A Slight Case of Murder Review


Whenever you have a film about a mobster trying to go legit it tends to be quite fun. This one is definitely no exception as things get quite tricky for Remy as he tries to do things the right way. The dialogue is quick and snappy with a lot of tight pacing throughout. Those are all the hallmarks of a good gem in the rough and this movie doesn’t disappoint. You may not have heard of it before watching, but you won’t forget about it afterwards.

The movie starts with the era of Prohibition ending. People are throwing parties and drinking as much as they can to celebrate. The only people not happy are Remy and his cronies since they had made a ton of money selling beer on the black market. They were the only game in town so everyone had to buy from them. Now that it’s legal again that ends their racket. Remy has decided to go straight though. He’s convinced that people will still buy his beer so he turns his headquarters into an official brewery. Unfortunately nobody wants to buy from them though since Remy’s beer is the absolute worst. He doesn’t realize how bad it tastes though. The worst part is that he is flat broke. Will he be able to earn enough money before the government takes his home away?

There’s certainly a lot of tension for Remy here since any day now he will be out of business. The bank certainly doesn’t hold back when they are coming to take their funds. They won’t listen to any talk about extensions or things like that. They just want their money and they want it right away. Naturally there’s some temptation to go back to his crooked ways as well so this is something he’s trying really hard not to do.

A fun part of the film is how into it his wife Nora gets. She really transitions into a formal housewife right away. Occasionally she slips back into more casual terms when talking though but it’s hard to keep up the act 100% at first. The mobsters are less thrilled about this to be sure but they keep on following orders as needed. They also try to help with getting the money and everything. Sometimes it works and sometimes it just makes things even tougher so it always depends.

The movie’s humor tends to be on point though. The jokes move at a rapid pace to the point where old jokes can end up turning into new ones as the film goes on. A lot of the time you can see some of the jokes coming as the characters have misunderstandings but the execution is always on point so it works out. Each character is good at talking fast and subtly insulting the others without it being too obvious. It’s certainly a talent and a pretty good one to have at that.

I should mention there’s also another plot going on here. Remy’s daughter Mary is engaged to someone and she wants him to finally meet her folks. What he didn’t tell her is that he has become a state trooper which is naturally not an occupation that Remy is a huge fan of. This leads to a lot of drama between them. Remy’s got a pretty tough personality so he easily walks all over that guy. Even this plot is used to contribute to the ending of the film but as a whole also serves to keep the movie nice and packed with a bundle of plots.

We also can’t forget the kid. Remy has a tradition where he takes one of the kids from the orphanage over to his home for the summer. It’s surprisingly a really nice thing of Remy to do so even when he was a crook at least the guy did give back to the community. This time he ends up picking the absolute worst kid at the orphanage and this guy is naturally going to cause trouble. He smokes, drinks, and in general has a bad attitude the whole time. Fortunately Remy’s group are used to dealing with tricky characters. In particular the main minion, Mike always ends up having the upper hand with the kid.

He did surprisingly well in fact. Usually the kid gets away with absolutely everything but here Mike was always on him in an instant. That’s definitely what I like to see here since it can be annoying to see a kid just wrecking everything. Here that never happens and the kid even helps out a bit even if it wasn’t his intention. With how the gang was helping to correct his spoiled attitude maybe he will even be a better kid when he eventually makes it back to the orphanage.

What really helps this film maintain its status as a great film is how well written the characters are. For example, Remy makes a lot of mistakes but he is still a pretty cunning guy who is always ready for what comes next. With people constantly throwing new twists and wrinkles at him the guy still comes up with new plans on the spot. Nothing can slow him down. When he ends up having to think of a way to get around dead bodies, loads of cash, and a state trooper he is able to conquer each obstacle. It’s easy to see why he became the leader of the mob.

Overall, A Slight Case of Murder is a great film that I would definitely recommend. At the same time it’s a fairly simple movie so there’s not a whole lot to say. At its core it’s a comedy where everything always happens in a rather extreme way so Remy is kept on the edge the whole time. The writing is on point and the movie is really over in a flash. The sheer high tempo of the jokes and scenes can be overwhelming if this isn’t your genre of comedy but I would definitely say to give it a shot and see what you think. I’m confident you’ll leave with a satisfied experience.

