Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber

Liev Schreiber & John Voight star in Ray Donovan

Ray Donovan is the latest masterpiece by Southland creator Ann Biderman, and it has all the hallmarks of a Crimezine classic. Celebrity hijinx, brass knuckle action, and a double dose of Hollyweird kookiness, all set in the bad and beautiful city of Los Angeles, California.

The show features Liev Schreiber as Ray Donovan, a Hollywood fixer who solves the myriad problems of his rich and famous clients—Dead starlet in bed? No problem—caught with a transsexual prostitute on Hollyweird Boulevard—forgedaboudit. Serial-stalker on millionaires row in Malibu—consider his arm as good as broke.

While the taciturn Ray has no problem fixing the myriad woes of his clients, he finds meeting the needs of his own family rather more difficult.

There is his wife, who cannot get to grips with her husbands role as freewheeling man about town; there are his kids who are growing up just a little too fast, and there are his haddock brained brothers, who run the family boxing business. Then there is Ray’s pops, played by screen legend John Voight.

Academy Award winner Voight has a hardworking Hollweird career stretching back five decades. He gained a whole shelf full of accolades for roles in such screen classics as Midnight Cowboy, and Deliverance. But he is perhaps best known in this age of tabloid obsession, as the man who spawned kooky glamourpuss Angelina Jolie. How appropriate then, that the marginally less kooky Voight should play Ray’s nutty jailbird pops Mickey Donovan, a man fresh out of a twenty-year stretch for murder.

In the first episode of Ray Donovan we see Mickey shoot a priest in the face and ogle a breast-feeding mom on a plane. Mickey is creepy and dangerous, no doubt. But he is also ruthlessly manipulative and wastes no time ingratiating himself with his long lost family, much to the chagrin of Ray.

Ray Donovan is an investigation of the celebrity enablers, as much it is a reflection of the crash and burn ethos that so often consumes the world of so called celebrity. The show is a sunshine Soprano’s on sea, Californication sans horse shit, along with a generous twist of Harvey Keitel’s “Cleaner” character, from the marvelous Pulp Fiction thrown in for good measure. From the premiere episode, it looks like the rich mix of hard action and factional celebrity sleaze will draw viewers in, so that they might be swept along by the swirling undertow of this deep running family drama.

Ray Donovan. You heard it here first Crimeziners.

Screens Sundays at 10pm on Showtime.


Crimezine-Robert Crais-Suspect

Robert Crais: Suspect

Crimezine favorite Robert, hop along, Crais has, we are pleased to report completed his latest crime masterwork. Entitled Suspect, the book introduces two new characters, Scott an LAPD officer, who’s partner has been murdered and Maggie a USMC patrol dog who lost her handler in Afghanistan.

Scott and Maggie join forces as an LAPD K9 team. Considered damaged goods by colleagues Scott and Maggie have no one but each other, and develop an intense friendship where they both learn to love and trust again. As the relationship builds between man and dog, the two unlikely heros set about discovering who murdered Scott’s partner Stephanie.

Crais’s previous standalone works Demolition Angel, and Hostage, which was made into a movie staring Bruce Willis, were both excellent, and the great man has obviously been listening to Crimezines neighborly advice to take a break from the Elvis Cole Saga. Speaking of which, Crimeziners who have been hesitant to read the Joe Pike novels First Rule and Sentry should head to the book shop now, as they are both winners and offer fascinating new insights to Joe Pike and his relationship with Elvis Cole. Cole fans will be pleased to know that LA’s most jocular Private Eye features heavily in both books—from a third person viewpoint, which is offers a whole new perspective on the Cole/Pike saga.

Regular Crimeziners will not be surprised that Crais has finally succumbed to the temptation to release a dog related book. Often mistaken on Mulholland Drive, for pooch whisperer Cesar Millan, Bonzo Bob can regularly be seen pounding the pavement, followed by his pack of slavering attack dogs.  A sight that has become rarer of late due to the infamous twisted tootsie incident—which Crimezine has reported on at length in previous postings.

