Tag: Joel Edgerton

Boy Erased

A lot of films about boys coming out this year. Most notably we have Boy Erased, which this review will be out, and Beautiful Boy, which I haven’t seen yet because I suck, apparently.

I think all of these films are a reaction to Lucas Hedges, who is the Hollywood “it” teenage/young adult male character these days. His first year of acting he was in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Manchester By The Sea, and Lady Bird. All award nominated films.

This year it is Mid90s, this film, and Ben Is Back. Films that just want to use Lucas Hedges up.

Ignoring some of his previous roles where he didn’t have as big of a pull, but apparently he only takes great projects now. Good on him. He doesn’t want to be a boy erased.

“If you are going to be raised in this house, you are going to speak Australian! Crikey!”

Being gay in…well, most places is going to be hard. It is going to be harder if you are in a staunch anti-gay City environment, or ultra religious environment. For example, maybe your parents are preachers. That might not be the best place to come out.

And that is the reality of young Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges). He had to come out to his parents after an incident, despite his dad (Russell Crowe) being the Baptist preacher of the area. This is awkward, uncomfortable, and a bit sad. The mom (Nicole Kidman) wants to be supportive, while also listening to her husband.

Somehow, they all agree to send Jared to a gay conversion therapy camp. It is only for a little bit at first, to see how reluctant someone is to change. They can earn their straight card relatively quickly, with faith and good attitude. Others might have to have a more permanent, longer stay, with overnights and cabins.

And this is where Jared meets people like him. And the very intense and seemingly powerful man running the show, Victor Sykes (Joel Edgerton), who knows that people can change. And if not, they can be forced to change.

Also starring Flea, Xavier Dolan, Troye Sivan, and Joe Alwyn.

Sleepovers help build trust.

I don’t know how many movies have been about gay conversion therapy before this one. It has been plot points of various TV shows, from South Park to Malcolm in the Middle, but they rarely talk about the extreme dangers to the mind that happened during these things, along with the brainwashing and extreme control of them all.

And this one gets real with it. It puts the viewer in there, it showcases the sadness, and it really makes you think.

At this point there is a lot less gay conversion therapy places in the US, but there are still some that exist. Which is a big problem. This is a film meant to bring more awareness to the issue, in a way that the dozens of articles may not have been able to fully address.

Hedges, Kidman, and Crowe were really great here. I loved the fuck out of Crowe, specifically, it is good to see that he still has it. Edgerton, our director, also really did a good job of making me hate and somewhat fear his character. A lot of great performances.

And yet, at the same time, I strangely didn’t cry. It seems like a perfect film to bring on the tears, and I still couldn’t ever reach that point.

It is a film that will certainly be talked about for some time.

3 out of 4.


Gringo had something funny occur with their PR screening ahead of time. Our screening wasn’t until the week of release, like normal, but they actually sent out the real invite for it over a month early. Now, normally, these invites are a week to two max early. If any earlier, we get save the date notes or whatever to let you know it is coming up, but this was just the regular invite to respond to for RSVP purposes.

So of course I accepted, and the only reason it is much later a review is because I was sick that day, couldn’t go, and had to watch it weeks later in the theaters. I wanted to see Gringo, it looked fun, and sure, it had a plug on The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale. Let that be a lesson for you, advertising can work. Why else would I still be using old spice body wash every day?

Gringo has an interesting name, given what I think I know what it means, and that we had a film awhile ago called Get The Gringo, which was also a bit better than anticipated. I had high hopes for Gringo given it setting, its very fun looking cast, and of course, because of Mr. Copley adding his own weird style.

WHich One
Which one is the gringo though, really?

Our story is about Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo), a man who never can catch a break. He has a high job in a pharmaceutical company,but he isn’t rolling in the dough like the people in the higher levels. His wife (Thandie Newton) is an interior decorator, but only has one client and is bleeding their money. His boss (Joel Edgerton), is a hardass, a dickwad, and all of the body parts between those two. But he makes that money, he is good friends with Harold, and he got him the job in the first place.

