Remember The Gauntlet?  The old Eastwood flick from the 70s?  This reminds me of it—a lot.  But instead of moving a prisoner from Vegas to Phoenix (or was it the other way round?), this one transits Manhattan’s Chinatown (a super location).  Not a great flick, but Mos Def is terrific.  My respect for this guy’s acting continues to grow.  Contrast his Eddie Bunker here with his Vivien Thomas in Something the Lord Made.  He absorbs into a part.



I love this sort of film – where separate stories intersect at just the wrong/right moment.  (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is the example par excellence). This one doesn’t rise to that level, but I’ll give it a B for effort.



I saw the original Broderick Crawford version ages ago and don’t remember much, so I can’t make comparisons, but I liked this.  Sean Penn was excellent (like or loathe his politics, he can act) but I’m baffled as to why they hired so many Brits to play American southerners.



One person told me to see it because it was surprisingly good, another said it sucked major doo-doo.  I’ll have to land somewhere between.  The comedy-horror thing didn’t work for me here as well as in Slither.  I did like its tendency to kill off the more heroic, take-charge characters you think will save the day, forcing someone else to step up, but I wasn’t all that engaged.



I rented this because of its fascinating subject.  Bettie had the sweetest, most innocent face and smile imaginable, yet she was the pin-up queen of the 1950s, rarely photographed fully dressed, often in the buff.  And then she upped and disappeared.  I mean, completely dropped off the map.  The mystery has been solved, and the answer isn’t terribly satisfying.  I thought the film would get inside her head but it doesn’t.  Ultimately disappointing.