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Trouble is My Business

USA 2018
produced by
Brittney Powell, David Beeler for Lumen Actus
directed by Tom Konkle
starring Vernon Wells, Brittney Powell, Tom Konkle, David Beeler, Steve Tom, Jordana Capra, Ben Pace, Mark Teich, Gerrick Lavon, William Jackson, Paul Hungerford, Steve Olson, Benton Jennings, Sean Konkle, Ksenia Delaveri, Jana Banker, Laine Scandalis, E. Sean Griffin, Doug Spearman, Pete Handelman, Patrick Higgins, Matt Forman, Carl Bryan, Paul Idelson, Gino C. Vianelli, Joe Sobalo jr, Steve Moulton, Aaron LaPlante
written by Tom Konkle, Brittney Powell, music by Thomas Chase, Hayden Clement, visual effects by Lumen Actus

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Los Angeles, CA, 1947: Drake (Tom Konkle) once was an in-demand private eye - but he has fallen from grace when one of the "missing persons" he was to track down, Nadia (Ksenia Delaveri), has turned up dead, and very probably thanks to his involvement. It was actually surprising more than anything else that he stayed out of prison for that one. But now he's visited by Katherine Montemar (Brittney Powell), who wants him to track down her father Wilson (Benton Jennings) - and the two actually land in bed together ... but the next day she's gone, and all she has left is blood stains in Drake's bed, which makes him fear the worst. And in that light, it's of no advantage that Katherine's sister Jennifer (Brittney Powell again) shows up on his doorstep, and even if she doesn't say as much, she seems to know about him and Katherine, and on basis of this blackmails him into helping her finding out what happened to her father and sister - and it soon becomes apparent that she's really after the only thing in her father's possession of real value, a priceless diamond he got his hands on by not exactly legal means. That he's after the diamond is not at all to the liking of super-corrupt police detective Tate (Vernon Wells) though who has long mentally claimed the stone for himself, and who would even kill Drake if it wasn't for a little black book Drake got from Nadia that has dirt about every policeman in town, first and foremost Tate. This black book though tickles the fancy of Drake's former partner Lew (David Beeler), who's rather interested in getting into blackmail as a business. So eventually, Drake has no choice but to trust Jennifer as she's least likely to double-cross him ... and eventually the two actually become a couple - but that seems to only accelerate their ride on the downward spiral ...

 

Trouble is My Business seems to be a bit like a film out of time, as both on a narrative and a directorial level, it's clearly (and intentionally) reminiscent of 1940s film noir, with many direct and indirect hommages woven into the plot. What's quite remarkable about this film though is that it feels not a bit outdated but very fresh in approach, which of course is proof of the filmmaker's talent but also testament of the genre's longevity and timelessness. Now taken by its own terms, the film's narrative might be a tad convoluted (which again harkens back to classic film noir, first and foremost the über-classic The Big Sleep), but it's told in a swift fashion and carried by snappy dialogue and well-composed imagery. And (like pretty much all good noirs) the whole thing's populated by a busload of eccentric characters living in the grey area between good and evil. At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter if you're into those films of old or not (I am very much though), it's just a very cool crime movie!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
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directed by
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written by
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