Harold has to work and travel to Mexico frequently for their job, where they have the pharmaceutical factory set up. They are making a weed pill, so to speak, so that when America starts lifting those bans, they will have the product and infrastructure in place to take advantage of the now open market.

Because we are talking about drugs and Mexico, it should be obvious that the Cartel is also involved. Harold doesn’t know about that of course, he is a good guy, but when dealing with his boss’s mistakes, he is about to see how little he matters in the grand scheme of events.

Also starring Carlos Corona, Alan Ruck, Kenneth Choi, Sharlto Copley, Charlize Theron, Melonie Diaz, Amanda Seyfried, Harry Treadaway, and Yul Vazquez.

Ooooh, looks like they finally GOT THE GRINGO! Oh, wrong movie. Sorry.

Gringo is an example of a story with a lot of separate plot lines amongst the characters, where no one character is sure of what is actually going on, and all the chaos that occurs from these miscommunications and lies. But also, with death, violence, and comedy. So yeah, going for a Taratino film feel.

Out of all the many cast members, the only one to really shine is our star, Oyelowo, who seems to have perfected that scream freak out look that he gets to do over and over in the film as he continues to get shit upon. Because that is the movie. Bad things happening to his character, despite being a relatively good guy, and him never getting out of his situation.

If you hate crazy plot lines, you still might enjoy it for Oyelowo’s performance, where he seemed to show a different side of him. A more excited side, compared to more of his very serious roles recently.

The movie did feel quite long, given the twists and turns along the way. And hey, I didn’t know where it was going most of the time. So it was a surprising thrill ride that did still have me on the edge of my seat. A lot of bad people in this one, and one guy to root for. A good classic film position to be in.

Give Gringo a shot, at least just once.

3 out of 4.

Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow is one of those films that seemingly comes out of nowhere and feels like it is part of something bigger. Like, is this an extended universe? It is certainly based off of a book, although I would have guessed a graphic novel.

In fact, from the trailers, one might just assume this is the Black Widow standalone film we have been waiting for. Russian school to train girls to be assassins and to use their bodies as weapons. Secrets. Yeah, this is just Black Widow.

But instead of Scarlett Johansson, we got Jennifer Lawrence, so that Disney doesn’t try and sue anyone’s ass off.

Red Dress
And if they sue anyone’s ass, they would potentially think twice before taking hers.

Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) is one of the best ballerina’s in Moscow. She has risen up by her boot straps to train hard and become the best. Her mom is sick and relies on her job for doctors and a place to live. Oh, Dominika is also the niece of Vanya Egorov (Matthias Schoenaerts), someone high up in the Russian politics/military ladder, so maybe not entirely by her own bootstraps.

Then one day, an accident occurs, her leg gets broken on the stage, and her dancing career is done. That means her mom’s life is in jeopardy. Thankfully, her uncle knows a program that she can join. If she can find herself helping the Russian government, then the Russian government can find themselves helping her.

This is unfortunately a Sparrow program, to train young men and women officers to seduce anyone to get information needed, along with the ability to kill them should it come up. Oh good, selling his niece’s body to the government, what a swell family.

All of this ties into a separate plot, about American Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), a member of the CIA who was also in Russia, dealing with a mole in their government, who accidentally put a target on his and the mole’s back.

Also starring Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Bill Camp, Jeremy Irons, Sakina Jaffrey, and Ciarán Hinds.

See, I could probably withstand one Jennifer Lawrence. But two? One in mirror land?

Red Sparrow is one of those films that is going to appear to be much smarter than a normal movie, and it is unashamed about that. Because after all, the viewer has to be tricked and sold lies as well so the bigger reveals are more exciting.

However, before things could be revealed, I was left annoyed and bored with the movie already. It has layers and layers and layers of plot. Characters coming and going with some importance to the story. And you have to suffer through it all in order to get to the “cool ending.”

