Movie Review: The Place Beyond the Pines

Details from IMDB:

Pines

 

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

140 min  -  Crime | Drama  -  19 April 2013 (USA)

Ratings: 7.5/10 from 62,526 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 218 user | 317 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.

Director:

Derek Cianfrance

Writers:

Derek Cianfrance (story), Ben Coccio (story), 3 more credits »

Stars:

Ryan Gosling, Craig Van Hook, Eva Mendes | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

I had heard good things about this movie and I certainly like the actors in it, so a few weeks ago my family and I watched it.

Main Points:

This is an unusual movie but I really can’t say anything about it without…

SPOILER ALERT!

So only about 40 minutes into the movie Gosling’s character dies. It was a surprise, unfortunately not for the better. The changes three times, first about a stunt motorcycle driver (Gosling) who becomes a bank robber. Then about uncovering police corruption (Cooper of course) and finally about grown up sons (one of the dead driver) dealing with events of the past.

There were parts of the movie I liked and the acting for everyone involved was top notch. I think the problem was is that it was stretched out and for a lot of the movie you wait for something to happen, when it never really does. The atmosphere and soundtrack were wonderful as was the scenery.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re a fan of these actors I’d recommend it, just be prepared for a lot of time where little happens. The movie does make you think about the difference between criminals and cops and the law. It also poses some intriguing moral situations where I wondered how I’d respond. So overall I give this 7/10 and usual the caveat not to watch it with children. Until next time, (another movie review I suspect Smile) I am, as always,

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Movie Review: Gangster Squad

GansterSquad

Details from IMDB:

Gangster Squad (2013)

113 min  -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  11 January 2013 (USA)

Ratings: 7.1/10 from 20,407 users   Metascore: 40/100
Reviews: 100 user | 256 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

Los Angeles, 1949: A secret crew of police officers led by two determined sergeants work together in an effort to take down the ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen who runs the city.

Director:

Ruben Fleischer

Writers:

Will Beall, Paul Lieberman (book)

Stars:

Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

Okay I’ll admit I was trying to see Django Unchained and it was sold out. (It’s been out over a month too!) So we ended up seeing this instead. I had heard mixed reviews but it had actors I liked and I do enjoy Mafia/crime movies (especially when based on true events) so we went in.

Main Points:

This is a part of L.A.’s history I didn’t know, the amount of gang activity and control of the city Mickey Cohen had in the late 1940’s. Most of the cast in this takes a good role and Emma Stone looks very hot and sexy here (I have a thing for redheads Smile).

I liked the attention to details like the way people spoke then. There is dialogue that goes something like this, “you fellas can bend your ears, while I go bend my elbow”. She’s talking about smoking (which apparently everyone did in the 40’s) and talking, something people don’t say anymore.

It was nice to see Robert Patrick in a film, he’s someone I’ve always liked but you don’t see very often. I think the problem with the movie is that it’s very predictable (okay there is 1 surprise but even that one you see coming) and Mickey Cohen (at least the way Penn plays him) is a rather dull villain. Ryan Gosling (whom I like) also plays a rather predictable character and seems to coast through most of this movie on charm and looks.

Final Thoughts:

The action scenes in the movie are top notch and the final showdown at the Park Plaza hotel was a blast to watch. For those reasons and some mentioned above I have this a mild recommendation and a 7/10 Thumbs up. There are better movies out there but if you’re in the mood for a gangster flick, this movie is worth a look.Open-mouthed smile Until next time (and yeah it will likely be another movie review) I am as always…

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