Blood Money (2009)

Theatrical Poster
Genres: Crime, Film Noir, Police Detective Film, Psychological Thriller
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C.J. Schmidt C.J. Schmidt
Jim Thalman Jim Thalman
Amy Motta Amy Motta
David H. Lawrence XVII David H. Lawrence XVII
Vanessa Gomez Vanessa Gomez
Michael Toland Michael Toland

7.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Ginose
Added: January 30, 2010
I actually love short films, and not just because they're short... though, I suppose that's part of it. The truth is, the subtleties that go into making a short story have any sort of real feeling or worth in the running time has always entertained me, and is one of the many things that keep me making films, myself. Only so much can be pressed into a such a condensed run time, but it takes a lot of imagination and skill to tell a good story in such, so my appreciation for "Blood Money" is already clear, but the film itself is actually quality. Of course, some qualifying factors come with such a low-budget, but it's clear that a lot of heart went into the production. Very clear.

Jack Miller is a scummy, no-good police detective in 1950s LA. He's a heavy drinker, a gambler and loves a hooker with a heart of gold, whose sister has no appreciation for what Jack is or what he does. One night Jack is called to the scene of a murder, the victims being the police chief and his own beloved prostitute girlfriend. In a fit of rage, Jack is sure he knows who is responsible and why, but to what ends will he go to see this all through?

As I said, not many complaints here; the movie itself looks fantastic, almost the perfect set period-piece (which should have been easy enough, considering that it happens on a relatively small-scale), and all of the music and visual-design blended just right to set the drab, seedy feel of the noir films of yore that it (and a slew of others, for some fucking reason) attempts to imitate.

The performances are pretty damned well-suited if the film was truly attempting to imitate the films from which it clearly drew inspiration, if it was meant to be taken completely seriously, on the other hand, the leading man tends to drag it down with his horrid drone, most obvious when he is attempting to actually put emotion into his scene in which case... well, he ends up sounding a lot like Nicholas Cage imitating Harvey Keitel and, while this doesn't take much away from the scene, it gets very annoying, especially at during the culmination of the events, almost obstructing the damned enjoyable ending.

I'd have to say the only thing I really disliked was how "by-the-books" the films plot directs itself. Sure, it's good, but it really meanders around in familiar territory. I suppose it was meant as more of a project than an individual work, and it succeeds on many levels, but I could only really advise it to people familiar with the crime-noir, as some of the most impressive aspects rely heavily on the viewer's knowledge of it all.

So, it's not a PERFECT film, and, by some merits, isn't even a GOOD film. However, it succeeds very well at what it tries to do, and I sure as hell enjoyed it.


Seriously, though, what's with all the "neo-noir" coming out these days? "Brick" is the only decent one I've yet to see. Seriously. "Memento" bored me to tears.
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