Tag: Josh Brolin

Hail, Caesar!

Fuck yes. I am hyped. I am beyond hyped. I am too hyped.

I am hyped because I am excited to see Hail, Caesar!, potentially the first great movie of the year. We are out of January, and things can start to look up, if only for a little bit.

But hold the fucking phone. Two years ago, on the first Friday of February 2014, a different movie came out that I was super hyped for. That was The Monuments Men. I assume everyone knows that The Monuments Men ended up being one of the most disappointing films of that year, given that it had such an excellent cast and potential, but it was entirely squandered.

And George Clooney starred in both of them. Arguably there is more talent behind the scenes this time, but he has let me down before almost two years to the day.

So I am going in a bit timid. Excited, hoping for the best, but weary nonetheless.

Cloon
BUT CLOONEY IS THE GREATEST ACTOR OF ALL TIME.

In the 1950’s, Hollywood was a rough place. It was chaotic. There was no CGI. The sets were big and the egos were bigger. Heck, people were talking and singing in movies now. In color. Everything is splashy and outlandish.

Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is a man who loves his wife and kids and is a devout Catholic. But he is a hard ass and he knows what needs to be done. He is one of the heads of Capitol studios, the biggest studio in Hollywood, and he is a fixer. He works long hours, looks at the film dailies, and make sure everything goes according to plan. That means makes sure the actors are where they are, finding replacements, protecting the image of everyone working there from a potential disaster. He is a one man wrecking crew, but like, the opposite of wrecking, because he saves everything.

So when Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) goes missing from his set of Hail, Caesar!, a giant historic epoch of a Roman general who met Jesus before he was crucified and became a believer, Mannix was on the case.

Mannix will also have to deal with a western actor being forced into serious drama (Alden Ehrenreich), the acclaimed director who cannot stand it (Ralph Fiennes), a singing swimming starlet whom is pregnant but unmarried (Scarlet Johansson), gossip columnists (Tilda Swinton), and maybe leaving this job behind for a similar, better paying, easier job in the tech industry. He doesn’t have to worry about Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum) though, he’s perfect.

Also featuring Frances McDormand, Jonah Hill, Veronica Osorio, and Alison Pill. They all basically have only one scene. But Heather Goldenhersh has a bunch, still minor.

Mermaid
Every good film has a mermaid in it.

Oh you Coen brothers. You sly devils. I originally watched the trailer for Hail, Caesar! assuming it would be a period peace film. I love Ancient Rome things, and I would love it if they decided to put their hats into that ring. But it wasn’t about ancient Rome, it was about Hollywood and many film genres of the 1950’s. They decided to go meta with it, allowing multiple story lines and themes, providing a bit of satire along the way.

Well, I still hope in the future they give me a movie about Ancient Rome with George Clooney in it. I will be wait. Thankfully, Hail, Caesar! was a great movie to watch to help pass the time.

H,C! was hilarious. It really had my funny knee in stitches. I might be getting some of that terminology wrong, but I giggled quite hard many a time. In particular, I loved the religious round table, the scenes between Ehrenreich and Fiennes, and the song and dance numbers. Ehrenreich killed it in this film, despite still being relatively unknown. He has the same sort of vocal twang he had in Beautiful Creatures that made me so happy, so I was glad to hear it again.

Brolin did a nice job of carrying the film, although his character felt like a lot of his previous roles. Clooney and Tatum were also swell.

What can I say? The Coen brothers are a great team. They know how to write together and direct together. They consistently put out high quality entertainment, even though not everything is a guaranteed hit, you know there is a good chance it will at least still be zany.

4 out of 4.

Sicario

I am happy to say that I was able to go into Sicario with a blind eye. I knew nothing about the plot and I was happy about that fact. Hell, when I first saw the cover and name, I just assumed it was some random horror film.

But what I was unable to avoid was the hype train. The hype train drove through my city like a…well, train. Praise from all sides about the acting, directing, cinemetography, plot, you name it, people loved it.

That sucks. Now I went into the film expecting greatness. The important note here is that I did, in fact, go into the film. I was supposed to see 99 Films this night. I convinced myself otherwise, to avoid the free pre-screening, and pay my hard cash money to see the movie so I can review it and compare it to its hype. I might have had to wait until a DVD release if it wasn’t super hyped, and who the hell knows when that would be. I can’t miss out on potential Oscar greatness for Andrew MotherFucking Garfield!?!