But it tries way too hard to be layered. It is so easy to get lost in it, that interest is unfortunately lost. I just didn’t care by the end about any of the characters. I didn’t care who would get quadruple crossed, who the mole was, or how people would get out of their tough situations.

It is over two hours long and full of itself.

It still had some decent moments early on, when I cared about where it was going. Some very different acting from Lawrence, and Schoenaerts does an amazing visual Putin. But this film is now forgettable for me, and not the Black Window solo film we deserved.

2 out of 4.


Bright was meant to be this big Netflix release at the end of the year, one of their first Blockbuster films. So of course they brought in Will Smith for this adventure.

And hell, they made it R, so we can get the killing, the swearing, and the boobs. Just going to go all out. They even did pre-screenings of the film for press! The night before it was on Netflix, sure, but they were trying.

And then everyone hated it. I heard a lot of things, like how it was meant to be the worst film of the year, terrible, whatever. So something I meant to ignore I was now contractually obligated to write about. Statistically, everyone who sees this review would have seen it by the time I publish this, which in my head is currently “whenever.”

“Say whenever again, I dare you.” – Samuel wilL. Smith.

In the year, I dunno, probably this one, in a city much like LA, we have one notable difference. Fantasy races also exist in our world, or at least just a few. We got elves, we got orcs, we got fairies, and as far as I can tell that is it. Sorry people who love dwarves. Two thousand years ago there was some Dark One that came and tried to destroy the world, the Orcs were on his side, the “good guys” won and the orcs were hated ever since, despite being citizens of the world as well. So they get shit upon by everyone.

Oh and magic! And specifically, magic wands which are super rare. The only people who can use the wands are called Brights, who are usually elves. Humans have been Brights in the past but it is like, 1 in a million chance of being a Bright. Oh, and the only way to know if you are a Bright is to try and use a wand, if you aren’t a Bright, you will explode. good times.

Now that world building is done, we have a cop duo, Daryl Ward (Will Smith) and Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), the only orc cop for diversity reasons. Also no one wants to work with Ward cause he is a dick, or moral, or something. Ward hates it, Jakoby just wants to be a good guy, and Ward recently got shot on a call as his partner was getting food, so he is angry a lot.

After thirty minutes of exposition and shit talking to the Orc, we eventually have the duo discover an actual wand, and an elf who is talking gibberish and warnings. Before they can turn everything over, they find out that a lot of people want the wand for their own power hungry ways, including other cops ready to sweep this incident under the rug.

So our duo has to run around town at night, protecting an elf and the wand, from groups who want it, or else maybe the world will end. Who knows!

Also starring Alex Meraz, (Noomi Rapace), Edgar Ramirez, Happy Anderson, Lucy Fry, Margaret Cho, and Veronica Ngo.

Elves are rich and elves are hipster druggies.

Was Bright the worst movie of the year? Hell no. In fact, not even the worst movie I have seen on Netflix as an “original film” this year. It doesn’t mean it is good, it is still bad, but it wasn’t dog shit terrible.

However, the intro is going to turn so many people off. It is going for a parallel of their world and our world’s view on races, but they put it to 11. The first 30 minutes or whatever is just people railing into the orc cop, from all sides, constantly. If you want abuse, you will get it, and by then people will have made up their minds. They get over it eventually, but it puts a bad taste into everyone’s mouth. It is far too heavy handed.

After that, it is only an okay story. Nothing too original, the fantasy elements are only somewhat there, and really, the ending is obvious. The acting is mediocre and the effects are also mediocre. So a mostly blah movie with a bad intro is of course, a bad grade.

The bottom line? Netflix wanted to turn this movie in to a franchise of films or a TV show (along the lines of the Marvel series) or something. And you know what? It probably still will. The world building is there already, they have a lot of room for other fantasy growth, and most importantly, they have a shit ton of people talking about this film.

