50 Cent’s BMF Drama Series to Shoot in Atlanta

Rapper 50 Cent (pictured) is executive producing, alongside writer Randy Huggins and others, the drama series Black Mafia Family for premium cable network Starz. Based on the cocaine trafficking crime organization of the same name led by brothers Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory, it will primarily film in Atlanta, the distribution… Continue reading 50 Cent’s BMF Drama Series to Shoot in Atlanta

Selah and the Spades

(L-R) Celeste O'Connor, Lovie Simone and Jharrel Jerome star in SELAH AND THE SPADES Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Despite an acclaimed debut at Sundance last year, Selah and the Spades was always set to bypass theaters to premiere on Amazon Prime. That’s a lousy way to treat a high school drama that finally fits into a decent triple bill with 1976’s Massacre at Central High and 1988’s The Chocolate War. This hard-boiled tale of feuding factions… Continue reading Selah and the Spades

Birds of Prey

I am so eternally thankful that I did not have to find myself in the pages of a Harlequin Romance novel at the age of 30! Originally developed as a sidekick to the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, anarchistic goodball Harley Quinn was first brought to life by actress Mia Sara on the WB’s short-lived… Continue reading Birds of Prey

The Gentlemen

Guy Ritchie, whose last movie was Aladdin (yes, that Aladdin, the live-action version starring Will Smith as the blue genie) is finally back to his former self/wheelhouse. His latest crime drama/comedy, The Gentlemen, is reminiscent of his earlier work such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. All of Ritchie’s trademarks are back, including high-speed photography and… Continue reading The Gentlemen

Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler has spent 17 years as the only lowbrow comic to improve the quality of productions from directors who are supposed to provide him with a little prestige. Uncut Gems probably would’ve been a pretty great movie with anyone in the lead, though – depending on how much a viewer can stand to get caught… Continue reading Uncut Gems

21 Bridges

Chadwick Boseman had a lot of scripts to choose from after the success of Black Panther, so we’re lucky he decided to become the next Steven Seagal with 21 Bridges. The film begins with 13-year-old Andre Davis burying his patrolman father before Boseman takes over as grown-up Detective Davis – who’s facing down Internal Affairs over burying plenty… Continue reading 21 Bridges

Piranhas

Fifteen-year-old Nicola (Francesco Di Napoli) roams the streets of Naples with his gang of wannabe toughs until he encounters Lietizia (Viviana Aprea), which puts him on the path to quick wealth offering his services to the Neapolitan mafia! Based on the novel La Paranza dei Bambini (The Children’s Parade) from author Roberto Saviano, who went into… Continue reading Piranhas

The Kitchen

As a big fan of DC Comic’s Vertigo imprint and especially the short eight-part comic book series The Kitchen, I was extremely excited to see a live-action theatrical release of the story. While movie makes sense as a standalone entity (it’s not great, but it’s not that bad), if you had read the original comics… Continue reading The Kitchen

Stockholm

Director Robert Budreau’s look at a bank heist in 1973 that’s cited as the origin of the term “Stockholm Syndrome” where hostages developed a psychological connection to their captors. Ethan Hawke plays Lars Nystrom, an American who hopes to bust out the greatest bank robber of the time, Gunnar Sorensson (Mark Strong) by staging a… Continue reading Stockholm

Dragged Across Concrete

How good is Dragged Across Concrete? The actioner is pulling in rave reviews despite clearly being “ugly,” “vile,” and other things that make critics feel icky when they have to praise a movie with characters who aren’t inclusive enough to be part of the Marvel Universe. That’s a major triumph for writer/director S. Craig Zahler,… Continue reading Dragged Across Concrete

Donnybrook

Murderous Midwestern meth dealers make a multitude of mistakes running from a cocaine cop in director Tim Sutton’s hard-boiled glimpse at a world gone to seed. Think Walter Hill’s Hard Times set in the back hills of Out of the Furnace, as Jamie Bell is Jarhead Earl who returns to a junkie wife and two slovenly… Continue reading Donnybrook

The Mule

Based on the strange-but-true tale of Leo Sharp, an octogenarian who for some 10+ years was the most prolific US drug runner for the El Chapo Mexican cartel, Clint Eastwood is Earl Stone, a Korean War veteran who decides to undertake some questionable courier jobs for a batch of shady, heavily-armed beaners (his term) when… Continue reading The Mule

Facing Possible Life Sentence, 6ix9ine Releases Debut Album

6ix9ine, aka Teka$hi69, is one of those scumbag gang-affiliated rappers (which is to say, most of them) with an ever-growing tally of criminal transgressions to go along with his media acclaim, enormous fanbase and hit songs, which have charted high and been certified gold/platinum. The breakout star, born Daniel Henderson, did time for heroin distribution… Continue reading Facing Possible Life Sentence, 6ix9ine Releases Debut Album

El Angel

Unlike the average crime thriller, this one enters the Godard-ian world of revealing itself inside-out. Buenos Aires, 1971. A charismatic thrill-seeking teen, Carlitos (Lorenzo Ferro), is good at one thing: theft, and the dubious appeal to endear himself into the lives of others, including a classmate, Ramon (Chino Darin), whose addicted dad sees an opportunity for a… Continue reading El Angel

