Miami Blues Reviews

  • Jan 06, 2019

    Frederick J. Frenger Jr. (Alec Baldwin), a violent sociopath recently released from a California prison, starts a new life in Miami. Before leaving the airport, he steals luggage and kills a Hare Krishna after breaking his finger. Junior checks into a hotel and hooks up with Susie Waggoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a naive prostitute who is a student at a community college. They become romantically involved and take a house together, with Susie blissfully unaware of Junior's criminal activities and harboring fantasies of living happily ever after. An investigation of the Hare Krishna murder leads grizzled policeman Sgt. Hoke Moseley (Fred Ward) to come knocking on their door. Moseley shares a home-cooked dinner with the couple, upon Susie's suggestion, and plays it cool while seemingly indicating to Junior that he's on to him. He overtly suspects Junior has been in prison and wants him to come to the police station for a lineup. Junior goes to Moseley's home the next day, assaults him, and steals his gun, badge and dentures. Later, while Susie is taking a bath and writing a haiku, Junior decides to break into a nearby apartment. He steals an IMI Desert Eagle handgun and a steak. Junior begins using the badge, demanding bribes as rewards after breaking up robberies, only to keep the loot for himself. Sooner or later Moseley and the law will catch up with him... This neo-noir black comedy crime film is based on the novel of the same name by Charles Willeford. In my opinion the storyline is a bit wobbly and quite simple, the scene structure a bit wobbly and the general 80s/90s vibe feels a bit outdated when seeing the film today. Alec Baldwin is however excellent as Junior, but that´s not enough to be honest. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Fred Ward are fine in their roles, but they still ends up more like backdrops to Baldwin´s psychopathic Frederick J. Frenger Jr. character. The issue is that non of the characters are that easy to identify with, but their flaws gives them humanity which creates a more "real" feeling to the film. But, "Miami Blues" becomes an average black comedy crime thriller when re-seeing it today.

    Frederick J. Frenger Jr. (Alec Baldwin), a violent sociopath recently released from a California prison, starts a new life in Miami. Before leaving the airport, he steals luggage and kills a Hare Krishna after breaking his finger. Junior checks into a hotel and hooks up with Susie Waggoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a naive prostitute who is a student at a community college. They become romantically involved and take a house together, with Susie blissfully unaware of Junior's criminal activities and harboring fantasies of living happily ever after. An investigation of the Hare Krishna murder leads grizzled policeman Sgt. Hoke Moseley (Fred Ward) to come knocking on their door. Moseley shares a home-cooked dinner with the couple, upon Susie's suggestion, and plays it cool while seemingly indicating to Junior that he's on to him. He overtly suspects Junior has been in prison and wants him to come to the police station for a lineup. Junior goes to Moseley's home the next day, assaults him, and steals his gun, badge and dentures. Later, while Susie is taking a bath and writing a haiku, Junior decides to break into a nearby apartment. He steals an IMI Desert Eagle handgun and a steak. Junior begins using the badge, demanding bribes as rewards after breaking up robberies, only to keep the loot for himself. Sooner or later Moseley and the law will catch up with him... This neo-noir black comedy crime film is based on the novel of the same name by Charles Willeford. In my opinion the storyline is a bit wobbly and quite simple, the scene structure a bit wobbly and the general 80s/90s vibe feels a bit outdated when seeing the film today. Alec Baldwin is however excellent as Junior, but that´s not enough to be honest. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Fred Ward are fine in their roles, but they still ends up more like backdrops to Baldwin´s psychopathic Frederick J. Frenger Jr. character. The issue is that non of the characters are that easy to identify with, but their flaws gives them humanity which creates a more "real" feeling to the film. But, "Miami Blues" becomes an average black comedy crime thriller when re-seeing it today.

  • Sep 17, 2018

    This is a very fun underrated dark comedy.

    This is a very fun underrated dark comedy.