Immigrants
Some say Garfield is living his post-Spider-Man life as an immigrant on the run from the law.

Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is an FBI agent living in Arizona and she is pretty dang good at her job. She is currently working on a string of kidnappings in the area by a Mexican Cartel lord. The guy pretends to be a legitimate business man, but they all know he is running the gangs secretly and taking orders from Mexico. Kate and her partner, Reggie Wayne (Daniel Kaluuya), also find out that parts of the house were rigged to explode. Well fuck. These assholes are going to start booby trapping their hideouts to smuggle people places. This means every future job just got that much more dangerous and things really really suck.

But have no fear, every day American citizens. The government is on the case!

Kate is hand picked to join a larger, inter-department task force, lead by the CIA. She doesn’t know a lot about the mission. Just that it is lead by an asshole, Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), who only slightly works or the CIA, and his mysterious friend, Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), someone who isn’t even American, nor is he CIA. He is a “consultant.”

Next thing Kate knows, she is whisked away to El Paso. She was told the overall mission of the task force was to bring own the kidnappings and drugs in that area. To actually hurt the cartel from the top and not through their lackies.

What she didn’t know is how many laws would be broken in the process. Not including murder, crossing borders, torture and kidnapping. Lovely. What’s a moral girl gonna do in a situation like that?

Also with Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal, Maximillia Hernandez, and the best Miami Spy, Jeffrey Donovan.

Jef
You can’t fool me with your hipster glasses and fake mustache. I know it is you, Michael Weston.

Sicario was one of those perfect movie experiences. Outside of the two dudes who literally had phone calls during the showing. This is what I get for going to a non-screener, non-drafthouse like setting.

Why was it perfect? Sicario was like a slow burning wine. It was dark, realistic, slow, beautifully well shot, great characters, tense moments, and with a bit of moral ambiguity. Not a lot, but a bit. Someone should let me know if what I said about wine makes any sense, because I don’t know anything about wine, but the saying seemed natural enough.

Acting on all fronts were great. We got Brolin being a dick, pretty standard. But the obvious and clear stand outs come from Blunt and Del Toro. Blunt has been having a heck of a career with her last few movies. She seems to always give it her all and seems to be getting even more dramatic roles in the future thanks to it. Blunt gets to play our law abiding character who doesn’t know what really goes on, the one the audience gets to relate to.

Del Toro isn’t introduced until later in the film, but by the end he definitely becomes a true co star and almost another main protagonist. I once had a friend who said he would watch anything with Del Toro in it. But that was in 2010 and he was trying to justify being interested in The Wolfman. I knew he was in a lot of good movies, but I wasn’t a megafan. But hell, this is the type of performance that could make someone a megafan. His character is very rich and the movie does a nice job of slowly unraveling his mystique. He is one of the most BAMF characters in film this year, while at the same time you never really know if you are supposed to be cheering for or against him.

I wouldn’t be a good reviewer if I didn’t further talk about the cinematography. Denis Villeneuve likes pretty movies and he wants your eyes to be ecstatic. You’d know that if you saw his recent movies, Enemy and Prisoners. That is why with this film and Prisoners he used the legendary Roger Deakins to set up his shots. So much attention to detail was put into every frame, the only thing that could ruin it would be mutilated bodies and dead nudity.

Oh.

Yeah. Some of that is in here too I guess.

4 out of 4.

Buy It! – This movie is available now on {Blu-Ray} and {DVD}.

Everest

Here is a dumb question you can ask your friends and coworkers if you want them to dislike you a little bit more than they already do.

“Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain on Earth?” This will make them ponder and come up with some bad guess, and you can quickly toss in a “It was still Mount Everest, it just wasn’t discovered, dipshit!” And again, you will lose friends.

My main problem with this joke, as a geophysicist/movie reviewer, is that it assumes that Mount Everest was always the tallest mountain on Earth, and that things don’t change. But we know they change, we know India and Asia weren’t always smashing into each other, so there is a real answer to the question of what used to be the tallest mountain before Mount Everest took over.

Turns out this knowledge is hard to get to and a bit awkward. But know there is a real answer out there. Just modern technology hasn’t always existed.

Oh yeah, I am supposed to talk about Everest. I think I should watch it on a large screen to give the large mountain its necessary honor.

Touch
Like a very gentle soft touch on its top most tip.

