Top 10 Corrupt Movie Cops

Apparently our friends over in the criminal justice department are also big movie dorks as well. And what kind of movie would they like the best? The kind with corrupt officials of course! So I stumbled upon this list the other day about movie cops gone bad. Seems like an easy topic to list off, but there were several on here I almost forgot about. There are probably hundreds more, but here are ten good ones. Beware that there may be some *SPOILERS* in the text that follows. And I need to rewatch L.A. Confidential someday soon.

 
 

10. Dudley Smith, L.A. Confidential
You may want to think of James Cromwell as the sweet farmer who gave a pig a chance in Babe, but he shows another side of himself in L.A. Confidential. He basically controls the organized crime in L.A., blackmails city officials to get his way, and murders (or has someone else murder) everyone that gets in the way of his quest for drugs and power. It’s hard to even keep track of all the people he kills during the movie and before it even starts. This may have just been the unedited Babe sequel, Babe: Pig in the City.

 


 

9. Norman Stansfield, Leon the Professional
If you haven’t seen this film, you should if only to see a bad-ass 12-year-old Natalie Portman. She plays Mathilda, a girl whose whole family has been murdered by corrupt DEA agents headed up by Norman “Stan” Stansfield. Mathilda’s father had been keeping cocaine for the agents, but they found out he’d been keeping some for himself, and Stansfield, who’s addicted to drugs himself, decided to take out the whole family. Mathilda was out shopping when the murders happened, so now Stansfield wants to find her and kill her. She’s not totally helpless since she finds a father figure in the hitman down the hall, but it’s still not very nice of this officer to be trying to gun down a little girl.

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Movies We Watched

Sometimes we watch stuff that we want to talk just a little bit about, not a full review worth. These are those films. If any of the films reviewed are available on Netflix Instant Watch (US or Canada) or HuluPlus (US only), we’ll note that by putting a direct link below the capsule.

Buried

2010 USA/Spain/Frane. Director: Rodrigo Cortés. Starring: Ryan Reynolds.

An extreme form of one-room film, with the whole thing set in a coffin buried somewhere underground. Ryan Reynolds carries the film admirably as an army contractor who gets taken hostage and buried alive with just a cell phone and a few other items, with the intention that he will get a sizeable ransom from the US government for his release. As we know, the US government doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, leaving Reynolds hoping that the dispatched search and rescue team will find him before his air runs out. The film ratchets up tension admirably, keeping the audience engaged through 95 minutes of basically nothing happening except a man talking on a phone. There are nitpicks to be made, and I do wish there had been some better explanation for why he didn’t try to dig out through the obviously loose and relatively shallow dirt above him, but for the most part, it’s pretty effective as a tight-space thriller.
– JANDY

Netflix Instant (USA)

Gattaca

1997 USA. Director: Andrew Niccol. Starring: Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, Uma Thurman.

While Gattaca did not fly quite as far under the radar as The Man from Earth or Dark City, I cannot help but feel that it remains incredibly underseen and underappreciated. It is generally regarded as a strong film, to be sure, yet I would argue that it is among the greatest sci-fi films ever made. Nimbly toeing the line between the bleak and hectic Blade Runner and the philosophically draining The Man from Earth, Niccol’s universe not only feels realistic – it feels possible … if not probable. The physical presentation of the world is bleak, yes, but it is also vibrant and alive, crafting a future that is advanced, but not so advanced so as to be a distraction. This, of course, ignores the tremendous turns of Ethan Hawke and Jude Law, whose relationship is organic and beautiful. Uma Thurman is undoubtedly the weak link in the chain, but that may be as much a product of her underutilization, if not a side effect of the brilliance of most everything else.
– DOMENIC

Netflix Instant (CANADA)

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Cinecast Episode 177 – Veneer of Terrible

 
Without the Gamble here to grace us with the newest multi-plex fare and zero interest in anything going on theatrically, Kurt and Andrew got together over a couple of virtual beers and looked at Agora once again with new vigor. There were also some recent DVD screenings to discuss including Kurt’s swan dive into season one of another popular TV show, “Breaking Bad”, and Andrew’s slight reassessment of Rian Johnson’s Brick. And finally(!) the store shelves are seeing a nice selection of newly released movies on video this week including a healthy dose of Blu-ray re-releases which provide enough fodder for a longer than normal walkabout through the weekly DVD picks. All these things and a few nuggets more – hopefully you’re into the whole brevity thing as we are able to keep it under an hour and a half.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader or right click the link and “save as…”:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_10/episode_177.mp3

ALTERNATIVE (no music track):
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_10/episode_177-alt.mp3

 
 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…
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Cinecast Episode 151 – Feeding Time

Episode 151:

SPOILERS ALERT!
Despite the announcement at the beginning of the show about a top ten list, alas it was abandoned at the last minute. Instead you get a “spirited” talk about why vampires go crazy for blood and some nice DVD choices this week. Thanks to Matt for dropping in again.
Enjoy!