We can assure you that Bob is on the mend now and is looking forward to the release of  Suspectin January 2013.

Robert Crais: A dogs best friend…

Connelly, Crais, Crimezine

Conners & Bob: Crime legends

Lucky Crimeziners who live in Los Angeles, should head on down to Lincoln Middle School Auditorium, 1501 California Ave, on Saturday 25 February 2012 where best selling authors and Crimezine chums Michael Connelly and Robert Crais will discuss the influence of Raymond Chandler  on the crime genre and their work in particular. Bonzo Bob tells Crimezine he will also blather on about all matters regarding the City of Angels and the world of crime writing so get your questions ready crimeziners.

Natch, the two crime writing legends will use this as an opportunity to shamelessly hawk their latest wares. Crimezine understands they will even sign insulting messages of your choice inside.  Entrance is free. Limited parking is available on-site.  Seating is first come, first served. No reservations. The event kicks off 7.00 til nine.

Naturally Mulholland Drive residents will be attending en mass, so get there early.

James Patterson Private

Private on parade

James Patterson is to be congratulated. His latest crime series Private, is more than a book, it is a marketing concept, more ambitious than any other attempted in the history of crime publishing.

With Private, Big Jim has created a vast new crime franchise, to rival Honoré de Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine. Although with his army of elvish scribes working in tandem, this new Patterson project is rapidly developing in to an epic of biblical proportions.

Private sounds naughty—forbidden, you know you shouldn’t look inside, but you just cannot help yourself, the cover is big, golden and sexy, it has brand name credibility and end of aisle product placement, what could be the harm?

Patterson, a former head of brand marketeers J. Walter Thompson, just cannot help himself. He uses the phrase brand diversification, early in this novel, a term that appropriately describes both the Private organization and the vast Pattersonian empire that mirrors it.

Big Jim has needed  new product for a while. His Alex Cross novels have become increasingly ludicrous of late, and the Women’s Murder Club series, which he co-penned with fetchingly enigmatic Maxine Paetro, have surely burned themselves out at long last.

Meet Jack Morgan, the square jawed Marine back from the ‘hell’ of Afghanistan covered in glory and dead comrade. Poor Jack. He is getting puzzling flashbacks—he died out there, for Christ’s sake, but was resurrected! A miracle!

Cut to Jack meeting his pops in jail. Jack’s pops was a bad man and an even worse father, but now he repents! He gifts jack fifteen million dollars and files for his detective agency Private. Where did this run down old crook get fifteen-mil? We are never told. And the old man dies mysteriously in jail soon after, so we never get to find out.

Most people would have bought a luxury condo in Boca Raton and sipped cocktails for the rest of their days. Not Jack. Oh no.

Five years later, and Jack has turned that 15 million into a worldwide detective agency with better crime lab resources than either the LAPD or FBI. Wow! Jack is certainly a good businessman, for a psychologically disturbed Vet’ with a convict Dad and he drives a Lamborgini too. Cool! There are problems however, Jack’s Brother is as bad as Jack is good and to add insult to injury, eligible Jack is unlucky in love (sob!).

The Plot of the first Private book [there are at least three now] is a triple-header. Firstly, heroic Jack swings to the rescue of a life long friend, who’s wife turns out to be a smack-shooting, crack-head, who is selfishly whoring herself out, while her loving husband is at work.

Now Crimezine is no expert in these matters, but one would assume it would be hard not to notice, if your significant other was indulging in such behavior, more importantly, how could Jack, being such a life long friend of the family, not notice the tell tale clues? Drooling, facial sores, haddock-brained speech, vagrant hygiene? Who killed this lovely lady? Could it be the mafia? Gasp.

Next up, a team of dorkish computer-gamers are stubbing out the lives of young schoolgirls, using  hi-tec phone hacking software to get the inside track on the girls lives and lure them to their deaths. Really? If these dork-boy computer nerds could figure this out, surely they would be using the technology to steal money from financial institutions and use the proceeds to buy their twisted kicks elsewhere, like from the junkie hooker that Jack’s best friend is married to, for example?

