A trio of good crime films…
After a botched jewelry heist and accused of killing one of his partners, Cordero (Ryan Robbins) awakes from a coma, chained to a hospital bed. Stern policewoman Jane (Zoie Palmer) stands guard over him in an isolated ward in an otherwise overflow floor. Violent, vindictive crime kingpin Louis Holland (William MacDonald) arrives with two other thugs to find the jewels and punish Cordero. Alone and trapped, Jane plays a dangerous and bloody game of cat and mouse with the desperate thieves. The simple story offers few graphic scenes, maximizing their effect. Director Jason Lapeyre crafts a tense, claustrophobic action thriller in the riveting Cold Blooded.
Director Phillipe Lefebvre’s flawed Paris By Night follows a pair of vice cops through the seamy Paris nightlife. Each night, a different colleague chauffeurs the suave chain-smoking, hard-drinking Captain Simon Weiss (the mesmerizing Roschdy Zem) on his rounds. In exchange for cash and other favors, he makes sure the Paris club scene runs smoothly. Tonight, 28 year old Sergeant Laurence Deray joins Weiss as things don’t run as smoothly as usual. On top of that, internal affairs is investigating Weiss and his activities. While beautifully shot and well-written with interesting scenes and, Paris By Night cannot overcome the flaw that no corrupt cop as careful as Weiss would allow for a different driver each night.
Borrowing (good) elements from I Know What You Did Last Summer, Tower Block thrills with a quick paced, tension-fueled story. On the top floor of a block scheduled for demolition, two thugs beat a 15 year old boy to death. None of the tenants will help the police with the investigation and the killers go unpunished. With only the top floor tenants remaining, three months later on a Friday morning, someone starts killing the them with a high powered rifle. The survivors soon discover that their floor is riddled with booby traps and they cannot escape. Thus begins a weekend of terror. Smartly reliant on stereotypical shorthand for the characters, the James Moran script wisely focuses on the plot and action. Director Ronnie Thompson makes effective use of the locale for his taut thriller.
Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world, started here in Austin on September 20. During the course of the eight day festival, I’m blogging about my cinema experiences.