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Entries in crime movies (4)

Wednesday
Sep122018

TIFF: Nicole Kidman and "Destroyer"

by Nathaniel R

One of the screenwriters of the sun-blasted crime thriller Destroyer, describes the movie as "a detective investigating herself." Allowing a screenwriter rather than the reviewer to pigeonhole their movie may be an abdication of duty, but an appropriate one; Destroyer has long gone rogue, flashing its badge but totally off the clock. Even the LAPD, which we all know has behavioral trouble of its own, wouldn't approve of Detective Erin Bell's (Nicole Kidman) "police work" in the real world.

You can't imagine that she'd still be allowed that badge given her AWOL behavior and frequent intoxication but realism isn't what Destroyer is after. Director Karyn Kusama, introducing the movie at TIFF told us to "enjoy" it, providing her own finger quotes around the word, betraying a welcome sense of humor which is unfortunately little seen within the film. But again, levity is not what this relentless film is after...

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Tuesday
Aug212018

Nicole Kidman in "Destroyer". Is De-Glam Back?

by Nathaniel R

We've seen set photos but this is the first official image from Annapurna of Nicole Kidman in Destroyer, her LAPD drama and suspected second Oscar bid. She plays Erin Bell, a woman haunted by her past when she was undercover with a criminal gang...

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Wednesday
Jun062018

Months of Meryl: Before and After (1996)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

 

 #23 —Dr. Carolyn Ryan, a suburban pediatrician attempting to keep her family together after her son becomes a prime suspect in his girlfriend’s murder.

MATTHEW: In a 2000 Entertainment Weekly profile that took stock of her screen efforts to-date, Meryl Streep amusingly and very appropriately described Before and After, Barbet Schroeder’s 1996 small-town crime drama, as “an airless thing.” Truer words, etc.

Before and After is one of those forgettable Streep misfires that appear with a bit more frequency in the latter half of her vaunted career. The tell-tale signs are all here: an appealing but hardly virtuosic director seemingly working on autopilot, bestselling literary source material that maybe didn’t cry out for cinematic treatment after all, and a Northeastern setting in close enough proximity to her Connecticut domicile...

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Tuesday
Apr172018

Ashley Judd, Pulp Queen

Wishing Ashley Judd a happy 50th birthday this week. Here's Chris Feil.

Ashley Judd deserves some credit that’s mostly only afforded to television actresses: she’s a pulp queen. It’s like a horror movie scream queen, except for midrange crime thrillers that your dad loves. But when the movie gods dealt her a standard genre exercise she could elevate it to something incredibly watchable, like a femme fatale without all the trappings of a leacherous male gaze.

Judd would eventually riff on the dingiest of pulp for her greatest performance in Bug, but mainstream audiences are more likely to remember her for her cinematic entanglements with the courtroom, espionage, and serial killers...

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