‘Destroyer,’ directed by Karyn Kusama

Movie, 2018 A pretty effective crime film, with a cop with a past, hellbent on one last redemptive mission. There are some interesting ideas and characters in the mix, and a pretty good pace to the movie as a whole. The brave portrayal of the main character does, however, dominate, and Nicole Kidman’s style takes a little getting used to. One of the mumbling set, … Continue reading ‘Destroyer,’ directed by Karyn Kusama

‘The Sellout,’ by Paul Beatty

Novel, 2015 Terrific, fast-paced novel, in which black identities, cultures and essences are examined and explored with and through old minstrel actors, vanishing city names in Los Angeles ghettos and various intellectuals and bus drivers, fighting questions of who they are and how they should behave. A real gritty and trippy ride, with some great angles and attitudes along the way; the questions of other … Continue reading ‘The Sellout,’ by Paul Beatty

"In a Lonely Place," by Dorothy Hughes

Novel, 1947 Gripping thriller, with an unreliable narrator, stakeouts, murders and a Los Angeles full of noir and women who would comfortably fit the femme fatale trope were the narrator not so warped and wrapped up in himself. This is a book with a small number of characters and a gloomy trajectory whose mystery is hinted at then revealed in short notice, with the rest … Continue reading "In a Lonely Place," by Dorothy Hughes

"Nightcrawler", directed Dan Gilroy

Movie, 2014 Effective, powerful film charting the rise of a disreputable news collector in LA, superbly played by a suitably other worldly looking Jake Gyllenhaal. While this could have been preachy and one-dimensional, the film pulls you on board with some good characterisations and a compelling narrative, which builds and keeps the interest throughout. Not always easy to watch and possibly stretching credibility at times, but … Continue reading "Nightcrawler", directed Dan Gilroy

"Inherent Vice", directed Paul Thomas Anderson

Movie, 2014 Murky, muttering and suitably confused, confusing slow burn frenetic adaptation of Thomas Pynchon‘s LA private eye caper. The film’s pace and its fairly hefty length draw those in who get hooked in the first place from opening scenes depicting a stoned PI, his returning lover, a massage parlour frequented by an Aryan Brotherhood gang, a nasty slick-cut nemesis policeman and some pretty sweaty … Continue reading "Inherent Vice", directed Paul Thomas Anderson