Re-watching: Revolver

Revolver is a film by Guy Richie made in 2005. So on its 10 year anniversary I decided to take another look at it. We have an ensemble cast of neo noir and gangster regulars revolving around Jason Statham.  Luc Besson also helped Richie in the writing of the film.

This film starts out with Statham getting out of prison and looking for revenge on a casino owner played by Ray Liotta. He goes to the casino and wins a bunch of money. He then gets a business card from a stranger, played by Vincent Pastore, on his way out of the casino. He falls down the stairs for an unknown reason and is soon in the hospital. He finds he has a rare blood disease and is going to die soon.  Vincent Pastore and André Benjamin are business partners who have a proposition for Statham to get revenge before he dies. Along the way we meet Mark Strong playing a hit-man for the mob, and Terence Maynard as Liotta’s right hand man. The story pits Liotta against an Asian mob boss along the way and the story twists and turns through out the film. Nobody is who they seem and every reveal just leaves more questions as we go.

This film has a very neo noir filming style with some interesting camera work through out. It also dives into some psychological subjects I will not get into here, because it may be a bit of a spoiler. This film is entertaining, but not Richie’s best neo noir work. If you are a huge fan of his or Statham you will find this film entertaining. The story will leave you thinking about it and it maybe one of those films that is better on a second viewing.

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Jason Statham is making a sequel to Layer Cake


Layer Cake is getting a sequel for better or for worse. I love this film and as anybody that has seen this movie knows, it did not leave much room for a sequel. That said, writer of the book, J. J. Connolly has written a new book with XXX in it. This film will be based on that book called Viva La Madness. Here is the article by Isaac Feldberg, I came across about the film over at We Got This Covered:

http://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/jason-stathams-layer-cake-sequel-viva-la-madness-shooting-year/

What is your opinion on this? Without Daniel Craig or Matthew Vaughn involved are you even interested? Is Jason Statham the right man for this film?

Re-watching for Review: The Bank Job

The Bank Job is a neo noir from 2008 directed by Roger Donaldson.  Donaldson has directed quite a few neo noir and crime films over the years, but I feel this is his best to date.  This has Jason Statham as our star, some may only think of Statham as an action star of block busters like Furious 7 and The Expendables films, but he has made a number of smaller budget crime and neo noir films throughout the years.  I find him always entertaining and he seems to pick pretty good projects.  I reviewed Blitz earlier on this site, along with the noir books in which it was based. I also rather enjoyed Wild Card which I reviewed a few days ago.  We also have Saffron Burrows as our femme fatale in this film.  Will Statham leave his family and go with our fatale?

This movie starts with a blurry scene of sex on a beach as somebody takes photos.  We then see Burrows getting busted in the airport for transporting drugs.  Then we find her recruiting her old classmates, who are on the shady side of the law, to do a bank robbery.  They eventually agree and start to put together a plan.  They are going to rob the security boxes instead of the cash.  This is because most people won’t report what they had stolen from the boxes.  The bank job is a tense scene, but goes well.  They find more than they bargained for and they soon have a porn king, the royal family, and MI5 all on their tail.  Will they get away?  Why is everybody after them?  What do they have that is so important?

This is based on the true story of the Princess Margaret sexual scandal from the 1970’s, and the evidence that was stolen in a bank robbery.

I really like the British neo noir films that have came out over the last 20 years and plan to review more of them soon.  These films have something that draws me, maybe it’s the writing, maybe the different culture, maybe it is the accents or maybe they have more original ideas in England for crime stories.  I don’t know what it is exactly, but I do find them entertaining.

I highly recommend this for anybody who likes good film.  Noir, crime or neo noir film lovers will all love it.  Statham fans for sure will love it. If you are not a fan of Statham, give it a chance anyway, it may surprise you.

Review: Wild Card

Wild Card is a neo-noir film starring Jason Statham and directed by Simon West.  West seems to be the go to director for a remake these days.  This is a remake of Heat starring Burt Reynolds.  I have not seen this film so I can not compare it to this updated version.  This is also the first screenplay from William Goldman in over 11 years.  This is also based on Goldman’s novel.  Goldman is one hell of a writer and has written many classic books as well as written screenplays for his and other great authors works.

This story takes place in Las Vegas where Statham plays Nick Wild.  Wild is a classic hardboiled muscle for hire.  We never really learn about his past, but hints throughout the film lead us to believe it was pretty epic.  The first part of this film is a little case he takes where he plays the bad guy trying to pick up a guy’s girlfriend in a bar.  If you seen the trailer you already know about this.  He basically takes a fall to make the girlfriend look up to and fall in love with her boyfriend.  Then we get a call from a girl who asks Wild for his help.  He looks into it a little and realizes this is way over his head and does not want to get involved.  Our beat-up femme fatale is played very well by Dominik Garcia-Lorido.  She sucks Wild into the case and he knows this will not end good.  Our bad guy who needs taken care of, for our femme fatale is played by Milo Ventimiglia.  He does very well as the spoiled rich kid with a bad attitude.

Wild is a hard drinker who likes to gamble and isn’t very good at it.  He is very self-destructive and this may be his downfall in the end.  The cinematography has some great noir style throughout the film.

This film has a ton of little parts played by pretty big actors, with the likes of Hope Davis, Michael Angarano,  Stanley Tucci, Jason Alexander, Sofía Vergara, and Anne Heche.

This film has not been well received by critics or the film going public and I’m not sure really why?  I rather enjoyed this film, though it starts out pretty slow and the action doesn’t really get started until the last 30 minutes or so.  I can see why people wanting a Jason Statham action film would have got to bored with the story before the action got good for them.  I rather liked the slow build up to our hero’s destiny.  I think if you are a neo-noir fan or noir fan, you will find this a very good film well worth your time.

Ken Bruen’s Inspector Brant series

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Ken Bruen is better known for his Jack Taylor books and I have not read any of them yet(again on my to read list).  I picked up the first three of this series up in a Black Friday Sale for my Nook.  The first three books are packaged together and called the White Trilogy.

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This is from the Mystery Press, who has a lot of great noir and hardboiled books in there collection.  I read the first 3 books in no time and right away got the next 4 books and read those even faster.  This collection has a total of 7 short books that follow Inspector Brant, but also follows his co-workers in just as much detail.    This 7 books in the series are:

A White Arrest

Taming the Alien

The McDead

Blitz

Vixen

Calibre

Ammunition

The fourth book, Blitz was also made into a movie.  The movie follows the book fairly well except for the ending, which I think made a better movie.

Blitz_Movie_Poster

The movie has Jason Statham as Brant and he does a great job, it is an entertaining movie worth checking out whether you read the books or not.

The book series has not been read much according to goodreads with Blitz having the most reads at a mere 427, but the series has strong reviews and high ratings.  Ken Bruen has quickly become one of my favorite noir authors and I look forward to reading The Guards soon!