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The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys is a 2016 American mystery-crime thriller neo-noir action comedy film directed by Shane Black and written by Black and Anthony Bagarozzi. The film stars Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Keith David and Kim Basinger and follows a pair of 1977 Los Angeles private eyes who investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl.

From the first scene you understand that although there’s gonna be violence, this movie means to have a sense of humour. Its 1977 Los Angeles and a boy who steals a nudie mag from his dad’s collection ogles at pics of centerfold and adult film star Misty Mountains and a few seconds later a car crashes through his house. He goes to the woods behind his house to find a naked Misty dying in the ruins of the car and as she passes away he drapes his shirt over her body. Later that week, down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March is approached by Mrs. Glenn, the aunt of Misty Mountains who is obsessively claiming to have seen her niece alive after her supposed death. He does not believe the elderly woman but takes the job anyway when he finds out that teenager Amelia Kuttner, who is known to be missing, is somehow involved. Scared by his investigations and not knowing who he is Amelia, who is in fact in hiding, hires unethical enforcer Jackson Healy to intimidate March into staying away from her.

Healy himself is attacked by two thugs, Blue Face and Older Guy, who attempt to interrogate him about Amelia’s whereabouts. He manages to scare them away using a shotgun. He and March join forces to find Amelia and solve the mystery. Holly, March’s precocious and intelligent young daughter, despite her father’s fears, keeps following them despite dad’s attempts to keep her out of the case for her own safety. March and Healey find out that Amelia was working with Misty Mountains and an amateur filmmaker named Dean on an “experimental film”—equal parts pornography and investigative journalism—called How Do You Like My Car, Big Boy? about the smog in Los Angeles. Dean and film’s financier, Sid Shattack, a notorious pornography producer are found dead and Amelia runs into March. Holly, after attempting to investigate on her own, is tricked into a car by Blue Face and Older Guy. Healy fights with Older Guy, while Blue Face tries to kill Amelia from inside his car, only to be stopped by Holly, who warns Amelia and then escapes with her.

While chasing them down, Blue Face is seriously injured in a hit-and-run. Dying in the middle of the road, he reveals to Healy that their boss has dispatched a hit man named John Boy to kill Amelia, March and his family to prevent further witnesses. After a brief investigation, the two are greeted by Amelia’s mother, Judith Kuttner, a high-ranking official in the US Department of Justice, who claims her daughter is delusional and paranoid and points them towards the Las Vegas mob trying to expand into the Los Angeles pornography scene. At a hotel in search of Amelia they find the assassin killing men and sneak away only to have Amelia fall onto their car. They take Amelia back to March’s house, where she reveals that the people after her are working for a cabal of Detroit automakers. After uncovering evidence that they colluded to suppress the catalytic converter (which regulates exhaust emissions), Amelia created the film to expose their collusion. Judith has her assistant, Tally, arrange for March and Healy to deliver a briefcase that supposedly contains $100,000.

When March dozes while driving and accidentally crashes their car, the case flies open to reveal shredded magazines; the double-cross was a diversion to leave Amelia unprotected. John Boy attacks Holly before engaging in a shootout with March and Healy as soon as they return to the house. On hearing police sirens, John Boy drives off while an impatient Amelia has fled the house, only to be killed by John Boy on the street when he inadvertently comes across her attempting to catch a ride. March and Healy try to bring the matter to court, but are rejected, as they have no evidence, leading them again to search for the film. The two have Mrs. Glenn show them where she saw Misty Mountains alive. Inside they find a hidden projector – the nearsighted Mrs. Glenn having mistaken footage of Misty for her niece – and deduce that there was a reprint of the film. They realize that the projectionist, Chet, another protester they had questioned about Dean, is the projectionist for the film and had worked with Amelia to make the film public by splicing it into the presentation film for the Los Angeles Auto Show, which is being held at a hotel.