  • Jan 20, 2017

    Alec Baldwin seems different, younger, and, well, more psychotic, but it is possible to see his later comic swagger buried deep inside his character here, an ex-con on a murderous rampage who shacks up in an illusion of domestic tranquillity with hooker Jennifer Jason Leigh. The film is an adaptation of Charles Willeford's book (featuring homicide detective Hoke Moseley, played screwily by Fred Ward here), but as Jonathan Rosenbaum has pointed out, it also owes something to Godard's Breathless, a film which also saw a man-on-the-run make the mistakes that end his life because of love. Miami Blues is no Breathless but it does have a certain unpredictable charm - perhaps this is due to the inordinate amount of odd details. For example, Moseley's dentures play a prominent supporting role. Perhaps though the central theme is about the power of cultural "ideals" to lend stability to a life that is falling apart? Although they may be only illusions, Baldwin seems to want badly to experience a domestic partnership and a house with a white picket fence. He also seems to believe that cops have power and command respect (at least this is how he acts when adopting the role, illicitly) even when Ward's cop Moseley is doing it tough, living hand-to-mouth in a dingy hotel room. All told, this is a film that looks like any number of early 90s thrillers but is far more eccentric, contains superior acting, and isn't headed anyplace you expect.

    Alec Baldwin seems different, younger, and, well, more psychotic, but it is possible to see his later comic swagger buried deep inside his character here, an ex-con on a murderous rampage who shacks up in an illusion of domestic tranquillity with hooker Jennifer Jason Leigh. The film is an adaptation of Charles Willeford's book (featuring homicide detective Hoke Moseley, played screwily by Fred Ward here), but as Jonathan Rosenbaum has pointed out, it also owes something to Godard's Breathless, a film which also saw a man-on-the-run make the mistakes that end his life because of love. Miami Blues is no Breathless but it does have a certain unpredictable charm - perhaps this is due to the inordinate amount of odd details. For example, Moseley's dentures play a prominent supporting role. Perhaps though the central theme is about the power of cultural "ideals" to lend stability to a life that is falling apart? Although they may be only illusions, Baldwin seems to want badly to experience a domestic partnership and a house with a white picket fence. He also seems to believe that cops have power and command respect (at least this is how he acts when adopting the role, illicitly) even when Ward's cop Moseley is doing it tough, living hand-to-mouth in a dingy hotel room. All told, this is a film that looks like any number of early 90s thrillers but is far more eccentric, contains superior acting, and isn't headed anyplace you expect.

  • May 28, 2016

    Immoral opportunist; which is a role Alec has become known for. A refreshing performance by JJ Leigh which really sells the story.

    Immoral opportunist; which is a role Alec has become known for. A refreshing performance by JJ Leigh which really sells the story.

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    Alec B Super Reviewer
    Apr 21, 2016

    Baldwin's unhinged performance is the best thing about this movie. Such crazed energy from a villain is rare in these types of thrillers.

    Baldwin's unhinged performance is the best thing about this movie. Such crazed energy from a villain is rare in these types of thrillers.

  • Mar 23, 2016

    I don't need to say anything about this. I think this is a dark comedy.... I don't need to say it because it's a decent movie it wasn't fantasic but it was all right.

    I don't need to say anything about this. I think this is a dark comedy.... I don't need to say it because it's a decent movie it wasn't fantasic but it was all right.

