Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

Noir city X Crimezine Eddie Muller

Crimezine chum Eddie Muller

Czar of Noir Eddie Muller, organizer of  Noir City X, can be seen above working out the final details to his latest novel inside Dashiell Hammett’s  San Francisco appartment. Six films, either written by Hammett, or based on his writings will be shown at the festival including the Famous Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey  Bogart.

The 10th San Francisco Film Noir Festival is happening Jan. 20-29. at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., San Francisco. Opening night double feature, Jan. 20 is Dark Passage, and The House on Telegraph Hill.

The festival hosts an  evening with Angie Dickinson, who will appear in person, Jan. 21.  Movies screened will be: The Killers and Point Blank. The closing day Jan. 29. features six Dashiell Hammett films. Noir City Passports, are good for all the festivals Castro Theatre events, they cost a very reasonable $120. Individual double features are $10, except for Angie Dickinson night, which is $15. For complete programming at the Castro Theatre, call (415) 621-6120,

Read more:

Tinker -Tailor-Soldier-Spy

Gary Oldman: moribund & geriatric little Tinker

There was a time back in the seventies and early eighties when it looked like the world might be destroyed by Cold War intrigue. This was the era when John le Carré, author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was at the height of his powers. To many readers, le Carré was the man with the inside dope on how and when the apocalypse would come. And his books were consumed with according voracity.

Times change and to many the world of Cold War spying is as puzzling as the expression Cold War itself. Le Carré master of the deeply plotted mystery created several books featuring spymaster George Smiley. Of which Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is the most famous, due in part to the award winning seventies TV series starring Alec Obi-Wan-Kenobi Guinness.

The plot to this story is deeply baffling. The performances dour and intense, which makes a welcome change, in these days of throw away violence and faux Hollywood super thrillers. Le Carré’s spies are real, in the sense that intrigue, not car-chase histronics provide the major part of the story— a convoluted tale concerning the uncovering of a traitor at the very top of British Intelligence.

As a veteran of the le Carré oeuvre, Crimezine was tasked with the lengthy and complex duty of explaining the byzantine plot to neighbor Jennifer Aniston, whom we somewhat foolishly invited to this movie. This is no date-night fun flick you can trust us on that, in fact several members of the audience gave up in frustration, preferring instead to bunk into a showing of helium voiced funsters Alvin & the Chipmunks—Chip wrecked, at a neighboring screen.

Other members of the audience gasped, moaned, even laughed out loud, at the unfolding drama on screen: Witchcraft? Circus? What the hell are they going on about, hissed Ms Anniston in bewilderment. In the end Crimezine had to give her twenty bucks to spend at the Popcorn stand. When she returned the questions continued apace. One of the pulchritudinous Ms A’s chief concerns was the casting of rom-com heart-throb Colin Firth as a double-dealing whoopsie of international proportions. One hopes that Renée Zellweger and Hugh Grant appear in the sequel, or Crimezine will never hear the end of it.

Still, Gary Oldman is marvelous in the movie, that much has been universally acknowledged by critics—even if the moribund Mr Oldman wanders around geriatically for the first half an hour of the movie, uttering barely a word. Critics have interpreted this as the sign of a tortured genius at work, and have raved accordingly. To interpret otherwise might lead them to be considered intellectual lightweights with a penchant for popcorn, heaven forfend.

Crimezine Manhunt

Manhunt! OMG

Retro crime we love it and they don’t come much more Retro than Manuhunt magazine a pulp crime paper that featured such luminaries as Mickey Spillane, Evan Hunter (Ed Mc Bain)and Leslie Charteris. The magazine started in 1953, so it was slow to jump on the band-wagon that the famous Black Mask magazine started. The digest size magazine was a big seller however, clocking up sales of over half a million in its heyday. Sex sells sensationalism was a publishing trend that came and went of course, but Manhunt surfed the wave when pickings were good, leaving a heritage of crazed covers and steamy prose sun bathing on the beach. Dig those scary covers Crimeziners!

Crimezine-Hard Case Crime

Hard Case, Soft centre

Crimezine loves classic crime fiction, particularly the seedy, seamy hardboiled variety, from the noirish 1940’s and 50’s. Well now you can revisit those days Crimeziners, courtesy of Hard Case Crime.

