Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Movie Review - A Walk Among the Tombstones


   Liam Neeson plays another aging tough guy in this crime thriller.  The premise has him on the hunt for a pair of serial killers.  It doesn't add anything new to the genre but it is still decent film by itself with good acting and a tried and tested plot.  

   There are a few tangents that needlessly complicate this straightforward crime flick (such as the drug addict's backstory) but the unexpected sidekick is a guilty pleasure.  The time frame of being on the cusp of 2000 doesn't add or detract from the case other than using yahoo instead of google and the oversized cellphone.  The depraved antagonists display horrific behavior but most of the disgusting aspects are thankfully left to the reader's imagination.  

   The subtext, a parallel between alcoholism and the act of killing as a possible addiction, isn't too clear but, in the end, the film succeeds in keeping one's attention.  Recommended for crime buffs.

   Now for the fun part.  A Walk Among the Tombstones with Dexter!  SPOILERS!!! Don't read below unless you've seen the movie or serial killers might take interest in you...
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   A Walk Among the Tombstones is a crime drama set in 1999.  The plot isn't anything new, as it is a hunt for depraved serial killers, but it's still worthwhile if you're a crime buff.  Liam Neeson plays the role he's been relegated to of late: an aging tough guy, sometimes with paternal leanings.  He gets a sidekick in the form of TJ, a sick-in-the-heart loner eager to follow in his footsteps.  

   But what if he teamed up with another kid, a sick-in-the-head loner eager to get his hands dirty red, namely television's Dexter, the serial killer of serial killers.  Since the movie is set about a decade ago, Dexter Morgan is younger and still learning his trade but now he's watched over by Liam Neeson's ex-cop Matt as a substitute dad instead of James Remar.

1.  Library
   "Yehey is much easier to use than going over microfilms of newspapers."
  "It's called Yahoo and it's state of the art.  Just enter keywords in the search engine and you get your articles."
   "Sorry if I was interrupting your research, by the way."
   "No problem.  I was interested when you mentioned that woman cut into several pieces and stuffed in separate bags."
   "Er, right.  That's not strange at all.  Why don't you just continue with your drawing.  These figure studies are pretty good.  What's with the splash patterns though."
  "Oh, those are spatter marks.  I can't afford a camera so I'm just drawing them in pencil.  Just pretend they're all colored red.  Rich, oozing, bloody red."
  "Yeeeeah, not strange at all."
   
2.  Rooftop
   "The graveyard caretaker just took a flying leap off the building.  Dexter, we gotta go.  Dexter?  Dexter?!"
   "I'm in here, in the guy's secret hideaway."
   "Dexter, what are you doing?   We gotta go!"
   "Just a minute..."
   "Are you looking at those naked candid pics he took of the victim?"
   "Yes, I am.  Why did he take these pics?  As a reminder of his participation of the crime?  Why are they so sticky?"
   "What?  For the love of...I'll buy you a Playboy magazine later.  Let's get outta here!"
   "Pictures of the victim... That's actually a great idea..."

3.  Alley
   "Where'd you find that knife?"
   "Oh, I found it at a gang fight.  Some guy threw it at someone and missed.  I picked up afterwards."
   "The guy might come looking for it.  What're you keeping it for?"
   "Oh, y'know.  Maybe self defense in case I get jumped.  It makes me feel safe."
   "Do you know how to use it?"
   "I figure, y'know, swish, swish.  Stab, stab."
   "I guess not.  Look, there's no safety on that thing.  You have to be careful with it.  Ok, take a boxer's stance, keep your balance."
   "Yeah?  Ok, ok."
   "Hold it in your hands, take a firm solid grip.  Got it?"
   "Yeah, yeah, I got it!"
   "Now raise it high, keep the point steady.  There you go."
   "And then what?  What next?"
   "And then..."
   "Yes, yes?"
   "And then you cut your own throat."
   "Really?  Cool!"
   "Might as well end your life early before someone else does it for you.  Geez, kid.  What I'm doing is dangerous.  You'll get yourself killed if you try following in my --- DEXTER!  I WAS JOKING!  PUT THAT KNIFE DOWN!"

4.  Hospital
   "What happened to Dexter?"
   "He got beaten by some gangbangers."
   "Oh my god.  I warned him that this would happen."
   "Yeah, he got pretty busted up but you should see the other two.  Sliced up to ribbons!  I won't be eating spaghetti for a while."
   "Oh."
   "Dexter's no stranger to death though.  Did you know he was trapped in a shipping crate, soaking inches in his mother's blood?"
   "OH!"
   "Yeah.  Messed up with his head.  Keeps muttering about satisfying a Dark Passenger or something.  I caught him experimenting with a dead dog's corpse one time."
   "Geez, and I thought my accidental drunken shooting was a compelling backstory."
  
5.  In the serial killer's house
   "Hey, who's that kid peeking at the basement windo--- argh argh argh!"
   "Dexter!  Where are you?!"
   "I'm in the killers' house!  The silent guy is garroting his partner Ray!"
   "Dexter, it's dangerous!  Get out of there and find a street corner!  Give us an address so we can find you!"
   "Oh gosh, Ray is trying to use that electric shocker thing on him!  They hit the wall and his eyes are bulging!"
   "Dexter, this isn't a snuff film!  Leave before they see you!  Dexter?  Are you listening to me?"
   "Oh.  Ray is dead.  That didn't take long.  How many minutes did that take? Did the razor wire factor into it?  Gosh, there's blood pooling on the floor..."
   "Dexter!  Stop watching that gorefest and give us a street name!"
   "But the blood..."
   "NOW Dexter!"
   "All right, all right..."

6.  Matt's Apartment
  Matt gets home and finds Dexter asleep on his couch.  He looks over the table and picks up one of the kid's drawings.  It's a caped superhero with a cleaver as his chest emblem.  The name written down is 'Dark Defender Dexter:  The Bay Harbor Butcher'

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