About 50-55 million years ago, India collided with Asia. It was probably the fastest moving tectonic plate ever, as it split with what is now Madagascar, presumably looking for a new climate. India was on an oceanic plate that was subducting under Asia at the time, which is the why it moved so fast. Once they crashed, the Himalaya mountains decided to be a thing, as the two land masses crumbled into each other, upward and forward! They grew fast and grew hard, making some really tall mountains that are still growing today. Mount Everest, aka Sagarm?th?, aka Chomolungma, currently sitting at 29,029 ft above sea level. Everest’s main purpose seems to be looking tall and killing crazy white assholes.

Oh, but maybe you care about those assholes? Well in that case, the film itself takes place in 1996, based on a real life disaster that took place that year and had like, five books written about it from survivors. Lot of primary sources to work with.

But our main character is Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), owner of Adventure Consultants out of New Zealand leads groups up Everest for large sums, helping them the whole way. He was the first to do this as a commercial business. There is also Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal), main guide of Mountain Madness, who started doing the same thing later. In 1996, it was extremely popular though, and there were dozens of groups up there, all trying to use the few mountain paths to make it to the top, around the same time, causing a lot of problems.

Speaking of people, we have a few more notables. Like the fact that Rob’s wife (Kiera Knightley) is at home, pregnant, ready to give birth not long after his return. And Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly), a journalist who is going to write about his experience. And Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), a regular guy who worked three jobs to save up money to hike Everest, making his second attempt to the peak to help school kids realize that dreams come true! And Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), from Texas, a cocky dude who feels good when he climbs, but is depressed back at home. And and and and of course Anatoli Boukreev (Ingvar Eggert SigurĂ°sson), one of the guides working with Fischer, and a general bamf climber.

Honestly, plot reviews are easy in this case, because I don’t have to describe bad things happening. I just have to talk about who is involved. And since it is such a big cast, here are a few other people involved!

Emily Watson played the base camp leader with Elizabeth Debicki as their team doctor. Thomas M. Wright, Martin Henderson, and Tom Goodman-Hill play the other 3 guides and Sam Worthington plays a literal Guy who works with Adventuring Consultants, and in real life later becomes their director and CEO. Naoko Mori plays Yasuko Namba, who had climbed 6 of the 7 main peaks with Everest as her last, and Robin Wright as the wife of Beck Weathers.

Climb
Color coding the hikers is a good strategy, but I feel bad for anyone who got stuck with red.

Apparently, sometimes, I get a little bit emotional over some geology. Because at least one scene in particular had me bawling my eyes out. I mean I found myself crying in the dark theater, surrounded by strangers, crying for like two minutes. It wasn’t even at the end of film, it was probably about 80% of the way through. I am just an emotional wreck since I had a baby, I guess.

Everest is an intense, dramatic, and gorgeous film. It was made in particular to be experience first hand on an IMAX screen. Sure, in the beginning, it is a bit weird as we get some character introductions, watching them hike to base camp and the weeks of training before they finally climb. It isn’t just a group of people running up a hill and facing constant threats. They don’t slowly die one at a time like it is a horror film. This is based on a true story and the attention to detail is astounding. It is easy to get things right when you have multiple books to figure it all out.

The last 40 minutes is extremely gripping. Not knowing the actual story, I didn’t know who would make it out alive so I was afraid for everyone. They all feel like real people and it is easy to connect with many of them before their eventual ascent.

Finally, I think my favorite part of this movie is that it isn’t about a group of people trying to battle nature and show their dominance. It is really about a mountain, who gives zero fucks about the insignificant life forms that sometimes explore its slopes. It is about how nature is unforgiving and doesn’t care about how much prep work occurs, it will do what it wants, when it wants. It is about how life doesn’t care if you are a good person, or a bad person, a newbie or a trainer climber, you are just as likely to get killed in a heart beat.

Nature is a fucking beast. And Everest is fucking good.

4 out of 4.

Inherent Vice

I was excited to watch Inherent Vice, because the internet told me to be excited about Inherent Vice. It was some sleek 1970s-esque drama/mystery, complete with Private Eye and missing people. It had a sexy poster and a lot of famous people in it.

I honestly didn’t see too much advertising outside of the internet, but it was also by a well respected director. Paul Thomas Anderson has made quite a few good films, all of them well acted, very well loved.

So despite it taking me, I dunno, two or so months after it first started coming out to theaters, I have finally gotten around to seeing it!