Hard Case Crime is the brainchild of bazillionaire internet whizz-kid Charles Ardai who decided to throw his big-bucks nouveau-riche-dom into the world of retro Crime publishing. Well done that man! Fresh faced Ardai 36, missed the great wave of pulp writing the first time around, and is rapidly making up for lost time now.

Crime fiend Ardai has signed up modern writers like Madison Smartt Bell and Steven King, alongside old favorites


Hard Case: Salacity

such as Laurence Block, Ed Mc Bain and Donald Westlake.

Crimezine feels that Hard Case Crime’s biggest triumph however is the signing of pulp art legend Robert McGinniss, a man who painted more than 1,000 legendary book covers in pulp’s heyday. Every piece of just oozes retro seediness. Lust. Fear Anger and Murder, these were the ideas that drove the pulp paperback forward.

Times change of course. Pulp’s lurid plots and hyperventilating cover art, were supplanted, by electronic boxes that pumped sleaze and salacity into homes worldwide, offering on demand titillation at the flip of a switch. Can Pulp

fiction ever compete? The jury is out. The decision is yours, but Crimezines verdict is a resounding Yes!


Sakey: City Sleuth

Hidden City connects iconic American cities with iconic American Crimes. If we are talking about Los Angeles we get the Black Dahlia murders, The LA Riots and Pornstar John Holmes. If we are talking New York we get Son of Sam, punk junkie Sid Vicious and Nicky Mr Untouchable Barnes the king of Harlem Heroin.

Crimezine likes this show. Sakey has scripted the presentation well and his voice overs make the show addictive viewing. He also does his research, and gets to talk to the cops and criminals who were at the very center of the crimes discussed.

Trouble is so many of these crimes have been discussed before and at such great length, the show has a certain de ja vu quality that can be irksome. You almost know what Sakey is going to talk about before he announces it. Furthermore when he talks of cases like the Black Dahlia, he fails to mention James Ellroy a man who almost single handedly drew the case into the popular imagination of today’s crime fans. In a similar way we get no mention of American Gangster Frank Lucas or Mark Jacobsen the journalist who broke the Harlem Heroin story.

Small gripes aside, Sakey is to be commended for the shows compelling narrative. Check it out Crimeziners!

Hidden City airs Tuesdays 9/8C on the Travel Channel.

The New NBC Crimetime offering The Firm starts with a two hour premiere January 8th at 9/8C. The show is based on the bestselling Grisham book of the same name and carries the story forward ten years.

Mitch Mc Deere and family emerge from the Federal witness protection Scheme after his testimony brought down the Mafia controlled law firm Bendini, Lambert & Locke. Trouble is past dangers still lurk and new threats are everywhere.

The new show is produced by Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Entertainment One. Grisham is acting as executive Producer along with Lukas Reiter who has also worked on the hit shows Law & Order and Boston Legal

Crimezine Josh-Lucas

The Noirish Josh Lucas

Crimezine-Zero Day David Baldacci

Baldacci Zero Day

Ah, Baldacci! We love Political intrigue! We love Washington suits and presidential shenanigans. There is something life affirming, especially in the coming election (zzzzzz) year, about Baldacci’s brand of  political pulp fiction.

But wait a second Crimeziners. What’s this? A Baldacci book ,that reads Like a Jack Reacher novel? Welcome to Zero Day, the latest Baldacci effort in which an army special-agent-outsider, with demons, visits a small town community in rural West Virginia, where corruption and conspiracy run riot. Sound familiar? To readers of Lee Child’s excellent Reacher series it will.

Zero Day is the 22nd book by Baldacci,  his third  this year, the others being The Sixth Man and One Summer. Perhaps therein lies the problem? Three books of quality in one year is perhaps too much, even for a talent like Baldacci. His books are deeply plotted, well researched and intricately constructed. It is simply not possible to build a literary vehicle of such quality on a production line, and Crimezine is concerned that this may be a new trend for the author? One hopes not.

Another problem with this book is the onanisticly named protagonist Sergeant John Puller. Not John Thomas Puller? Are we quite sure about that? The name is so laugh out loud ridiculous, we are certain that poor Mr Puller must have had a torrid time of it at high school. Shame. Perhaps this is what caused him to have a twitching mouth and at age thirty-seven to remain unmarried?

Baldacci completists will no doubt find this novel entertaining. For everyone else Crimezine recommends The Affair by Lee Child.


