Movie Review: “Secret in Their Eyes”

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Alfred Molina, Michael Kelly
Billy Ray

“Secret in Their Eyes” had its work cut out for it. The source material is a (fantastic) 2009 Argentinean film which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film the following year. It’s an intense, well-plotted crime thriller with an unrequited love story at its center. I described it at the time as “The Remains of the Day” set in a 1970s police station. Writer and director Billy Ray (“The Hunger Games,” “Captain Phillips”) knew that timeline wasn’t going to fly with a 2015 American adaptation, and while he loses a bit of the “Remains” aspect of the original story as a result, the time in which he places the flashback, post-9/11 Los Angeles, is a genius move. Paranoia is at an all-time high, and all of law enforcement was under tremendous pressure to find someone they can turn, and once they did, they protected that asset at all costs. You can see where that kind of environment would cause good cops to make bad decisions, and bad cops to make worse ones.

Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) works security for the New York Mets, but he spends his nights scanning databases for the one that got away 13 years ago, when he was working for the Counter Terrorist Unit in Los Angeles in 2002. He’s watching a local mosque, and when he receives word that a body is found in a nearby dumpster, he is shocked to discover that it is the daughter of his colleague Jessica (Julia Roberts). Ray’s only suspect in the case was a boy who regularly visited the mosque, but because of the boy’s value (he was a mole, and was about to give CTU an entire sleeper cell), he was considered untouchable.

Present-day Ray asks Claire (Nicole Kidman), for whom he’s been carrying a torch since the moment he met her and is now the city’s district attorney, to reopen the case so they can investigate a man recently out on parole, whom Ray firmly believes is Jess’ daughter’s killer. At this point, even Jessica is telling Ray and Claire to walk away, but Ray is motivated by this case for a reason that not even Jessica knows.

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Movie Review: “Legend”

Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Chazz Palminteri, David Thewlis
Brian Helgeland

After penning the adaptation of “L.A. Confidental,” one of the finest films of the 1990s, and directing the exceedingly cool, nasty little throwback “Payback,” writer/director Brian Helgeland marks his return to the crime genre with “Legend.” Though he spent some time in director jail following 2003’s “The Order,” Helgeland made a comeback with “42,” the Jackie Robinson story. Taking advantage of the clout that biopic afforded him, Helgeland has once again made a stylish and occasionally tough, albeit bloated, crime film.

“Legend” follows real-life gangsters Ronald and Reggie Kray (both played by Tom Hardy) during their reign in the 1960s. The identical twins couldn’t be more different. Ronald is a mad dog who wants to rule all of London, and he’s arguably a paranoid schizophrenic too, while Reggie’s aspirations are more modest. The calm and cool gangster simply wants to run a few clubs, stay out of trouble, and live a violence-free life with his girlfriend, Frances (Emily Browning). The two brothers clash repeatedly, both emotionally and physically, but at the end of the day, they’re brothers, and no matter how far Ronald goes, Reggie stands by his side.

“Legend” is a somewhat unconventional crime movie; it’s familiar, but structurally dedicated more to character than plot. Helgeland’s script doesn’t build towards some big heist or turf war, but rather an internal blowup and personal loss, and the film takes its time getting there. Ultimately, “Legend” has a simplistic moral about a complicated relationship, so the 131-minute running time is excessive. Reggie’s dilemma – having to stick by his brother – is illustrated again and again. At times, there’s more repetition than narrative momentum.

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Fame for Sale: Celebrity Mansions on the Real Estate Market


The phrase “celebrity home” conjures up images of opulence, style and of course, high expenses. We’re used to being amazed and thrilled by the homes of famous people, but it isn’t always the level of luxury that draws our eye.

Sometimes it’s the legacy and life of the owners that thrills us and makes the house more than just a home. Every so often, a dwelling that was formerly occupied by a celebrity comes on the market and the buzz around it is always palpable.

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A Car Shopping Conundrum: Clues for Choosing the Right Vehicle

2014 Pathfinder Hybrid

When you go shopping for a vehicle these days, you are spoiled with tons of choices and there more options available to buyers than ever before.

To avoid a car shopping conundrum, you will need to ask yourself a few key questions so that you know what type of vehicle you need and want.

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4 Reasons Men Need Their Beauty Sleep Too


In a fast-paced modern world, it is only natural to want to have as many hours in your day as possible. Problems arise, however, when you choose to sacrifice sleep too regularly. Although the conventional wisdom suggests it is women who need “beauty sleep,” the fact is that men who stay awake past the recommended amounts also start to suffer. Here are several reasons why being sure to get a comfortable night of sleep is important to everyone interested in maintaining their health.

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