and it is over 2 hours to make sure it has some breathing room. But not much.

Also starring Jack Reynor, Forrest Goodluck, Jeff Wahlberg, and Damon Wayans Jr.

spooderman2
Oh shit, and now he looks like Uncle Ben’s killer?

I described Cherry as a thrill ride already, but it really is a wild movie. A Wild Cherry film, if you will. I stole that joke from another, but it is okay, because I set them up for it when I was delirious. If I was a smarter man on that day, I would have made it on my own.

This film feels like it definitely was meant to get people to not think of Holland as some sweet kid (And so was the point of The Devil All The Time, right?).  We need to see if Holland can be a mega movie star on his own without the backing power of Disney behind him, and I truly do think he delivers. His character is fast talking, crass, and absolutely in love despite showing it in a weird way. I couldn’t catch a break for this film because the characters in the movie can’t catch them either. Some of the war scenes just totally made my heart sink, and were put in just to show the absurdity of everything in life and how people can just suck.

This is a much better film than the also recently released Chaos Walking, also starring Holland. It is so hard to describe outside of just the topics presented. It feels timely and fresh though nonetheless. It didn’t give me the same feelings of angst as other recent releases like Greenland, but it is still up there in quality. Not for the feint of heart. They use naughty language in this movie. t

3 out of 4.

Nobody

Who is this guy? This Nobody. This comedian. This laugh em upper. This ambulance chasing lawyer. What is her doing in this action movie? Who invited him to the party?

I will admit that going in to see Nobody, I thought this was supposed to be an action comedy. You know, a slightly more funny John Wick. Because the star is goddamn Bob Odenkirk. He isn’t an action person, there is no way they can realistically pretend he is either…can they?

What I will say though after watching it is that it is definitely not a comedy. There are amusing action parts, but at no point are you going to go on a laugh riot. Hell, John Wick is full of amusing action parts as well, but it is not a comedy. It turns out that they never advertised this movie as a comedy either, I just assumed so based on its sort of ridiculous poster. And I guess that is on me.

bus
There is nothing more serious than this face right here.

Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) (What kind of name is Hutch Mansell?) (What kind of name is Bob Odenkirk?) (Fair point, moving on) is your typical family man. He has a wife (Connie Nielsen) and two kids (Gage Munroe, Paisley Cadorath). He goes to work every day. He rides the bus. He takes out the trash. He misses the trash. He sleeps. He jogs. It just goes on and on and on.

But one day Hutch finds himself to be the victim. A home robbery. Two people break into his house and demand money and valuables and he doesn’t have much to give him. And thanks to his son, there is a real good chance they can apprehend these criminals and keep their stuff, but Hutch misses his cue and he becomes a sort of laughing stock. Or at least everyone pities him. His family thinks less of him. Is he even a man? How dare he not do violence.

All of this makes him crack. He does seem to let on more than he knows about action stuff, but he wants to keep it contained. And after deciding to go after the criminals, he eventually gets himself into a bigger fight than he imagined. One that gets him involved with a dangerous Russian crime lord (Aleksey Serebryakov). Can this nobody still protect himself and his family? Is he actually a nobody?

Also starring RZAColin Salmon, and Christopher Lloyd as an 82 year old with a shot gun.

gun
And this is Odenkirk with a uhhh…. faster shot gun, idk guns. 

Do we have room in our world for another John Wick? Of course we do. After all, there have been plenty of movies before of seemingly normal guy (Who might secretly be abnormal) go on to do amazing feats of killing and vengeance. It isn’t something John Wick made up.

But with John Wick the actor was someone who we had seen in action movies before. Someone who knows Kung Fu. Not an actual regular looking joe who we know as a regular actor comedian. That is a plus. And also, the John Wick movies (2 and 3) got worse with each version, because the script blows, and they didn’t focus on the action enough.

So sure we have room for this movie, but is it good? Surprisingly yes.

It doesn’t feature narrative prose that one would look for in award winning films, it still has a weak plot. But the action is not only good, it is far more graphic and intense than I thought it would be (Watching people get stabbed and broken bones graphically, when I still thought it was a comedy, would do that). Odenkirk fucking brings it. And later on when he has help, they fucking bring it too, and it is just an amazing defense set with a spectacular finish.

