Elmore Leonard

‘Life of Crime’ is a fun but lesser Elmore Leonard adaptation

Ordell Robbie (Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def) and Louis Gara (John Hawkes) get much more than they bargained for after kidnapping the wife of a corrupt real-estate developer (Tim Robbins). As it turns out, Frank Dawson has no intentions of paying the ransom for the well-being of his wife, Mickey (Jennifer Aniston). He had been seeking a way to leave his wife of many years for his mistress (Isla Fisher), and fortunately Ordell and Louis took care of the messiness of actually leaving Mickey for him by kidnapping her.

TIFF 2013: ‘Life of Crime’ a fine addition to canon of Elmore Leonard adaptations

With the timing of a well-orchestrated heist, the latest screen adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel closes this year’s Toronto Film Festival. Given his recent passing and the well-deserved plaudits from various luminaries of pen and screen, his rap sheet has been celebrated over the past few weeks. Based on Leonard’s novel The Switch, writer and director Daniel Schechter has managed to embezzle a fine addition to the long list of lean Leonard works. Although it doesn’t quite hit the jackpot, it does manage to purloin some fine criminal characters and a gutsy group of belly laughs to boot.

Justified season 1 promo poster

Greatest TV Pilots: Justified’s “Fire in the Hole” explores the man within the iconography

From its opening pan down to its final moment, the pilot of Justified, “Fire in the Hole”, is focused on one thing- introducing audiences to its lead, US Marshal Raylan Givens, played by the wonderfully iconic Timothy Olyphant. He enters in grand fashion, shot from behind in a suit and white hat, striding forward determinedly to parley with a baddie and run him out of town. It’s a scene lifted directly from any number of Westerns, with slight tweaks that let the audience know Raylan isn’t in his proper place. The bright sun, latin music, and white surroundings of the Miami poolside table where we first meet Raylan are visually striking, and upon first viewing he looks at ease in this setting.

‘Pain & Gain’ a first for director Michael Bay: mostly gain, little pain

If cinema has anything to say about it, the modern American dream is best typified by a grandiose level of entitlement in those who covet it most of all. Just a month ago, we saw Spring Breakers, a nightmarish, neon piece of grotesquerie, compelling experimental art about nubile young women trying to attain their hedonistic Western utopia by stealing from and killing people who dared get in their way, consequences be damned.

Scroll to Top