  • Jan 07, 2016

    As far as crime movies go, finding the perfect balance between comedy, suspense, and consequence is a massively difficult task - I can think of few other genres that mostly choose to play it straight, as injecting comic life into a martini of violence can lead to caper territory (too light), or can shove you into concluding that the director has a sick mind for joking around during times of brutality. Only a rare number of filmmakers can find humor in thuggish buffoonery without seeming like a half-depraved artist. One such filmmaker is George Armitage, the writer/director of 1990's minor but cinematically interesting "Miami Blues," which is a black comedy or a quirky crime thriller depending on where you're sitting. Finding a cogent middle-ground between barbarity and breeziness, it conjures up a world where criminals are dupes, their girls unsuspecting, the cops chasing them smiling harlequins unafraid of drinking a beer with a suspect. It's an unprecedented, often charismatic (and often unstable) movie with a heart that thumps like a bass at a jazz show. Its stamina is bewildering. In a role that suits his snaky attractiveness well, Alec Baldwin portrays Frederick Frenger Jr., a savage killer just released from prison. Only minutes after landing in Miami, FL does he, still in the airpot, go back to the old drawing board, stealing an inattentive woman's briefcase and even killing an overzealous Hare Krishna just by twisting his finger back. He isn't the sort to learn from past mistakes; he is a born madman, and doesn't want to shape himself into something he isn't. In other words, he's a dangerous sociopath with a thirst to destruct. To regroup, he checks into a ritzy hotel and is introduced to Susie Waggoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a young prostitute sent up to his room by a compliant staff member. Susie is impressionable and easily swayed, and Junior, being a manipulative, sly dog, is a strong presence in comparison to her weak will. Before long, they are romantically involved, soon getting hitched and buying a quaint little house in a sunny, Floridian suburb. But a domestic life doesn't change the fact that Junior is an S.O.B. from hell, and the murder of the Hare Krishna is not something that the law has not been made aware of. Assigned to investigate is Sgt. Hoke Moseley (a lovable Fred Ward), whose relaxed method of solving a case somehow gets him acquainted with Junior and Susie rather quickly. But, being optimistic and foolish, Moseley loses control, his badge unfortunately stolen by the man he's investigating. So begins a crime spree whose spontaneity suggests no problems to Junior, a determined Moseley hot on his tail, the air-headed Susie unaware that her husband is actually a terrible guy. "Miami Blues" is an illusionist's act of a movie, balancing three thoroughly contrasting characters on a two-inch platform and using their distinct personalities as a way to make the story feel consilient and believable. Fortunately, Armitage is a screenwriter who possesses the inherent skill of telling us plenty about his characters by including little, almost invisible quirks about them that, more or less, inform us of their life story. Junior probably grew up as a scoundrel confined to prison, letting sinful thoughts brew incessantly in his head; Susie was a bimbo cheerleader who felt college was the right place to go, turning to prostitution over any other job to support herself simply because her small mind is drawn by money, not respect; Moseley was most likely a friendly jock, a fraternity leader, who stood out to his peers as being a genuinely nice guy. Put these people altogether and you've got a compelling movie, as we're watching individuals, not stereotypes. I can think of no major issues in "Miami Blues" besides its ending, which is bittersweet and not much fitting for a film that takes pride in combining crime and human comedy like a cinematic Olympic gold medalist. Nevertheless, this is a crafty, smart thriller that knows its tone as well as the people involved know the backs of their hands. It's a tightrope walk that doesn't end in a plunge to the death - too bad about its unlucky peers who could never figure out how to be drolly suspenseful without taking things too far.