I would be excited for more Nobody films, even if narratively it wouldn’t make sense for the character to continue. It didn’t make sense for John Wick either and it turned out gr — err, oh wait. It turned out bad. And will likely get worse.

Nobody was surprisingly fun and intense. A great action movie for those who want this sort of action genre. We don’t get a long one-take hallway scene, but the bus scene does feel almost just as good.

3 out of 4.

I Care A Lot

I hope this movie is something seen by all. I hope it remains in the conversation for decades to come. I hope people refer back to it with quotes and references and we remember its name.

Why do I care so strongly about this film? Just because of the title. It is a bit awkward. I Care A Lot. Oh okay.

But the awkwardness is fine. Because it has the words “a lot” in it, and maybe, maybe, if people see this movie and write it out and get it in their brain, they will stop trying to create the “alot” creature from hyperbole and a half.

One of those pet peeves is all.

wall
“I’ve heard of ‘Binders of Women’ before, but this is ridiculous!” 

Getting old can be hard. Your brain can leave you behind, your memories can fade, you can become violent and really needy, but if you have no one to help you, what are you supposed to do? You kids, if you have them, might be able to take care of you. Or they may be too busy. You might get put in a home, but your kids may be too busy to handle your affairs, your doctors, and all of that.

So sometimes, you will get a court appointed guardian who will legally serve your best interests. These interests sometimes go against the interests of your family, but maybe that family might be trying to milk you dry and increase their inheritance? An unbiased third party is often useful.

Now if the unbiased third party is ALSO trying to scam you, then there is a problem.

Meet Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike). She is that person trying to scam you. She knows the doctors, the judges, and is often trying to get appointed to people she can legally milk dry while getting kickbacks and looking like they are caring for their appointees. And in this film, she lands a big whale. Someone with no family to bug her and a lot of wealth.

But it turns out that Jennifer Petersor (Dianne Wiest) is not who she appears to be. And she does have a son (Peter Dinklage), who just so happens to be a mob boss in hiding, who doesn’t appreciate what is happening to his mother.

Also starring Alicia Witt, Chris Messina, Eiza González, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Macon Blair, and Nicholas Logan.

beard
If a photo shows strong facial hair game, I must always comment on said facial hair. 
Rosamund Pike knows how to play a sinister lady character for sure. Have you seen Gone Girl? You should see Gone Girl. It is great. Her character isn’t as conniving and evil as Amy, but it is still a really evil character who has close to no morals in I Care A Lot. It is like the movie title is…a lie! So it is easy to see why she won a Golden Globe for her performance in this film. But I wouldn’t be lying if I didn’t mention I would have preferred Maria Bakalova. Oh well, as long as Music didn’t win anything, we are all winners.

I Care A Lot is a very intense film and one that won’t be for everyone. There are very strong shifts in terms of what kind of film it is, especially the larger second act. There is a chance you might love the beginning and hate the rest, and other similar situations. I was fine with all of them, and I prefer my films to keep me guessing, even on tone. It never rustles my jimmies.

I really enjoyed Pike in her role, and is the only one worth mentioning. Even Dinklage couldn’t match her, but he did have more limited screentime.

Honestly, this movie’s existence is a strange one for those who hate moral issues. We have bad person vs bad person. There isn’t a clear person to cheer for, even if they are the antagonist, they are still a shitty human being. I now assume that things like this movie depict happen in America on the regular, and well, I hope John Oliver does a special on it so I can get the facts and start caring more.

Because it is on Netflix, this one is pretty easy to recommend for at least offering us something new. Mob stories are played out, but this is clearly a fresh take.

3 out of 4.

Silk Road

Everyone reading this has a big regret. It is the same collective one. You know. Not investing in Bitcoin decades ago when it was just starting out. The same thing you said probably a decade ago, and maybe said a couple of years ago. If it keeps going up though….should you invest now? Hard to say.

It’d be easier to guess and get lucky with the next bitcoin, but there are a lot out there, and no one is reaching that same level of price, so its a hard battle.

