Point Blank (2019): Action / Crime / Thriller

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A male nurse and a crook have to team up against corrupted cops and gangsters to protect their families.

Entertaining Netflix action flick with two amazing actors, buddies from Gangster Squad (2013) and the MCU. Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo unite once more as hero and antihero respectively and spend 24 unforgettable (screening) hours together to get theirs and their families’ lives back. Netflix knows the recipe very well and does it once more. The addition of humourous elements adds to the joy and the fast-paced thrill makes your hour and twenty minutes fly by. Joe Lynch deserves the spotlight and I hope one day he really gets it as that’s the third film I’ve seen from him and I must say that his films are highly enjoyable. Worth mentioning are also: Everly (2014) and Mayhem (2017) – Good opportunity to re-watch them and review. Very well acted by both Mackie and Grillo who make an incredible duo.

Don’t fall for the negativity. Especially, in unfortunate and difficult times that all of us are facing at the moment, films like Blank Point make us forget how gloomy and nasty it is out there. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. And always stay safe!

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Black and Blue (2019): Action / Crime / Drama

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A rookie, black, female police officer becomes the target of three corrupt cops after witnessing them murder a bunch of young drug dealers.

It seems that there are three sore points Black and Blue addresses. Two of them are included in the film’s title but wait until we get to the script. Its cinematography, Naomie Harris and Frank Grillo are the film’s best attributes. The mise-en-scène is almost flawless; what you need to see within a shot is there and the colours are as dark as the heroes and the antiheroes themselves. Harris deserves all the spotlight as, first of all, you wouldn’t tell she’s a Londoner, and secondly, she’s entirely different from her 007 character and anything you have seen her in before. She’s like a windwhirl sucking you into the film’s action and thrill. Grillo, as always, is as tough as they come. What I would like to see more is Tyrese Gibson as a non-action character, Reid Scott’s (Kevin) guilt building up to justify his action in the end, and Mike Colter’s (Darius) fury explode over the murder of his nephew. Finally, the editing is ‘invisible’, guaranteeing the film’s continuity and pacing the film appropriately.

Peter A. Dowling’s script has a few holes. That means that, on more than one occasion, if one asked ‘why didn’t s/he do that?’ the answer would be ‘because that is a plot hole’. I’m not gonna go into details though. I’ll leave it up to you to spot them and make up your own mind. The focus shifts towards the obvious on this occasion: Stereotyping! Harris is burdened with the film’s emphasis on being a woman, black, and police officer in a world that undermines the first, degrades the second, and hates the third. And as aforementioned, she’s brilliant. But the real world isn’t really like that. And filmmakers need to be very careful not to turn it like that. See what happened at the cinema in Birmingham, UK whilst showing Blue Story (2019): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-50541204

It seems that nowadays everyone is looking for an excuse to accuse someone of saying or doing something inappropriate. To the person offended about a ‘sensitive’ issue, whoever dares to have a different opinion is… racist. And as if that’s not enough, the perpetuation of ‘all cops are pigs’ is very backward-thinking, old, and cliché (and that comes from a guy who has been arrested quite a few times in his youth). If you think otherwise, when you get robbed or attacked, by all means, feel free not to call the police… they are pigs. Even though they are quite well known, I have attached two videos just in case you haven’t watched them, urging for generalisations to stop.

In case you forgot my third sore point mentioned above, that is none other than the echoing stigmata that Katrina hurricane has left to the people and city of New Orleans to this very day. I have an eerie feeling that in the future will have more films delving into the hair-raising details of the suffering of August 2005. Say, for example, a film on what the doctors had to do…

Wheelman (2017): Action / Crime / Mystery

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A bank robbery goes awry for a getaway driver who tries to figure out who double-crossed him while finding a way to save his and his family’s life.

Frank Grillo at his best. Realistic action hero in a high-octane low budget film. Netflix always hits the nail when they decide to go behind productions like this one where, more or less, everything goes right. Right tempo, right duration, and right balance between action, crime, and mystery. Feature debut for writer/director Jeremy Rush who starts off really strong.

Claustrophobic at times, gripping, edgy, and engaging, “Wheelman” is, thankfully, not your typical Hollywood blockbuster with unnecessary explosions and nonsensical CGI. The best value for money you can get, and highly recommended for the Frank Grillo and action-fueled film fans.