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My trade mark is I HATE movies made for idiots and teens, I hate manufactured products made for mindless audiences always in quest of always the same schemes. I crave for action films and series, that means violence, brutality but also emotion pulled by powerful characters who bring you such intensity in your blood, in your brain, in your soul, that you have war drums in your ears. I love unusual stories, I love being surprised. I can make the difference between a movie I love and a movie which is a good one. Or between a crap and a film I don't particularely like. I am not an intellectual, I am always lost in too much complex, complicated topics, but I am never puzzled in emotional lines. That's what I live for. Emotion and intensity. Suspense is emotion for me. Not complicated schemes.
Shikingen gôdatsu (1975)
Not bad Kukasaku stuff
A gangster is released from the can and decides to go back to business; This kind of topic has been seen in at least one thousand crime films from Japan before. It is question of friendship among tough guys, vengeance, honor, a bit of romance with the unavoidable geisha and of course lots of violence. Nothing really exceptional in this crime movie, but if you are a Japanese, and particularely Fukasaku's features buff, don't miss this one. This topic could remind you Barry Shear's ACROSS 110th STREET, where three gangster pull a gambling joint heist, a gambling joint belonging to the mob, the mafia. As also was GONIN. Then our three dudes will have to face their own doom..
Good sport drama
This is the perfect example of drama destined to home audiences and which mission is to bring tears to audiences eyes. I have already seen plenty of this kind of schèmes but it was concerning skiing or running, or even swimming; not jumping. it looks like an actual story. Maybe it is after all, I did not check. The other purpose is to give hope to one's life.
The Last Challenge (1967)
Dick Thorpe's swan song
The last challenge and also movie for the great and prolific Richard Thorpe, the faithful and hard worker MGM best yes man film maker. He had no really style, no trade mark, but was a damn good movie director. This western is a pure litlle gem for me, who discovered it when I was a child. I recently watched a Japanese samurai feature - Zatoichi series - and I suddenly realized that this western scheme looks very like a Japanese samurai movie, speaking of friendship, honor, and sacrifice. I noticed that in many movies from the rising sun country, you also had this topic: the main lead, hero, fighting against evil dudes and in the same time being helped by a faithful sidekick who, in the end, will challenge him with unfortunately expected results. Look for yourself.
Cuando los ángeles duermen (2018)
A real, true gem from Spain.
I perfectly understand why so many people don't like this movie; people are so silly, because always in search of good happy endings, with moral, ethics, predictable sissies for endings. This movie is terrific for my own taste.because the overall scheme looks like a horror movie, the kind of feature with a very few characters but with twists endings, always the same...Here you have nothing like this/ I thought about Serge Leroy's LA TRAQUE (1975) when I saw the end of this one. A common dude, not a criminal, slowly becoming one against his will. But an opinion is like a finger print, each person has his or her own...
Un flic: Dream Team (2008)
What a waste
I am sadly surprised by this TV movie episode from a not so bad French crime series. Sadly because of an awful midcast and so bad acting. The characters are not convincing at all, except maybe the lawyer played by the always excellent Cyril Lecomte, even as a forever supporting character. This story is highly inspired by crime events from France involving high scale gangsters, armored truck and security complex heist pullers. And of course inspired by HEAT. But which gangster movies since Michael Mann's masterpiece is not after all? Olivier Marchal would have done a one hundred times better job.
Central nuit: Dernière cavale (2001)
Usual stuff but well made
A cop killer on rampage tale with the usual and predictable ingrédients but efficiently done. Viking is shot by a cop killer and escaped convict and his colleagues will do their best to nail him. Exciting episode with a an authentic ex con in real life as the cop killer.
Central nuit: Parole de flic (2001)
Usual topic but still effective
The main line here is a cop killing a drug dealer, thinking he was in a self defence, that the pusher was armed. The Internal Affairs are on the case. We have seen this one hunderd times before but that's the unavoidable scheme in a cop story. But was this the true reason to kill the dealer? Was there nothing else?
For the rest, the red string of this TV show: relationships between the male and female cops. Forget it. Focus on the main line instead.
Pushers on rampage
This a truly good story speaking of drug dealers, and told in a realistic way, but disgusting too. At the beginning of the story we see punks pulling an assault in a handicaped man in a wheelchair, himself a drug pusher. This story reveals the most disturbing sides of human behavior. Don't expect an underworld tough tale here. Not for the whole family.
L'Empereur de Paris (2018)
Outstanding French movie
You deal here with a powerful, awesome, brutal French blockbuster, far from the stuff that a guy like Jean Pierre Jeunet could have made. Because the kind of topic and production desigh of the whole movie, may remind the kind of material which Jeunet usually gives us. Here, I repeat, you have plenty of action, drama, tragedy and a little romance. But that remains really bleak, dark and some kind of depressing piece of work. A bloody piece of work, for all audiences but certainly not for the whole family. The best of the movie, for my opinion, are the supporting characters. You have not plenty, but far enough to glue you to this unusual movie, if you watch it closely. No happy ending in this gruesome French movie, the kind Hollywood industry will NEVER make. NEVER.