But what does that have to do with the movie Silk Road? No, not the ancient one. The new one, that was for drugs on the internet with bitcoin! Ah yes, the story is full circle now. Sure, I would love a movie about the start up and take down of one of the most infamous “websites” out there.

cash
Need this film to make at least this much money to break even.

Ross Ulbricht (Nick Robinson) is one of those types. You know. A libertarian. He believes in lots of freedoms and getting away from the federal and local governments as much as possible. And probably, sometimes, he believes in non libertarian ideals as well, but that’s one of the perks of being a libertarian. Being able to claim to be different despite being just like everyone else.

Anyways. He is good at computers, and likes bitcoins and thinks all of this is the future. So he ends up setting up Silk Road. An Amazon for drugs and illegal stuff! Nothing really bad like assassins for hire, but weed, LCD, fun stuff. And thanks to encryption, the dark web, and bitcoin, he can set this whole thing up and even have the drugs mailed through the US postal service right to people’s doorsteps. Ah yes. Freedom.

But the government ain’t going to let this one slide. They will have a crack team (heh) of FBI specialists who know the internet to try and trace him and bring him in. And they will also have Rick Bowden (Jason Clarke), a DEA agent close to retirement who also has huge money issues, trying to figure out how to stop it despite being mostly computer illiterate and his much younger boss not caring about what he works on.

Also starring Alexandra Shipp, Jimmi Simpson, Katie Aselton, Lexi Rabe, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Daniel David Stewart, and Paul Walter Hauser

internet
What the fuck is the internet?

If I had to guess, Silk Road wanted to be the next Social Network with some Catch Me If You Can action. People avoiding arrest and starting tech revolutions. Hip young people out to save the world. Violence and drugs and maybe even a little bit of sex.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end up being as good as either of these films. It is a lot less witty and pretty bare bones on the plot. I liked parts, I hated parts, and I really thought a lot of information was skipped on the true story elements. I don’t even know if that is true. It just feels like a lot of it was skipped around or ignored or just accomplished during montages. And in terms of a police cat and mouse game with Ulbricht, well, it is really just mostly avoidance until a couple things get let up, and that is it.

Fun fact, Robinson and Shipp were previously in the movie Love, Simon, in definitely not a relationship, but they are in one for some time in this movie.

Back to this movie. It is such a good story in real life, but I think the movie tries to remain neutral in all of the story telling, so it can’t really fully give me a really wow granting storyline. All of the acting is just fine. It was good to find out about the DEA agent who decided to be a dickbag about this whole thing a well, but it doesn’t make this version of the story interesting enough to ever warrant a rewatch unfortunately.

2 out of 4.

Locked Down

Locked Down was one of the first hyped movies from the year, because it is one of the bigger straight to HBO Max things out there. I honestly don’t know if this one was ever intended to go to theaters first, but this one ended up just on the internet streaming world. And it is notable because it was made during quarantine stuff!

And uhhh, sure, a few things have been made that way now. But but but….how many were released already? Exactly. I also don’t know. This one probably isn’t the first at all. Like, remember that movie Host? That came out awhile ago. And I am sure random TV shows and other stuff have had episodes post quarantine released.

Wait, why is Locked Down special again?

no mask
WEAR YOUR FUCKING MASKS!

Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Linda (Anne Hathaway) are a couple of chumps living in London in 2020, sometime around April probably. Lockdowns are happening, only essential workers can leave to go to work, or leaving for essentials, and a whole lot of meetings are in zoom.

The problem is, these two are miserable together. They aren’t really a couple anymore. There were things that happened not soon before lockdowns began, leading them to for sure breakup once convenient to have a new place and all of that, and then…yeah, they are stuck together.

Well life sure does suck. But thanks to a series of lucky and strange breaks, both of their jobs put them in a position where they have to work together and have to ship off a very expensive diamond to some crummy dude. But what if they don’t? What if they just, like, take it and send the replica instead? They could sell the real one and live happily ever after, even apart if necessary, somewhere far away. Hooray lax security.

Also starring Dulé Hill, Jazmyn Simon, Ben Kingsley, Ben Stiller, Sam Spruell, Stephen Merchant, Mindy Kaling, and Marek Larwood.

couple

Are they about to kiss at home? Okay, masks can be off.