I don’t know how Netflix in particular makes money from their movies/shows, given everything comes with the submission fee. But almost everyone I know has talked about watching this movie since it came out, due to the hype and the bad talk. So this movie probably put up amazing numbers besides the PR buzz. Expect more Bright in the future, whether you want it or not.

1 out of 4.

It Comes At Night

Every year, the world is seemingly blown away by a new art-house horror film that really drives into our subconcious. Every year there are arguments about this new art-house film actually being a horror film, or some sort of thriller drama instead. And every year, I write a review of one of these films, and have to talk about the films of the previous years that fit that bill.

But I will save you some time. Last year we had The Witch and I LOVED The Witch. It felt evil to the core, it felt authentic, and it drove the genre to new places.

And now, It Comes At Night is hoping to be the new art-house horror that everyone is talking about. So what do you think? Do you think it will truly be a horror, or more of a dramatic thriller? Do you think it will have a lot of critical acclaim but no one will watch it? Will the meaning behind the whole thing cause internet debates for a long time?

Yeah, probably.

Ah cool, a mask man and some duct tape. Horror staples, for sure.

Set in a year that is like our own, in the future or the past, lives a family, on the edge of disaster. The world is different now, there isn’t any technology that is not battery powered. And the family is about to bury the grandfather (David Pendleton). Paul (Joel Edgerton), his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), and their 17 year old son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) are survivors in a world with not a lot of people. Their grandfather has the disease, so he has to be put down, burned, and buried to protect their lives.

They live in a boarded up house in the woods with a lot of strict rules, and their dog, Stanley. But soon after the death, a stranger comes to their door in the middle of the night. His name is Will (Christopher Abbott), who claims he was only doing it thinking the home was abandoned. He needs water for his wife (Riley Keough) and child (Griffin Robert Faulkner), who are many miles away, waiting for his return. And Will says they have food, animals for eggs and milk, to trade for water.

Or it is all a lie, and he wants to kill them. Who knows.

Sarah wants to bring the family to their house, have more people to defend the place, live in harmony. It is a big trust exercise. What with the virus, the creepiness at night time, and people who just make their world a brutal place to live in.

Travis just wants to stop having nightmares and waking up in the middle of the night.

Sometimes they call the entrance to their house L Street.

Oh I feel so terrible, so dead, on the inside. I rarely due this, but here is an exact quote for what I put on my comment card. They have us fill out quick thoughts so the studios can get initial reactions before longer reviews come out.

“I feel so empty inside 🙁
Great acting, great story, and a never ending sense of dread. Fuck”

And that is still how I feel, days later writing this review. Are there scary moments? Yeah, a few. But most of the horror comes from a personal level, deep deep down inside of you. You know what is PROBABLY going to happen, so there isn’t a lot of surprises. But still, to watch it unfold in front of you just builds the tension and of course, the dread.

Dread is this movie’s official review word. If you don’t want to feel dread for prolonged periods of times, then don’t watch this movie. If you want an emotional experience that will rock you to your core? Then watch It Comes At Night.

4 out of 4.


I don’t know a lot about Loving, but what I do know is that I do love the concept.

Without getting into too many details in my introduction (as I should properly tease it out), I also learned that finding a friend or colleague to watch Loving with you is sort of weird. I had one friend who wanted to see good movies, but his wife didn’t approve, because she wanted to watch it with him.

And then I found out inviting anyone based on the concept would be awkward. So did I watch it alone? Hell no, I watched in a theater of people, like I do most movies.

Don’t worry, we are a family in there, I don’t feel like a stranger.

Loving ain’t always easy. Just ask Mildred (Ruth Negga) and Richard (Joel Edgerton). A black woman and a white man, living in the 1950’s Virginia. Richard has always been around black people and his dad used to work with them, so he doesn’t care about color, but everyone else does. Needless to say, they do the thing together that they aren’t supposed to do, so they decide to get married before the baby comes out.

