Caldecot Chubb

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Dark Blue Review


Grim
Call it L.A. Confidential lite. In Ron Shelton's derivative new police corruption drama - adapted from a story by Confidential scribe James Ellroy - Kurt Russell stars as Sgt. Eldon Perry Jr., a self-professed gunslinger who sees himself as a noble warrior charged with cleaning up his beloved city's streets. A member of the LAPD's elite Special Investigations Squad, he's the kind of guy who freely expounds on the depravity of L.A.'s lower classes with a barrage of bigoted epithets, and feels no pangs of conscience when gunning down unarmed suspects in back alleys. According to Perry's tunnel vision logic, a criminal is a criminal, and worrying about the vague, inconsequential differences between each one is not only a waste of time, but a disservice to the community he's trying to save.

Unfortunately for Perry, it's April 1992, and not a very good time to be an arrogant, white LAPD officer. The Rodney King trial has set L.A. on the precipice of Armageddon, and the verdict - to be announced imminently - has become the focal point for a metropolis simmering with class and racial tension. Perry, however, has more pressing matters to worry about. His partner, a wet-behind-the-ears rookie named Bobby Keough (played with baby-faced blankness by ex-Felicity hunk Scott Speedman), has screwed up an arrest, and Perry - always looking to back up a fellow brother in blue - has killed the defenseless perp (with Keough's gun) rather than letting him escape. The film begins with both officers knee-deep into lying their way through an eight-hour inquiry, since Perry has decided that his incompetent protégé should take the heat for the killing anyway. As far as Perry is concerned, one's first shooting inquiry is a right of passage - a baptism into an immoral system that's primarily sworn to protect and serve its own members.

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Eve's Bayou Review


Essential
"Memory is a selection of images, some elusive, others printed indelibly on the brain. The summer I killed my father, I was ten years old." This shocking opening line not only sets the tone but starts the galloping pace of the psychological thriller Eve's Bayou. It is the kind of line taught in writing school, a line that can sustain an entire story with its cool malice.

Eve's Bayou is a film shocking in methods and motives.

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To Sleep with Anger Review


Grim
Insanely overrated, Charles Burnett's slow and melancholy drama feels like a profile of the Deep South when it's really about a family of African-Americans in central L.A. The point of the film is beyond me, involving Danny Glover's visit to his extended family's home and the havoc his presence creates. Not a lot of sleeping, not a lot of anger. Unsatisfying, and ultimately an example of overwrought yet lazy filmmaking.
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