Perfect Murder Perfect Town

March 2, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | CRIME, Drama Film, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Jon Benét Ramsey's grave at Saint James Episcopal (by Taurusrus)

(2000) (Dir. Lawrence Schiller) Directed by Schiller as a tele-movie, originally a series, from his own book about the murder of 6 year old glamour-puss Jon Benét Ramsey on Christmas Day (or Boxing Day) 1996 in Boulder, Colorado, it violently divided critics and viewers alike as either partisan, too procedural or just plain icky.  Young Jon Benét was found strangled in the family’s cellar after what was called “the ‘War and Peace’ of ransom notes” turned up.  The parents became prime suspects; police and prosecutors clashed over the making of a prima facie case, and no one was ever charged….

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Reversal of Fortune

February 3, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | CRIME, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |


(Dir. Barbet Schroeder) (1990) A contemplative, but playful account of a cause célèbre.  Millionairess Sunny von Bülow’s vegetative state persisted from 1980 to 2008 (when she died, aged 76).  The cause of this coma was alleged to be an injection of insulin by her second husband, Claus von Bülow, a classicist and former assistant to oil king J. Paul Getty. Bülow was convicted by a jury in 1982 and this film, based on the book by his appellate counsel, Alan Dershowitz,concentrates on the relationship between legal team and client during the appeal to the Rhode Island Supreme Court, seeking to…

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The Long Goodbye

(Raymond Chandler) I shaved and made some coffee and then parked on the settee to start reading this thing and then I got up and went back to the bathroom and stripped off my tie and shirt and sloshed cold water in my face with both hands and then went on reading and then fixed some more coffee and cooled it down with a slug of scotch and then I went out on the back porch and smoked a cigarette and that’s more or less where I got to.

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November 5, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, CRIME, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Alan J Pakula) (1971) Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda) aspires to act.  John Klute (Donald Sutherland) is a hick who comes to N.Y. to find his missing friend, who may have availed himself of Bree’s services.  Together, they make a strange town-and-country team, each taming the other. This very nifty thriller has a fine look and feel to it. The ‘hooker with a heart of gold’ is a (venerable) Hollywood cliché but Jane Fonda’s performance gives you a real person. Amongst the rest of a fine cast, Charles Cioffi as the sinister boss is a standout.

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The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress

(by Beryl Bainbridge) An odd, slight, oddly touching and slightly naff story of a road trip to oblivion, culminating in the death of RFK; but is the dysfunctional, libidinous Rose ‘the girl in the polka dot dress’ who exclaimed, ‘We shot him!’ as reported in the LA Times on 6 June 1968?  Bainbridge’s last, almost finished novel is, unlike The Original of Laura, worth reading.  

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