The Little Things – Movie Review

The Little Things is a 2021 American neo-noir psychological crime thriller film directed, written, and co-produced by John Lee Hancock and co-produced by Mark Johnson. Set in early 1990s Los Angeles, the film follows two detectives who investigate a string of murders, which lead them to a strange loner who may be the culprit.

IMDB = 6.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 44%

Metacritic = 54/100

Starring: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto

Genre: Crime · Drama · Mystery · Thriller

Director: John Lee Hancock

Runtime: 2 hours 8 minutes

I watched The Little Things last night on Amazon Prime Video. It is recently added. I must say that I’ve wanted to see this for a while so when it suddenly appeared I was quick to put it on. Surprisingly interesting, captivating is a better word for it, dark, mysterious and somewhat noir in nature, the film offers crime thrilling at its best.

Firstly I want to address the acting, it is very much an acquired taste, the variety I have seen before in other movies. It involves some aspects on method acting. Jared Leto again has changed appearance and is very, very good at playing the ‘bad’ guy… if you can really call him that. On top of this the relationship between Malek and Washington starts off a little rusty, building and building until the two are fairly comfortable with each other. I find some of the dialogue challenging, but realistic.

What can I say of the plot? It starts off with a crime, murder. From there we have officers trying to track down the killer, looking for clues, following leads, looking for the little things that will help them catch them. Of course, about half way through the investigation and movie they have a lead, and it’s from there that the cops become convinced of their killer. To their detriment.

From a movie point of view; the lighting, direction, dialogues, acting, angles and scenes/aesthetic are very good. It reminds me of the older 90s crime movies. The plot is certainly tense and kept me wanting to see what would happen. There is a lot of questions to be answered and on that front, not a lot of answers. I suppose that is the point, they want us to figure it out ourselves.

When you see Malek and Washington discovering body after body of mutilated women – trends in the killers acts – and pursuing one lead, you do question what motif the cops have.. I say that lightly, as it’s like they have simply chosen a man based on a few factors and the fact that Leto makes the guy creepy as hell. Sure they have a few things that may connect him with a girl in question, but there is nothing else to go on. From there they simply follow him, determined to catch him.

It could be a case of one cop whose simply fallen off the edge and doesn’t care who it is, he wants someone to blame. There is the underlying dark and relatively strange Washington character, who is also a cop but who also does some questionable things. It makes me wonder if they could simply be looking in the wrong direction.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so go and watch it now. I do recommend this movie because it felt good, looked good, great cast and acting, the story was realistic compared to most other crime movies – reminded me a little of Silence of the Lambs for some reason.

This movie is rated: 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

No Time To Die – Movie review!

Released on the 30th September 2021.

The newest and longest James Bond movie has finally arrived into UK cinemas.

I am a big James Bond fan, and have been since I was a young child. I know every film inside out. After Spectre I was excited to see Daniel Craig in his last James Bond movie. What can I say? The last 5 movies of his have been enjoyable. Starting strong with unforgettable Casino Royale, before moving onto Quantum of Solace, then Skyfall, to Spectre before reaching No time to die.

Where to start. The runtime is mega, making this is the longest Bond movie at 2:43. Originally, George Lazenby starred in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which until Casino Royale was the longest running at 2:22. Why do I need to mention George’s Bond movie? Well…

No Time To Die tips its hat at Lazenby’s Bond movie. We get to here that song, all the time in the world, and certain plot points are rather similar, although it has been twisted. I also found references to other Bond movies. I guess this was how it used to be in the previous films, but more so in this and I put it down to being Craigs last movie, in which they wanted nostalgia to triumph over story. There is an annoying point to get across early on, I did feel as if there was a lot of advertising in this movie, and at one point I felt like the movie was nothing but an advertisement. It saddened me, Bond was never about product placement or trying to sell something. It was about a secret agent. This does detract from the movie for me, and I encourage the next director or film crew to forget about it… Bond has made enough dollar that you don’t need product placement.

Another huge familiarity is to the first ever James Bond movie. Yes. Dr No (1962) is elegantly seen in the new plot and movie. As you recall, Dr No in the original first ever Bond was a nuclear scientist working for Spectre. I see big similarities between Dr No and new and improve villain, played extremely well by Rami Malek, enemy Safin. Even though Blofeld is back in this movie, he is not actually in it very much. To get this out there, he and Safin are not working together. I want to point that out, so you don’t go thinking the new world domination goal is spectre… no, they’re just in the background and to be honest, aren’t really serving much of a purpose. Bond finds himself in Cuba, in a busy club full of spectre agents… he does not get killed even when Blofeld exposes him… at this point it’s safe to say spectre posed absolutely no threat whatsoever in the movie. But that particular scene, in the rich, elite club, does highlight some very disturbing things:

  • Some guests wear some variety of mask – almost venetian
  • Some guests wear animal masks, now that is extremely unnecessary in a Bond movie. Who ever thought that a good idea should think long and hard about why they would need to do that.
  • The entire scene stinks of something, and it doesn’t smell like Spectre.
  • It detracts entirely from the movie, and yet adds absolutely nothing of value

Now, without trying to spoil anything, let’s move onto the good points. There are some strong scenes, and the villain is one of the more frightening in a Bond movie. He’s into some strange hobbies, like keeping and maintaining particular types of plants. He wants to kill everyone on the planet.

Gadgets are minimal again which is something that has let the last 5 movies down. Gadgets were and should be a big part of a spy movie, especially something this recognised. I think bringing James Bond back from the dead – retirement – was a good way to start the story. This movie did have a more well developed storyline and it actually allowed us to see things through.

We get the return of familiar faces and Felix Lighter is finally back. We also have some great action scenes and amazing set design and explosions. Bond suffers a lot at the hands of explosions in this movie and I wonder whether the stunt man made it. Going back to the Cuba scenes, we get introduced to the famous face of black woman Lashana Lynch. She will divide fans, because of what the writers have done around her character. But, she is a good ally and edition and there is no talk of her taking over which is what divided fans after seeing the trailer and listening to interviews prior to the movies release. Daniel Craig is also getting old, and it’s time he moved on, so bringing some young women in was essential. Talking women, this is the only Bond film I think ever where he doesn’t sleep with more than 1 woman… he’s in love with Madeleine Swann (played well by Lea Seydoux, French actress), daughter of former Quantum of Solace and Spectre agent Mr. White (originally in Casino Royale). This is an important point in the movie. Her ties with Spectre are somewhat of a brick in the head for Bond!

I can’t say much other than watching in IMAX is how it is supposed to be viewed. Whatever. Watch it how you want. I’m upset and disappointed by the ending of the movie. I could forget and put aside some of the other extremely questionable writing decisions, but the ending is pretty unforgivable and it has reduced the movie by 1 star. I still think the movie is a good addition and worth watching, and it did bring back some of that witty humour we’ve been missing for years, and vodka martinis and fight scenes. Bond is all over the globe again, great!

No Time To Die – no time to forget that movie. Perhaps we will see nothing of Bond again.

Overall rating: comprised multiple ratings:

Action and adventure –

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Acting and characters –

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bond theme –

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Story and development –

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ending –

Rating: 3 out of 5.