Thinking Out Loud: Miss Bala

Welcome to the 2nd edition of Thinking Out Loud where I take running notes throughout the movie.

I went to see Miss Bala, I really had semi-low expectations for this movie but I’ve been proven wrong plenty of times over movies that looked awful.

This will be obviously SUPER HEAVY on Spoilers (mind you not a whole lot of twist or turns in this one), you can check out my non-spoiler review here: https://letterboxd.com/rickygangster/film/miss-bala-2019

Well with all that mumbo-jumbo out of the way.


Here we go…

(Only person in the theaters, this movie is going to make billions)

We’ve got fashion week folks, oooooooooooooooo he just said honey we ain’t paying you to think.

Fashion show people seem so mean.

We’re going to Mexico and in this movie there are no walls.

Based on a Spanish language film? Had no clue.

Sisters are excited to see each other, dancing and now reminiscing over old pictures and drinks.

He bought the kid a toy, he said holy shit. Yikes, parenting is not a plus here.

Miss Baja America …. I think I could win

Cheese anyone? (I deserve a model contract)

OMG FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS

Oh, she just got her but grabbed, dudes are dicks. She’s in the bathroom and now dudes are breaking into the club.

She’s American, sooooooo they let her go? Interesting.

They are now shooting up the club, Bala is running outside and now tried to call the best friend.

She left the best friend in the club? Wow worlds worst best friend.

So wait, she fell asleep in the diner? And just woke up? And they let her? I’m confused.

She got in a cop car and said she saw everything and the cop said when we get to the police station tell them everything. Hahahahaha he pulled over and said he was going to get his lunch and walked into a hotel and she just sat in the car. LOL

She’s in deep shit now. The big boss is now interrogating her.

He’s cutting deals, she helps, he lets the friend go. I totally trust him.

He’s now making her drive a car to some random place, (obviously scene from trailer) we about to blow up the safe house. She doesn’t seem thrilled that she had a part in that. He signed her up for the pageant, ha.

He gave her one of those Motorola flip walkie talkie phones.

She broke free, she’s now running in heels, and ran towards a guy, welp. This ain’t good. Oh wait, it’s the FIVE-O.

He’s awfully handsie for a cop, and a dick.

Cops making promises that I’m sure he can’t keep.

This is like taken but with a female lead. The little kid turned on her phone to find games on that old ass flip phone only to get her in trouble with the big man.

So they’ve now taken over her house, to save one of their fallen soldiers.

Ummm he’s making her take his boots off, cause he’s had a long day. He’s making her strip, I mean he’s making sure she ain’t wearing a wire duh.

Oh no, Rueben is dead!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I just got to know him. (As the lifeless body they tried to save in this random ladies house)

He’s now telling stories about a girl he knew in high school.

They strapping money to her, Wolf of Wall Street style. Loading her car fully of dope.

Homie sidekick has some issues with the American, he’s going to gut her Godson like a chicken, that’s a little harsh.

Driving through the border looks like driving through downtown Nashville during rush hour traffic.

Anthony Mackie has arrived. Does he make good movies?

DEA has a mole inside his operation.

So a powerful guy in Mexico and she’s going to try and get him arrested by setting him up? She does understand other bosses exist? Dumb American.

GUN FIRE, repeat GUN FIRE …. she’s making a run for the double doors!!!!!! The cops lied, repeat the COPS LIED…. shocking. No cop was waiting for her. The cop just said she was on her own. Wow.

I get it, she saved him after he got shot but hundreds of bullets flying and not one hits him, unreal. One thing that really bugs me about action movies.

Anyone remember the Mole TV show? That was I think on Fox? That was such a good show.

Set the kitchen on fire and now going through the phones and replacing the chip in another phone. Smart move. That was single handily the best part of this whole movie.

He’s teaching her how to shoot. AR-15 made in the USA comment felt forced.

This is extremely boring. And now we get story time.

Damn she put the police bug inside the chicks phone, damn. That was predictable.

I seriously skipped nap time to see this movie.

They found the best friend, she’s being sold as a sex slave. Sounds like a very familiar storyline.