Last, but no means least ,we are expected to believe that Jack’s Uncle is a big noise in the NFL and he needs Private’s help to uncover a multi-million dollar gambling scandal. It would appear that the research done for this strand of the story involved a cursory flick through the LA Times sports section, which is as lame as it is unforgivable.

It is perhaps inevitable, that such an ambitious novel, that tries so desperately to be all things to all men, will run the risk of satisfying no one.

Private is more bloated than a blowfish Ciabatta. The action is relentless, if unconvincing. We are expected to believe for example that a semi-automatic weapon can emit an: ‘unconstrained burst’ of gunfire, a lazy and dull-witted mistake for big-league crime writers. But the bloopers keep on coming.

We are told that Santa Monica is part of Beverly Hills, an error that reveals that neither Patterson or Paetro live in Los Angles, where the novel is set, although their name dropping of fancy-pants restaurants suggests the pair may have made an expenses paid daytrip to the city at some point. More likely they Googled up name checked locations, in a lazy Internet crawl.

The most annoying aspect of this novel however, is its derivative nature. It is hard to come up with new concepts for Detective fiction as it is such a classic genre, but Private is a veritable shopping list of clichés. We get a computer super geek with weirdo dress sense called Mo-bot We get a Q-like gadget specialist Dr Sci. The list goes on, and on, and the parallels to TV shows like CSI are glaring.

In conclusion Patterson fans will grin and bear this novel as per usual. It is clear that there will be a deluge of Private novels heading your way in the near future. Private Games; Private #1 suspect; and Private London, are all now available and if you are even vaguely interested in reading the series the first book is recommended.  Likewise, if you are concerned that your leather bound set of Honoré de Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine might get water damaged during your poolside vacation this year, Crimezine recommends you get your Privates out instead.

Greetings Crimeziners! Never mess with the Germans. They will burn your country to the ground Jack. Those Krauts


Dorothee Burkhart: ‘Augmented’ Tantra Godess

might make nice beer and a delicious selection of gourmet Deli meats, but when it comes to war, they know only one kind: All Out. No surprise then, that pyromanical pain in the posterior Harry Burkhart, arrested recently for the Blitz on Hollywood, turns out to be of Krautish descent. Upset that his 53yr old Mom is being deported back to the Fatherland, on a raft of fraud charges, which she and Harry the Hun fled four years ago, young Harry decided that burning  down Los Angeles might be a good way of drawing attention to the inequity of his mothers incarceration.

It has therefore been a puntastic week for the Mulholland media, with every German gag in the Third Reich big book of Krautish Komedy being employed in the battle against the Burkharts. Just one problem, The Burkharts are Chechen. According to The LA Times they are ‘thought to be of very distant German anscestry.’ Crimezine was most disappointed by this revelation. President of Chechenya, Ramzan Kadyrov, is a man as famous for his jovial good humor, as he is for sending death squads after anyone who happens to disagree with either him, or the wise and beneficent policies of his central Asian paradise. So Crimezine offers both him, and the people of Chechnya a hearty Ассаламу Iалайкум!

Fortunately, just when you thought that the Hollywood arson debacle couldn’t get any weirder, it turns out that pyromaniacal pain in the posterior Harry Burkhart’s mom is a Tantra Godess. You heard it right Crimeziners!

It would seem that the cheeky Chechen who fled Germany after charges of ‘stealing’ her own augmented breasts and swindling a succession of flop house landlords, is a fully fledged Tantra expert, who offers services that include:“full body hot oil body to body sliding massage” and “sensual tantric loving erotic touch in combination with deep tissue, incl. g-spot and hotspots massage.”  Tempted? You may have to wait until the Burkharts get out of chokey. Until then you will have to salivate over their highly professional website, which can be found at the location below.

