Tagged gangster

Movie Review: Wetlands (2017)

In the midst of the devastation that was Hurricane Sandy back in 2012, New Jersey’s notorious play land, Atlantic City, was stripped to a bleak and torn terrain. First-time director Emanuele Della Valle uses this as a backdrop for his crime-drama film debut, Wetlands. The grey wasteland welcomes a once rogue Philadelphia cop, Babel (Adewale…

Movie Review: A Life Not to Follow (2015)

After a summer slew of big-budget studio films, it can be difficult to find, sit down and watch a movie with more modest origins. Yet for the second time in a row, director Christopher Di Nunzio manages to cross that threshold and craft an engaging narrative around seemingly finite resources. His latest, A Life Not…

Movie Review: Bloodrunners (2017)

A well-balanced blend of Prohibition-era gangster thriller, western, and vampire movie, Bloodrunners is an intriguing prospect. It’s no game-changer, and it never shakes its TV pilot aesthetic, but it wears its hybrid influences well and betrays a knowing sense of its own absurdity. It’s 1933 and everyone, from mobsters to cops, are getting tired of…

Movie Review: Legend (2015)

One’s enjoyment (or better yet, interest) in Legend, as written and directed by Brian Helgeland (an Academy Award winner for “L.A. Confidential” and a Razzie winner for “The Postman”), will most likely hinge on one’s ability to understand the deep Cockney accent everyone speaks here (even a universal translator would not help with much of…

Movie Review: Live by Night (2016)

The signs for Live by Night are promising. Ben Affleck’s previous directorial offerings — “Gone Baby Gone,” “The Town,” “Argo” — showed ever increasing confidence and skill. The period gangster sub-genre has delivered such classics as “The Godfather,” “The Godfather: Part II” and “Once Upon a Time in America.” The source material, Dennis Lehane’s epic,…

Movie Review: Black Mass (2015)

My friend once told me a story of how he was visiting Las Vegas in the mid-1990s. He said that the person he was with, John, introduced him to a rather sharply-dressed man who told him, “Whatever you want here, just ask for it,” and then walked away. John said, “Do you know who that…

Movie Review: Diamond Heist (2013)

If a scathing review isn’t enough to steer a viewer away from watching tripe like Diamond Heist (or “Magic Boys,” depending on what Google search results tell you), then perhaps the very idea of Michael Madsen (“Loosies”) as a former Chippendale dancer will act as the clearest warning. Seriously. Just picture Michael Madsen. Then picture…

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