Overall 8/10

Larceny Inc Review


It’s time to look at a comedy film from a long time ago. It feels like the 40s were a whole lifetime ago at this point. As with most films from this era, Larceny Inc delivers with solid characters and quality writing throughout the adventure. It’s a pretty fun film that has a good amount of humor and even throws in a dangerous climax for the characters. How much you enjoy this film will really depend on how you enjoy the style of humor because if it’s not really your cup of tea then it goes without saying that this one isn’t going to rank all that highly for you.

The film starts with Pressure getting out of jail along with his friend Jug. They were given an offer to continue their life of crime but decided against it in order to finally go straight. Definitely a good move, but it’s going to be rather difficult to make a fresh start. Pressure tries a few things but they don’t work so he decides to break into a bank. What he’ll do is buy the luggage store next to the bank and dig a hole into it. The problem is that his daughter Denny has decided she can’t let Pressure make the same mistakes and teams up with local salesman Jeff to ensure that Pressure’s store is too busy for him to make any plans. They are going to make those luggages sell like hotcakes!

This is a comedy so you can’t take the story beats too seriously but I do have to say that it’s already a bit of a stretch how the heroes own this very successful store and then decide not to do anything about it. Even while waiting to rob the bank they could have sold a lot of luggage at a very good price. Instead they keep throwing them away or giving them out for free. It’s part of the comedy of course, but you can’t help but think how well off they are. If they had just been selling from the start they would have been free to abandon their plan a lot sooner. Of course we do get actual gangsters showing up near the end and I suspect that things wouldn’t have gone over well for the heroes if they had not had a hole in the building.

The pacing is pretty solid although the romance in the film isn’t particularly good. Jeff moves pretty quickly throughout and even asks Denny to marry him after only knowing her for a few minutes. Talk about mistaking a crush for true love right? That’s a pretty huge jump for him to take considering that the characters don’t actually know each other yet. Of course it works out but you still can’t help but shake your head at the whole thing a bit. It didn’t really feel earned and I still hope Jeff got his money in the end. He did give Pressure’s shop a whole lot of business and you know that they’re still hoping they can swindle him. In fact, based on the ending they probably did.

Larceny Inc ends with a pretty fun scene since it ties the whole thing together. At the end of the day it’s a pretty complete ending that does leave all of the characters satisfied. It’s a nice way to end the adventure and makes it a title you can really recommend to anyone. Pressure’s a solid lead and I appreciate the fact that he did try to go on the straight and narrow. He’s definitely got a lot of natural charisma which lets him even help the town accidentally. You have to have that kind of confidence and Pressure has it in spades. He may still cower next to the bigger villains but he tries hard.

Jug’s the not very smart member of the group so you have to be able to tolerate that character type in order to enjoy his character. He can be pretty extreme at times to be sure, but at least he’s a loyal ally. I’ll also give him some props for actually saying no to Pressure at the end and getting the lead to try the car plan instead. Most of the time the side character just continues to get wrecked. Meanwhile Weepy was a solid third member and in some ways was the most efficient member of the group. He’s the only one who seemed to care about making money at all while the other two were focused on the bank part.

Overall, Larceny Inc is a pretty interesting film. It’s the kind of movie that you just don’t really see anymore. It’s just a nice story about a group of criminals fumbling around and making a ton of mistakes until the mistakes ultimately go together and make things work out. If this sounds like your cup of tea then it’s worth checking out the next time it’s on TV or maybe if it’s on DVD. The character cast is fairly small but that works out since that lets each character get more development. My favorite of the small plots was probably seeing Pressure help out the community with the politicians. I’m always up for a good bluff and the lead sold the whole act pretty well.

Overall 7/10

Gator Review


It’s time to look at the film known as Gator. You may be thinking of a monster film or something based on the title, but this one’s actually a pretty down to earth story about the government blackmailing someone growing drugs into helping them nab some others. It’s a reasonable movie, but one that doesn’t really have much to it. It goes through the thriller motions, but doesn’t really go out of its way to do anything else. It’s also hard to get behind the main character. How could he possibly get caught up in this drug stuff again after his first adventure??

