If you’re anything like me, you’re broke. Not quite selling-your-plasma-for-lunch-money broke. But definitely dodging-bill-collectors-and-praying-to-a-God-you-don’t-believe-in-that-your-car-won’t-break-down-again broke.
The Big Lebowski enjoys what is probably the largest cult following of all the cult-attracting films of Joel and Ethan Coen, and has pretty much since its release over a decade ago. And “cult” has become more apropos a term since the advent of Dudeism, the official unofficial philosophy of Jeffrey “the Dude” Lebowski (dudeism.com).… Continue reading Takin’ ‘er Easy for All Us Sinners: The World According to Jeffrey Lebowski
My friend’s dad took us to see Willow one sunny summer’s day in 1988. It was a good movie and all, but honestly I was extremely distracted throughout the whole thing. All I could think about was one of the coming attractions I’d seen for a film called Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I’d seen Bedknobs… Continue reading Forget It, Eddie, It’s Toontown – The Crime Fiction Roots Of Roger Rabbit
Hollywood: it’s all a scam, isn’t it? For all of our lives, the movies have promised us big, big things. Action and adventure are just out there waiting for us. Good always triumphs over evil. A simple confusion of gender will result in a humorous situation. And everybody is having way more sex than you. Like… Continue reading The Entertainers: 5 Essential Movies of Scam Cinema
I’ve long believed Warren Ellis is a crime-fiction writer at heart. The first series of Wolfskin was a clear example of sword-and-sorcery comics, but had that distinct Yojimbo/Fistful of Dollars feel, a dyed-in-the-wool crook playing both sides. Comics like Aetheric Mechanics and Captain Swing are solid steampunk works, yet revolve around cops-and-robbers shenanigans. One of the driving tenets of our work here at… Continue reading Whitechapel Squad: The Detective Comics of Warren Ellis
Comic book nerds are easy targets. Fish in a barrel and on crutches, to boot. Not to put too fine a point on it, but going to down to comics conventions and making fun of grown men dressed in tights or in Klingon make-up is not unlike heckling the Special Olympics. Maybe it’s less guilt-inducing,… Continue reading Arrivederci, Eltingville
Welcome, dear friends and other suckers, to a new regular feature here at the Criminal Complex. Yes, the Scam Artist Hall Of Fame, as demanded by none of you, will highlight those great men and women, fictional and non, who through their erudite shrewdness and intelligence part money from its fools. Our inaugural inductee is… Continue reading Scam Artist Hall Of Fame: M. Sgt. E.G. Bilko
Near Death is one of the spate of high-quality comic books Image has been cranking out over the past couple of years, and I finally did myself the favor of reading it. Of course, now it appears the series has gone on hiatus just as I am getting on board (sad trombone). Fingers crossed that… Continue reading My Name Is Markham – The TV Sensibilities of NEAR DEATH
It’s strange when you consider that Boss is Kelsey Grammer’s first major dramatic role. He has always been known for playing upright, no-nonsense roles, but for laughs. Boss season 2, which premiered this past Friday on Starz, is definitely no laughing matter, and regardless of how lauded Grammer has been for his comedy work, the… Continue reading The City Of I Will – Why BOSS Is Kelsey Grammer’s Greatest Work
Well, kids, it’s almost here. The wide release on August 17th of Robert Pattinson’s latest vehicle, the David Cronenberg film Cosmopolis, is only days away, and if you listen closely, you can hear the eager squeals of anticipation from Bobby’s legions of fans. And now there have been brand-new stills released from the film, which… Continue reading Get A Haircut Robert Pattinson – COSMOPOLIS
Yeah, feast your eyes on that little piece of hipster cred. That is my official membership card in the N.W.A fan club, acquired in the halcyon days of 1991, when I was even more suburban and whitebread than I am now. And finally my other favorite group of junior high (tied with Public Enemy) will… Continue reading STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON: My 8th Grade Dream Comes True
Though largely regarded as humorists, directors Joel and Ethan Coen have produced some of the finest crime movies ever committed to film. Blood Simple, Miller’s Crossing, and their adaptation of No Country for Old Men are straight-ahead crime movies enriched with the Coens’ visual style and lip-smacking dialogue. Even Fargo, though the thick Minnesota dialect… Continue reading What Are The Odds That INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Will Turn Out To Be A Crime Movie?
Director Oliver Stone is bringing Don Winslow’s SAVAGES to the big screen. But will it be any good? “Bet.” Don Winslow’s 2010 novel Savages is one of those books you chide yourself for not reading sooner, even if you were able to get your hands on an ARC in ’09. The drug-dealing anti-hero(es) and the… Continue reading Odds That Oliver Stone’s SAVAGES Will Be Any Good?
It struck me as I was watching J. Edgar that as much as I enjoy James Ellroy’s work and how funny I find his depiction of Hoover in his Blood’s a Rover, it actually is a really cartoony version of the guy. Ellroy kinda does that a lot, and that’s fine, as not only do I like cartoons… Continue reading J. EDGAR Is Leo’s Show, All The Way
There are myriad reasons why people become artists—creative drive, fame/notoriety, money. Actually, that’s about it. But one reason not discussed all that often is simple boredom. The non-creative life can be a real drag, working a regular job, marrying a regular spouse in order to birth regular kids. Artistic endeavors, especially in this modern western… Continue reading Crime Imitates Life: Danny Ocean Gets More Chicks than Terry Benedict
Despite his most recent snag with the law, Tom Sizemore has turned over a new leaf, one not grown from the coca plant. His guest role this season on CBS’s Hawaii Five-O as straight-laced IAB cop, Captain Vince Fryer, fits nicely with Sizemore’s new-found path of cleanliness and sobriety. We here at Criminal Complex truly hope this… Continue reading What Are the Odds Tom Sizemore Is Gonna Get Killed on Hawaii Five-O?
Sam “Ace” Rothstein is the number one gambler in the country. He is so good at betting on sporting events that by merely betting on a team, he increases the odds for that team on a national scale. A talent like this is not inherent; Ace may be something of a natural at gambling, but… Continue reading Crime Imitates Life: CASINO’s Ace Rothstein Is an Artist of Chance
The notion of the sidekick has been a popular one in story-telling since time out of mind, yet it has most likely been brought to its highest prominence in superhero comics. The majority of these sidekicks, like Batman’s Robin, have been cheeky teenagers, created in order to act not only as foil for the hero,… Continue reading Run, Micro, Run
There’s an old Chinese curse that a lot of hacky writers use to set up the premises of their articles, and it is as follows: May you live in interesting times. And for stand-up comedy, these are very interesting times, indeed. This is not to say that stand-up is cursed. At least, it isn’t any… Continue reading A Glorious Waste of Time: Jordan Brady’s I Am Comic