1967. After a party in a speakeasy, the (white) police arrests the (black) party goers very publically, leading to protests in the community. During the ensuing riots Larry (Algee Smith) and Fred (Jacob Latimore) stay at the Algiers Motel which is close to the riot area, where the atmosphere is still rather light. But when the police reach the motel, things turn bloody for the guests very quickly.
Detroit is a hard-hitting, very effective film. It’s a film with a lot of weight that impressed me (as a white European) a lot.
Megan Turner (Jamie Lee Curtis) only just finished police school and she’s eager to work and to prove herself. On her first patrol, she becomes involved in a robbery, leading to her shooting the armed robber. One of the bystanders, Eugene (Ron Silver), grabs the robber’s gun, though, and leaves before he can be noticed. Since it now appears that Megan shot an unarmed man, she is suspended from work, only to be reinstated after a deadly bullet is recovered from a murder scene with her name carved onto it – and homicide detective Nick Mann (Clancy Brown) counts on her help to catch the killer.
Blue Steel is a more than decent thriller with a fantastic Jamie Lee Curtis and a tense story. It pretty much kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) lives a rather quite life with his family on their farm. But then he meets Mae (Jenny Wright). She’s beautiful and mysterious and he falls for her head over heels. Happy with any way that means spending time with her, he offers her a ride home. As dawn is fast approaching on their ride, he asks her for a kiss – but Mae bites him instead, turning him into a vampire. Before the sun rises, Caleb finds himself with Mae and her group, facing a completely new life that is much more than he bargained for.
I had never seen Near Dark, so when the Filmmuseum showed it, I jumped at the chance. But this might be another instance where you have to have seen the film in younger, more formative years to really fall in love with it. I enjoyed it, but not much more.
Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) just aced his FBI training and is ready to go into the field. He is assigned to long-served, cranky Pappas (Gary Busey) who is less than happy about having to take care of this newbie. But in Johnny, Pappas finds somebody not only willing to listen to his theory that a string of successful bank robberies is committed by a group of surfers, but to do something about it. Johnny starts to learn to surf with the help of Tyler (Lori Petti) and gets closer with the charismatic Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) who soon becomes their prime suspect.
Point Break has many strengths, though it isn’t a perfect film. But both Swayze and Reeves are perfectly cast (which, especially in Reeves’ case is important). Their chemistry together make the film as worthwhile as it is.
Maya (Jessica Chastain) works for the CIA and has just been sent to Pakistan. Her mission is to find out where Osama bin Laden is hiding. A mission that takes her from torturing prisoners under the the tutelage of colleauge Dan (Jason Clarke) to plain old research. When she stumbles across the name of a guy she believes is a close collaborator of bin Laden, she becomes obsessed with finding him as the most direct way to bin Laden himself.
I really did my best to be interested in this film. Admittedly, the topic is not so much my cup of tea, but it is important. Unfortunately the movie is so very boring that, with the best of motivation, it was impossible to keep up the interest. I mean, I know they searched for this guy a very long time – but was it really necessary that the audience feels every minute of that 10-year-search? At some point I just gave up and fell asleep for a little while – just to get away from the boredom of it all for a bit.
1999: Lenny (Ralph Fiennes) is a former cop who now makes his money by selling discs that can be inserted into the so-called SQUIDs: machines that can record everything a person experiences and can play it back to somebody else so that they experience it themselves. These recordings are illegal, and often record illegal things happening. Lenny’s life is pretty pathetic, he barely makes enough money to survive and he still dreams of his ex-girlfriend Faith (Juliette Lewis). The only constants in his life are his friends Max (Tom Sizemore) and Mace (Angela Bassett). In the middle of the world preparing for the new millenium, Lenny stumbles upon a conspiracy somehow involving Faith.
Strange Days is a pretty fantastic movie. The cast is great, the ideas interesting and even though the camera moves practically all the time, it never gets too shaky. The weakest point is the script, though – the big twist at the end is way too obvious, most of the characters are a little flimsy and the dialogue hurts a bit sometimes.
Iraq. After the accidental death of one of their team (Guy Pearce), Sgt. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) get a new member in their bomb squad – Sgt. James (Jeremy Renner). Though James is an exceptional bomb defuser, he’s also a crazy risk taker, which puts the team under considerable strain.
The Hurt Locker says things about war that are rarely said, which makes it an important film. The cast is really good, too but the movie has its lengths and I just can’t stand the shaky cam.