She had to win Miss Bala American, get invited to the party and get in the police chiefs bedroom, he kills him and she gets her best friend. Sounds really easy.

She WON OMGGGGGGG SHE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She’s awful with these fake ass tears.

The sisters have reunited!!!!!!!!!!! She just realized that her new boy toy is a liar. Duh. I am absolutely shocked he was lying to her.

Gun fire everywhere, LOUD NOISES ….. LOUD NOISES

Oh man. She’s fired a gun once and now she’s about to shoot everyone. BIG EYE ROLL.

Oh no, she shot him. Didn’t see that coming.

Anthony Mackie is a cop, that kind of surprised me.

Shoot gun once, shoot bad guy and now work for the CIA… cool

Overall Thoughts:

* out of ***** stars

This movie was super predictable from start to finish. It has become so frustrating that in ALL action movies trained shooters can’t seem to shoot a target in the middle of the field.

The story was bland, lacked a lot of substance, it felt very Taken like. Nobody will mistake any of this cast for award nominations any time soon. It was just really lazy writing, poor execution, and overall poor movie.

Maybe catch it on RedBox?

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Hercules Review

So I went to the movies and saw Hercules starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I had some high expectations because I thought the trailer was rather well done. So here is my review of the film.

Follow me over on Twitter @rickygangster

Edge of Tomorrow Review

So I took the time to go see Edge of Tomorrow last night. I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy when I saw the trailer; I just was really intrigued in seeing it and thought it had some real potential. Tom Cruise has been solid in his last few films Oblivion, Jack Reacher (fantastic movie) and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. After seeing it, I will give you the Good and the Bad of the movie.

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An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a ware with an alien race. His skills increase as he face the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.

Spoilers may follow, so be cautious.

The Good –

Tom Cruise – Cruise plays Bill Cage a PR executive with a witty tongue and kind of arrogant guy. He stays in the spotlight but far away from the front line as possible. I enjoyed how the introduction of Cruise’s character transformed throughout the film. Starting as a scared and clueless guy on the front line, which after time he learned progressed and just started kicking some serious ass.

The movie started off with some classic things with Cage (Cruise) as he was slowly trying to figure out what the hell was going on, he of course would “die” and come back to life. One of my favorites was near the beginning he would roll out of PT and goes under a Jeep, well in his first attempt at said venture he rolled under and got run over by the car. I literally couldn’t stop laughing, it was just hilarious.

Another thing I enjoyed is the repetitive (on purpose of course) banter between Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton) and Cage (Cruise). As each time would go back and have to replay the scene, Cage would increasingly become a little more obnoxious and just pick at Farell (Paxton). It really made for some great humor, which was never over the top like it can be in films these days. It didn’t “try” too hard to shove the comedy down your throat, they just let it play its course and it happened when it did.

Emily Blunt – She plays Special Forces legend Rita Vratski, a just kick ass chick in a robot suit. First I want to throw it out there, I never realized how hot she was until I saw this film. Perfect fit for this role, believable bad ass with some sure-fire good looks. But off that and onto her character, only one thing I didn’t like about her character early on and I’ll hit on that in the Bad section but Blunt was fantastic and the chemistry between her and Cruise was there.

Supporting Cast – Paxton obviously brought some funny scenes to the movie, Brendan Gleeson is still killing on the screen so many years later. The group of people who played the characters that help lead to the final take down were well casted and all provided a good little punch to the film.

Doug Liman – Has an impressive list of movies he has directed, From Swingers to Bourne Identity to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which I enjoyed all 3 movies. So knowing he has done such a great job, I knew we could be in for a real treat here and he did not disappoint. Very well-directed film from start to finish, taking two characters and with this script having to watch them be repetitive and keep the interest of a movie goer was a hard task and I feel he did a great job of pulling it off. While Cage (Cruise) kept going back and repeating after every death, he made sure to keep it interesting every time he went back, whether it was with some great witty humor or when it came down to Cages character getting pissed off and acting like a man on a mission, it worked for me.