Okay, quite a few things have been made during pandemic times now. Crews get completely tested, stay in bubbles, other crew member who can’t are masked up on set and social distancing, yadda yadda. But there is something unique in this one already, because it really captures that early April time frame of 2020 with the feel of it.

The world feels mostly empty, we have one of our main characters yelling poems to people on their balcony as a way of providing entertainment. There are masks and confusion of masks. There are zoom conference calls without the annoying jokes about people using zoom wrong (although would have been justified given when this one takes place, but man, those jokes are already played out). It went so well attention wise and then uhhh, I dunno, stopped at the end?

Like, during the heist, which did take place with workers at this giant department store place, and security, and people moving and packing up boxes, no one suddenly was wearing a mask? They had a big procedure of showing people coming in with masks, taking off the mask and then putting back on, but then at some point masks didn’t matter any more and I don’t know why. What the fuck happened to this continuity? Did they film that part before the actual lock downs? If so, the entire plot and reason they could attempt it doens’t make sense.

It really bugs me. And despite that strangeness, I still liked the movie. I like the build up to the heist, which is a huge portion, just not the actual heist, for more reasons than that as well. Just none of it seemed to really make a lot of sense then.

Also to talk about Ejiofor and Hathaway, oh my goodness they are wonderful together. That loath/love vibe is strong with those two, I bet they got into some real method acting before hand. Like, I don’t know what their relationship status is in real life, but I have to assume they actually lived and bugged the shit out of each other for awhile. They probably screwed and had arguments and watched sad movies. Their chemistry is off the charts and I am all for it right now.

Locked Down could have been better, was better than I expected, and I am now trying to headcanon a secret Hathaway/Ejiofor romance throughout the years.

3 out of 4.

How to Deter a Robber

Click HERE for an interview with the director of the film, Maria Bissell!

Sometimes a title is all you need. How To Deter A Robber. There. Five words, with two that really stand out. Who talks like that? Why are they talking like that? Is this a film to talk about keeping robbers away from your home?

You’d like ask is this a remake of Home Alone? That kid knew how to keep away some potential robbers, with some sadistic methodology.

Is this a film that will up the ante? Change the type of lead? Kill someone? Go hard R? Or will it not seem like Home Alone at all?

I do know that no matter what, just by title alone, I am curious and immediately comparing it to an awkward classic.


Being tied up with your crew is not a good way to deter a robber.

Young (eh, 28 year old actress) little Madison Williams (Vanessa Marano) is trying to pine the perfect essay for getting into college after she finishes high school. She is running out of time. It is winter. But the inspiration she seeks and craves fails her, and she realizes the writing she is creating is really not up to her standards. Her mother is constantly on her case about things, never trusting her, and judging her, so she feels trapped.

But she is with her boyfriend (Benjamin Papac) and they sneak out one night to a friend’s cabin, to check to make sure things are okay. They end up staying the night, and when they wake up, the place was robbed! Damn! People came and ransacked the place, and now they will be blamed, damn teenagers. They couldn’t even deter a robber (that’s the movie !!) by being in the home, so they need to up their game.

Madison’s uncle (Chris Mulkey) takes the two of them to his own cabin to spend some time away from her mom, while also teaching them some better tactics to keep the place secure. And sure enough, the robbers (Abbie Cobb, Sonny Valicenti) are coming their way next, so they are going to do their best, or their worst.

Also starring Nikki Crawford, Jonah Ray, Leah Lewis, and Gabrielle Carteris.


Trigger Warning: Green Face!

First cat out of the bag, this film never feels like Home Alone, and that is obviously a good thing. It needs to be able to stand on its own legs. Sure, some traps maybe get set up and attempted, but the important note here is that some teenagers who aren’t sociopaths aren’t amazing engineers to do elaborate pain enduing schemes, they just are not. How to Deter a Robber goes for a more realistic approach to the being in the same house as a robber, by, you know, being caught almost immediately.

But how do you get away from the robbers? How do you make the cops find them? How do you avoid death and unravel their trust? These are all important aspects as well, and where a lot of the film lies.

