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Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Drama · Rampart


Bad cop, good movie.

Rod Lott March 2nd, 2012

Woody Harrelson’s LAPD officer of Rampart is a very bad man.


As one character states boldly to his face, “You’re a classic racist. A bigot. A sexist. A womanizer. A chauvinist. A misanthrope. Homophobic, clearly, or maybe you just don’t like yourself.”

Mind you, this is just from his daughter, so imagine what those with no emotional investment to cop David Brown would think. Or just see for yourself, as the cop takes advantage of his badge, skirts the boundaries of the law and even bullies his fellow officers. 
He only takes exception to the charge of racism: “I hate all people equally.”

Now playing exclusively at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24, 2501 W. Memorial, Rampart reunites Harrelson with director Oren Moverman, who guided the Zombieland leader to a career-second Oscar nomination in 2009’s The Messenger. Until now, that harrowing film captured Harrelson at his most dramatic.

Here, he’s even more stark, even more sober (not in alcoholic terms, just to clarify) as Brown, a chain-smoking, bitter-veneer cop who harbors a history of so many bad habits, his squad nickname is “Date Rape Dave.”

Being corrupt and cheerless is simply par for the course, more or less tolerated by the force until his anger gets the best of him following a car accident, and he beats the other driver senseless. The only thing he contends he did wrong is that he did it in front of someone’s video camera. Because of the ensuing media coverage, the department is, in the words of an assistant DA (Sigourney Weaver, Cedar Rapids), “hemorrhaging prestige.”

The movie is not. Better than The Messenger, Moverman’s follow-up essentially gives Harrelson his Training Day, minus the pat Hollywood ending. Instead, it ends (properly, I’d argue) on an ambiguous note, rendering the story more authentic. Honesty had to be the director’s intent, because group dialogue overlaps in the style of Robert Altman, as everyday conversations do.

Rampart also radiates a dark shade of L.A. soul, with a can’t-be-faked flavor I couldn’t quite detect until I saw with whom Moverman co-wrote the screenplay: James Ellroy, one of finest practitioners of crime fiction, and no stranger to real-life tragedy and despair.

The cast does their words justice, including an initially unrecognizable Ben Foster (Harrelson’s Messenger co-star) and a chilling Ned Beatty (The Killer Inside Me), who is to this film what Albert Brooks was to Drive.

And speaking of the Oscar-snubbed, add Harrelson alongside Michaels Fassbender and Shannon for an extraordinary performance not nominated for Best Actor by this year’s Academy Awards. He deserved that third nod. —Rod Lott

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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