The Cinematography in the film was fantastic, some great visuals throughout the film and another thing that really stood out to me was the films Score. That was absolutely fantastic and to me a very important key to an action flick. I have to feel the Score to really dig into a good action flick and they did a great job of incorporating it in this movie.

The Bad –

While I understood when they introduced Rita Vratski they made her look somewhat like a bad ass and then they killed her. Obviously done for perfect reasoning, but you kind of built her character as the bad ass super robot Legend and her first appearance she was only a little impressive and died. I wish she would’ve kicked a little more ass at the beginning before we had to kill her off would’ve made a little more sense to me.

Not nitpicking the film at all but I would say around the 45-50 minute part of the film it was a little slow, while only for about 10 minutes, it was kind of on cruise control.

The Final Verdict

*** ½ out of 5 stars

Look I really don’t care what anyone says about Tom Cruise; dude is a star and shows it in this film. People knock this guy down so many times and he fires back with good film after good film. He and Blunt made the perfect pair in this film and did a great job in both their roles. Doug Liman brought us a fun action packed film that I think is going to get lost in the summer shuffle and that’s quite disappointing as this film is fantastic.

Edge of Tomorrow is in theaters now

Noah Movie Review/Random Thoughts

So I decided on a Thursday night to take a stroll on out to the movies and check out Noah. While the trailers have shown promise, I thought this could actually be a good little early spring movie. Darren Aronofsky tabbed as director and really enjoyed his last film (Black Swann) and he paired up with Russell Crowe who I’ve enjoyed in various movies over the years. I had a little fun and tried a little something new while reviewing the movie and I hope you enjoy.

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Plot: A man is chosen by God to undertake a momentous mission of rescue before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world.

6:45 There is more people in here already for the early showing then I thought there would be.

6:48 Someone please tell Andrew Garfield to ditch the beard. He looks really weird.

6:51 They are taking me onto the set of the new action packed thriller “Divergent”. I rather you didn’t.

6:58 This guy in front of me is growling while eating his popcorn. I am quite terrified.

7:01 Fargo original show on FX looks interesting.

7:08 Well how about that 4-year-old Drake Sprite commercial

7:09 Oh look a new Johnny Depp movie no one will go see.

7:16 Hercules trailer looks so awesome!

7:26 We are getting a history lesson to start the movie.

7:30 Looks like Noah is left to fend for himself, daddy just got murdered. Wait is this Batman or Noah?

7:34 Wow Jennifer Connelly is still acting?

7:40 Trying to figure out if Russell Crowe is playing Noah or Russell Crowe.

7:43 A Rock (Not to be confused by the Wrestler eitherjust comes out knocks out Noah. The Rocks are now talking….. Sorry they are the “Watchers”, not the “Rocks”.

Crowe didn’t learn much from his time singing in Les Miserable, he just can’t sing.

Methuselah was a straight boss.

7:56 This is really slow to start. Slow pace, the score is great but Crowe is just underwhelming and boring.

7:57 Noah came up with a brilliant idea to create an arc.

The “Creator” just created a forest out of no-where.

8:02 How you doin’ Emma Watson?

Okay so some mysterious voodoo just killed the bird.

I get the story but not sure I can get over the just horrendous acting.

Uh-oh Ham with the almost heel turn.

8:12 Time to fight over whether or not the “creator” is real or not.

8:17 That’s a crap ton of animals to throw on the arc.

Insert crying by Emma Watson as she can’t offer the things for her man.

8:22 I like how Noah just sneaks into the camp and no one notices who he is. Why would he leave his family knowing there are hundreds of people coming for his arc?

Ham is a little upset because he won’t be getting any, anytime soon. I feel bad for the kid

The score of the film has been rather enjoyable. One of the lone bright spots of the film so far.

Methuselah (Hopkins) got jokes. His search for berries got a nice chuckle from the audience.

Now he is passing out blessings to Ila (Watson).

8:39 Tubal-Cain (Winstone) has been a so-so protagonist. Speech was nice leading up to heading for the arc. Powerful and believable.

Time for the Watchers and the people to do battle.

