The 20 Most Anticipated Crime Films of 2012

Ever wanted a soup-to-nuts list of all the crime films coming out next year? Lord knows I’ve lost sleep over the lack of one. Well, you’re in luck. We’ve stepped up to the plate and produced this shamelessly long list of The 20 Most Anticipated Crime Films of 2012.

5 Best And Worst Network Midseason Replacements

The following lists are for the increasingly ballyhooed network television midseason, which has somehow become a part of the average American’s everyday lexicon. Criminal Complex-style, of course.  So you know, guns and feds and spies and all that…

RPGs I never got to play: The 16-bit era

Last time, we had a look at a few of the 8-bit Japanese role-playing games that, due to the cruel realities of the 1980s video game market, never made it to America. Sadly, the dawning of the 16-bit age did not change this state of affairs.

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Categorized as Gaming

5 TV Crime Show Crossovers That Must Happen

There are top-rated crime shows every season these days, with something illegal to appeal to anybody somewhere on the airwaves. Whether it’s the tone, the characters or the narrative, the diverse range of crime storytelling hits chords with all kinds of viewing markets. It’s our contention that some of these chords must intertwine, and make… Continue reading 5 TV Crime Show Crossovers That Must Happen

Johnny Depp’s THE RUM DIARY Is Like Two Movies in One – REVIEW

I walked away from watching The Rum Diary with feelings as dichotomous as the two halves of the film.  The first half is what the film appears to be in the trailers, while the second is a fairly serious take on corruption and the censorship of news by those who control what is printed.  Neither part… Continue reading Johnny Depp’s THE RUM DIARY Is Like Two Movies in One – REVIEW

Death Around the Corner: MENACE II SOCIETY Review

Um…yeah. So,  the thought came to me that it might be appropriate to have a section of the site devoted to the “gangsta” movies that began in the early nineties with flicks like Boyz N The Hood. Then I sat down to type it out.

Is It a Crime? – A Look Ahead to NBC’s GRIMM

I’m a natural skeptic.  Not an unusual or profound thing for my generation, but that’s what I am.  In growing older, I find my tastes funneling down into increasingly ordered grooves from which I rarely stray.

Crime Imitates Life: Danny Ocean Gets More Chicks than Terry Benedict

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

Whatever Her Name Is, She’s Brilliant: The MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE | Review

It’s a role of intense emotional shifts frequently conveyed internally. It’s a portrayal of severe emotional and psychological damage created with such subtlety and intelligence it’s hard to imagine any healthy twenty-two year old pulling it off, let alone one related to seemingly vapid child star/fashion designer twins. Yet, here we are.  I have a… Continue reading Whatever Her Name Is, She’s Brilliant: The MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE | Review

What Are the Odds Tom Sizemore Is Gonna Get Killed on Hawaii Five-O?

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?

A Colony of Bruce: BATMAN in the New 52

Speaking simply in terms of narrative possibility, Batman is the writer’s best friend. A skillful wordsmith armed with this brooding pulp titan could spin an infinite number of genre-spliced yarns and never would the plot-well run dry.

96 MINUTES | movie review via New Orleans Film Festival

96 Minutes is a festival gem.  With the films screening in competition, you never really walk in sure of what you’ll get; like Forest Gump’s box of chocolate, sometimes the film’s a truffle and other times it’s a coconut macaroon (and you hate coconut).  I went into 96 Minutes almost blind—I read the blurb but… Continue reading 96 MINUTES | movie review via New Orleans Film Festival

Edogawa Rampo: The Godfather of Japanese Crime Fiction

In a story entitled “The Human Chair,” an anonymous, physically repulsive furniture maker builds a large, beautiful chair that he can climb in and out of to enjoy the sensuous delights of having woman of all physical types sit on him. When the chair—with him inside it, of course—is moved to a luxurious hotel, he… Continue reading Edogawa Rampo: The Godfather of Japanese Crime Fiction

The Revival of Classic 2-D Action Games

One of the less appreciated benefits of the ubiquitous online connections in the current generation of consoles is that it has helped to resuscitate some types of classic gameplay that had all but vanished over the prior two console generations.

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Categorized as Gaming

Ludwig II… Stripp’d

0. The Challenge of Escapism Like Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994), we live our lives obsessed by thoughts of escape. Escape from our jobs, escape from our relationships, escape from our friends and escape from a life dominated by work, travel and a raging torrent of TV dinners and talent shows that carries… Continue reading Ludwig II… Stripp’d

To Hell and Back for LO(ve) | review

Lo was a movie I went into with no expectations. The description said it was about a man who summons a demon to find his girlfriend, who has been dragged to hell.  That was enough for me.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 | movie review

It’s…over?  After 10 years, eight films, and 1179 minutes (not to mention the books!), the Harry Potter series has finally come to its end.  To be honest, I feel a lingering disbelief, an unwillingness to recognize that after such a span—literally years of anticipation—the last credits have finally rolled. 

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon – movie review

The Autobots aren’t here for the good of humanity; they’re here for the good of America. We catch up with them attacking a nuclear weapons facility in an unknown Middle Eastern country (probably Iran). Luckily, the Transformers’ political ideology closely mirrors our own, with Optimus Prime regularly spouting off declarations of freedom. Absurdities aside (and… Continue reading Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon – movie review

Positing a New Author-Reviewer Relationship – Sam Sykes Guest Blog

I’ve occasionally suggested to those who know me best, and subsequently to those who know me to be a terrible human being with few redeeming factors past my ability to imitate Hugo Weaving, that the only part about being an author I truly regret is the fact that I can’t enjoy internet meltdowns like I once could.

