Category: Suspense/Thriller

“Salvador”

7.1

The story behind this film, to me, was much better than the film itself. If I may go off script, I highly recommend “Chasing the Light” by Oliver Stone. The man has lived a colorful life.

Essentially, this was the predecessor of “Narcos” and “Sicario.” The U.S. is meddling in another country’s affairs, fighting a proxy war on their turf, costing their lives instead of ours, with questionable morals. The commentary on U.S. foreign policy is brilliantly on display, including it going very, very wrong when we fail to learn our lesson.

James Woods and Jim Belushi make an unlikely but well rounded duo. The context of the autobiography added a nice richness to the already intense film.

Warning – A lot of violence and realistic gore, with an opening sequence flashing effect that will give even non-photosensitive viewers a headache. That discomfort sets up the overall theme of the film very well.

“The Deep”

6.5

So… what to say about this one. *strokes beard*

If you’ve read the book “Jaws,” you know it’s far more horny than the film adaptation. For this reason, the film’s story was able to become much more rich with multi-dimensional characters and deeper relationships between them. Instead of Hooper just perving on Chief Brody’s wife.

This film, based on another Benchley novel, missed that memo. And clearly just tried to coast off the fumes of JAWS. Honestly, if you’re looking for that, watch JAWS 2. It’s much better. This one is just a bunch of unexciting underwater scenes with bubbling sound effects for 15-minute intervals—diving off a boat that looks like the Orca’s cousin. Instead of a shark, there are eels.

This time, Quint joins in on the scuba diving, and almost dies as a result. Instead, the wife ends up as a damsel in distress just as often as they go scuba diving. Overall, this thing’s a hot mess. Nothing you can’t see watching an aquarium screen saver. Robert Shaw’s acting and Jaqueline Bisset preferring to scuba in a tight whit t shirt can’t even save this one.

“Silk Road”

6.7

Somewhat cheesy movie. Amazing true story. Hard to bring to life on the big screen, I would imagine. One of those “life writes the best story” situations.

Get read to fight the man, as you watch the protagonist take on the US government and in the grand scheme of things win. However, as an early adopter, he sacrificed himself for the liberty of others.

Your classic rise and fall story. A deadly combination of ego and paranoia get the best of him and lead to his demise. Regardless of your politics, you have to admire the cajones.

“The Little Things”

7.1

It’s the little things that get you caught. It’s also the little things that kill this film.

Two titans of the silver screen team up in this phenomenal 3/4 of a crime drama thriller. The story unfolds with a horrific beauty, the acting is superb… Then it completely shoots itself in the foot in the third act.

Jared Leto played the best creep being investigated that gets under the cops’ skin since Donald Sutherland in “Backdraft, ” only to have it wasted.

What is initially framed as a struggle between seeing the good and giving in to the evil in the world, becomes nihilistic remarkably quickly and without much explanation or motivation.

Worth a watch if you enjoy great acting. It just seemed to me like going mudding with a Maserati.