Click the Audio Icon below to listen in:


show content


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To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://www.rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_10/episode_151.mp3

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“Gattaca” TV Series? Intriguing.

cut and paste job from MTV blog

 

A couple weeks ago, Variety ran a story about what’s next for Denis Leary, Jim Serpico and Apostle Films after the hit FX series “Rescue Me” wraps up in 2011. Tucked away at the end of the story was a brief bit about plans to produce a future-set one hour police procedural based on the Andrew Niccol-directed Gattaca. Writer/producer Gil Grant, whose previous TV credits include “24” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” was named as the scribe, but that was where the news ended.

Grant was kind enough to take some time last week to chat with us about the still-gestating project, and he revealed that his first move was to strip away the closed confines of the NASA-like organization that Hawke’s character worked for in the movie.

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Cinecast Episode 142 – Aging Oddly

Episode 142:
With the strange release dates in different cities this time of year it’s difficult to come together and actually have seen the same recent films. Yet we somehow always find a way. Today’s show is just Kurt and Andrew back together for a classic shoot the shit discussion on everything we’ve seen theatrically over the past few weeks – from remastered Halloween classics to the latest Almodóvar and Todd Solondz. We also get into a little early Oscar talk (including the new hosts just announced) and of course weekly DVD choices. Hope you enjoy this little back and forth and feel free to leave your thoughts on anything you wish in the comment section below and
!Thanks for listening!

Click the Audio Icon below to listen in:


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To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://www.rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_09/episode_142.mp3

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Review: New York, I Love You

Directors: Natalie Portman, Jiang Wen, Mira Nair, Shunji Iwai, Yvan Attal, Brett Ratner, Allen Hughes, Sheekhar KapurFatih Akin, Joshua Marston, Randy Balsmeyer
Writers: Emmanuel Benbihy, Tristan Carné, Hall Powell, Israel Horovitz, James C. Strouse, Shunji Iwai, Israel Horovitz, Hu Hong, Yao Meng, Israel Horovitz, Scarlett Johansson, Joshua Marston, Alexandra Cassavetes, Stephen Winter, Jeff Nathanson,
Anthony Minghella, Natalie Portman
Producers: Marina Grasic, Emmanuel Benbihy
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson, Bradley Cooper, Maggie Q, Hayden Christensen, Christina Ricci, Andy Garcia, Ethan Hawke, Blake Lively, Anton Yelchin, Shu Qi, Carlos Acosta, James Cann, Justin Bartha, Eli Wallach, Cloris Leachm
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 103 min.


Three years ago one of my favorite films of the year, Paris Je’ Taime was released to theaters and I was actually taken aback at how much I liked the piece. It was a series of vignettes, each directed by a famous director (from Gus Van Sant to the Coen Brothers to Wes Craven) with a whole slew of great, character actors and A-list stars. Each vignette was a cute little story examining a relationship somewhere within the great culture of Paris. Not necessarily lovers either. There were fathers and daughters, sisters, elderly couples and even a vampire tale amongst many others. Within months it was announced that a follow-up to the film would be coming soon that would take place in New York. So I’ve been waiting the better part of three years to see the sequel of sorts to one of my favorite films of 2007 with another set of great stories told by world class film makers and actors. And finally it is here in America showing to a fairly wide audience.

There had been some grumbling that New York, I Love You wasn’t quite the film its predecessor had been. Quite honestly I can’t fathom that notion as this film is at least the former’s equal; if not superior to the “original.” If you liked Paris Je’ Taime (or loved it as much as I did), there’s no reason to steer clear of this reimagining. It’s got the same amount of heart and inspiration and should capture your heart just as quickly and steadfast as the stories did threeyears ago.
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New York, I Love You Trailer

New York, I Love YouI knew that at some point we’d posted a trailer for the anthology film New York, I Love You what I didn’t realize was that that trailer was posted a year ago.

The film premiered at TIFF last year and Kurt foresaw the film would open early in 2009 but for some reason, reviews perhaps?, it was shelved and forgotten until today when a sexy discombobulated new trailer appeared. With acting and directing contributions from a long list of talented folk (Park Chan-Wook, The Hughes Brothers, Faith Akin, Mira Nair, Yvan Attal, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Joshua Marston, Andrei Zvyanginstev, Brett Ratner, Shia LeBeouf, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Anton Yelchin, Orlando Bloom, Christina Ricci, Chris Cooper, Kevin Bacon, Robin Wright Penn, Maggie Q, Ethan Hawke, John Hurt, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Olivia Thirlby) this is bound to have a little something for everyone.

