Richard Roundtree is riveting in his portayal of Gamble, a tough, no-nonsense Motor City cop faced with the unique task of indoctrinating a naive rookie with academy honors and an original revenge plot in store for the heroin dealer who murdered his father. Set in Detroit(and ending in Italy)one can only imagine where the title of the film comes in. My own theory is that it's much easier too sell a cops vs drug dealers movie in Miami than Detroit, even if you throw a few shots of an actual Red Wings game into the mix. In all fairness, there is a palm tree by the pool on the drug dealer's italian villa.
I recommend this film to anyone who likes cop movies,dingy warehouses,harbor scenes, kung fu,uzi snipers,plots that dissolve insensibly,actors whose ineptitude can only be matched by their awkward dialogue,porn music,or late 80's movies that look more like the 70's. My guess is that the italians at the time had a penchant for Shaft, Starsky and Hutch, menswear from 1975, and were therefore inclined to deny the existence of Miami Vice, or even Miami itself. fascinating.
Deserves a Woof but I still like it
Reviewed by littlesam1 for Boat Trip at 2008-10-24 12:08:31
If any movie deserves a woof rating on here then Boat Trip is that movie. Its so bad that I really like it. I gave it three stars because I have watched it several times and have to laugh each time. It not well written. Its not directed well. The acting is way over the top. And its treatment of sterotypes is embarrassing. But I still get like it. I can't explain why.
http://braidedthreads.blogspot.com/2008/09/focus-on-racing-family.html...The draw to this film will probably be the effects-saturated racing, but by the time the final race comes along, you might find yourself more interested in watching the dynamics between the father, played by John Goodman, the mother, played by Susan Sarandon, and their two sons. The back-story doesn't matter nearly as much as it deserves to. It involves a "boy" first-named "Speed," last-named "Racer" (played by Emile Hirsch) and his race-car obsessed family who lost an older son to a racing accident in the years before the action that takes place in the film. I must say, this movie celebrates Family connections, Family relationships, and Family unity like a curb-side uber-1950s-style Swiss Family Robinson. Between the racing scenes there is a whole lot of family interaction: laughter, arguments, tension, exasperation, and forgiveness.
Brick" is the story of a jaded investigator attempting to unravel a mystery involving shady characters from both the upper-crust and the criminal underbelly. This is a story of murder. A story of steely, tough men and seductive,calculating women. And everyone is still in highschool. Only two adults get minimal screen time.
There are many noirish elements in this film. There are shadows here and there and characters moving in and out of the darkness. The scenes by the dark tunnel are well done. The dialog is very smart. You even get to hear an old-fashioned telephone ringing. With a real bell and everything.
These High School kids have the attitudes and mannerisms of world-worn adults twice or three times their age. The film is played very straight. Occassionally, the gap between the style it is invoking and the setting is so wide that we can see the playfulness underneath it all. But the filmmaker also runs the risk of the audience alternately becoming absorbed in the story and being pulled out of it by that gap between the story and its setting.
Since the story is played straight, the fourth wall remains fairly intact; there are very few moments that seem to intentionally break the facade. There are two brief scenes where one character's mother shows up and her motherly presence offers a bit of a "wink" at the camera. The closest thing to parody is a scene between Brandon, the main character, and the principal of the high school, which plays a lot like a scene between Humphrey Bogart and a government official. Brandon is tough as nails, and both he and the principal play off each other, each taking their turn at disclosing and witholding information in order to gain the upper hand.
Brick is pretty engaging and fun, but it is hard to be too engaged in the unfolding of its complex plot at the same time that you are having fun with irony of the whole setup. After all, shouldn't these kids actually be in school, learning things?
The Hound sums it up well
Reviewed by KHL for Brick at 2008-08-04 17:32:33
Anyone who is a fan of hardboiled and noir will love this thriller, nicely shot (no pun intended) and directed. If you can follow the dialogue (I had ask my husband, a hardboiled fan, what the heck some of it meant), you will become absorbed by the story and forget that these are *highschoolers*, and not hardened detectives or thugs. There's some nice humor in the guise of a character named 'Tug', a highly amped musclehead, and Lukas Haas is great as the head honcho, 'The Pin', a kind of dark funeral director looking guy wearing all black, with a cape, who runs his kingdom out of his oblivious Mom's basement. Joseph Gordon-Leavitt is phenomenol too as the main lead. Great film to watch multiple times, even when you already know the ending.