Unfortunately, they are not allowed to get married by state law, because of something Jesus said or something. Instead, they head up to DC, get their marriage on, and beat the system! Richard buys some land to build a house, and everything is swell.

Until the Sheriff (Marton Csokas) and a couple others break into her family home and see them in the same bed. Because of shitty laws, they get arrested, cannot bail each other out, and have a problem. Their crappy lawyer agrees to get them out of jail if they plead guilty, they are just banished from being in Virginia for the next 25 years at the same time.

Obviously there are issues. They can get legally married in one part of America, and arrested for it in another. How does that work? They should eventually fight this and get the Supreme Court to make marriage legal for all. What a good idea.

Also starring Will Dalton, Christopher Mann, Nick Kroll, Jon Bass, and Michael Shannon.

To show your loving, you just need to cuddle. It is science.

Loving is a movie about an important case that is still referenced and relevant in our time. It is about love, and our protagonists have the last name of Loving. It is like a cheesy movie idea, but in real life. And with the title of Loving, I expected both a whole lot of love from some characters, and an equal amount of hate from others.

Instead, what I feel after the fact and felt from the characters feels mostly apathetic.

I will freely admit that Negga and Edgerton did great acting in this movie. I will say especially that Negga’s character is a bit more likeable and her personality basically carries the movie. I believe the way Edgerton portrayed his character was probably realistic to the real life man. But what I didn’t really feel in the movie was a realistic relationship between our leads.

The chemistry didn’t just feel off, but it felt stale. I wasn’t feeling anything from the two characters, and most of it thanks to the way Richard was portrayed. There was one moment of actual sincerity between them near the end, and it can be a director’s choice to show them that way until the case is finally won. But a third of the way in I am already checked out because of how fake it feels.

Loving was a film that spent 95% of its time focusing on the relationship between two people and their struggles. We barely get any court room drama, which is a disappointment. No, we just see how they react to it all as the lawyers fight for them in court over the various levels. It felt like we were given a media portrayal of their relationship and never a personal look between the two, despite the focus of the film clearly being on just their relationship.

If it wanted to make it more historical, we could have gotten more court room drama and things like that, but nope. Just relationship for this story. A relationship that portrayed by two well acted individuals in a seemingly non loving relationship.

2 out of 4.

Midnight Special

Quick, it’s midnight, what do you do? I tell you what I do. I sleep.

But for some people midnight is something special. And yes this poor intro was just a way to say the title Midnight Special, but it isn’t going to well.

Before the film, I knew nothing about it outside of the director, who has recently directed Take Shelter and Mud. I loved Mud! That means I might like this one too!

How old do you have to be for this potential Halloween costume to come off as creepy?

Alton Meyer (Jaeden Lieberher) has gone missing in Texas. An Amber Alert has been issued statewide, strangely with no picture, but a good description and a picture of the man who probably took him. Roy (Michael Shannon)! Sure, Roy happens to be his father, but that is besides the point. That boy needs to be found and they will put a lot of resources into it.

Hell, even the FBI is involved. That’s how serious this is. The boy was taken from a place called The Ranch, which is a bit of a religious cult. They hold sermons at night, led by Calvin (Sam Shepard). They think the boy is their messiah and that judgement day is coming soon. He has glowing eyes and gives people emotional visions that make them think everything will be alright. They send a few people to find him (Bill Camp, Scott Haze), where the FBI has an NSA member (Adam Driver) conducting the search.

Roy has a childhood friend helping him, Lucas (Joel Edgerton), and along the way also running into Sarah (Kirsten Dunst), Alton’s mom. They believe their boy is sick and the only way to help him is to get him to a specific location and time, based mostly on a whim. They have to travel only at night, with a whole mess of people with guns trying to stop them.

Also featuring smaller roles for Paul Sparks and David Jensen.

