Mr Big

» I’m Going to Get You… Elliott Boy (Canada, 1971)

I'm Going to Get You... Elliott Boy - Ross Stephanson as Elliott Markson

It’s forty-odd years since I’m Going to Get You… was released. Maybe it was brave and ground-breaking in its day by virtue of its depiction of homosexuality and corruption in prisons. But my guess is that it was a tawdry, poorly-made film back in the 70s… and it remains so today. (more…)

Posted on December 28th, 2011 at 10:20 pm. Updated on December 28th, 2011 at 10:20 pm.

» Chaindance (1990, Canada)

Chaindance - Michael Ironside as JT Blake - after having a rat inserted in his mouth

OK.  So it’s a tad unlikely (even if, in a case of life almost imitating art, a similar rehab program was introduced in a Canadian prison not so long after Chaindance was released). But perhaps its implausibility shouldn’t matter. Trouble is, it does. (more…)

Posted on October 27th, 2011 at 9:31 pm. Updated on August 4th, 2013 at 10:54 pm.

» Locked Down (2010, USA)

Locked Down - Dwier Brown as Kirkman, Dave Fennoy as Irving, and Tony Schiena as Danny

If you think you could have seen this movie before, you’re probably right. Even if you haven’t. (more…)

Posted on September 28th, 2011 at 7:24 pm. Updated on September 28th, 2011 at 9:52 pm.

» The Weak and the Wicked (1954, UK)

The Weak and the Wicked - Glynis Johns as Jean Raymond

One presumes that potboiler title was designed to drag scandal-seeking customers through the theatre doors. My guess is that the story’s creator, Joan Henry, would have seen only irony in it. (more…)

Posted on August 16th, 2011 at 10:13 pm. Updated on August 16th, 2011 at 10:20 pm.

» Animal (2005, USA)

Animal - Ving Rhames as James 'Animal' Allen

“I’ve been waiting for my father to show up for 20 goddamn years, and you the fuck showed up!” So says a tiny-bit-disappointed Darius (Terrence Howard) to his once street-respected (ie outrageously violent) father who gets out of prison after a long stretch, only to have become a man disappointingly committed to eschewing crime and being an advocate for “smart, not tough”. (more…)

Posted on July 4th, 2011 at 9:42 pm. Updated on July 4th, 2011 at 9:42 pm.

» Dog Pound (2010, Canada / France)

Dog Pound - Butch (Adam Butcher) and Frank (Dewshane Williams) at the forefront of the riot

A trans-Atlantic Scum, this is…  based on that acclaimed British movie from 1979, and every bit as bleak. (more…)

Posted on January 3rd, 2011 at 5:15 pm. Updated on January 3rd, 2011 at 5:18 pm.

» Mean Dog Blues (1978, USA)

Mean Dog Blues - George Kennedy as Capt Omar Kinsman, with Rattler

Paul Ramsey (Gregg Henry) is happily married, blonde (a bit too blonde), and of gentle disposition. The same can be said of neither Captain Omar Kinsman (George Kennedy) or his beloved Doberman Pinscher, Rattler. You know that it will be messy when all three inevitably tangle. (more…)

Posted on December 28th, 2010 at 9:12 pm. Updated on January 27th, 2013 at 12:35 pm.

» Broken Bars (1995, USA)

Broken Bars - Benjamin Kobby / Maccabee as Nick Slater and Don Gibb as Mr Jake

At the intersection of movies about undercover cops in prison [eg Behind Prison Gates (1939), White Heat (1949), Death Warrant (1990), Club Fed (1990), Half Past Dead (2002)], and action movies starring blokes with ponytails (eg just about anything with Steven Seagal) is this number. It might not be as far-fetched as some of those others, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. (more…)

Posted on December 26th, 2010 at 10:44 pm. Updated on December 26th, 2010 at 10:49 pm.

» Lockdown (2000, USA)

Lockdown - Richard T Jones as Avery Montgomery

Lockdown is a prison movie for traditionalists – murders, stabbings, drug use, drug deals, racial tension, rapes, crooked guards… and in the middle of it all, a good, innocent man struggling to survive. (more…)

Posted on November 26th, 2010 at 9:55 pm. Updated on March 6th, 2016 at 5:06 pm.

» Pros & Cons (1999, USA)

Pros & Cons - Larry Miller as Ben Babbitt, acting tough and being treated as 'royalty'

It might not be the best recommendation to say that this wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had expected. One review had it marked down as ‘hideous’ and another* concluded that it was so beset with problems that it ‘should stay in lock-up, with no eligibility for parole.’ And it’s true; the ending is an absolute shocker, and the 20-second Jerry Seinfeld-Paul Reiser cameo is terrible. But the rest of the film is on a par with lots of other pretty average prison comedies – amongst them Stir Crazy (1980), with which this shares quite a lot. Not the rodeo, thankfully. (more…)

Posted on October 25th, 2010 at 10:22 pm. Updated on October 25th, 2010 at 10:22 pm.