And then, uh, I saw it and left quite disappointed.

Prude
I am probably just a prude like this lady here.

Here is what I pieced together.

Larry “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) is a private investigator, a man with sideburns, and someone who loves women, drugs, and other hippie behavior. His ex lady Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) is now sleeping with a real estate mogul Michael Z. Wolfmann (Eric Roberts). His wife doesn’t like the affair and might be planning something drastic.

Also, unrelated, Tariq Khalil (Michael Kenneth Williams) wants Doc to find his friend, a member of an Aryan gang. The man who also is a bodyguard of Mr. Wolfmann. Oh man. The plot thickens.

Either way, these two inquiries lead Doc on a strange and drug fueled path, featuring death, framing, cunnilingus, sex, more drugs, and more drugs again. Also featuring Hong Chau, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Martin Short, Josh Brolin, Maya Rudolph and Benicio Del Toro.

Shock
My face when I found out the side burns had their own place in the credits.

I think the main point of Inherent Vice is to tell a decade appropriate story with a decade appropriate amount of drugs and hazy memory. The story feels disjointed because of how messed up the characters actually are. I’d say it is like an unreliable narrator, but I am not even sure who the narrator was, just a woman.

And I hated it. I don’t care how accurate the experience is, it just makes me feel uncomfortable. Which again, is probably the point. But these are feelings I don’t want to feel, the feelings of confusion.

The set is fine. The acting is fine. The music is good. But the story I found impossible to get into. For the most part it just felt like two characters talking to each other and uhh then the next scene. I like dramas, I like talking, I just could do absolutely nothing with this one.

1 out of 4.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

I don’t know how people reviewed the movie Sin City when it came out, I just know that Sin City: A Dame To Kill For will be pretty hard to review.

Sin City itself was pretty polarizing. I think overall it was on the positive side of the spectrum for most people (including me). The art style was something very different and took awhile for some people to get used to. It was also pseudo copied with The Spirit, which a lot of people hated (and those people also suck).

But a sequel has long been in development and long been clamored for, as the original came out in 2005. Almost took 10 years to get another installment. It has to live up to a lot of pressure, so I hope it can deliver.

Nakkid
Now with more nakedness than ever before.

Sin City is a land where dreams come true. Assuming your dreams involve corruption, drugs, sex, betrayal, murder, lawlessness, crime, death, and other synonyms. Shit is weak. Shit is weak everywhere.

Marv (Mickey Rourke) is still running around, being a badass. If you like him, good news, he is basically in every plot line.

Like when Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) comes to town, looking for secretive revenge and wanting to use his elite poker skills to do it. Or when Nancy the never naked Stripper (Jessica Alba) wants to enact revenge on the death of Hartigan (Bruce Willis) from the first film. Or when Dwight (Josh Brolin) has to go an save Ava (Eva Green) from an abusive relationship, taking out an inhuman body guard Manute (Dennis Haysbert).

So, basically Marv is everywhere. Yay continuity?

Also featuring others, like Rosario Dawson and Powers Boothe bringing back their old characters. Or like Jamie Chung, taking over someone else character. And some people in much smaller roles, like Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven and Christopher Lloyd who is like 150 at this point.

Beat Up
If only there were angels out there for him to help out?

More action! More death! More sex! Is Sin City: A Dame To Kill For a step in the franchise? Or is it just too late?

Hard to say what the reason is, but this movie felt incredibly lack luster for me. Maybe it is because when Sin City first came up, it was before comic book movies really started to amp up their games. Before The Dark Knight before the Marvel films. Because for the most part, this story / set of stories feels very familiar, yet still distant.

Maybe I am annoyed at just how connected they wanted everything to feel? I liked the disjointedness of the first film, just a few short stories and then another.

Maybe it is just the quality of the stories? For what it is worth, there are basically three plot lines. The middle being the longest and most complete, or at least featuring the most characters, but even it dragged by the end. The “first” plot with JG-L didn’t feel interesting, and Alba’s felt not as epic as it was going for.

Maybe it is that the style feels stale after all this time, with the 3D elements never really enhancing it like I had hoped?

Maybe I don’t know. The only thing I know is this movie felt like a great disappointment. But also, maybe I am just getting older.

1 out of 4.