The main thing I love about this movie is the chemistry between the cast. I will admit I haven’t seen anything Marano has been a major part before (just side roles in TV shows that I didn’t notice), but she definitely brings it this time. Her relationship with her family members, the boyfriend, and the robbers are all believable. She is a talkative charmer.

The movie is a bit of a comedy more than anything, and despite not being laugh out loud funny most of the time, it is still amusing, and I still smirked throughout. It was one of those films that could be sweet, yet still have some darker parts throughout it. And now that I have seen this movie, I know what a Hodag is, and learning about new monsters is always worth your time.

3 out of 4.

The Gentlemen

Let’s start this review with a little bit of a confession. Later this year we are getting a Kingsman prequel movie called The King’s Man. That makes a lot of sense to be the title of a Kingsmen prequel film. No one should get that confused.

Enter me. Movie reviewer. Reviewer who tries to not watch trailers or too many other notes about films before seeing it. I remember that the Kingsman prequel had a really obvious name for the series, but didn’t remember exactly what.

So, when I saw I had a screening upcoming for The Gentlemen? My mind went only one place. Ah yes, the Kingsman prequel.

And let’s just say, this movie had me pretty confused for about 20 minutes about how the heck this was at all related to those other films. When they started making a lot more modern references and talk about cell phones, I knew I must have just been a dumb fuck at that point. Anyways, that movie comes out in September. This one is an original and it comes out now.

grant
But wait, there’s more!

Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) is a weed dealer on a grand scale in Great Britain, and he isn’t even a citizen. Damn Americans. He has so much weed, making so much money, no one knows how he does it. Where does he hide his crops?

Well, he wants out of the game. He is getting older, less likely to go killing people and defending his territory. If he can sell out his whole operation to someone else, he will have enough money to retire the rest of his life with his comfy and rich friends.

But a simple idea dealing with illegal things will never be that easy. We have a very good and nosy reporter (Hugh Grant), the owner and operator of a gym for formerly bad people to make them better (Colin Farrell), Pearson’s number 2 man (Charlie Hunnam), and an ambitious Chinese gangster looking to make a break in the business (Henry Golding) that are all going to make things more complicated.

People will turn on everyone if it means survival in the end.

Also starring Jeremy Strong, Michelle Dockerty, Eddie Marsan, and Tom Wu.

swag
Success is always measured in dollars, nothing else.

The Gentlemen is definitely a return to form for Guy Ritchie, and is definitely not a prequel to that one franchise I will stop talking about.

This film felt like his previous great works that people think about when they say Guy Ritchie. Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and sure, RocknRolla, This is not like most of his trash from the last decade.

We get twists and turns, hard to understand accents, shocking moments, extra action when necessary, and surprises. A lot of what I said could be considered the same thing, and I don’t care about that.

It was very entertaining, if not hard to follow at the beginning [Editor’s note: That could be because this viewer was a dumbass, see the beginning of the review.] of the film. I did get annoyed at the seemingly excessive racist Asian language that happened at multiple times, although I accept that as bad people going against other bad people, it makes sense for the characters to be…racist. That was hard to type. Still can be frustrating as a viewer.

I give the most praise to Hugh Grant. He went really out of his normal style for this role (except for his general flair for the dramatics that he always carries) and killed it. I also quite enjoyed Farrel and Golding, Golding in particular is on the rise out of seemingly nowhere.

The Gentlemen is just going to be a fun time, with a little bit of death and mayhem.

3 out of 4.

Uncut Gems

Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie (or The Safdie Brothers) released a movie called Good Time in 2017. And it was way better than anyone expected it to be.

Robert Pattinson was a great lead, it was high energy with a banging edge of your seat soundtrack. It made quite a few best of lists and was nominated for some of the more independent film awards.

And yeah, it caught me by surprise, but didn’t elevate itself to my best list. However, I was very intrigued with Uncut Gems, going in knowing nothing about the plot except it was their movie and Adam Sandler starring. After all, Adam Sandler is actually known for acting good in movies he had nothing to do with production or direction. Like The Meyerowitz Stories or Reign Over Me (I haven’t seen Reign Over Me, I’m just assuming).

