Rising Sun (1993)

Rising Sun

(R) 2h 9min

Plot Summary: At the offices of a Japanese corporation, during a party, a woman, who’s evidently a professional mistress, is found dead, apparently after some rough sex. A police detective, Web Smith is called in to investigate but before getting there, he gets a call from someone who instructs him to pick up John Connor, a former police Captain and expert on Japanese affairs. When they arrive there Web thinks that everything is obvious but Connor tells him that there’s a lot more going on.Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Director: Philip Kaufman

Writers: Michael Crichton (novel & screenplay), Philip Kaufman (screenplay), Michael Backes (screenplay)

Stars: Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Harvey Keitel

Serious Jest: animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Don’t Bother)  The actors are capable across the board, but the story is just very cheesy and often predictable, with some of the plot “twists” not developed enough to make sense.

 

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Sea of Love (1989)

Sea of Love

(R) 113 mins

Plot Summary: A detective investigating a series of murders becomes involved with a woman who may be the culprit.

Director: Harold Becker

Writer: Richard Price

Stars: Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, John Goodman

Serious Jest: animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Don’t Bother)  After some deliberation, I’d have to recommend skipping this movie.  The passage of time has rendered it obsolete.  While the plot had a decent twist to it, and the film wasn’t boring, the action scenes, dialogue, and even the sappy saxophone soundtrack just don’t compare to today’s crime dramas.  Pacino over-acted some of the scenes (or maybe his character was written to be unnecessarily dramatic, as in his uncalled-for outburst in a shoe store), and Goodman’s Queens accent was heinous.  I’d actually have to say that Barkin stole the show here.

 

In the Cut (2003)

(R) 119 mins

(R) 119 mins

Plot Summary: After getting entwined in an affair with the police detective who’s investigating the murder of a young woman in her New York City neighborhood, insular schoolteacher Frannie Avery begins to suspect that her lover was involved in the crime.

Cast: Meg RyanMark RuffaloJennifer Jason LeighNick DamiciSharrieff PughKevin BaconYaani KingHeather Litteer

Director: Jane Campion

Serious Jest: animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Worth Watching)  Halfway through the movie, I still wasn’t sure what it was about, and the twist was pretty predictable…but the acting was top notch, the dialogue was solid, and some scenes were so steamy that I recommend you watch this with your significant other.

The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939)

(Approved) 68 mins

Synopsis: Detective tries to solve the murder of antiques collector who was in possession of a famous jewel known as “The Eye of the Moon.”

Director: William Nigh

Writers: Hugh Wiley (books), Scott Darling (original screenplay)

Stars: Boris KarloffGrant Withers and Dorothy Tree

Serious Jest:  (Don’t Bother)  As a mystery, this film had no big holes.  Also, Karloff was a great actor, with commanding presence.  But, unfortunately, nothing stood out about it, either.  Additionally, it’s a shame that there were no real Asian actors that Hollywood was willing to cast as the leading man for this film.  So, I decided not to recommend a middle-of-the-road, black-and-white 1930’s film with racist overtones.

Bored to Death (2009-2011)

(TV-MA)

Plot Summary: Inspired by detective stories, a well meaning but struggling writer decides to lead a sort of double life by pretending to be a private detective.

Creator: Jonathan Ames

Stars: Ted DansonJason Schwartzman and Zach Galifianakis 

Serious Jest:  (Worth Watching)  Cool concept, witty humor, great actors, quirky characters, and entertaining stories.  Beware, though, this is a dark comedy, and very dry.  I am constantly entertained when I watch this show, but the lead character is just a little bit too much of a pussy, and the settings too yuppie/hipster for me to anxiously anticipate the next episode.