The trailer is not exactly eye popping but it certainly looks nice and I have love for much of the talent involved so I’m game. I still haven’t seen Paris, je t’aime but I may have to check it out before being sucked into this one.

New York, I Love You is scheduled for limited release on October 16th.

Now, who’s working on a Vancouver, I Love You?

Trailer is tucked under the seat!

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TIFF Brings the Madness!

tiff09_header

One of the very special treats at the Toronto International Film Festival is the midnight programme. Here, with 1000+ energetic movie goers, the chance is offered to take in the latest of wild and crazy genre fare from around the world. Horror, Martial Arts, Rockumentaries, and usually a zany asian bit of full on weirdness. Programmed by Colin Geddes for the past decade or more, the diversity and quality of the line-up (somehow!) improves year over year, and this one looks fun.

BITCH SLAP (The riff on Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!)
A TOWN CALLED PANIC (animated French stop motion animation)
ONG BAK 2: THE BEGINNING (Title says it all, bone crunching mayhem from Thailand’s Tony Jaa)
SYMBOL (Where the director/star Hitoshi Matsumoto of DIANIPPONJIN tries to one-up himself for strangeness)
THE LOVED ONES (Aussie Horror from the guy who directed ‘self help mumbojumbo, The Secret)
SOLOMON KANE (A 17th century Puritan, Solomon Kane is a somber-looking man who wanders the world with no apparent goal other than to vanquish evil in all its forms.)
[REC]2 (Just like the first one, but with more guns and military types)
SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD (New Romero film. Local filmmaker alert!)
DAYBREAKERS (Bigger budget, star laden (Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Ethan Hawke) followup by the Spierig Brothers to Undead)

and…

Opening Midnight Gala: JENNIFER’S BODY (Diablo Cody + Megan Fox + Karyn Kusama = buyer beware!)

(Oh and in the non-midnight programs, several media outlets have let titles ‘slip’ prior to press release, MidnightMoviesBlog has the goods on the ‘unofficial at this time’ titles, here)

Vampires Turn Human in Daybreakers Trailer

Daybreakers Movie Still 6

Lestat reveled in it, Louis didn’t want it, Buffy wanted to kill them while blade Blade wanted a cure. Oh yeah, and Bella wanted to be one. What can Daybreakers bring that we haven’t seen before? Not much but as long as it does the job well, I’ll be a happy camper and if this shiny trailer is any indication I’m going to be more than happy. I’m going to be downright ecstatic.

In this new film from The Spierig Brothers, the world is populated by vampires who hunt the last remaining humans for blood and harvesting. Small problem: they’re running out of humans and therefore, food. Ethan Hawke is a scientist who is approached by the last surviving humans to help rebuild humanity. Willem Dafoe is the once-vampire-now-human with the cure and Sam Neill is the badass vamp who wants everything his own way. It’s a great idea for a story and the trailer looks super spiffy. I can’t believe we’re still moths away from a release – Daybreakers isn’t scheduled for release until January 8th, 2010.

Be sure to check out the images we posted a few months back. Trailer is tucked under the seat!

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Someone’s Gonna Die: Hawke & D’Onofrio in Staten Island Trailer

Staten Island Movie StillEveryone knows you don’t rip off the mob right? Apparently someone forgot to tell this guy.

Once known as Little New York but now retitled to Staten Island, James DeMonaco’s directorial debut stars Ethan Hawke as Sully, a septic tank cleaner who decides he’s going to rip off Tarzo (Vincent D’Onofrio), a mafia boss who uses a local grocer (Seymour Cassel) to “clean-up” his messes; I’m fairly certain he probably has a larger part to play but the first trailer, care of QE, doesn’t really specify what.

It’s not a great trailer but it provides a good introduction to the story, one I’m definitely curious to check out. It also looks like there may be more at play than just a heist but again, the trailer doesn’t really set up much of a story outside the plan to rob the don. That said, what little we see is pretty good. Both Hawke and D’Onofrio look their parts (though I’m surprised it’s taken this long to see D’Onofrio as a mobster) and it’s nice to see the two actors re-united.

Staten Island hasn’t been picked up for US distribution but the film is scheduled to open in France later this year and has been picked up for Canadian distribution by VVS Films; a company does both DVD and theatrical releases so there is a chance that the film may open around the country later this year.

Trailer is tucked under the seat!

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