8:45 I wonder where Noah got his awesome fighting ability from?

Awesome scene as the water overtakes the men and the arc.

8:55 We are getting another history lesson.

9:00 Ham is helping Cain, no real plot twist here.

9:05 Growling popcorn man is out cold.

Crowe and Connolly have been downright dreadful in this. Just uninspiring and just forgettable throughout.

So that’s how we found out about babies back in the day, no peeing on a stick. Random things say you are pregnant.

Noah isn’t too thrilled; maybe he wishes the kid was his.

9:09 Noah just stated “This is painful”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Some sort of weird snot like stuff is all over Naameh…. Gross!

“A man is not ruled by his heavens, he is ruled by his will” – Cain – Winstone is stealing the show every time on-screen.

9:13 HOLY MOLY it’s been 9 months or this a miracle baby.

Shem was ready to fight off ol pops so he didn’t kill the kid.

Cain/Noah fight scene!!!!!!

Spoiler Alert: WE’VE GOT TWINS!!!!!!!!!

We are going to name it North and South East right?

Two girls? Noah is going to slay them.

Ham saves the day and Cain pronounces him a man.

9:25 Emma Watson has cried more than she’s actually had to act. And someone please tell me why this isn’t over?

9:32 And we get to see Noah’s ass, woo hoo!

9:35 Growling popcorn man is alive!!!! Maybe the creator got to him too!

9:37 WE HAVE THE CREDITS!

Some quick thoughts about the movie.

In a movie like this you would think it would be a movie easy to direct and translate to the big screen and Aronofsky just doesn’t put the pieces together. He really couldn’t come back after such a rough start. The casting was good but they just didn’t translate into the roles.

The big thing in Hollywood is long movies now and a 2 hour and 18 minute run time is far too long for this.

Overall rating

2 out of 5 stars

The film really suffered by the lack of great performances. Crowe/Connelly were just not that good at all and every time Watson was on-screen she was just crying. Anthony Hopkins played this role well and had a few one liners that were funny. Ray Winstone really stole the show and was a big time breath of fresh air in the movie. The CGI and effects were great, visual the movie was a sight to see for sure. The score (by Clint Mansell) was phenomenal, which is sad because the movie wasn’t on par with it. But it comes down to the pairing of Aronofsky and Crowe, both truly disappoint and really couldn’t take this film to the next level.

This is definitely a movie you can skip and wait for Redbox.

 

The 1st Annual Sports Script Oscar Nominations

The Oscar season is right around the corner which is easily one of my favorite times of the year. I like reflecting on the movies from the years past and comparing the movies nominated to what I liked. I always watch the movie nominated no matter what type of movie it is or if it even looks interesting to me. I do this every year but this will be my 1st annual The Sports Script Oscar picks. January 14th is the day the nominations are announced and today I will give you who I think should get the nominations as well around March the 2nd (before the award show) I will give you my picks on who I think will win that were actually nominated. So here we go.

*updated 01/06/13 after watching Dallas Buyers Club*

The 1st Annual the Sports Script Oscar Picks

Best Picture

Captain Phillips
The Wolf of Wall Street
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave
Prisoners
American Hustle
Out of the Furnace
Dallas Buyers Club

Best Director

Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street
Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell – American Hustle
Scott Cooper – Out of the Furnace

Best Actor

Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
Christian Bale – American Hustle
Hugh Jackman – Prisoners

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett – Jasmine
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks
Carey Mulligan – The Great Gatsby

Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Lupita Nyongo – 12 Years a Slave
Octavia Spencer – Fruitvale Station
Oprah Winfrey – The Butler
Jennifer Garner – Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks – Saving Mr. Banks
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
Daniel Bruhl – Rush
Woody Harrelson – Out of the Furnace

Original Screen Play

Fruitvale Station
American Hustle
Saving Mr. Banks
Gravity
Her

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Wolf of Wall Street
Captain Phillips
Rush
12 Years a Slave

Best Score

The Great Gatsby
Gravity
Rush
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave

Best Song

Young and Beautiful – The Great Gatsby
Love is Blindness – The Great Gatsby
Atlas – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Let It Go – Frozen