Oldboy

Wooo, Oldboy remake! I watched the original a few days before Oldboy came out to theaters, then…surprise! They changed their mind to make it limited release on Thanksgiving week, and of course, it didn’t come close to my area. Fuck those guys. Damn it, damn it.

So now it is March, and I can finally see it. I still saw the original, just like 4-5 months ago instead of right before hand. Oh well, whatever. Based on the trailers, it looks like they might have changed some of the main elements around, so it shouldn’t be a complete copy.

Hammer
This time, the hammer is actually his hammer, and not his penis. `

Basic jist, Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) is an asshole. He was married and had a child, but they got divorced, and now he is a scumbag ex who doesn’t pay child support and lives sale to sale. One night, after a sale, he goes to visit his friend Chucky (Michael Imperioli), he gets abducted! He thinks it is a hotel room for sex, next thing he knows, the scenery outside is fake, and he is stuck in this small room with a TV.

Twenty years go by with him in that room, getting fed 3 meals a day and occasionally getting gassed for random reasons. He finds out soon after he was captured that his wife was murdered and the blame fell directly on his life. Shit. Now his daughter, 3 years old, who barely knew him, is getting raised by another family.

So what happens after 20 years? He gets released. No questions asked. Huh. Okay. Why? I guess that is the question.

Also starring Elizabeth Olsen (A lot of her), Sharlto Copley, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Hairs
That’s right, after all that, I just want to show you a very hairy Brolin.

To answer the question that people care about, no, not really. The question they were asking of course was “If I saw the original Korean version, should I watch the American remake?”

That is a bit unfortunate. A lot of it was the same, not scene for scene, but basically every step of the way is the same. Remember that long fight scene from the side in the original? It is back in this one, but…shorter I think, and with more cuts. Remember the ending? Of course you fucking remember the ending. Well, it is very similar. Arguably there is one big plot point different, but in the grand schemes, it is the basic same story.

So, on its own? It is okay. Definitely not as powerful as the first, and really, knowing the entire story kind of tames this one for me. Samuel L. Jackson didn’t feel as good as the Korean counterpart. Sharlto Copley played a villain and uhh, he has been a better villain in other movies. It was pretty meh. In general, the end has a “too many coincidences” vibe to it, so the ending doesn’t even give as much pay off as the Korean version.

I think I also expected a bit more from Brolin here, who I guess is officially a hit or miss actor. Sometimes he is on, sometimes he isn’t. Tis a shame.

Oldboy remake? Could have not been done. I would have expected more different from this type of movie, not a basic copy.

2 out of 4.

Labor Day

Yesssss, a Jason Reitman movie!

Who is Jason Reitman? Well, he did Up In The Air, Young Adult, Juno, and Thank You For Smoking.

That should be enough for you. I guess, he also directed Labor Day. He has pretty interesting movies, so I expect good things from this super drama looking movie. Like. Seriously. The trailer shows like no comedy at all.

Pie Love
This is the strangest sex scene I have ever seen, and it involves a minor!

Labor Day takes place in the late 1980s, and you know, was a book and shit. Henry (Gattlin Griffith) is living with his mom, Adele (Kate Winslet), after his dad (Clark Gregg) has left her for his secretary. The dad has a big second family now, but he wants to live with his mom, who never really recovered from the divorce/cheating, as if the entire concept of love had left her.

She doesn’t leave the house much, maybe just once a month to get supplies, but that is all. Well, unfortunately, on her monthly shopping trip, Henry is approached by Frank (Josh Brolin), and he is hurt. He needs a ride, so Henry takes him to ask his mom. Turns out the ride he needs is to their place, and he seems threatening.

Ah, he is an escaped convict, sent to the paddywagon for murder. Pretty extreme. Although he seems “nicer” at the house, he still has to put up appearances of taking them hostage so that they won’t get in trouble if he is found out. Some light bondage, if you will. But while he is there, he fixes things around the house, cooks food, you name it. He wants to hop on a train that goes by their house, but a dang holiday weekend (guess which one!) kind of ruins it all.

But even more remarkable, is that eventually, there is love.

This film also has James Van Der Beek as a random cop (small role), J.K. Simmons as a random neighbor, and it is narrated from the son’s point of view, but also by Tobey Maguire, not Gattlin. Only felt a little weird there.

Hostages
Apparently, hostage holding has gotten a lot more seductive.

Well, shit. I guess Jason can make a movie I don’t like or higher.