Yes I did say travel only at night. This movie isn’t called Noon Special.

I have a staggering weak knowledge level about sci-fi movies from the 70’s-90’s unless they were aimed at kids. This is a film that feels like it is full of allusions and I understood probably none of them.

The good news is that I didn’t have to catch any allusions (because, there also might be none, fuck if I know) to enjoy the pants off of this film. By the end, I felt such sorrow and joy simultaneously, and there aren’t many films that can pull it off. It is just a beautiful film, from the acting, cinematography, to the arguably simple story. Parts of the film do feel like a mystery, but the point of the film isn’t to answer all your questions but to take the viewer on the ride with the boy and be amazed and full of wonder. Jeff Nichols, the writer/director, feels like an older and wiser Damon Lindelof despite being five years younger. The mysteries and secrets are important for the story, not just shocking viewers.

And really, when it comes down to it, his is a film about a father afraid to let his boy off into the world and become his own person. Their journey is very emotional and every line delivered from Shannon you can feel/se the pain and sorrow in his voice and eyes.

Midnight Special is probably this years Ex Machina. A beautiful sci-fi film that doesn’t get enough attention, although this one is a lot more broader in its scale and reach. I know for certain I might never look at a sunrise the same way.

4 out of 4.

The Gift

A long time ago, in the before time, the summer of 2015, I saw a poster for The Gift. I was a bit intrigued, not because of the box, or the title, or the cast.

I was intrigued because it was written and directed by Joel Edgerton, who is totally an actor, and hasn’t written nor directed anything before this. Well, I take some of that back. He has directed some shorts I haven’t seen, and written some shorts I haven’t seen. Oh, and he helped write the story for The Rover with the actual director. I guess that is something. Needless to say, he isn’t just jumping in cold because he can do it as a famous Hollywood actor. He has some minor experience and this is his first attempt to show he can do things on his own.

And no matter what bad career decisions Edgerton makes, I will still like him as an actor for the feelings he made me feel with Warrior.

And for those excellent nachos he brought over for dinner one time.

Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) have just moved to one of the many suburbs around LA and are loving life and each other! They had a misscarriage. That sucks. But Simon has a sweet high paying job, Robyn doesn’t have to work, their house is basically a mansion, and oh hey look, there is Gordo (Edgerton).

Gordo apparently went to school with Simon, although Simon doesn’t really remember him. But Gordo says he really looked up to Simon. Simon was the bee’s knees and the cat’s pajamas. So as a welcome gift, Gordo gives them things. Some gifts, if you will. Robyn likes it, but Simon finds it weird, and doesn’t even like it when they have him over for dinner. Turns out Simon did remember Gordo, and they used to call him Gordo the Weirdo. Nicknames are hard, okay.

Either way, they find out that Gordo’s house is super big but he is alone as well. He has rooms with women’s clothes and kid stuff. Apparently he is going through a divorce and it is a tough time for him. Despite all this, Simon decides to call it off. He wants Gordo out of their life, it is too awkward everything that is happening and shit needs to stop.

Well, after this, they find out that he totally lied about that house. It wasn’t his. And their dog is missing. And Simon AND Gordo are lying about their past together. Anyways, all of this gets Robyn pretty discombobulated and their picture perfect life is going to start falling apart real quick.

The reason we invented big open windows is so we could do creepy things, right?

The Gift is a movie that needs to be unwrapped slowly. If you unwrap it too fast, it will all fall apart, so it requires a slow unwrapping to allow everything to fall into place. Of course, you the viewer don’t get to decide watch speed, so you have to accept the slower nature of the film. I was a bit surprised with how much happened early on. I only tagged 3 people because everything else was pretty damn unnecessary. Unfortunately, after the first act of fast moving plot line, the 2nd act goes pretty slow, while the third is mostly slow until finally the end.

