The Standoff at Sparrow Creek
A former cop-turned-militia man investigates a shooting at a police funeral.
This opens with a guy eating alone, he hears gun shots and explosions in the distance. He immediately heads to an isolated militia compound where him and the rest of the militia members conclude one of their members is responsible for attacking a cop funeral. So they lock themselves in the compound, that's full of weapons and explosives, and interrogate each other to work out who the guilty one is.
I thought this was really impressive. It's tense as hell as the militia turn on each other and slowly eliminate suspects. The small cast are excellent and is full of faces you'd recognise from small roles in other films. It reminded me of a ton of other films like Reservoir Dogs or The Thing - a group of guys stuck in a location trying to work out who has betrayed them. It clocks in under 90 minutes and has a very satisfying ending.
A really solid thriller from a director to watch out for.
The Thomas Crown Affair
A very rich and successful playboy amuses himself by stealing artwork, but may have met his match in a seductive detective.
This is one that I've been meaning to watch for years but I never got round to it. Finally watched it last week and it didn't really land for me. It was well made and the two leads are fine but I couldn't warm to it. There was a smugness to it I didn't like and the whole thing was a bit silly - the NYPD commit an insane amount of detectives to investigate a single painting that was stolen. And the ratio of romance to heist scenes was totally wrong - we seen to spend half the film on dates with the main characters.
From Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo and the director of Die Hard and Predator I expected a lot more.