Bring on the almost Bear Jew.

sandler
This looks like a man who could collect many Nazi scalps. 
I don’t think anyone would disagree that Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) is a fuck up. Sure, he has his own diamond/jewelry shop in a classy part of NYC and deals with high figures and big clients, lives in a nice fancy house and has a family. But his judgement is questionable.

For one, he owes a lot of money to various people. One guy about $100,000, but smaller amounts to others. He likes to gamble money away in hopes of getting rich. He likes to pawn peoples items to secure funds to gamble them away. Don’t worry, he will pay it back.

Oh, he is going through a divorce with his wife (Idina Menzel) but they are keeping it a secret until after Passover. His new lady (Julia Fox) lives in an apartment with him in the city and works in his store.

But things are finally going to change for Howard. He is getting a package he has waited a long time for in the mail, and Kevin Garnett (Kevin Garnett) is walking in to his shop before a big playoff game. Yep, things might finally start looking up.

Also starring Tommy Kominik, Keith Williams Richards, Eric Bogosian, Jacob Igielski, Jonathan Aranbayev, and of course Lakeith Stanfield.

lakeith
Ah yes, Lakeith, you should be in all of our movies. 
For about two-thirds of the film, I already knew most of my final thoughts. I knew this film made me feel uncomfortable. It made me feel disgusted at points. I was nervous the entire time. And I figured I’d never want to see it again, but I also knew I loved it.

Much like Good Time, once again, the soundtrack has to be experienced with excellent speakers. It almost feels like half the movie. The “action” in this movie is a lot less serious than that in Good Time, but the soundtrack still elevates his stakes and puts us in his ever more and more agonizing shoes.

Sandler is definitely giving it his all in this movie, really diving into the character. Enough to make me forget about Sandler at some point and just think of this crazed diamond dealer. I don’t know if he has ever been better, but I do know this has to be near his best and is worth the agonizing nature of the film.

The level of detail these brothers put into this movie, setting it in a specific period in 2012. The real events, the concerts, the games. I have never cared more about a 7 years ago NBA playoffs match up than this movie, and I was happy I was in a situation where I couldn’t just find out the results of the match on my phone real quick.

Finally, I was wrong with the thoughts I had two-thirds of the way in through this movie. I would totally go through the experience again.

4 out of 4.

Who Killed Garrett Phillips?

Who Killed Garrett Phillips? Is the third out of 3 HBO documentaries about really recent and important court cases involving a dead body. This follows I Love You, Now Die, and Behind Closed Doors.

Clearly the third and final one is removing any sort of clever title behind and getting straight to the point. Garret Phillips is dead, and we have no idea who killed him.

Garrett was a 12 year old boy, son of a single mother and a brother of another boy of similar age. He liked skateboarding. And when he got home alone, at some point someone else was in his house. There was a struggle, a strangle, and eventually when someone can open the door to find him, he is so close to death, he cannot talk and he cannot say who did it.

We know for sure it wasn’t something done on his own, mostly because of a window that was broken out of, where the most likely killer jumped out and ran away. Oh, this all happened right around 5pm in a very white town after school.

deadboy
A story about a dead white kid and I didn’t hear about it sooner?
The main stream media must be slipping.

So who did it? Well, the people who might have been in position to see someone leave the window couldn’t see it, because they came inside due to police presence. It really comes down to one person, according to the local police force. It must be Oral “Nick” Hillary, the local African man! You know, the one who stands out and used to date the mom of Garrett, but they broke up.

And the rest of this documentary, overall a bit over 3 hours, examines the police findings on him and his trial and his defense. And I will be honest, this documentary is extremely compelling on why it wasn’t him and who it likely could have been. It is someone you would imagine really early into it as well, thanks to foreshadowing, before they go out and say it, and it seems like a huge injustice in the world.

This is very dense and full of important information on the trial, but not 8 hour miniseries on Netflix dense. This is a good amount of dense.

I am shocked to not hear about it earlier, and honestly, it made me feel outraged and a little bit scared. And as of right now THEY STILL DON”T KNOW WHO DID IT. Fuck. No wonder this true crime stuff is addicting. It is teasing you up the whole time and no release. Erm.

4 out of 4.