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Scott Cooper

The Pale Blue Eye – Scott Cooper (2022)

  • crime

Another ‘whodunnit’ playing in past times on Netflix. A West Point cadet is found dead and nearby detective (played by Christian Bale) is asked to look into the matter.

In a bit of a ‘gothic horror’ style typical murder investigation, the viewer is tossed between suspects and solutions, of course leading towards an unexpected conclusion.

Did the cadet kill himself or was he murdered? What lurks below the surface on this fine academy? In a slow pace and moody, grey images, Cooper introduces and works out different characters, not in the last place Augustus Landor himself.

A nice watch.

Black Mass * Scott Cooper (2015)

Johnny Depp is great as James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, a man who grew up in “Southie”, the Southern part of Boston. His brother made it to the office of senator, an old friend is going well in the FBI. Whitey walks the criminal path and becomes the main man in “Southie”.

When his FBI buddy starts to climb the ladder and picks up the plan to use Whitey to catch the Italians in the North of the city, Bulger sees an opportunity to use to his own benefit. Soon his power grows outside his own part of town, making life difficult for both his FBI friend and his senator brother.

“Black Mass” is an American maffia film playing in the 1970’ies and seems to be based on true events. It is a fairly typical maffia film with violence and black humour, but it is done very well with good acting and an interesting story. Depp managed to set a character that is easy to identify with, but he also manages to raise aversion, probably showing what James Bulger was really like.

Out Of Furnace * Scott Cooper (2013)

“Out Of Furnace” is a very good film, but not entirely my thing. It has a great cast and a good unfolding story though.

Russell Baze (Christian Bale) tries to be a descent guy in a dull small town. Also he tried to keep his trouble brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) in line, but when Russell ends up in prison over a case of bad luck, Rodney manages to work himself in deep trouble. With the help of small crook John Petty (Willem Dafoe), Rodney ends up in circles he had better kept far away from.

The film is presented as a thriller, but the first three quarters it is mostly a drama. Yet, from the beginning it is clear that the storyline about Harlan DeGroat (a great part of Woody Harrelson) is going to bring the promised tension. And sure it does!

Crazy Heart * Scott Cooper (2009)

I like watching films about musicians, but this one did not really grap me. Could it be because the main character Bad Blake does not seem to have been an actual musician? Blake is an old country singer whose career is going down with his life. He plays in small venues while his former protegee attracts thousands of people. A meeting with a journalist seems to bring a turn into the life of the alcoholic, but something drastic has to happen before he realises this himself. “Crazy Heart” is a nice film about a charming lowlife. It has some nice humour and the music is allright, but like I said, the film and the music did not really get to me, until the endsong in which the music and the story finally do come together.