The Gift is a drama based around a mystery. What happened between Gordo and Simon? What is Gordo trying to do now? Does he have a plan or is he just doing whatever weird shit pops up in his mind? Once we get the final reveal, it is a bit sickening and terrible at the same time. I can appreciate the results, but when I look back on the how, I get pretty annoyed. It is one of those perfect Rube Goldberg machines going on, but instead of random shit on your floor, dealing with people’s emotions and expected actions. It requires the level of brilliance of a person that is really hard to accept.

So an okay drama in the end. Clearly Edgerton had the idea for the twists he wanted to do and based a movie around that. Nothing wrong with that approach. It just really drags in the second act, with only a few scenes worth it after the fact.

2 out of 4.

Buy It! – This movie is available now on {Blu-Ray} and {http://amzn.to/1GMHfsc}.

Black Mass

Johnny Depp is the type of guy who is always working and trying out new bizarre characters. It gave him some early fame but lately people are getting tired of him. Mortdecai gets to be one of the worst films of the year, as people assumed it was just a mustache obsessed Johnny Depp playing Johnny Depp.

But then there was Black Mass. Based on trailers and word of mouth, we were told this would be Depp acting, playing a real character, and not the same old shit as before. Something new by technically making him play a more normal role! A sadistic mean and manipulative person, but a real guy nonetheless. No super annoying quirks, no autism, just a dude who didn’t mind killing people.

The acting was supposed to be so great that people were going to remember how great Depp could be when he gives a shit. I am sure he gives a lot of shit when doing his latest Burton film, but after awhile, it just looks like he has no more cares left in the world and he would rather just sit there and shit money. (Assuming they don’t flop, which they have been as well!)

That’s the face I make when I shit normal things. Can only imagine other objects.

Black Mass is the story of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger (Depp), America’s Most Wanted criminal for a long time. You may have heard about him for many reasons. Or maybe you watched the documentary (or read my review of), Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, which was out a year or two ago on Netflix. It went over his crimes and the trial once they eventually caught the guy (spoilers), while the film version specifically only talks about his crimes for the most part until he started to hide elsewhere in the USA.

Like most crime movies, this one also takes place in the scariest city in the USA for people who like grammar, Boston. Bulger and his gang (some members played by Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, and W. Earl Brown) are criming up the streets and kicking butt. They basically control all of South Boston. But there are rivals, and there are conflicts of interest.

You know, like John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), when he returns to Boston, his home, but now a member of the FBI. He is friends with Whitey, despite the mostly common knowledge of his criminal activities. Eventually he convinces Whitey that he should become an informant, because there are other bad people out there who he can rat out to get them in trouble. Doing so, that would allow him to gain even more power on the streets, having the FBI in his back pockets. Oh hey, Whitey’s actual brother (Benedict Cumberbatch) is also part of the Massachusetts State Senate. Pretty sneaky stuff.

This becomes a win win. Whitey gains gang power, and the FBI catches a lot of bad guys. It isn’t until things get more and more violent that some people out there begin to get fidgety and want to bring in Whitey as well, because something very sketch is going down with his relationship with the FBI.

Also featuring Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, Adam Scott, Kevin Bacon, David Harbour, Peter Sarsgaard and Corey Stoll.

A gangster, an FBI agent, and a David Harbour walk into a restaurant…

I had a BlackWeek on my website, and I was most upset that Black Mass came out so much later than the other Black films. I was excited to see Depp back in greatness, although I think his role from Tusk and Yoga Hosers is actually pretty sweet.

And then I watched Black Mass and it all felt unoriginal. Just because I watched a documentary about Whitey doesn’t mean I remember a lot about him. The only thing I really remember was him being a rat and getting the other gangsters in trouble while he got away for decades. Black Mass should have been a nice companion piece to the documentary, giving us intense recreations of some of his worst work and making Whitey seem like a real person.

