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In the late 1940's, Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez were America's notorious "Lonely Hearts Killers". Their lethal scam was simple; they would swindle and then viciously murder lovelorn war widows who would answer their personal ads in which Ray would describe himself as a sexy Latin Lover. Ironically, Ray's initial introduction to Martha was as a prospective mark. But when they met, it was love at first sight, perhaps as a result of their penchant for kinky sex and their mutual love for duplicity and easy money. With Martha posing as Ray's sister, they bilked elderly spinsters and widows of their savings and then viciously murdered them in a bloodbath of sexual frenzy. When they were arrested, Martha and Ray confessed to 12 killings, although it is believed the actual number is closer to 20. At their sensational trial, Martha and Ray cooed, held hands and seemed as though they could not get enough of each other. Their plea of not guilty by reason of insanity was rejected, and on ...Written by
Salma Hayek wore blue contacts throughout the film because the real Martha had blue eyes but Salma has deep brown eyes. See more »
When the aircraft lands at the Albany, NY, airport, a runway sign indicating Runway 28 is seen. Albany has four runways, none of which are runway 32. The closest runway to that is runway 28. See more »
Hey, we're all proud of you buster... Charlie... Small town cop dropping a pair like this. You wait a a lifetime never even sniffling this guy.
You want to make a move to the burbs, you let me know. It's a phone call. Hey, maybe you wanna through the switch, I can fix that too.
You're such an asshole.
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"Lonely Hearts" tells us the real story of the "Lonely Hearts KIllers", the couple Martha Beck and Raymond Martinez (played by Salma Hayek and Jared Leto) and the police investigation conducted by an obstinate detective (John Travolta) recently traumatized with the unexplainable suicide of his wife. The couple's "name" came from the scam they practiced against lonely women who wanted to engage in a relationship with a man through adds on newspaper's personal columns.
Looks like 2006 was the year to rediscover the film noir. This came out on the same year as Brian De Palma's "Black Dahlia" but attracted less attention. With justice, that was a better film. "Lonely Hearts" presents a good story that pays some small reflection on people who were looking for something good, tried of everything to have a relationship but failed at that, being tricked into the unknown, letting themselves get fooled by looks and charm, and it's also a story about serial killers who take advantage of such situation to simply steal money and take away lives. It sounds very contemporary the small appeal the movie has, just think bigger how this plot would be treated today with the internet and new ways to meet people. We would have what we're get used to see in the news.
Being "accomplices" of the couple in their spree of killing is interesting, wild, an exquisite relationship they have with each other (ironically, Raymond always make the con alone and he was about to try on Martha, who noticed it and started to help him); the background story for Travolta's character sometimes work, other times doesn't involve us at all, the investigation when made right works fine with some thrilling scenes. But the majority of scenes here is constantly showing the lack of cooperation between the detectives played by James Gandolfini (and his annoying voice-over) and Scott Caan. Why we're forced to watch them fight and play like kids all the time, what's the point?
The acting deserves some credit, specially for Leto playing a character that rare young actors would like to play, sacrificing his good looks to appear less beautiful to the camera with a hair piece to hide his slightly baldness. He's a weak fella, someone who at first only wanted to get money from his victims to later be seduced by this woman who'll boss around him to make anything for her, including the murders of the worst kind. Hayek is a little over-the-top but she knows how to leave a good impression anyhow. Laura Dern is very good in the ungrateful role of the female detective who takes interest on poor Travolta, always trying to be more than just an affair.
For the most part, characters and the movie sink little by little into a dark corner, too much predictable but somehow it manages to not disappoint. Compared with "Black Dahlia" since both are film noir updates of the 21st century it fails for not being more clever, more intriguing. Clearly, De Palma had to imagine many unbelievable devices to present the story but at least it was great. Here, even if the story is very close to the truth, and the fact of the director being related to the main character doesn't count much. To quote Kubrick: "It is real but it's not interesting". 6/10
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