Cop as a hostage
After a home invasion with armed robbers, a cop patrol are fired at, a cop wounded and then taken as hostage whilst his colleagues are handcuffed at the house fence. Our leads are on rampage to purchase their colleague who happens to be eventually killed. Besides, an under age girl is on the loose and brought to the precinct.because she is pregnant and about to give birth. Good and taut suspense.
Central nuit: Chaud bizness (2007)
Not bad, just the usual stuff.
A man is victim of a car jacking and wounded at the head. But his passenger is a retarded young woman who also disappeared after the assault. She was of course abducted by the punks. Because most of this episode settings are the suburb buildings with its jungle and hoodlums. A rather disturbing scheme with this poor retarded girl molested by the punks. Nothing exceptional besides this point.
Eastern Europe prostitutes
This episode talks about Eastern Europe prostitutes, and not only from this part of Europe. Hookers in general and also pimps. And the second case in this episode os a man robbed in his hotel room by a night burglar. As in the other episode I just commented before, you also have here a young woman burned to death - a hooker of course - which provokes the investigation.
Central nuit: La loi de la cité (2006)
Case of rape
A rather hard, tough story about a young Arab woman raped in a basement and then burned to death by the rapist. Not a crime story, but a drama not for the squeamish. Very well acted and directed. Not so much humor here and a little tough for all audiences. Not JULIE LESCAUT anyway.
Central nuit (2001)
Good crime series
Not the level of MOULIN, but good, effective, with sometimes surprising schèmes. Each episode provides a different story from the previous, but some lines, kind of red string, continues in each episode, with Bragance the Internal Affairs cop.
Central nuit: Dérapage (2006)
A wealthy man is abducted and held as a hostage against a ransom. It happens that some of the gangsters have a car accident and this leads the cops to the kidnapping case. They soon discover that the mastermind of the whole affair is one of the kidnapped associate. Not bad.
Central nuit: Les jeux du cirque (2003)
Good story but no more.
Two hoodlums are caught after an incident with a picture of a tortured man. They try to find out what it is about. Besides, Viking - Clovis Cornillac - gets awry when his own son is the victim of a school racket. Nothing great here but efficient.
Central nuit: Embrouille (2007)
A petty car thief is caught during his work on a parking lot. But the car he was stealing had a drug shipment In the glove compartment. So the police asks whom the car belongs to. They ask the car owner; then... It is a rogue cop story told here, inspired from actual events about cops deeply involved in drug traffic to nail the bad guys. They stole drug to feed the informers. The boundaries between gangsters and cops are thinner than a cigarette paper. Good and solid tale but Olivier Marchal should have done better.
Mafiosa: Episode #5.7 (2014)
Just one more thing about this masterpiece
I won't forget this TV show, even in thirty years, if I live enough time. I admit that this series was highly inspired by US ones. But just look for Eric Fraticelli, not the main lead, but the character whom every series buff will remember of. His character is highly inspired by GOOD FELLAS and CASINO and the Joe Pesci's one.
The Hollow Point (2016)
What a waste of time
I regret to have watched such a mess film. A kind of very very poor man's COMANCHERIA or NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN...It intends to copy those two films with the atmosphere of a border town and a disturbed sheriff, but that's not enough to fill the cup. No folks. Ian Mc Shane overacts, Jim Belushi is not so bad, the rest of the cast underacts....
El ojo de cristal (1956)
Not my stuff because so usual, so lousy....
This is a beautifully made crome movie from Spain and for all audiences where a cop's son investigates on a murder case. Great photography work and good performances. But so predictable story. So boring.
Central nuit: Fanny (2007)
It is a rather rough tale here, where a little girl is abducted at her home and found later dead in the river. More a character study and drama than a cop story, except, as usual, the procedural burden of the cops. Emotion spreads in this investigation scheme.
Un Français (2015)
Brutal, gritty but awesome
You can Watch this French crime drama as a kind of French AMERICAN HISTORY X movie. The tale of a violent and blood thirsty facist who sudddenly becomes aware of his mental, inner fall. Acting, directing are flawless. Not for all audiences.
Every episode of this TV show intends to speak about a society matter. here, it is about homophobia and commando attacks against gays. It is also about some police force usual daily problems among them. Procedural scheme, as you will find out in the other episodes.
Central nuit: Rien ne va plus (2004)
Our lead cops investigate after a major heist in a freight railway station, stealing several tons of computers and cell phones. They arrest an old timer in the gangland business. But as usual in this tV show, two parallel stories are on the script line. One cop of the precinct dates a hooker and his chief gets awry when he finds out about it. The originality here is the split screen use, not so usual in Tv series. Even big movies. This tepid scheme is interesting though, because it shows some détails of police day life, or may I say night shift life...
Interesting Japanese war movie
This feature speaks about a war which was not widely known on screen: I talk about the war between Russia and Japan. It seems to be a very rare item, even written by Akira Korosawa himself. There is a good character study in this film made in the late fifties. The story takes place in the first years of the twentieth centuries and shows us Japanase soldiers geting undercover behind enemy lines. . Beautiful snowy scenery, especially for a black and white feature. The Russian movie industry would not have given such a movie, I speak of the story telling, not the directing; it certainly would have been a kind of propaganda movie. This one is in the pure Japanese tradition.