The Gangster Squad-Crimezine

The Gangster Squad: Classic Crime

We know you love the Mickey Cohen story Crimeziners. Everyone loves a classic gangster story, and it doesn’t get any better than The Gangster Squad a neo-noir crime picture set in vintage Los Angeles. Crimezine can exclusively reveal that principal Cinematography has finally wrapped and the movie is scheduled for an autumn release.

The Gangster Squad stars Sean Penn as Hollywood gangster– ‘Marvelous’ Mickey Cohen. The movie also offers up an all star cast featuring cameos by Nick Nolte as Chief Bill Parker, Josh Pence as Darryl Gates,  Crimezine favorite Ryan Gosling as Sgt Jerry Wooters, and Josh Brolin as John O’Mara.

The movie from Warner Brothers Pictures, chronicles the fight against organized Crime in Los Angeles during the 1940’s and ’50’s, it is written by Will Beall and directed by Ruben Fleischer.

Expect brass-knuckled LA-Confidential meets Dragnet style action  with a Femme Fatale chaser in the shape of the gorgeous Emma Stone. The release date is October 19, 2012. You heard it first on Crimezine.

Cheer up luv: it’s a noir marathon weekend!

Crime is happening down at the L.A. County museum of Art’s Bing Theatre and it is happening BIG. Noir fans will be happy to hear that Bogart is Back! The great man stars in Nicholas Ray’s acclaimed 50’s Noir classic “In a Lonely Place” The film will be screening Friday, with Robert Altman’s  classic 1973 version of Raymond Chandler’s, “The Long Goodbye” with a crumpled Elliot Gould, as hard drinking gumshoe Phillip Marlowe.

In further cinematic  hijinks Luis Brunel’s surreal 1962 film “The Exterminating Angel” is showing, followed by David Lynch’s super weird Mystery thriller “Mullholland Drive”.

But if you feel  like you still need some Noir action, head down to the Aero theatre in Santa Monica where they are showing the 1974 Film Noir masterpiece “Chinatown” along with the 1990 sequel “The two Jakes” where Oscar-winning screen writer Robert Towne will be making an appearance.

If you don’t live in LA, or you cannot make these showings Crimezine whole heartedly recommends you see the movies anyway, Netflicks—make ’em work for you.

NCIS Los Angeles

Posted: December 16, 2010 in TV Crime
Tags: , , , ,

It’s a spin off of a spin off! (NCIS & JAG) It is crime-time comfort food for mystery minded fans of the police procedural. It is yet another city orientated acronym show and for that you just want to hate it. But there is something fluffy and endearing about NCIS Los Angeles that not only sucks away your ire but draws you back for yet another weekly installment of unlikely super-cop antics.

The charismatic cast have much to do with the shows appeal and the carefully engineered characters are designed to draw in as wide a viewing demographic as possible. There is Linda Hunt as the diminutive and quirky boss lady Hetty. There is former rapper LL Cool J as the big muscled and tight sweatered Sam Hanna. There is b-list former Batman side-kick Chris O’Donell, as regular guy heartthrob G Callen. Then there is the will they- won’t they love interest, between tousel-haired Marty Deeks, played by Eric Christian Olsen and the smouldering smart-mouth Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah)

Naturally this cast of pulchritudinous sauce-pots are supported by the usual crew of back room computer nerds and boffins.  A yawnsome and irritating cliche, undoubtably sourced by focus group marketing dorks at the major networks, who seem to think such cookie-cutter characterization will endear this show and others like it  to the more socially inept members of their target audience. Gimme a break.

NCIS does of course stand for Navel Criminal Investigative Service, but there are precious few jack -tars or roistering shore leave shenanigans here. Rather it seems the super sexy NCIS LA crew are in heavy competition with the other acronymed crime shows for the same rapidly dwindling pool of Russian mobsters and gun toting business big wigs. It is of course all very silly, but silly in an engaging way and you get to see a whole bunch of Ooo look at that! views of LA. Although the car strangled streets of Santa Monica always seem uncharacteristically quiet when  our heros are screeching after the bad guys. Go figure.