George Pellecanos-The Cut, voted #1 Crime Fiction Book of 2011, by Crimezine readers

Crimezine Crime Fiction Top Five

  • The Cut: George Pellecanos
  • Lawrence Block The Night and the Music, The Matthew Scudder Stories
  • The Sentry: Robert Crais
  • Michael Connelly: The Drop
  • Lee Child The Affair

Crimezine favorite movies of the year are:

  • The Lincoln Lawyer
  • Drive
  • Colombiana
  • Sherlock Holmes, Game of Shadows
  • Killer Elite

Crimezine favorite TV Crime Shows

  • Southland
  • The Good Wife
  • Breakout Kings
  • Detroit 187
  • CSI

Crimezine favorite websites 2011

Crimezine Award Winners 2011

Crimezine Special mention goes out to the awesome remake of the Mechanic with Jason Statham. And a Crimezine special mention goes to R. J Ellory for being the coolest cat in Crime fiction—read his book Bad Signs Now!

The Crimezine Looking Hot in Leather award goes to the gorgeous Patricia Cornwell. The Get out of Prison Soon Award goes to Dodgy Dave Courtney. The Raymond Chandler Get a Television—seriously Award goes to James Ellroy.

The James Patterson Award for outrageous punctuation !!!! Goes to James, Cease and Desist Patterson, for the second year running. Special thanks to Crimezine neighbor Robert Keep the Noise Down Crais, for being a fantasic sport and having the most interesting socks in Los Angeles. We wanted to make The Sentry #1 honest we did, but Crimeziners voted for gorgeous George! Better luck with Taken.

Thanks to all the Authors, Directors, Publishers & Crimeziners out there, all the best for 2012. If you want to comment contribute or otherwise get involved with Crimezine please get in touch.


Haywire: fight-tastic New flick from Steven Soderburgh

Dizzy from the latest crop of fast moving crime thrillers Crimezine is thrilled to report that yet another flimsy pretext thumpathon is heading your way. Haywire is the latest big-budget offering from Steven Oceans 11 Soderburgh.

Shot in Barcelona Spain, Ireland and New Mexico, Haywire is a set-piece vehicle, for MMA star Gina Carano as Mallory Kane, a Jane Bourne (or Bond) striving to make sense of a baffling world of Covert Op’s double cross and revenge. Yes, we know that sounds familiar, but bear with us Crimeziners.

Crimezine of course LOVES guntastic girlie flicks. Nothing makes us happier, but the pulchritudinous Ms Carano is something special in this department. Now don’t get us wrong Crimeziners, we love, love, love, the gorgeous—if more than slightly nutso Ms Jolie, but Carano is the real deal when it comes to nose smashing martial arts moves and boy does it show in this movie.

Crimezine has heard a lot of whining in Cinematic quarters that the awesome Ms Carano is no Academy Award winner, in the acting department. To suggest that she should be is to completely miss the point. Haywire is a full throttle uzi-toting fight fest, with some of the best action sequences you will ever see in a movie. If it is anything more you are looking for Crimezine suggests a season ticket for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Soderburgh has signed up a big league supporting cast to carry this movie forward at the box office, we get Channing Tatum as Carano’s colleague/lover/nemesis. We get Michael Fassbender as a bonktastic buddy with a ruthless streak. We get the dorksome Ewan McGregor to please the Star Wars contingent and Antonio Banderas in why don’t you smarten yourself up? mode.


Gina Carano: Headshot!

Special mention goes out to Michael Douglas, who is at his reptilian best, and the awesome Bill Paxton who plays Carano’s pops. Haywire, was penned by Soderburgh pal Lem Dobbs, the man who wrote The Limey and the awesome Dark City. Crimezine understands that the old hack changed his name to Dobbs after the Bogart character in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (chortle). Keep up the good work buddy. Haywire is 91 minutes of pure entertainment.

Footnote: for Crimziners without cable, MMA stands for mixed martial arts, a particularly hardcore version of cage fighting.

Crime-Crimezine-Crime-zine Noir city

Noir City X

Behold Crimeziners Bill Selby’s crimetastic new poster for Noir city X conceptualized by Crimezine favorite and Czar of Noir the awesome Eddie Muller. The shoot was photographed by David Allen and features the pulchritudinous Queen of the stocking top Helena Bianca. The location: Dashiell Hammett’s apartment—yes that Dashiell Hammett, and it doesn’t get much cooler than that Crimeziners.

The tenth Noir City film festival takes place at the Castro Theatre San Francisco January 20-29 2012