Directed by: Tom Konkle
Written by: Tom Konkle, Brittney Powell
Length: 116 minutes
NEED A REVIEW?
Click here to get one.
Trouble Is My Business
It can be hard to earn a decent living being a private detective. Learning to use a computer - and that lovely thing called the internet, in the world of today, is a huge make it or break it point within the field. But what about the good old days? What about say... the mid nineteen forties? The term "doing the leg work" comes from those pre-internet days, and was a very literal expression. Especially for a private dick. It all came down to leg work, lots of hours and a good reputation - and a good reputation is something that Roland Drake (Tom Konkle) no longer has. In ruins, Drake is forced to accept a job he doesn't want in order to maintain his four squares and a roof. He knows it's trouble right from the start however, he is also well aware that trouble is his business. The job? Locating the missing, and wealthy father of Katherine Montemar (Brittney Powell). Very quickly things escalate when Katherine herself vanishes and her sister Jennifer, Also played by Powell, shows up looking for answers. Now, Roland Drake is not only searching for two people, but also finding connections between this case and the one that "sunk" him. "Trouble Is My Business" is a showy, comic style detective story spanning the entire range of noir type films. From the crooked police force of the old days, to the straight up dead pan - and cliche - performances you would expect from this type of movie. I write this all in the best possible way because put quite simply, this was a fun title to watch. One of those unusual micro budget movies that is actually done well. By no means am I writing that a good micro production is hard to find, but this piece from Tom Konkle is a cut above. What was accomplished for such a petty sum of cash, when speaking film budgets, is quite remarkable. This film does "not" play off as a cheap trick and does, in fact, manage to capture and maintain it's artsy look and feel until the bitter end. "Trouble" is a live version of those old detective comics many of the current generation never experienced. Allowing those who give it a chance, a portal into the tongue and cheek world of the classic, mystery laced private dick story. For those not quite sure of the style, and those one liners so many of us love, this title brings to mind the older movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" with it's presentation. Minus the cartoon comedy and animation of course. That's not to say that there is no comedy. Just not slap-stick. The comedy itself comes from the exaggerated performances from the wonderful cast. And a wonderful cast it is...
"Trouble" features some recognizable talent alongside Konkle and his cohorts. I'm not going to bother to name drop, but I did notice one thing. Nobody really outdoes anyone else. Maybe it's the style and tone of the title. Maybe it's just "plain old" talent. Whatever the case, and I happen to think it's a little of both, everyone compliments one and other scene after scene. This film plays itself the way it's meant to play thanks to everyone in front of the camera, and by no means do the folks behind the camera slack in any way either. This is a polished film. No question. The set design? The props and near perfect underscore? All stellar - but the reality is that these things would mean nothing, if not for the talent in front of the camera. Clearly this film is the entire package. I can only imagine what could have been done with a "real" budget backing it.
The final verdict is an easy one. Tom Konkle and Brittney Powell set out to tell us a good story. They've succeeded. They set out to bring a style only celebrated by the hard core, to the masses. Again, anyone who watches will probably agree... they've succeeded. "Trouble Is My Business" is a witty, predictable - in a good way - romp that celebrates all those serialized shows and movies your grandparents probably loved to watch. Brought forth in a way that can be appreciated by both newcomers to the genre, and old lovers alike. This is the style that gave us those awesome one line, dead pan remarks so many of us quote unknowingly. And this is a great film to remind - or introduce - the genre in general. From a micro film point of view, "Trouble" exceeded my every expectation. From the point of view of the average watcher? This will simply be a fun ride and an "excellent" excuse to further support independent film.