TROUBLE IS MY BUSINESS follows Roland Drake, a 1940s Private Investigator trying to untangle a mystery that’s only landing him in deeper trouble, in an adventure that ticks all the classic boxes — seductive femme fatales, corrupt cops, a weary PI, and troublesome thugs and dames.
What We Thought:
As a movie reviewer a lot of filmmakers reach out to me get their movie talked about. It can be scary because not all movies are created equal. I watched the trailer for Trouble Is My Business and thought it could be fun. A campy noir-ish detective story sounded right up my alley.
And I’m happy to report that it is! Trouble Is My Business pretty much hits the nail on the head when it comes to films like this. There are certain things you want or need in a noir style film and you get most of them here. Thomas Konkle’s Roland Drake is what you want in a noir detective. He’s kind of buffoon-ish. He has a great old-timey vocabulary. He’s great with the dames. He may act and look the fool, but gets the job done when it needs getting done.
Drake is hired to figure out a family mystery involving a diamond, missing people, dames, the Russians, crooked cops and more. Drake looks very much the part of a 1940’s Los Angeles private eye with suits and a hat. That’s one of the positives of the film, the wardrobe. If you are going to do 40’s noir, you need the right wardrobe with dresses, suits, hats, trench coats and more.
Set design and the overall look of the film is also a positive. They use fake backdrops for some of it which usually doesn’t work for me, but it’s not too bad here. Because the acting and set design fit the time properly, the backdrops didn’t bother me as much. Drake’s office, the family home and other locations all look era appropriate which help distract from the fake backdrops. I’m not sure what kind of a budget the film had, but they definitely spent wisely on design.
Trouble Is My Business comes as a special two-disc collector’s edition containing both color and black-and-white versions of the film. If you’re only going to watch one version, you have to go black & white. The black & white gives it even more of a noir feel because like the design of the film, it fits the era properly. If you like noir homages with dames being dames and private dicks solving crimes with a cool voiceover then the film is definitely
VERNON WELLS as Detective Barry Tate
BRITTNEY POWELL as Jennifer Montemar
THOMAS KONKLE as Roland Drake
STEVE TOM as Gavron Grozney
JORDANA CAPRA as Evelyn Montemar
BEN PACE as John Shannon
Director: Thomas Konkle
Writers: Thomas Konkle & Brittney Powell
Producer: David Beeler and Brittney Powell
Executive Producer: Michael J. Smith and Thomas Konkle