“Street Kings” is a like a Cliff’s Notes version of Training Day not that Training Day was any special challenge to the mental muscle. Corruption is bad, we get it.
At least that movie had a sizzling performance and an intriguing premise, a young cop’s introduction to the seamy underworld. This one has neither. It is big, dumb, loud, generic, and, worst of all, pretentious.
Keanu Reeves plays Tom Ludlow, and we meet him in what appears to be his daily waking ritual — grab gun, barf, and stop at the liquor store, as the bass line bangs away portentously. Then he and some gangstas try to out-tough each other with threats and insults over some deal. To no one’s surprise except the gangstas, he turns out to be a cop. He goes into the bad guys’ house, guns blazing, and takes everyone down all by himself, for no reason whatsoever except showing off.
Detective Washington, Tom’s former partner (Terry Crews) has been telling Internal Affairs about some of the ways that Tom and his colleagues under Captain Jack Wander (Forest Whitaker) cut corners. Let’s just say that they are not exactly scrupulous about due process. When Washington is killed, Tom is the likely suspect. Investigating that crime exposes the vast reaches of corruption and betrayal. And it provides the opportunity for many, many shoot-outs and other violent confrontations.
It is all supposed to be very tough and meaningful, but even an exceptionally strong cast can’t save dialog like, “This is your mess and I’m cleaning it up,” “It’s time to turn the page and close the book,” and “I gotta watch my own back these days.” Anyone who has ever seen a movie will be able to guess the twist within the first 10 minutes. After that, it’s just waiting for Tom to catch up to you.
Happy Spring! Celebrate with these wonderful films, all with “April” in the title:
1. Enchanted April Four women in post-WWI London get away from winter chill when they take a villa in Italy. All of their lives are transformed through the unexpected connections they make with each other.
2. Pieces of April A girl prepares Thanksgiving dinner for her estranged family, including her mother who is dying of cancer. Beautifully written and directed and unexpectedly heartwarming, with brilliant performances from Katie Holmes (pre Tom Cruise), Patricia Clarkson, Alison Pill, and Derek Luke.
3. “The April Fools” Dated and uneven but irresistible story of a man (Jack Lemmon) who falls for the wife of his boss (Catherine Deneuve). In the best scene, they meet a middle-aged couple played by Myrna Loy and Charles Boyer who show them the power of lasting love.
4. “April Love” Okay, it’s no classic, but it’s a sweet story about a city boy who learns about life and love when he has to go to work on a relative’s farm. Pat Boone stars and sings the Oscar-nominated title song and Shirley Jones is the pretty neighbor.
5. April in Paris A silly story about a chorus girl sent on a diplomatic mission is an excuse for singing and dancing from Doris Day and Ray Bolger.
Traveling together. Buying a house. Handling finances. Dealing with in-laws. Raising children. Sex. These are often listed as the primary argument topics for couples — and the arguments most revelatory of underlying relationship issues and problems. It’s time to add debates about DVD rentals to the list, both discussions during the actual rental experience and conversations afterward about the merits of the item selected. A perceptive article in The Movie Blog provides some wise advice, clearly based on experience, to help couples through this minefield. Now, perhaps they can come up with a solution to the “when do you ask for directions” conundrum.
Thanks to Cinematical for bringing my attention to this piece.
Weâ€™ve all done it. We know we shouldnâ€™t. We know it is dangerous. Dwight (Mark Ruffalo) is racing to get his 10-year-old son home after a ball game went into extra innings. He is talking on the cell phone to the boyâ€™s annoyed and anxious mother. And he is going too fast around the curve, just as his son slips out of his seatbelt to change the channel on the radio. Ethan (Joaquin Phoenix) has a 10-year-old son who is standing too near the edge of the road, freeing some fireflies from a jar.
And the unthinkable happens. A sickening thud. The driverâ€™s son hits his head on the dashboard. And the car keeps going. The father speeds away, in shock and denial, seeing to his boyâ€™s bruises and still trying to get him home on time, desperately, irrationally, magically thinking that maybe if his boy is safe, the other one will be, too.
But he is not. As Luke Arno (Eddie Alderson) is being returned to his mother, holding a bag of frozen peas to his swelling eye, the other boyâ€™s mother and sister are huddled in the back of a police car, shattered by grief.
The Oldest Living Movie Stars The Film Experience has a put together a list of the 200 oldest movie stars, from age 82-105. It includes two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland ("Gone With the Wind"), John Wayne c0-star Maureen O'Hara, and century-old Norman Lloyd, who ...
Tom Cruise Runs -- Supercut I love this supercut of Tom Cruise's best running scenes, first because it shows the range of films he's worked in over the decades, and the different ways different directors and cinematographers shoot the scenes (and some similarities), and ...
You Can Help Support This new Ed Asner Film on Indiegogo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAY_sMucKl4
Ed Asner stars in this new film about a young man who finds a book at his grandmother’s memorial, with a series of fantastical tales that his grandfather wrote for his grandmother. Each is a ...
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