Category Archives: Crime Movies

Heat – Movie Review

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Movie: Heat

Releasing Year: 1995

Directors:  Michael Mann

Writer/Screenplay: Michael Mann

Country of Origin: U.S.A

Running Time: 170 minutes

Language: English

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Heat Movie Review:

Neil McCauley: A guy told me one time, “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.” Now, if you’re on me and you gotta move when I move, how do you expect to keep a… a marriage?

To be able to detach yourself from all the emotional strings attached when you see the heat coming around the corner is the discipline Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro) follows to perform his job as an expert thief. This movie is an LA crime saga starring Al Pacino (Michael Hanna, the LAPD Police detective), Robert DeNiro (Neil McCauley, a professional criminal), Chris (Val Kilmer, another associate in Neil’s criminal gang). This is a superb cat and mouse chase between the intelligent cops and highly efficient criminals. The difference is that there is no mouse. Both are highly intelligent cats and are masters of their professions.

Heat - 1995 Movie - Al Pacino
Heat – 1995 Movie – Al Pacino

Heat Movie Story-line:

McCauley leads a gang of very efficient thieves who rob banks etc. They know their craft very well. In this gang there is no place for thoughtless, immature murderers. This alienates Waingro (played by Kevin Gage) from the gang, early in the movie. The camaraderie between the gang members is awesome. They really care for each other. All the characters in the movie are very well fleshed out. All of them including Chris’ wife Charlene (played by Ashley Judd) and Hanna’s wife (Lauren) played by Natalie Portman) are well aware of  the realities of their life and know to express themselves well. In their own situations they can express their happiness and complaints. They talk…they communicate. Both the cops and the criminals (along with their wives) have no fancy illusions and are aware of the consequences of their actions. All this makes them the humans that they are…rather than portraying them as just means of to show a clichéd action packed drama.

Heat 1995 Movie Best Scene
Heat 1995 Movie Best Scene

Heat Movie Acting Review:

The characters of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are very similar. Both are very good at what they do and know their craft well. Both do not know to do anything else other than what they are doing. Al doesn’t know anything else than being a good cop while DeNiro can’t do anything other than executing a good theft. Both can’t keep their women happy due to their nightmarish schedules and ‘living on the edge’ kinda existence. This similarity between them evokes a mutual respect for each other. More so from Al Pacino’s side. The scene where both confront each other over a cup of coffee is superb. Both know to answer each other and there you feel the ‘HEAT’ in the movie.

Chris (Val Kilmer) loves his wife Charlene too much to let her go. He will escape the cops but not without her. He does not care for the 30 secs principle.  And this love is what saves him eventually. Charlene who is fed up of his criminal ways saves him from the cop. Towards the end of the movie, McCauley (DeNiro) wants to settle one last score with Waingro. After that he would completely disappear from the crime scene with his girl. And that’s where he enters his doom. The plans go awry and when he sees heat around the corner, he does manage to say goodbye to his beloved within 30 seconds. What an irony…..Chris does not follow that principle of the crime world to say a goodbye to all his loved ones when he sees danger around the corner. But it’s exactly this his love that saves him. Where as McCauley sticks to his principles and meets the tragedy…

My verdict of Heat Movie:

This is what I feel about cinema in general-A movie might not always provide you with answers to your questions about life, existence, relationships, God, etc. The point is-does the film provoke you to ask ‘questions’? A good movie with its content, script, direction, acting, editing, music, etc., equips the viewer with a more thoughtful mind to be able to react in the right way to things happening around him.

 

Reviewed By: Pallavi Patil

The Gambler – Movie Review

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Movie – The Gambler

Directed by – Rupert Wyatt

Language – American English

Country – U.S.A

Genre – Crime, Drama,Thriller

Releasing Year – 2014

 

The Gambler Movie Review & Storyline –

 

Based on the 1974 flick of the same name, The Gambler is a story of a man who despite having everything has made a mess of his life.

Mark Wahlberg plays Jim Bennett, an Associate Professor of Literature and a gambling addict who is unable to leave this habit. Apparently, he comes from an affluent background and is the grandson of the 17th richest man of California. But, the problem with Jim is that he only sees life in two ways, either complete or incomplete.

Now coming to the plot, Jim has a large debt to pay to Lee (the casino owner). His trouble doubles up when he takes $50,000 from a loan shark (Baraka) and loses that money too in gambling. Lee gives him 7 days to return the money or face “consequences”. Jim tries to take help from his mother, Jessica Lange who refuses to help him saying that he already has brought so much bad name to the family.