I was kind of disappointed with this movie, like, super disappointed. Like, bored. It was very slow moving, and extremely simple.

What is giving it the higher rating is mostly Kate Winslet. She acted the hell out of that role, really incredibly. She said so much with her eyes and hands. Acting for the win yo. Brolin was good too, and an interesting character.

I just didn’t find any bit of the situation believable. The ride to their home, him staying over, just…it all felt awkward and fake. Having Tobey Maguire narrate it felt weird, because it clearly wasn’t the kids voice. Thankfully he was in the movie at the very end, reflecting on the 4-5 days, but still, it was super dang awkward.

The ending was a bit awkward too in that regard. It did catch me off guard, and you know, suddenly tears, but the story I still kind of hate. Just, Kate Winslet’s acting yo. If you watch it, watch it for her. I don’t know if this movie is a 2013 movie delayed, or an actual 2014 movie. So, who knows about its award potential.

2 out of 4.

Milk

It took me a long long long time to finally watch Milk. Which is stupid, because I am also trying to watch movies nominated for Academy awards, and it was the last film 2008 for me to see. I wasn’t sure why it took so long originally, but now I definitely know.

Last year for Thanksgiving I reviewed the movie Butter, because it made sense in my head. So clearly I was meant to review Milk, for Thanksgiving this year. Arguably Milk has less to do with thanksgiving than Butter, but fuck it. Milk at least goes in the Mashed Potatoes y’all.

Basically, I am saying I have no idea what I want to review for 2014 Thanksgiving. Come on, we need some more food-ish based titles. Get your act together Hollywood.

Group
We also need more movies set in a time where hair ruled all.

Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) was the first openly gay man elected to a public office, in 1978 in San Francisco, California. In terms of a biography, the movie starts eight years earlier, when Harvey meets Scott Smith (James Franco), his first big love, and their decision to move to San Francisco. As soon as they do, they buy a property on Castro street and open up a camera shop, but they find that they are still not really welcome in the area.

Over time, Harvey becomes more and more of a political activist, and his shop becomes a sort of center of the gay community in the area. The police harass them though, despite no law breaking, so he decides it is the last straw and he must do something about it. He wants to run for City Supervisor, and introduce change in the area, and end the discrimination against gay culture.

But becoming an elected officially isn’t actually that easy. Since its a biography, you know he achieves it eventually, but you don’t know how hard it was to get to that point.

Victor Gerber plays the mayor, Josh Brolin another city supervisor named Dan White, Emile Hirsch plays Milk’s protege of sorts, Diego Luna another of Milk’s lovers, and Alison Pill as a lesbian campaign manager.

Speeh
His name is Harvey Milk, and he is here to recruit you. For his army.

I am a bit disappointed that this movie didn’t feature Sean Penn drinking milk, like, at all. It seems like the obvious scene to have. But I guess this is a serious film, honoring a man’s life, so they don’t want to do shit like that.

At the start of the movie, it took me awhile to really get in to it. A lot of events happen quickly to get the story set up properly, with Harvey, talking about his earlier life. But once the political activism started, that is truly where it got interesting for me. Where you see a man who knows he is doing the right thing fail over and over again, each time getting stronger after every loss. Getting smarter too, some of the tactics used were amazing. I am a bit surprised that the community kept going for Harvey after he failed a few times, because it shows many different individuals who probably would have been just as good as him, but they must have believed in him that strongly.

Sean Penn acted really well in this role, as he tends to do, so I guess at this point it is just standard.

The film also used actual footage of real events spliced into the real ones, normally I find it pretty tacky, but it was extremely well done this time. Footage of riots and interviews. At the end, they did the standard thing of showing what happened to the real individuals later on, and they spliced actual footage of the actors with their real life counter parts, which just looked great.

Milk is a great story, with great acting, and a great part of history that a lot of people might not know about.

3 out of 4.

Gangster Squad

Not going to lie. When I first saw the trailer for Gangster Squad, I thought it might be interesting. But I was worried based on the dialogue given it might all be cheesy. But I do love vigilantism. Especially real vigilantism. But above all of that, the thing I liked most was just the music featured in it. Made me all sorts of pumped up. But I learned long ago that if I hear a song in a movie trailer, it most definitely won’t be in the movie.

Bitches, yo.

The gang's all here
It is amazing that he picked such a diverse group of guys too. I had my money on all white all middle aged!