    As far as crime movies go, finding the perfect balance between comedy, suspense, and consequence is a massively difficult task - I can think of few other genres that mostly choose to play it straight, as injecting comic life into a martini of violence can lead to caper territory (too light), or can shove you into concluding that the director has a sick mind for joking around during times of brutality. Only a rare number of filmmakers can find humor in thuggish buffoonery without seeming like a half-depraved artist. One such filmmaker is George Armitage, the writer/director of 1990's minor but cinematically interesting "Miami Blues," which is a black comedy or a quirky crime thriller depending on where you're sitting. Finding a cogent middle-ground between barbarity and breeziness, it conjures up a world where criminals are dupes, their girls unsuspecting, the cops chasing them smiling harlequins unafraid of drinking a beer with a suspect. It's an unprecedented, often charismatic (and often unstable) movie with a heart that thumps like a bass at a jazz show. Its stamina is bewildering. In a role that suits his snaky attractiveness well, Alec Baldwin portrays Frederick Frenger Jr., a savage killer just released from prison. Only minutes after landing in Miami, FL does he, still in the airpot, go back to the old drawing board, stealing an inattentive woman's briefcase and even killing an overzealous Hare Krishna just by twisting his finger back. He isn't the sort to learn from past mistakes; he is a born madman, and doesn't want to shape himself into something he isn't. In other words, he's a dangerous sociopath with a thirst to destruct. To regroup, he checks into a ritzy hotel and is introduced to Susie Waggoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a young prostitute sent up to his room by a compliant staff member. Susie is impressionable and easily swayed, and Junior, being a manipulative, sly dog, is a strong presence in comparison to her weak will. Before long, they are romantically involved, soon getting hitched and buying a quaint little house in a sunny, Floridian suburb. But a domestic life doesn't change the fact that Junior is an S.O.B. from hell, and the murder of the Hare Krishna is not something that the law has not been made aware of. Assigned to investigate is Sgt. Hoke Moseley (a lovable Fred Ward), whose relaxed method of solving a case somehow gets him acquainted with Junior and Susie rather quickly. But, being optimistic and foolish, Moseley loses control, his badge unfortunately stolen by the man he's investigating. So begins a crime spree whose spontaneity suggests no problems to Junior, a determined Moseley hot on his tail, the air-headed Susie unaware that her husband is actually a terrible guy. "Miami Blues" is an illusionist's act of a movie, balancing three thoroughly contrasting characters on a two-inch platform and using their distinct personalities as a way to make the story feel consilient and believable. Fortunately, Armitage is a screenwriter who possesses the inherent skill of telling us plenty about his characters by including little, almost invisible quirks about them that, more or less, inform us of their life story. Junior probably grew up as a scoundrel confined to prison, letting sinful thoughts brew incessantly in his head; Susie was a bimbo cheerleader who felt college was the right place to go, turning to prostitution over any other job to support herself simply because her small mind is drawn by money, not respect; Moseley was most likely a friendly jock, a fraternity leader, who stood out to his peers as being a genuinely nice guy. Put these people altogether and you've got a compelling movie, as we're watching individuals, not stereotypes. I can think of no major issues in "Miami Blues" besides its ending, which is bittersweet and not much fitting for a film that takes pride in combining crime and human comedy like a cinematic Olympic gold medalist. Nevertheless, this is a crafty, smart thriller that knows its tone as well as the people involved know the backs of their hands. It's a tightrope walk that doesn't end in a plunge to the death - too bad about its unlucky peers who could never figure out how to be drolly suspenseful without taking things too far.

  • Mar 08, 2015

    odd movie but give Alec Baldwin credit for going against his good guy image in earlier movies. good chemistry between Alec and Jennifer. ultimately though I have seen better.

    odd movie but give Alec Baldwin credit for going against his good guy image in earlier movies. good chemistry between Alec and Jennifer. ultimately though I have seen better.

  • Sep 03, 2014

    Quick Comment This movie was very surprising and this is because I didn't expect anything that this movie offered. I thought this movie would be a average action movie but it turned out to be a very violent crime film. There are some shocking scenes in this movie that I will never forget. Alec Baldwin gave a really great performance which was surprising because I thought this would be a throw away performance for him. Anyone thats reads this, please watch this movie you will find it better than you think.

    Quick Comment This movie was very surprising and this is because I didn't expect anything that this movie offered. I thought this movie would be a average action movie but it turned out to be a very violent crime film. There are some shocking scenes in this movie that I will never forget. Alec Baldwin gave a really great performance which was surprising because I thought this would be a throw away performance for him. Anyone thats reads this, please watch this movie you will find it better than you think.

  • Aug 31, 2014

    What's in your wallet ,and she play the sis on weeds (-:b

    What's in your wallet ,and she play the sis on weeds (-:b