Tag Archives: The Negotiator

A Week In Film #508: Talk

The Negotiator title screen
The Negotiator
Sam Jackson as an expert police hostage negotiator forced to pull some rabbits out of the hat when he finds himself framed. Bonkers and tacky – my favourite blend for a highly watchable thriller. Good, clichéd, trope-stuffed stuff from F Gary Gary, with a cast crammed with the likes of Kevin Spacey, David Morse, JT Walsh, Ron Rifkin, John Spencer, Paul Giamatti, Michael Cudlitz, Dean Norris and Paul Guilfoyle.

Self/Less title screen
So/so near future body shock thriller from Tarsem Singh, with sick tycoon Ben Kingsley buying a new body to live longer from shady high-end body swap company. He’s pretty stoked to end up injected into Ryan Reynolds’ buff physique, but all is not quite what it seems. Solid.

Jason Bourne title screen
Jason Bourne
Paul Greengrass has a third bite of the cherry, and to be honest, it’s starting to smell a bit rotten. Very much sale old, same old – jitter cam fights, spying on the spies, moody pouting etc. Tommy Lee Jones gets the ageing spook boss gig, Vincent Cassel’s the main Asset, Riz Ahmed a tech bro who’s out of his depth, and Alicia Vikander as a fast-track CIA cyber specialist. Julia Stiles returns, and there’s various locales to run around in – but it all feels like a retread.

A Week In Film #153: Occupy!

The Negotiator title screen
The Negotiator
Samuel L Jackson and Kevin Spacey are Chicago PD negotiators; a corrupt conspiracy pits them first against each other, and then puts them together.

Some nice supporting turns (Paul Guilfoyle, David Morse, Ron Rifkin, John Spencer, JT Walsh, and Paul Giamatti as an informer), but F Gary Gray (the Italian Job remake guy) doesn’t inject enough tension into it past the first act.

Manhunter title screen
Serial killer comfort food from Michael Mann.

Staten Island title screen
Staten Island
Impressive debut from James DeMonaco (who also wrote the aforementioned The Negotiator, plus the Assault On Precinct 13 remake), weaving together three threads around New York’s least sexy borough.

Ethan Hawke is a blue collar guy who desperately wants to be able to better support his growing family; Seymour Hassel is an elderly, mute neighbourhood butcher; and Vincent D’Onofrio is a local mob boss who has ideas of imperial grandeur. But this isn’t some Altman analogue – the film goes off into some genuinely odd directions, with moments of real imagination.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World title screen
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
Edgar Wright’s first feature minus Pegg and Frost works really well – based on a comic book, dressed up like a video game, full of visual treats.

Michael Cera plays a slightly less likeable version of his usual as self-absorbed musician Scott Pilgrim, who meets the girl of his dreams Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and discovers to win her heart he must first defeat her “seven evil exes”.

Great set-pieces, Chris Evans and Jason Schwartzman are amongst the exes, and Kieran Culkin hits the spot as the best friend gently tiring of Scott’s man-boy nonsense.