June 26, 2014 |
Picture a bank vault. Yes, this is a column about the 76ers and their reticent general manager, Sam Hinkie, and Thursday's NBA draft. But first, please be patient, and just picture a bank vault. Behind that giant, circular door - four feet thick, made of steel, equipped with a complex dial lock - are untold amounts of treasure and wealth. Now, imagine there are two burglars, each of whom wants to break into the vault. The first thief is an affable, diligent fellow, as far as felons go, and his plan to enter the vault is simple.
April 11, 2014 |
NEW radar data indicates that the missing Malaysian airliner detoured around Indonesia, and "Raid 2: Berandal" gives you some idea why. This hyperviolent Indonesian action movie doubles down on all the elements in the cult hit original, "Raid: Redemption" - essentially the story of what appears to be the country's last honest cop, waging a one-man war against the forces of organized crime and co-opted law enforcement. Both movies depict Indonesia as a rolling mob war with civilization somewhere in the distant background (the word "berandal" is Indonesian for "hooligan")
April 11, 2014 |
JUDE LAW GOES big to play the lead role in "Dom Hemingway," literally and otherwise. Law's packed on some "Raging Bull" pounds to play Dom, an ex-con and career criminal emerging from a long stretch in prison to collect the large amount of money owed him for keeping quiet in prison. The actor goes big in other ways - the movie is larded with oratory, long and loud and stylized and obscene, and Law delivers each speech with theatrical panache and red-faced commitment (not from embarrassment, but from exertion)
June 2, 2013
Whitey Bulger America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice By Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy W.W. Norton & Co. 478 pp. $26.95 Whitey The Life of America's Most Notorious Mob Boss By Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill Crown. 435 pp. $27 Reviewed by George Anastasia It was supposed to be the FBI's "dream team," two high-level informants in position to provide chapter and verse about the workings of the Boston underworld.
October 8, 2012 |
TORONTO - Colin Farrell and Martin McDonagh are like blood brothers, really. Irishmen of similar age (the actor is 36, the playwright and filmmaker, 42) and similar sensibilities (quick, jolly, sarcastic), they haven't sliced their thumbs open and let the blood pass between them, like fierce friends in an old movie. (At least, they're not telling anybody if they did.) But they have been responsible for gushing founts of fake blood in the two projects they've made together: 2008's inspired hit-men-in-hiding dark comedy, In Bruges, and Friday's Hollywood-underbelly screwball caper, Seven Psychopaths . Especially in Seven Psychopaths - in which Farrell stars as a screenwriter unwittingly caught up in a dog abduction scam that engenders the wrath of a shih tzu-loving local crime boss - the exploding heads, exploding limbs, and exploding Buicks are everywhere, achieving a kind of Peckinpah -esque crescendo of carnage.
May 2, 2012 |
Forget about driving on the 1600 block of Walnut Street from dawn to dark on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Monday. From 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day, it's going to be used in the making of a mob movie, "Dead Man Down," which began shooting around the city a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps star Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard and Noomi Rapace (of Sweden's original "Dragon Tattoo" movies) will be seen outside Urban Outfitters, Alma de Cuba or the Apple Store. Occasionally, nearby 17th Street and Walnut from 17th to 18th may also be off-limits.
August 28, 2011
By George Pelecanos Reagan Arthur Books. 304 pp. $25.99 Reviewed by Dan DeLuca George Pelecanos is rejuvenated in The Cut , the literary crime writer's 17th novel and the first to feature Spero Lucas, a 29-year-old ex-Marine Iraq war veteran turned tough-guy investigator. Over the course of his last four novels, Pelecanos - who has also worked on the HBO series The Wire and The Pacific , and currently writes for David Simon's New Orleans drama Treme - has been somewhat adrift, trying out new modes of storytelling with results that have been sometimes superb (2008's The Turnaround )
July 12, 2011 |
BOSTON - An FBI agent yesterday portrayed Catherine Greig, the longtime girlfriend of former Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger, as a willing companion who changed her identity, made clandestine phone calls and moved from place to place during their years on the run together. The testimony came during a bail hearing for Greig, 60, who was apprehended with Bulger last month in Santa Monica, Calif., more than 16 years after Bulger fled Boston. Greig's attorney has asked that she be released on bail while awaiting trial, but prosecutors want her to remain behind bars.
December 27, 2010 |
When Michael Jordan was in his prime, he was undoubtedly the best player in basketball. Players like Charles Barkley and Karl Malone wound up winning MVP awards because it seemed that some sportswriters were so used to Jordan's greatness, they held him to a higher standard, or they wanted to "spread the wealth around" and have other players win occasionally. To Comics Guy, that's poppycock. If you're the best 10 years in a row, you should be rewarded for being the best 10 years in a row. It's the thing that has always bothered him about the Oscars - the idea that someone should win because it's "their turn" or that someone like Meryl Streep should lose to inferior actresses because she's won before.
December 22, 2008 |
A LOT OF GREAT reading material hit comic-store shelves in 2008, but there was one book that was easily the cream of the crop and unquestionably the best comics had to offer. The Title of the Year is "Scalped. " This title from DC's Vertigo line has been described as "Sopranos on an Indian reservation. " That, however, doesn't do it justice. It's better. The book's central figures are the same now as when it started: Dashiell "Dash" Bad Horse - one of the most confident, convincing and crazy bad asses ever put in print - and Red Crow, a former "Red Power" activist turned powerful crime boss.