Have a Drink on Ali Liebert on Harper’s Island – Interview

I recently had the pleasure of putting some questions to Canadian actress Ali Liebert, who I (and my long-time Boomtron followers) know best as “Nikki the bartender” from Harper’s Island.  We talk about what her current projects are–hint:  she has a lot!–and what it’s like working with people who have household name recognition.  Read on to… Continue reading Have a Drink on Ali Liebert on Harper’s Island – Interview

Fast Five Quits Reality, Goes Full Spectacle – Review

Fast Five is great, superb summer entertainment, and a fitting commemoration for the 10th anniversary of the original The Fast and the Furious.  Justin Lin has fashioned himself into a groundbreaking action director in the vein of Michael Bay, and delivers one of the most original action films in recent memory.  Considering the Fast and Furious… Continue reading Fast Five Quits Reality, Goes Full Spectacle – Review

Universal War One… Stripp’d

The Christian conception of redemption is an oddly commercial one. Grounded in Old Testament talk of ransoming the slaves, redemption is presented as a transaction through which Christians pay off their debt to God and buy back their freedom from sin. Indeed, Christ is said to have redeemed mankind by suffering on the cross, thereby… Continue reading Universal War One… Stripp’d

I Sell the Dead | movie review

I Sell the Dead is proof that not every IFC production is golden. It’s from a couple years ago now—2008, I think—and showed up on my Netflix recommendations page and sounded interesting enough to try. And that was the movie’s entire problem: it sounded interesting, but somehow wasn’t. It’s about a pair of grave robbers… Continue reading I Sell the Dead | movie review

Source Code | movie review

Mozart originally ended his opera Don Giovanni with Don Giovanni descending into Hell, his soul claimed by the devil, and later added a final ensemble to bring the performance away from the bleakness of that end, which was considered too dark. For me, the opera is stronger with the final ensemble omitted, because it allows… Continue reading Source Code | movie review

Embedded by Dan Abnett – Review

Embedded is Abnett’s second independent novel for Angry Robot Books and one of the most original and compelling SF stories I’ve read in quite some time. In fact, I’m drawn to a grossly overused cliché to describe my experience because it happens to be, well, true:  I couldn’t put the damn thing down!

Adjusting the Adjustment Bureau

When a movie could have been good, but wasn’t, it becomes an even worse movie experience than if there had been no expectation, no potential, for anything better.  So it was with The Adjustment Bureau.  This movie was like 30 Days of Night:  it had everything going for it—unique premise, great cast, decent if not… Continue reading Adjusting the Adjustment Bureau

Show Me Your Lightning Bolt!

My burgeoning affiliation with the All New! All Different! Boomtron, with its Ooku reviews and its Sandman Meditations and its other various lovingly crafted commentaries, comes with the knowledge that I am lacking in … well, knowledge. And it isn’t even the sort of knowledge your average Jim-Bob on the street would see as significant. Unfortunately, it’s… Continue reading Show Me Your Lightning Bolt!

Animal Kingdom | movie review

Animal Kingdom is not a movie about the jungle but simply the law of the jungle: it’s kill or be killed, and only the strong survive. As the poster tagline claims, it is a crime story, about a crime family–the Cody’s–and what happens when their anchor, their leader, is killed. The main character is teenager… Continue reading Animal Kingdom | movie review

Run, Micro, Run

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

Ooku: The Inner Chambers – Volume 2

The First Volume of Ooku: The Inner Chambers ends with the newly installed Shogun asking a question of an elderly monk. This question, though apparently simple, cuts straight to the heart of her kingdom, her culture, her history and her identity:

Phonogram: Singles Club 4 – Konichiwa Bitches | Top Single Issues

The first Phonogram mini landed and people weren’t sure what to believe. Here was a comic about music that talked about lyrics and music instead of writing and art. It didn’t feature a cape in sight and it was black and white. It sat as almost the definition of an independent comic on the stands.… Continue reading Phonogram: Singles Club 4 – Konichiwa Bitches | Top Single Issues

Ooku: The Inner Chambers – Volume 1 (2009)

0.  A Statement of Subject and Method Fumi Yoshinaga’s Eisner Award-nominated and James Tiptree Jr. Award-winning series Ooku: The Inner Chambers is a multi-volume manga series set in an alternative version of Medieval Edo Period Japan in which a terrifying plague has wiped out 75% of the male population.  Using this fictional event as a… Continue reading Ooku: The Inner Chambers – Volume 1 (2009)

Too Cool (Or, how a moron ended up at the TCA’s)

Like Dante, I wasn’t even supposed to be there that day. The focus of all the attention was familiar: small waves of television and movie stars, wide-smiling studio execs, nervous-looking producers and show-runners, all surrounded by the usual mad gaggle of protectors, buffers, yes-men and desperate-eyed hangers-ons. Cameras flashed, smilers smiled, and the air was… Continue reading Too Cool (Or, how a moron ended up at the TCA’s)

The Dilemma | movie review

I almost didn’t go see this movie for three reasons:  it was getting panned by Rotten Tomatoes (somewhere in the 20 percent’s when I checked, which is just shy of worst movie of the year numbers); acting opposite my boy Vince Vaughn was not Jon Favreau as I had thought from a half-watched preview but… Continue reading The Dilemma | movie review

True Grit | movie review

True Grit is the latest movie from the Coen brothers, and their best since No Country for Old Men.  It convinces me that they should stick to movies that are not comedic in structure but simply in tone; this is a revenge story layered with dark humor, but the characters and the situations are always,… Continue reading True Grit | movie review