The movie starts off with Gator and his family enjoying a peaceful morning at the cabin. Their day is thrown for a loop though when a bunch of helicopters show up to try and arrest them. We get a chase scene with Gator beating them up while on a boat before eventually succumbing to their blackmail. Since he has started growing Moonshine again they want Gator to head to a shady town where a lot of drug dealing is going on. The government had their eyes on Gator from the start though given how they were also going to blackmail him through his father. It was a lose-lose situation for the hero. So Gator heads to town and sees that the leader is an old friend of his. Maybe he can talk some sense into the guy…

I think we can’t really talk about this film without talking about why Gator isn’t ready for this line of work. He slips up constantly with one instance of this being particularly bad. He already knows that Bama is a bad guy, but is holding out some hope that he’s not so bad. Maybe he’s one of those nice gangsters who only murders people sometimes right? Well, he quickly finds out that this isn’t the case so he walks up to Bama and says that he’s leaving. Not a smart play, but if he’s got a plan then maybe it’ll work out right? Well, that’s not really the case. Bama agrees to this but offers Gator one last drink first. He makes an obvious motion to his henchman who spikes the drink and then Gator downs the whole thing. At first you figure he has a plan, but this isn’t the case.

Gator slowly succumbs to the drink while insulting the villains the whole time. Even that could have been a plan like he was hoping he’d get punched to block the effects of the drink but that didn’t happen either. So ultimately all this leaves Gator looking absolutely terrible. By the time he is able to make a comeback at the very end of the film as he runs over some people you are still left doubting his abilities. Even leaving Irving by himself so he can mess around with Aggie wasn’t a good idea.

The romance with Gator and Aggie definitely wasn’t good. It’s one of those really rushed affairs where they just get together to check off a few boxes, but ultimately it doesn’t really add to the film and comes across as pretty pointless. I preferred Aggie’s character to Gator’s though. At least she was actively looking into the criminal situation and trying to do something about it. Gator only ended up doing something after he was blackmailed into it. Aggie’s profession is also super dangerous since she is a reporter in a city that has been completely conquered by crime. That’s never an easy task.

Meanwhile we do have one more rookie in the film. His name is Irving and he is the main American agent. Here’s my problem with the guy. He talks a good game about being from NY and all, but then he walks into a bar and gets drunk. Naturally he gets beat up by the villains pretty badly, but why would he go in there like that? He also let the villains steal his gun which was terrible. Pretty much any scene with the guy was one where you knew he would mess up. Then there is Emmeline who is here as the quirky character with her cats and all. She thinks of this as a game and does her best to slow everyone down. It’s fair to say that things would have gone smoother if she had just given them the keys or been willing to leave her cats, but naturally that wasn’t going to happen. Bringing the cats is just putting them in harm’s way.

Also, this is another scene where the government looks suspect. If the proof that Bama is a villain is in the courthouse, why can’t they just grab it? That seems like something that would be really easy to do. Also, why didn’t Bama realize that they had the records? There’s a lot of parts in this film where you wonder why the government can’t do anything. Sure the town is bought out, but apparently not the rest of the country since they’re gunning for Bama. It should have been so much easier to take the guy down.

As for Bama, he’s a pretty generic villain. The guy likes selling drugs and going on power trips all the time. He’s got a shotgun and can fight a bit, but there’s nothing more to him. He’s certainly not my kind of villain. His minions have more character if anything. The big one is like the Jaws villain from James Bond. He’s pretty big and has a lot of strength, but ultimately that doesn’t mean much in a gun fight. Then you’ve got the other guy who is surprisingly durable since he survives a ton of things in this film. As a trio they were hard to stop.

Overall, While I do consider this film to be an upgrade over the first one, it really doesn’t hold up on close inspection. You’ve got a weak character cast in a rather bland backdrop. Everyone makes the wrong choices at all times and the film has to rely on quirky characters and a rushed romance to pad out the time. There just isn’t much here so the film has to drag it all out. It can be fun at times, but not really fun enough to get the film above the break even point.

Overall 5/10

Black Friday Review


It’s time for a retro film. It feels like it’s been a while since I reviewed an oldie, but I suppose it hasn’t been all that long. This film’s a fun take on the whole mind switch concept and you can think of it as being similar to Frankenstein. It’s done a whole lot better than Frankenstein ever was though and the characters are actually pretty likable and endearing except for one guy who goes off the deep end.