Even though I didn’t know about his individual crimes, the reason it felt unoriginal is just that it felt like every other gangster movie before it. Sure, plot wise it had the original true element of actually working with the FBI, because the real life plot is so silly no one accept it as something plausible in a fictional film. Stylistically, it felt the same. Elements of the film seemed to be bad recreations of Goodfellas.

Yes, the acting was there. Depp, Edgerton, Sarsgaard all did wonderful jobs. Cumberbatch sounded funny and I wanted more scenes with him because of it.

But I would hope that the film didn’t feel like the gangster films of the past and tried to make a truly unique experience for this real life story. I guess I could also be biased, because I also have recently seen Animal Kingdom (with Edgerton), and it was definitely a unique gangster film.

1 out of 4.

Animal Kingdom

Today we are going to flash back to the year 2010. Animal Kingdom was nominated for a shit ton of awards, including an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Not only was it nominated for a shit ton of awards, it also won a shit ton of awards. It is a highly decorated, Australian crime drama film.

Fast forward a years, to the end of 2011. I saw Animal Kingdom in a Blockbuster on Blu-Ray for sale. I bought it, thinking it looked interesting and determined I would watch it shortly. I mean hey, it won awards, it must be good!

About a week later, I was about to make good on my promise, put it in the PS3 and started to watch it. Twenty minutes later, I had to stop the film as I realized I had no idea what I was doing, I was too busy multi tasking, and then I got tired and said I would get back to it eventually.

WELL EVENTUALLY IS FINALLY HERE TODAY, FOLKS! I have owned it on Blu-Ray for almost four whole years and I have wanted to watch it since I bought it. Clearly, there is no better film I could have picked to showcase on the last day of my Fucking Finally week.

Given the title, it should come to no surprise to you that everyone runs around on all fours.

This is a story about a family. A family who all happen to be criminals.

J (James Frencheville) lives with his Mum. Or at least he did until she OD’d. Now he is going to movie into a home with his grandmother, Smurf (Jacki Weaver). Don’t worry, that is just a nickname.

Also in the house are a few of his uncles! There is Baz (Joel Edgerton), good at robbing places. There is Craig (Sullivan Stapleton), who sells drugs and makes quite a living off of them. The oldest uncle, Pope (Ben Mendelsohn) is not in the home, he is in hiding and wanted by the police. And the youngest uncle is Darren (Luke Ford), who kind of just exists and does what he is told.

Somehow, with this noble family of thugs, a bad thing happens. Baz gets shot and killed by the police, for “no reason.” This pissed off the brothers. They wanted to get even and kill a couple cops. And using J to steal a car, they set up a trap and got their revenge.

Well, now J is involved with his family way deeper than he ever planned. Suddenly, a detective (Guy Pearce) is investigating them. They have a family lawyer (Dan Wyllie) telling him to not say a thing, everyone assuming he will be the weak link that gets them nailed.

J just wants to hang out with his girlfriend, Cole (Laura Wheelwright). And more importantly, he doesn’t want to die from crooked cops, angry family, or AIDS. He didn’t mention the last one, I am just assuming.

She has the grandma sweet guilt look down pat.

[Editor’s note: The ending of this review was lost hours after I originally wrote it. The ending of this review might be shit as I try to badly recreate it. It just sucks ya know?]

First and obvious question, was the film worth the wait? Yes, thank goodness, it was still an enjoyable film. Now I will admit, one of the main reasons I still wanted to watch it was because of Edgerton. I didn’t know who Edgerton was when I first tried to watch this movie because I hadn’t yet seen Warrior. But now that I know him, I want to see more of his movies. Little did I know his character would die in the first 15 minutes. Oh well.

Acting wise, everyone did a pretty good job. I am happy it focused a lot more on the drama aspects instead of an action movie. The first 45 minutes were a bit slower than I’d like, but the last hour was still captivating despite the lack of “pew pews.”

I am happy to report that I don’t regret buying the Blu-Ray. It adds some prestige to my shelf, as I don’t have many Australian films anyways.

3 out of 4.