But, later when threatened by the loan sharks she agrees to give Jim the required amount. He takes this money and goes to a casino in Las Vegas with his student Amy (Brie Larson) with whom he has developed a connection after saying to her that she is genius and needs to sit on the first bench in the classroom. Jim is not the types to go on the internet and search you can play online blackjack right now. He instead plays in the casino leaving Amy alone only for her to find out that he has lost the whole money there.

Mark Wahlberg & Brie Larson In The Gambler
Mark Wahlberg & Brie Larson In The Gambler

Now he has no choice but to manage his debt on his own and here the interesting part of the movie takes place. Baraka abducts Jim and beats him for his money to which Jim replies that he can’t give him any money. As a bargain Baraka asks him to convince his student Lamar (who wants to go to NBA but can’t) to win a college basketball game by a margin of 7 or less. Jim somehow manages to convince Lamar.

On the other hand, Jim also convinces another Loan Shark Frank (John Goodman) to give him $260,000 to pay his to Lee. Now he does a master stroke by putting a bet on the match from a casino in Las Vegas through another of his student named Dexter. After the match he gives Baraka’s money to him and calls Frank and Lee to come to a neutral underground club to take their money. Here, Jim for the last time in the money plays another gamble only to find himself at the winning side this time. He gives away all the money to Frank and Lee. He even declines to take the excess amount with him.

In the last scene Jim is seeing running alone and reaching the Amy’s place. This symbolically represents that he is ready for a settled life with love and has left his gambling habit forever.

My Verdict on The Gambler –

The film has some complex dialogues, good acting and straight forward screenplay. Many critics have rued this movie and are unimpressed by Mark Wahlberg’s acting. In my view the movie deserves 7 out of 10 from me. Although it is not a great movie to watch but, is still a good one time stuff, if you are a Mark Wahlberg fan. To me he has done full justice to his role and looked great in the role of a gambling addict.

 

Images Source: Collider.com & Halifax Bloggers Media.

 

Rustom – Movie Review

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Movie: Rustom                                                  Release Year: 2016

Country: India (Bollywood)                         Language: Hindi

Genre: Mystery, Drama, Crime

Rustom Movie Review:

Akshay Kumar has been making great movies of late and Rustom’s trailer seemed to continue his shiny streak. The movie however, is not as exciting as I hoped it to be.

Rustom Story-line:

The casting director has done a wonderful job of picking the right characters. Akshay Kumar looks dashing in his Navy uniform, although the sight of him wearing starched uniform even at midnight when he’s in jail doesn’t seem very convincing. Ileana D’Cruz‘s role mainly was to look pretty and lonely which she has done well. But considering her state of mind when her lover is murdered and her husband is in jail, her prim and proper get up looks misplaced.

Also, there is one scene where she is playfully negotiating with the Navy Chief which didn’t go down very well with me. Arjan Bajwa is convincing as a playboy but his glamorous sister Esha Gupta, though very vindictive, fails to show any remorse on her brother’s death. I don’t know whether that was the way the Director wanted it to be, but it seemed a little unreal. The supporting cast is well chosen and has done justice to their characters. Pawan Malhotra and Anang Desai stand out. They are both spectacular in their performances.

Considering Rustom is a period drama, much attention has been given to the sets and costumes, so much so that at some places it feels overdone. The carefully placed artifacts, the vintage cars which are kept without any real reason, the cigar holder in Esha Gupta’s hands in almost every scene, the ultra glam get-ups scream for attention and remind you that they are film sets, not real scenarios.

Rustom is based on the famous Nanavati case. The real version is dramatic enough to base a film on, yet the director has tried to make the story more complex by adding a top notch Navy scandal in the picture. There is so much spotlight on the scandal that at the end, I was wondering whether Rustom murdered Makhija because of the dirty deal he was party to or because he slept with his wife and refused to marry her. This additional detail also makes you question some of Rustom’s actions and confuse the audience about his personality. The audience is also not told about what happened to the money trail at the end.

Rustom Verdict & Rating:

Overall, Rustom is a good film but could have been made better if the Director would have tied the loose ends more carefully or completely avoided the side story. I would give 3 stars out of 5 to Rustom.

Reviewed By: Aparna Kunal Jain

She manages a Facebook Group called The Movie Club…!