In the late 1940s, the city of Los Angeles is under siege. Not by the Russians or Germans. Nope, by Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). From New York, he is now the most powerful criminal in LA, having bought cops, judges, you name it. No one can touch him, not even the mobsters in Chicago. Not everyone is corrupt though. Once Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) sees that Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) has brought down an illegal brothel by himself, he enlists him on a secret mission.

There is no way to get Mickey Cohen legally. Killing him wont do anything, someone will just take his place. No, he needs to leave his badge at home, recruit a team (or squad, if you will), take down his entire infrastructure, and sure, maybe kill a bunch of gangsters.

Fuck the law, do what is right!

Well, he gets a team of mostly cops, people who aren’t as worth being bought off who all have special skills. Conway (Giovanni Ribisi), an intelligence expert, Coleman (Anothony Mackie), who grew up on the streets and is one of the few who cares to fix them, Max (Robert Patrick), a fabled cop who has quick hands and can hit anything, and Navidad (Michael Pena), his Mexican partner who is willing to do anything.

Oh, and of course another detective Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) who has a personal vendetta against Cohen, and not just because he is sexing up his current fling (Emma Stone).

Coloring
Cohen is going to get those coppers, so hard they don’t even know it yet.

Whew. Well, if you watch the trailer, you are going to get exactly as it shows. The lines are unfortunately mostly cheesy. The “No Ma’am, I was just hopin’ to take you to bed.” Imagine a whole film of that.

I think the movie is a bit of a shame. A lot of great actors involved, but it felt a lot like a no emotion cartoon. I didn’t feel sad when they wanted me to, nothing really resonated. The chemistry is really what was missing here. Between everyone, but especially between Stone and Gosling, who had an unbelievable romance going on. We know they can do that too, since they were together in Crazy, Stupid, Love. So I guess it is a director issue?

Another reason it felt cartoony to me was the filter they used to film it. I don’t know what it was, but look at the second picture. It has a yellow/orange tint almost, but something about it just really turned me off from the whole movie.

The fact that this is based off of a true story seems like a farce as well. It might actually be that Mickey Cohen existed only, in which case, fuck your true story tag lines.

Action was okay, acting was mostly forgettable, except a few Sean Penn moments. It was weird seeing Giovanni Ribisi as a good guy finally, so I am glad he can not be type casted (so much) anymore.

1 out of 4.

Men In Black 3

Here’s something I have learned today. Men In Black 3 is the first movie Will Smith has done in four years. FOUR YEARS.

Isn’t that weird? Someone who used to do action movies every other year on average since ID4, with a drama or two thrown in? I only looked this up because Will Smith was not tagged on my website yet. Just found that shocking.

But now on his IMDB, he has like, 6 things in production or rumored. So I guess he just took a little break. Work on his daughter’s singing career. Stuff like that.

Smithy Willy
Maybe instead of a movie review, we can just talk about all of the achievements of Will Smith.

Needless to say, I would suggest you have seen MIB and MIB2 before this movie, even though MIB2 is dumb and isn’t necessary for this movie.

But in MIB3, we have a new head of the department, Agent O (Emma Thompson). Don’t remember her? Well she has totally been there forever, shh. Long story short, Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) has escape from the moon prison, and is coming back to earth. He is the last of his kind, and missing his arm, thanks to Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) from 40 years earlier in the past.

And he does! Agent K is wiped out of existence, and the only one who can remember him is Agent J (Smith). Why? Because Spoilers. Either way, Agent J gets the idea to go back in the past as well, a day prior, kill the original Boris, so the future can be even better than it was before. Just needs help from a pot head time jumper (Michael Chernus).

Needless to say, going back in time doesn’t work out as planned, and despite being told not to, he teams up with the past version of Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save the future, and the world. Also Bill Hader has a small role as Andy Warhol. a

Jemaine
For the first time, their main villain actually looks and is pretty bad ass.

First things first: entertaining? Yes. Dealing with time travel tricky, pretty sure they dealt with it badly, but hey, I’m fine with that right now. Was a fun story, good action, good humor.

And Josh Brolin. Josh Brolin as young Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K was astounding. That dude had TLJ from these movies down to a T, and it was just crazy to watch. He really felt like a younger version of himself, which was pretty great.

This movie also lacks a forced love component for Will Smith’s character like the other two. Is there some love? Sure. But not really. Instead a good movie with some pretty awesome acting

3 out of 4.