Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Gosling

11
Jun
17

The Nice Guys, Pan

The Nice Guys

Director/screenwriter Shane Black has been having a bit of a career renaissance lately. With Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3, he’s quickly falling back into favor with Hollywood. In case you don’t remember who Black is, he’s the Christmas-obsessed mind behind gems like The Last Boy Scout and Lethal Weapon. He’s generally regarded for razor-sharp dialogue and eschewing standard movie tropes.

The Nice Guys is his latest effort. It’s a retro film, taking place in the 70s, starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. And, as you’d expect, it has all the trappings of a Black movie, like the crazy dialogue, two main characters who hate each other, and a precocious wisecracking kid. It’s plays out like a neo-noir with a twisty plot, violence, and a little nudity thrown in for good measure.

Performances are generally good, and the directing is fine. Somehow, though, this movie didn’t really do much for me. The plot isn’t enthralling, and the twists can be seen coming a mile away. Plus, an extended, bumbling “hot potato” scene at the end is more aggravating than it is thrilling. Much of the dialogue is good, but an equal amount of it is rote, without any memorable lines whatsoever.

Overall, The Nice Guys is an OK film. I suppose I liked it. At least I didn’t actively hate it. But it doesn’t do enough to become an instant classic. It’s serviceable, and, fortunately, a non-superhero movie in an age of CGI bullshit.

Verdict: Average

Pan

Wow, what a huge piece of shit this movie is. To be honest, I’m at a loss for words how exactly to review this thing. It’s an exercise in atrociousness not seen since Transformers 2. There is literally nothing good about this movie.

It’s a prequel to Peter Pan, because Hollywood apparently thinks we need an origin story for everything. Peter Pan is fine on his own. We don’t need to know how he got to Neverland. We don’t need to know how he and Captain Hook used to be friends. We certainly don’t need to know how he is “the chosen one” to have magical bullshit powers or whatever the fuck. And we certainly didn’t need to hear Hugh Jackman crooning classic rock ballads in a fantasy setting against an all green-screen backdrop.

Seriously, fuck this movie.

Verdict: Shitty

19
Apr
13

Young Adult, Gangster Squad

Young Adult

She has a great life.

Young Adult tells the story of an emotionally stunted 37-year-old woman who returns to her hometown in order to win back the love of her life. Unfortunately, there are several problems. First, she is stuck in the past while everyone else has moved on. Second, she’s a narcissistic bitch that everybody hates. And third, the man of her dreams is already married and is not the slightest bit interested in her.

Charlize Theron plays the ghost-writer of a popular book series aimed at high-schoolers. The series has reached its end, and she is bumbling through life with no idea what to do next. She winds up back in her small hometown. She meets a few people she used to know, but we quickly learn she has no friends. She has no friends because she was a total bitch in high school. Her bitchiness has remained the same. Her development has arrested at the young adult period of her life. Theron’s character is also a raging alcoholic, either drunk or hung over in every scene of the film. She is completely delusional in her belief that she can win her old flame back.

Theron shares a significant amount of screen time with Patton Oswalt, who plays a guy who was nearly beaten to death as a teenager. Despite resistance on both ends, the two of them reconnect in a way. He’s funny and charming, and provides a nice balance to Theron’s completely self-centered character. Fortunately, they don’t reconnect in the usual, cliche Hollywood fashion.

The best part of this movie is its realism. It shows that people who were cool in high school usually grow up to be losers. Those people live in a fantasy world, thinking they are still the shit, while everyone else has learned otherwise. In the end, Theron’s character shows little to no growth. Young Adult is an interesting character study. Not much really happens, but it is completely mesmerizing to watch. It has drama, laughs, and a few uncomfortable scenes, too. Even though it was written by Diablo Cody, this movie stands miles above her usual dreck. You should check it out.

Verdict: Good

Gangster Squad

“Myeah, see, I want the Gangster Squad rubbed out, myeah, see.”

This movie begins with the words: “Inspired by a True Story.”

Gee, I wonder which parts of the story were true? I’d bet they were:

  • Two cars ripping a bad guy in half.
  • Josh Brolin using a moving elevator to sever a guy’s hand.
  • Throwing grenades back and forth between two moving cars.
  • Sean Penn saying “You know the drill” and then killing a guy with a drill.
  • Babygoose talking in a weird, high-pitched voice.
  • Faking out the audience to think Josh Brolin’s family is dead, but SURPRISE they are fine. DERP!
  • The squad trying to take down Sean Penn’s operation but doing so without any kind of plan.
  • The squad (remember, this is the 1940s) being racially diverse.
  • Babygoose going after jail bait Emma Stone.
  • Babygoose dumping acid on a bad guy’s crotch.
  • Josh Brolin throwing away his gun so he can fight Sean Penn hand-to-hand.
  • Sean Penn pretending to know how to fight.
  • Nick Nolte croaking his lines like a bullfrog.

Gangster Squad has to be the most accurate movie “inspired by a true story” of all time. Man, oh man, I love movies that are based on true stories. Usually, only one aspect of the movie is true and everything else is made up. Fortunately, I can say without hesitation that Gangster Squad doesn’t have this problem. There is no doubt in my mind that this movie is 100% historically accurate. I would like to use this opportunity to thank The Gangster Squad for cleaning up L.A. for good. Thanks to their efforts, it is a clean, prosperous metropolis without gangs, drugs, or crime of any kind.

Verdict: Shitty

05
Oct
12

Looper Pooper

Sup, bros? I saw this totally rad movie over the weekend called Pooper. And by totally rad I mean it gave me the same feeling I have when I chug too much Jager and have to puke.

All my bros in film reviewing land had the exact same things to say about Pooper: “mind-bending”, “smart”, “scintillating”, “smart”, “creative”, “exciting”, “smart”, “very smart”, “high-concept”, “intelligent”, and “smart.” While my bros out there really liked this movie, I’m still wondering if they thought it was a smart movie. It’s hard to tell. In fact, I just typed “smart” so many times, it doesn’t even look like a real word any more. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Continue reading ‘Looper Pooper’




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