© 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
“Hey girl, are you going to see Gangster Squad this weekend? I’m giving myself cancer for the sake of historical accuracy and everything.”
This star-laden period piece is directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less) and written by Castle-scribe Will Beall, based on the book by Paul Lieberman. It tells the story of how a small team of LAPD officers fought mob-boss Mickey Cohen for control of Los Angeles.
If Friday’s wide opening of Zero Dark Thirty (see my review here) has you craving more Bigelow ASAP, here’s what’s available on The Internets right now:
The Hurt Locker
© 2008 Summit Entertainment, LLC
The 2008 six-Oscar-winning film was Bigelow’s first outing with screenwriter Mark Boal. You could say the partnership was a success.
In honor of the Christmas Day opening of Django Unchained, let’s look at Quentin Tarantino’s back catalogue. One of the most unique filmmakers working today, Tarantino has a signature style that borrows heavily from ’70s-era genre films, adds in stylized and idiosyncratic dialogue, then mixes it all up with over-the-top imagery. His films often feature shocking violence and revenge themes. I’m ambivalent about the use of both; sometimes I think he’s being exploitative, and sometimes I think he’s rightfully using them in the service of the story or an issue. More study is necessary: At the time of writing, I’ve only seen half of his films (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Inglorious Basterds). I’m making a New Year’s resolution to see the rest.
What’s your favorite Tarantino film?
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© 2012 The Weinstein Company
Brutal, bitter and brilliant, Killing Them Softly is cynically noir on the surface and subversively, angrily patriotic beneath. Director and screenplay adaptor Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) balances the two levels expertly, and cinematographer Greig Fraser (Snow White and the Huntsman, Let Me In) makes unforgiving beauty out of desolate cityscapes, cigarette smoke, blowing paper and exploding car glass.
Bad Pitt fans rejoice: this film has nothing to do with Channel No. 5. Based on the trailer, I’d venture to guess that the world of Killing Them Softly smells more like burnt rubber, rain on gas-soaked streets and stale cigarette smoke.
The film is adapted and directed by Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) from the book Cogan’s Trade by George V. Higgins. After some rookies rob a mafia card game, enforcer Jackie (Brad Pitt) is hired to bring the local underworld back to status quo. The crime movie has a stellar supporting cast, including Richard Jenkins (I kept wanting to call the tiger in Life of Pi Richard Jenkins, instead of Richard Parker), Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini and Scoot McNairy.