Posts Tagged ‘thriller’

COVER-4--FINAL copy

New cover for my 2013 story of the Apocalypse.

TRANSFIXION has a bunch of 5-Star Reviews.

Read

Here is my favorite review:

Fast-paced, thought-provoking and at times moving

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Great crime thriller, well done, tight story, jumps all over without jumping the shark. It’s old-Hollywood styled, with femme fatales, insurance scams, hitmen and abusers.

I liked the vibe, and it reminded me of Disorganized Crime, Seven Psychopaths, Pulp Fiction. Rotten people with amusing problems.

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I’m not a Simon Pegg fan, truth be told. Here, though, he delivers. I’d say his best, of the ones I’ve seen, since Shaun of the Dead.

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But it’s an ensemble, with a group of awesome actors, and so many dirty deeds done dirt cheap, but the price steadliy rises. So, a near-perfect crime thriller, and you should get it if you like those. Of course not a US production. Hasn’t been a decent crime story here since Tarantino.

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Trailer


My own little universe!

US viewers can watch here. Amazon Prime members in UK, Germany & Japan also watch for free.

More episodes to come, and so you can keep in touch with the show:

Twitter / Facebook

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Two episodes up so far…

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New upcoming sci-fi anti-war novel for YA readers.

 

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The murder of justice.

I was first alerted to Closed Circuit (2013) because of Jennifer Epps’ review.  This is an important film, one of the most relevant and insightful of the so-called “war on terror.”

This terrorism story parallels numerous real world conspiracies and cover-ups, including but not limited to the London bombings 2005, the 9/11 attacks, the 1993 World Trade Center attacks, Operation Gladio and various terrorists known to be working for intelligence services such as Ali Mohamad (and potentially Ayman al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden).

The film focuses on the people tasked with defending terrorism suspects and essentially upholding the Constitution, habeas corpus and the Magna Carta – what we understand as “western civilization.”  The defense team is the target of intelligence surveillance and worse when the secrets are deemed more valuable than the people involved.

With precedents such as Lynne Stewart, who was imprisoned as a defense lawyer for a notable terrorist, the pressure on the justice system is real.  The surface can only be scratched in a paranoid thriller movie.  Secret trials, secret evidence, pervasive surveillance, and a longstanding history of intelligence agencies double dealing with terrorists around the world and at home, this type of story is highly relevant to current events (such as the Boston Marathon bombing).

4.5/5

 

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This week’s DVD offerings included sexy lesbian noir thriller Passion, starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace.  This feels like a film they don’t make anymore.  DePalma is the product of a bygone era, and he’s also been hit-and-miss.  Passion is mostly hit, as the drama escalates and the noir fetishism ramps up steadily from start to end.

What struck a chord with me was the surveillance aspect.  Lives today are in jeopardy of exposure at every juncture.  The story plays with this constant surveillance in several ways.  The two main characters, Christine and Isabelle, work in advertising to sell more smartphones.  They do so in a viral styled ad that covertly records strangers on the street, their behaviors captured and then exploited to sell more of the surveillance.  The video enabled smart phones are a key factor and present throughout the plot.

Passion clip: watch Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace in the new film from Brian De Palma

Beyond embarrassment, pressure, psychological button pushing, there is the inevitable blackmail, something we’ve talked about vis a vis the NSA. Blackmail, the erosion of privacy, constant surveillance, we may have moved beyond the kitchy “post 9/11” motif and well into the post-privacy environment, the post Snowden world.  This makes the film relevant for its many tentacle connections to the age of Youtube and nosy neighbors, co-workers, private mercenary firms and intelligence agencies.  The seething cauldron of exposed lives that cannot escape the surveillance cameras’ gaze boils here and simmers.

While Passion may not have lived up to its title, it does offer a journey that is relevant today.  With DePalma’s grandiose camera setups and orchestra, the film feels like some classic old Hollywood cautionary tale of a future dystopia that turns out to be 2013.

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There is a lesbian aspect to the characters, although I’m not quite sure if that was all that important to the story.  The titillation and the eye candy of it all amounted only to bait the hook.  The plot is a straight murder thriller, like many that have come before.  A mindfuck moment occurs at the climax, and we aren’t certain what really happened, and that was interesting.  It’s good to throw the audience off-kilter and even better with crooked Dutch angles and extreme Venetian blind shadows.  So – it’s that kind of movie.  Not great, not bad, but somewhere in the middle.