Thursday Movie Picks: True Crime

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is True Crime. This is something that's always interested me. When Crime Library used to be a thing, I always seemed to end up on that site reading articles for hours. There's plenty to choose from this week. I usually stick with three picks per week, but I decided to pick three features and three true crime documentaries since I couldn't decide which direction I wanted to go.

Features

1) Bully 

So, Larry Clark is a massive perv, let's get that out of the way. But creeper shots aside, he really managed to capture that Florida white trash feel in this film about a group of kids that murder a fellow friend for constantly berating them. 

2) True Story

This little seen indie is about a man who murdered his wife and kids, disappeared and was caught using the name of a New York Times reporter who then interviews him in prison. James Franco, Jonah Hill, and Felicity Jones all give strong performances. 

3) Zodiac

There aren't many 2.5+ hour films I can watch over and over but Fincher's brilliant film about the Zodiac killer is one of them. It's so well done.

Documentaries 

1) Capturing The Freidmans

Director Andrew Jarecki gained a ton of acclaim for his HBO doc The Jinx, where he caught a killer confessing to his crime, but before that he had this documentary about a man and his sons accused of child molestation. It's an interesting film, but I think it's very bias. Jarecki clearly thought the subjects of his film were innocent and I felt he framed certain interviews with alleged victims in a way to accentuate it. I don't think I share the same feelings as he does. 

2) Mommy Dead and Dearest

This is probably the first time I've ever agreed with a second degree murder charge in a documentary. This entire story is just batshit crazy. It's about a mother with Munchausen by Proxy who convinces her daughter she is sick and makes her lie to the public about it. It's available on HBO Go

3) Strong Island

This film follows the murder of director Yance Ford's brother and how he got zero justice. It's a very uniquely shot doc that I felt should've taken the Oscar home over last year's winner, Icarus. 

Comments

  1. I really wish RDJ did more roles like in Zodiac. I love the fact he got so rich and famous by playing Stark but he is a seriously gifted actor. Also so awesome to see Anthony Edwards in this movie

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    1. I agree, I'm not thrilled his next outing is Dr. Doolittle, I hope he does something better after that.

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    2. right? That's just such a waste of him. Even something like The Judge was a better opportunity because at least that's a serious drama which he hasn't done in a while

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    3. I wasn't crazy about The Judge but that was at least a step in the right direction. Maybe he'll go back to that after Doolittle flops.

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  2. I have seen Zodiac and was so close in picking that one. It is an excellent film and love Robert Downey. He is going to be Dr. Doolittle?? Is it a musical? Hmmmm. I don't know about Bully but True Story sounds excellent. I have not seen any of the documentaries but they sound good although I can see how some can be done to make the viewer sympathetic to one side and that can be a big problem when dealing with documentaries. The Mommie Dead one sounds very twisted and i feel bad for the kid.

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    1. If you have HBO all of those docs are on HBO Go/Now last I checked. You should definitely check them out.

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  3. I loved Zodiac! True Story not so much but I remember enjoying Franco’s performance.

    I’m so with you on Strong Island, it should have won instead of Icarus.

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    1. I'm glad someone else thinks so! Icarus bored me.

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  4. We share a pick on Zodiac. Great choice. Bully is an alright film but yes, Larry Clark is a pervert as I felt that close-up of Bijou Phillips' crotch was unnecessary despite my love for gratuitous nudity.

    I haven't seen the rest of your picks as Capturing the Friedmans remains a long-standing blind spot. I've heard about Mommy Dead and Dearest as it has been dramatized for The Act. I heard about that story and man, that is fucked up. I don't think the daughter should be in jail. She should be at a hospital.

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    1. Yes, that shot of Bijou was so ridiculous and I don't blame her for getting pissed about it either. She had no idea he was doing that.

      When I get a HULU subscription again I'm definitely watching The Act, it's such a great doc and I like the cast they have. You should see her interviews in that doc, she seemed very accepting over her part in it.

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  5. I've heard of all but the last two but I've only seen Zodiac which is where we match for the week. I respected the skill that went into making it more than liked it and I've only watched it the once but it is a good film.

    There were so many of these films to pick from but I have a feeling Zodiac is going to be popular this week though I'm a much bigger fan of my other two picks.

    Anatomy of a Murder (1959)-Complex, provocative and at the time of its release scandalous story of on Army Lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) accused of the murder of a man he claims raped his loose moraled wife (Lee Remick). He’s defended by a laconic but wily lawyer (James Stewart) who goes up against an equally canny prosecutor (George C. Scott). Excellent Otto Preminger courtroom drama with a top flight cast that also includes Eve Arden and Arthur O’Connell is based on a novel whose source was an actual murder case.

    Heavenly Creatures (1994)-When wealthy teenager Juliet (Kate Winslet) transfers from England to Christchurch, New Zealand, with her family, she meets and quickly bonds with quiet, brooding Pauline (Melanie Lynskey) through their shared love of singing screen star Mario Lanza and games of make believe. At first all is well but when their parents begin to suspect that their increasingly intense friendship is becoming something more the girls decide to run away to America. As the girls fears focus on anyone who might tear them apart they take extreme measures to remove anything or anyone they see as obstacles. Based on a notorious New Zealand murder case this brilliantly acted and chilling drama was the first major critical success for director Peter Jackson.

    Zodiac (2007)-In the late 1960s and 1970s, San Francisco is gripped by fear as its residents are plagued by a serial killer who calls himself Zodiac. Investigators (Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards) and reporters (Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr.) become obsessed with learning the killer's identity and bringing him to justice. Meanwhile, Zodiac claims victim after victim and taunts the authorities with cryptic messages, cyphers and menacing phone calls. Unsettling David Finchner film has its share of good points but deals with an ugly, ghoulish story.

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    1. I love Heavenly Creatures! That's a popular pick this week. I haven't seen Anatomy of a Murder but that is one that I've been wanting to see.

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  6. Oh I do not know of this pervy Bully.

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    1. It's good, but Larry Clark shoots it in a super exploitative fashion.

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  7. Only even seen Zodiac in this list and that was years ago. The docs sound interesting.

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  8. Zodiac is a movie I really like and it has been on my re-watch list for months now. What on earth am I waiting for????

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  9. I haven't seen any of your picks. Bully is one I have been wanting to see and I didn't know it was base on a true story.

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