Coming Soon

December 29, 2013

American Hustle

American Hustle is the story of a conartist couple that is forced to help an eager FBI agent catch some major criminals. It is roughly based on a 1970's sting operation called ABSCAM that focused on finding corrupt public figures. The film stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence. While the story is similar to many other conartist films, the satire in this film goes above and beyond any film I have seen before. Along with fantastic comedic timing, these all-star actors give some amazing performances. The acting is a definite highlight in this film.

The comedy in this film is one of its strengths. I was very confused after watching the previews to hear that this is considered a comedy. Throughout the movie I asked myself if I would consider it a comedy. As the entire audience laughed out loud frequently, there was no question that this is a comedy, and a great one. This is really what sets this movie apart from others. 

Another major strength is the acting. Christian Bale has demonstrated his strength and range many times in frequent years. This is another hit out of the park. The opening scene finds Bale working on his elaborate comb over, a perfect sign of the times. This hysterical scene sets the tone for the whole movie and shows off Bale's skills as an actor. Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper give exceptional performances also. They both have demonstrated their range. This really showed off their comedic timing. Jennifer Lawrence rounds out this cast. She is just beginning to show off her varying talents. In this film she shows that she can hang with the big dogs. She is able to be physical with her acting and keep up her character in some of the most hilarious scenes in the movie. I was extremely impressed with her performance. It is not surprising that this performance has put her name in the running for more awards this year. 

Overall, American Hustle is a comical twist on a regular conartist story. The story won't blow you away, but the comedic writing and production along with some fantastic acting will leave you wanting more. 


January 19, 2013

Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad is the story of some rogue cops that go after the mobster, Mickey Cohen, who is running the town of Los Angeles. I find the release date of this film very interesting, because it hits right at the same time as the beginning of award season. I think this was an excellent movie with great writing, directing, and exquisite acting! It could really be a heavy hitter for awards, but the release date makes me concerned it will be forgotten about by the time awards come around in 2014.

The first positive of this film is the writing and directing. This is a action flick about battling for justice, but there is a great amount of humor mixed in. I never expected to hear the entire audience laughing during a gangster movie, but it created perfect moments and provided just the right mix of action and laughs! I believe this came about from a collaboration between writing and directing.

The best part of this film, however, was the acting! This is a loaded cast including Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone. Each of these actors brings an exceptional performance and plays a part in creating this amazing movie! First, Sean Penn can transform himself better than almost any actor I have seen. He has the voice, the facial expression, and the mannerisms of a serious gangster. He perfectly portrays a man who takes joy in seeing others suffer and loses control when things don't go his way. I was amazed by his performance! Josh Brolin supplements Penn's performance as the good guy cop leading this squad of misfits to bring justice for their city. He fits into this late 40's time period very well and is perfect as the stand up, by the book cop. Ryan Gosling may convince you that he was actually living during this time period by his performance in this film. I believe that he might have been born in the wrong era, because his voice and his actions fit perfectly into this type of character. He is the pretty boy, slacker, and tough guy all wrapped into one as he also sweeps the damsel in distress off her feet! His body of work is becoming more and more impressive with each film he makes. Emma Stone is another person who fits into this time period perfectly. She plays the damsel in the arms of the evil mobster that needs a good guy to save her. She is sexy and independent while also showing the weakness a woman of this time had. This only begins to scratch the surface of the plethora of talented actors in Gangster Squad, but each of these had to be mentioned.

Overall, Gangster Squad was excellently written and directed. The casting was perfect to create a believable time period film. The acting takes this excellency to another level. The loaded cast makes this a great film.