Lawless (2012)

Directed By: John Hillcoat

Written By: Nick Cave (screenplay) and Matt Bondurant (novel)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Shia LaBeouf and Guy Pearce

Synopsis:

If you make inebriating substances illegal, people will die.

Musings:

This film comes at time where the public seems to be interested in the bootlegging of 1920s USA. Is there some kind of comparison that can be made between the organized crime of that time and the modern day drug cartels? Just make it all legal or tax the hell out of it and people will sort themselves out. Good solution? I have no idea, but it seems to work with the devil’s brew.

What this film does differently is cover the life of bootleggers not in the big city but rather in the depths of the country. This gives the film an interesting angle on the roaring ‘20s and different than the one we’re used to (think Boardwalk Empire).

What surprised me most about this film was that I didn’t hate Shia LaBeouf or Shia The Beef, as I like to call him. He was okay and that is good enough for me. He couldn’t touch Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain or Guy Pearce who we all amazing.

I give John Hillcoat a nod because I think he’s a great director. I don’t think Lawless is nearly as good as his film The Proposition, but I could see why he’s going in this direction and I like him and Nick Cave working together. They will do some damage in the future.

I’ve managed to say absolutely nothing. Enjoy!

Problem: The Beef was in a few too many scenes

Mood for watching: Drunk

What to eat and drink: Kale and Moonshine

If I made it: More Gary Oldman and cowbell

Why watch: Because liquor is quicker

Advertisements

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Directed By: Christopher Nolan

Written By: Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan (screenplay)

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway and Gary Oldman

Synopsis:

Gotham City is a craptastic place to live.

Musings:

I will admit that I had a great time watching this film. How can you not when you’re sitting in an IMAX theatre with your senses being inundated by a larger than life screen and sound so big that it makes your organs vibrate. It was a rush and I recommend watching in this format.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman is by far the biggest in terms of action and special FX, but in this third installment I found myself a little disappointed. Yes, it was a fantastic piece of action-comic spectacle, but was it really as great as the fanatics think?  Sequels are rarely as good as the original with the exception of a few gems (Back to the Future and Indiana Jones).

So what didn’t I like? The story line was too similar to The Avengers, which started off the blockbuster season. Bane was an okay villain, but doesn’t stack up to Heath Ledger’s Joker, but who can? The vocal effects made him difficult to understand and he sounded too much like Darth Vader with a peculiar accent. Also, some of the major plot points were weak sauce, like bland Indian food. In the back of mind, I just hoped that this final Nolan Batman would blow the roof off of comic movies.

That being said, the acting was fantastic. I’m going to miss Christian Bale’s version of Batman, I think the character has definitely benefitted from him. Michael Caine was a touch on the weepy side (belivable weepy) and I had a hard time keeping a straight face because I couldn’t stop thinking about Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s impressions of him from The Trip. Also, a quick shout out to Gary Oldman, JGL and Anne Hathaway (never thought I would give her a shout out), who were perfectly cast in their roles.

Finally, the opening sequence was top notch; with a great cameo from Aidan Gillan a.k.a. Tommy Carcetti from The Wire. The stunts/CG made me giddy. It was the most impressed I have been since staring into the eye of the great T-Rex in Jurassic Park.

Problem: Not dark enough

Mood for watching: Psyched

What to eat and drink: Twix and Root beer

If I made it: I would have pit Batman against Maxie Zeus or The Mad Hatter

Why watch: For the spectacle

The Contender (2000)

Directed By: Rod Lurie

Written By: Rod Lurie

Starring: Joan Allen, Gary Oldman and Jeff Bridges

Synopsis:

If you plan on getting into politics, don’t participate in orgies.

Musings:

This film explores how far politicians will go to scrutinize their opponents. Shit! The political battleground is ugly. The opposition digs up dirty secrets until you are shamed and embarrassed. This film also shows the double standard faced by women in politics. It is a cruel, cruel world.

I love movies that have characters that are in powerful positions but also show a human side to them, something we don’t often see in life but is a reminder that they are just peeps like the rest of us. The only difference is how many bodyguards they have? And if Kevin Costner is one of them… Step off!

Joan Allen plays a powerful protagonist that puts up a great fight in the male dominated world of American politics, just splendid. Jeff Bridges plays a great President who likes to show off his personal chef. Gary Oldman, where do I even begin? He makes an awesome bad guy. I like him better when he’s bad, none of this Commissioner Gordon bullshit. Who remembers him as Drexl in True Romance? Also, Sam Elliott has a voice that you can butter bread with (but looks strange without his ‘stache). Even if you find this film on the boring side, the acting is top notch.

Problem: It feels dated

Mood for watching: Intrigued

What to eat and drink: Shark sandwich and a cold one

If I made it: Samuel L. Jackson would be in it

Why watch: What not to do in college