Trouble is My Business (2017) review

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Set in the 1940’s, Private Investigator Roland Drake finds himself on a dangerous missing persons case after being hired by a beautiful dame. We review the independent feature film Trouble is My Business.

trouble is my business still Trouble is My Business (2017) review

When you think about the term “independent feature film”, images of arty love stories, football hooligans and cliched horror will likely pop into your mind. You may think about poor acting alongside amateurish cinematography and worse sound design (which in some cases is fair, but definitely not all). What you probably won’t think about is a stylish film noir set in a backdrop of 1940’s Los Angeles, with great dialogue performed by some very capable actors; yet this is exactly what Trouble is My Business is. Directed by Tom Konkle based on a screenplay by Konkle and fellow actor/scribe Brittney Powell, Trouble is My Business is a clever and well-crafted movie with nods to the Golden era of Hollywood – think Chinatown meets the video game L.A. Noir with a bit of comic book style thrown in for good measure and you’ll be on the right track.

After a prior missing persons case ended in disaster, private investigator Roland Drake (played by director Konkle) finds himself down on his luck. Work has dried up, he has recently received some unwanted attention from the press and his office is about to be foreclosed. Then he finds a beautiful Femme Fatale at his desk. Katherine Montemar requires Drake to help her find her missing father. Although he is reluctant at first, Konkle accepts the job and they soon find themselves in bed together. Things then take a turn for the worse, when Drake wakes up in blood-soaked sheets with Katherine missing. Confused, Drake is soon paid a visit by Katherine’s older sister Jennifer (Brittney Powell) who now wants Drake to find both Katherine and their father.

Soon, Drake finds himself in a web of lies, treachery and deceit alongside some shady characters including his former partner Lew MacDonald (David Beeler), the hard-nosed and rather dodgy police detective Barry Tate (Vernon Wells) and the wicked Montemar matriarch Evelyn (Jordana Capra). It was great to see Vernon Wells in this production. Many readers out there will fondly remember his performances as the chain mail-wearing villain Bennett in the action classic Commando and when he wore the red Mohawk as Wez in Mad Max 2: Road Warrior. Other die-hard film fans will recognise Brittney Powell from (a personal guilty pleasure of mine) Airborne alongside Jack Black and Set Green in early roles. As a matter of fact, all the cast give good performances, with some over-the-top line delivery that help generate laughs and intrigue to great effect, especially Konkle who seemed to have a whale of a time in front of, and behind, the camera.Trouble is My Business poster 203x300 Trouble is My Business (2017) review

The production design is rather excellent. Konkle and his team transport us to the 40’s with the help of some small and neat details mixed with great set dressing and lighting. Talking about the sets, the team used a mixture of real locations alongside green screen. Whilst some scenes are obviously crafted using cgi, some are done so well that only fellow filmmakers will be able to tell. The score, by composers Thomas Chase and Hayden Clement works very well with the imagery, even if it seems to be playing constantly in the background.

It’s obvious to tell that a hell of a lot of hard work and effort was put into creating Trouble is My Business, it is a labour of love for all those involved and it should certainly be applauded. With a small budget, many filmmakers would have easily opted to create something on a smaller scale, yet this production team went all out. They set out to make a love letter to all things noir and they certainly succeeded. Trouble is My Business is a lot of fun and worth checking out.

4.5 / 5 stars     


  1. says

    Trouble Is My Business 2018 is a neo noir/noir film
    Starring Tom Konkle,Brittney Powell
    This is a masterpiece movie,I love this great film.
    A timeless masterpiece into the film noir
    and neo noir world it’s going to be a classic.
    Initially,I thought another film noir story.
    I grew instantly a knew and true appreciation for
    this epic film noir or neo noir style film,
    the back ground music is fantastic.
    Wow this is a great movie and is going to be a true epic film for a very long time.
    For screenwriters who come across this, take the following pointers on board:
    Contrasting Characters: Great films have great characters and true drama actors
    distinction and this film noir has all of that and a lot more.
    Trouble Is My Business starring Tom Konkle,Brittney Powell
    This neo noir film style is going to be one of the classic movie of all
    times that will continue to live with humanity,thoughout every generation
    and they will all say, “Oh that was 10 out of 10,with two thumbs up”..
    When you watch this film you will know the world inside of being
    a private eye and the smarts that goes along with it,
    in fact smartness is the only thing that can keep them alive in most cases.
    I’ve seen this film several times, and want to be captured by its spell every time.
    I enjoyed this film and adore all things about film noirs and
    neo noirs and bow down in awe to the film’s wonderful cast.
    Writers/Actors: Tom Konkle,Brittney Powell are truly great in this film together.
    Director:Tom Konkle is a great director,the camera shows just
    how emotional the life of a detective real is.
    Detective Roland Drake(Tom Konkle) falls for two sisters from the Montemar family.
    One woman is dead and the other wants to kill him.
    Families will talk about the differences between movies made within
    the last few years and movies of the 1940s like The Big Sleep and other film noirs.
    This neo film is a marvel of convoluted, unexplained plot threads
    that miraculously add up to one of the great pleasures of cinema.
    Usually categorized under the film noir umbrella for its shadowy photography and emphasis on the menace of the underworld,”Trouble Is My Business” mixes its cynicism with enough dry humor to almost lend it a sense of optimism.The bad guys go down and the detective gets the girl,even if it’s not entirely clear whether she’s trustworthy.The real treat is Tom Konkle,who seems game to play tough guy but also self-deprecating role.
    A true wonderful actor.The movie is a great example of the importance of emphasis
    and editing with a great story line. “Trouble Is My Business”
    Passion, murder,and betrayal,just another day at the office
    is a must see either on the big screen or on dvd.
    You will not be disappointed and you will want more after seeing this film…
    I recommend to all to buy this film and place it next to your film noir movie collection.
    This neo noir film will truly stay great though out history.

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