The plot involves Ernest, a scientist. He is a genius whose only real friend dies in a car crash one day. To save his life, Ernest decides to do an experimental brain transplant. It’s a success, but the problem is that George (The friend) now has a split personality. He’ll be George one minute and then he’ll be Red Cannon, the gangster. Ernest could help George’s personality pull through, but he really wants to be rich and everyone knows that Red Cannon buried 500 million dollars somewhere in the city. Ernest will have that money and then he’ll save George. Can he really have his cake and eat it too or is something sinister about to happen?

As you can expect, Ernest is the character that I don’t care for. At first, his motives were good. He went pretty far to save his friend and his gamble paid off. Unfortunately, his desire for fame and glory corroded him. It was even a bit cheesy at one point as Red Cannon was afraid of Ernest. I find that hard to believe since he was such a hardened gangster. Ernest doesn’t get away with it which is good, but he put everyone in a sticky situation. He’s certainly not a team player.

On the other hand, George is a solid character. He constantly reminds everyone that he is a Professor of English Literature and that’s why he has a hard time dealing with all of the gangster drama. He’s a very polite guy who simply made the mistake of trusting his old friend. Even when a side effect of the serum caused George to be a little cranky, he was always ready to apologize for it. George is a real stand up guy and that’s why I’m glad that he got a good ending. He didn’t ask for any of this and did the best that he could to see to it that everything went all right. He even gave the Cab driver a huge tip, which was pretty neat.

Red Cannon was an okay gangster, but as I mentioned earlier, he did get scared by Ernest. I’m not really sure how I can take him seriously after that. He did a good job of beating up most of the guys who had betrayed him though. Messing with the boss is definitely not a good move. I mean, he was dead so they won…….lets ignore that for now. The gangsters were fairly confident and since they had Red Cannon’s girlfriend on their side, how could they lose? She actually did trick Red Cannon a few times though so he’s got a ways to go when it comes to running a gang biz. That’s why you’re not supposed to mix work and romance, it makes things risky. I did have to chuckle at the fact that the gangsters were forced to hide in a closet as a last resort. That normally shouldn’t buy you a whole lot of time. Leaving the secret beer cabinet open as well is another critical mistake.

The unsung hero here has to be the cab driver. He’s the kind of guy who wasn’t going to let Red Cannon walk all over him. I like how he calmly walked up to the cops and saw to it that justice was served. Red Cannon was gone by then of course, but it’s the thought that counts. The students were also pretty nice as they helped George out and even when he randomly shape shifted, they took it in stride. They were certainly pretty accepting of the whole thing, despite how strange it all was.

Aside from that, the rest of the film was also pretty realistic. Even the energy drain since George should definitely be tired from living two lives. That’s a lot of exercise for a rather old fellow. The writing was very good from start to finish as well. It had that dignified feel that you really can’t find in a more modern adventure. Not to mention that it’s what helped make George a good character. Bad writing would have made him cheesy or just fake while he felt like a real likable fellow this time.

The fight scenes were also solid. They did a good job of showing why Red Cannon was so feared throughout the land while not going overboard and making the minions look weak. After all, they did keep the gang running well after his death so they had to be at least a little competent right? The film is rather short so the pacing stays quick throughout the adventure. The only slow parts is when Ernest is trying to turn George back into Red Cannon by taking him around town, but it’s more screen time for George so that is always a good thing.

Overall, Black Friday is a film that I can recommend wholeheartedly. All of the characters are either likable or written well as villains. The fight scenes are good and the plot is engaging. Even the secondary characters like the Bellhop are fun to have around. It shows why you should always be skeptical when you’re given a life saving medicine or start to feel tired for no reason. On the other hand, it reminds you that you can always suppress any foreign minds that try to inhabit your body. You may not become a shape shifter, but that’s fine. The film blends together a nice mix of humor and seriousness. There’s really nothing negative to say about the film and the only thing keeping it from being an 8 is just not having enough content to quite get up that high. It’s a solid all around film otherwise.

Overall 7/10