At the auto show, the two find that John Boy and Older Guy, along with a few other thugs are already there and have interrogated a drunken Chet, learning that the film will be projected automatically from a window of the building. Healy and March attempt to reach it first, only to be intercepted at gunpoint by Tally. Before she can kill them, Holly arrives while pretending to be room service and knocks Tally unconscious. In a subsequent fight, Older Guy falls to his death, while Healy subdues John Boy. He spares his life at Holly’s behest. They take the film to the police, and although Judith is arrested, the Detroit car companies escape punishment. Healy and March decide to continue working together as private eyes, naming their agency “The Nice Guys”.

Funny with a dark sense of humour and some action shots and fighting involved with some nudity, the movie is a surprising change from the usual kind of crime movies we have been getting from Hollywood the last several years. Chalk it out as a good movie to watch on a weekend afternoon. 8 outta 10!

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Arsenal 5 Lincoln City 0

Non-league Lincoln City’s astonishing run in the FA Cup came to an end as Arsenal remain on course for a 13th title by reaching the semi-finals. Lincoln, 88 places below their Premier League opponents, held their own for much of the first half and even went close to scoring when Petr Cech saved Nathan Arnold’s curled effort. However, Theo Walcott’s deflected strike gave the Gunners the lead on the stroke of half-time and Olivier Giroud put the hosts in control with a clinical strike just after the break. Lincoln’s dreams of a fight back were dashed when Luke Waterfall scored an own goal, turning in Kieran Gibbs’ cross. Alexis Sanchez added a brilliant fourth, expertly placing the ball beyond Lincoln goalkeeper Paul Farman’s reach, before Aaron Ramsey completed the win when he tapped in from Sanchez’s cross.

It was ultimately a routine victory for Arsenal and perhaps eased some of the pressure on Arsene Wenger, who is bidding for his seventh FA Cup triumph as Gunners boss. A protest was held before the game by around 200 fans urging the club to not give the 67-year-old a new contract when his current deal expires this summer. Lincoln have undoubtedly been the story of this season’s FA Cup. They came through eight games, beating Premier League Burnley and Championship high fliers Brighton along the way to become the first non-league side to reach the quarter-finals of the competition in 103 years. Against an Arsenal side that had reached the semi-finals 28 times previous, few would normally have given Lincoln a chance. But a run of just two wins in their last seven games, coupled with the discontent felt by some Arsenal fans towards Arsene Wenger, gave the minnows reason to believe an upset could be achievable. The club’s fans clearly felt that to be the case as they travelled in huge numbers to the Emirates, and for large periods of the first half their voices were the only ones that could be heard.

Arsenal could still finish the season with silverware, but success in the FA Cup is no longer enough for a sizeable number of Gunners fans. They are out of the Champions League and a top-four finish is far from guaranteed as they currently sit fifth, two points behind Liverpool. Those fans who feel Wenger has taken the side as far as they can go made their feelings known before the game with a protest – their second in a week after around 200 supporters expressed their frustration before the Champions League last-16 second leg tie with Bayern Munich on Tuesday. But there was support for Wenger inside the ground as some fans held ‘In Wenger we trust’ banners, while on the pitch his players stepped up after a slow start. Mesut Ozil was particularly influential after his 27th minute introduction and Sanchez, whose long-term future at the Emirates is reportedly in doubt, impressed with a fine goal and an assist.

  • This was Arsenal’s 300th competitive fixture at the Emirates.
  • The Gunners registered their 200th win in competitive games at the Emirates (D61 L39).
  • Lincoln City failed to find the back of the net in an FA Cup game (excl. qualifiers) for the first time in nine games, since losing 5-0 to Plymouth in November 2013.
  • Arsenal have reached the last four of the FA Cup for the third time in the last four seasons.
  • Theo Walcott has scored 17 goals in all competitions this season; only in 2012/13 did he score more for the Gunners (21).
  • Alexis Sanchez has had a hand in 35 goals this season (21 goals, 14 assists), more than any other PL player in all comps.
  • In his last 20 games in all competitions, Sanchez has either scored or assisted 22 goals (13 goals, nine assists).
  • Olivier Giroud has bagged four goals in total in his last four FA Cup starts.
  • Arsenal’s games this season in all competitions have produced a total of 145 goals (95 scored, 50 conceded), more than any other Premier League side.
  • Mesut Ozil registered his first assist for Arsenal in any competition since January 22nd (vs Burnley), after a run of five games without one.