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

A perfect example of Hollywood with its mismanagement and horrible ideas destroying a very lucrative franchise. Fans of the Millennium book series by Stieg Larsson are unhappy because MGM (and all the other production companies involved in making this picture) went from the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and skipped all the… Continue reading The Girl in the Spider’s Web

The Old Man & the Gun

Sissy Spacek as "Jewel" and Robert Redford as "Forrest Tucker" in the film THE OLD MAN & THE GUN. Photo by Eric Zachanowich. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved; from Fox Searchlight press site

Slated to be Robert Redford’s last role before retiring from acting (in an interview he gave at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Redford talked about this film being a good note to end on, since the actor wanted his “last acting job to be fun”), this may be the sleeper hit this award season.… Continue reading The Old Man & the Gun

White Boy Rick

Fact-based story of teenager Richard Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt), who picks up his street-smart ways from his father, Richard Sr. (Matthew McConaughey). Richard Jr. starts selling guns under his father’s guidance and eventually becomes an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s. Not to give away any major spoiler alerts or anything, it’s pretty… Continue reading White Boy Rick

Atlanta Bassist Killed in Drive-By Shooting

Joanna Steed, an Atlanta paralegal who played the bass guitar for local band Lord High Admirals, was killed in a drive-by shooting the night of September 5th while practicing with the group in the basement of its drummer’s Decatur home. Multiple bullets were fired at the house at approximately 8 p.m. At least one of… Continue reading Atlanta Bassist Killed in Drive-By Shooting

The First Purge

Simpleminded political propaganda on the one hand, but with its over-the-top violence it could also be viewed as a so-bad-it’s-funny/so-offensive-just-to-be-offensive instant cult-classic on the other. After the rise of a political party, the New Founding Fathers of America (boilerplate Trump-ian/Alt-Right), an experiment is conducted – no laws for 12 hours on Staten Island. Of course… Continue reading The First Purge

SuperFly

Trevor Jackson and Jason Mitchell in SUPERFLY.

Youngblood Priest (Trevor Jackson), a young cocaine dealer in Atlanta (making Atlanta look just wonderful, thanks) (actually, it’s quite realistic… well, in some parts), realizes it’s time to quit the drug pushing game so he puts it all on the line for one last score while double-crossing his mentor, Scatter (Michael Kenneth Williams), by heading… Continue reading SuperFly

Ocean’s 8

Ocean’s 8 is the all-female reboot of the popular albeit highly predictable Ocean’s 11-13 movies starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon. Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is Danny Ocean’s estranged sister and she’s going to pull off the heist of the century at the star-studded Met Gala, but she must first assemble a crew,… Continue reading Ocean’s 8

Hotel Artemis

Ten years from now rioting breaks out in Los Angeles after privatization leads to the water company shutting off the spigot to consumers. The “Hotel Artemis” is a fortified secret ER for treating injured criminals overseen by The Nurse (Jodie Foster) and her bodyguard/healthcare provider assistant Everest (Dave Bautista – Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy)… Continue reading Hotel Artemis

Den of Thieves

What’s not to like in this competitive pecker-pull shot in and around Atlanta to mimic Los Angeles? (Maybe because once you take a couple of aerial shots above the freeway, city blocks and landfills have that universal ambiance for a bank heist!) The plausible but paltry plotline has an empty cash delivery truck serving as the… Continue reading Den of Thieves

Molly’s Game

Twelve years after a debilitating ski injury sidelines her Olympic aspirations, Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) amasses a fortune running exclusive though illegal poker games at after hours clubs (Hollywood’s Viper Room was the actual location), using Hollywood actors to lure high stake players and eventually the Russian mob’s attention. When arrested in the middle of the… Continue reading Molly’s Game

All the Money in the World

Called in at the last moment to reshoot all of Kevin Spacey’s scenes, the flawless editing makes Christopher Plummer (Murder By Decree/The Silent Partner) the perfect choice to play the miserly billionaire J. Paul Getty, who suspects his grandson has perpetuated a self-abduction and refuses to pay $4 million dollars – much less the original… Continue reading All the Money in the World

Murder on the Orient Express

I’ve always had an aversion to the way director Kenneth Branagh speculates on redoing/undoing British cinema with abbreviated flashes of bringing old movies back to the screen for today’s moviegoer with the paltry talent pool available. In 1974, Sidney Lumet cast Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman and Vanessa Redgrave on his train ride; now we get… Continue reading Murder on the Orient Express

The Snowman

Based on the novel by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo, this uncultivated whodunit forgets that the motivation is essential to understanding the “who.” A profiler/detective-in-training played by Rebecca Ferguson seeks out the assistance of a veteran crime solver (Michael Fassbender) on the outs with the police force to help solve a disappearance in this snowbound contrivance… Continue reading The Snowman

Good Time

2017 is becoming one of those years for film, alongside 1939, 1962, and 1999. A few blocks past Mean Streets and around the corner from Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid is this gritty, synth-scored, doomed journey to nowhere that peals through dark alleys and over barbed wire into fairgrounds where hidden Sprite bottles full of LSD hinder… Continue reading Good Time