Best Cinematography

Gravity
12 Years a Slave
Rush
Captain Phillips
Prisoners

Best Visual Effects

Pacific Rim
Gravity
World War Z
The Lone Ranger
Iron Man 3
Thor: The Dark World

Best Make Up and Hairstyling

American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Lone Ranger
Dallas Buyers Club

Best Costume Design

The Great Gatsby
American Hustle
Oz the Great and Powerful
The Wolf of Wall Street
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

There you have it my 2014 Oscar picks, make sure to watch the Oscar Nomination show on January 14th and check out my latest piece here at the Sports Script where I review every movie I saw in 2013.

Disagree? Agree? Movie I am missing? Hit me up on twitter @rickygangster and let me know.

Buy anything off Amazon? Just click our link and buy away!

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A Review of All the Movies I saw in 2013

I am a huge movie goer and actually at the theater quite often. Whether I am on lunch break at work or on a vacation, I am always trying to make it to the cinema. 2013 was a great year for movies and a ton of movie came out that were definitely worth going and seeing. I saw almost 80 films that came out in 2013 and still have a list of the movies that I haven’t seen yet and will update the list as I do. Below I will list in no particular order of my top 10 movies of the year, my top 5 performances of the year and I will give you a chart with what movies I saw and a little one sentence review of it and how many stars I gave the film.

My Top 10 Movies of 2013 (In no particular order)This was a lot harder to make a list of 10 than I thought it would be.

Prisoners
This is the End
Olympus has Fallen
The Great Gatsby
Now You See Me
You’re Next
Captain Phillips
The Wolf of Wall Street
American Hustle
Lone Survivor

My Top 5 Performances in a movie

Hugh Jackman – Prisoners
Christian Bale – American Hustle/Out of the Furnance
Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Year a Slave
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Great Gatsby

Now onto the list of movies that I saw in 2013 and a short one-line review and how many stars I gave it. *Updated 01/07/13*

The movie stars are on scale of 0-5 stars. 0 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.

Movie Short Review Stars
Gangster Squad Great cast and awesome movie *** 1/2
A Haunted House Just another terrible spoof movie *
Broken City Tons hated this movie but I really liked it ***
Last Stand Arnold is back but this movie fell flat **
Parker A lot like other Jason Statham movies good not great **
Warm Bodies Boring, not funny and just a waste of my time *
Bullet to the Head Stallone is just kick ass at anything he does. **1/2
Identity Thief I liked it the 2nd & 3rd time better than I did the 1st. Pretty Funny ***
A Good Day to Die Hard Jai Courtney is a future star. Willis & company kept me   entertained ***
Beautiful Creatures Not good, Not terrible just not my cup of tea. **
Snitch Jon Bernthal is great in this & the Rock delivers again. ***
21 and over Tried way too hard in this to make it funny, mediocre at best. **
Dead Man Down Way better than it should’ve ever been. ** 1/2
Oz the great and powerful Visually really good, enjoyable movie. ** 1/2
The Call High hopes & let down. Terrible movie *
Spring Breakers FRANCO KILLS IN THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!!! Loved this! ****
Incredible Burt Wonderstone Not good not funny just should’ve never made it to theaters
Olympus Has Fallen So good. Start to finish a really good movie ***1/2
Admission Tina Fey is hot, Tina Fey is hot. That’s about it. *
GI Joe Retaliation 1st move was good & this one didn’t disappoint. **1/2
The Place Beyond the Pines Ryan Gosling kills it. One of the MUST SEE movies of the year *****
Jurassic Park 3D The 3D done on this was done perfect. ***1/2
The Company You Keep Shia LeBeouf was great. Robert Redford is the man! ****
Trance Boring, stupid and just not good. *
Evil Dead Worst movie of the year is an understatement.
42 Great movie about one of the best baseball players ever! ***
Scary Movie 5 Funny at times but like the rest just an average movie. **
Pain and Gain Top 5 funniest movies of the year easily. ****
Iron Man 3 Favorite Iron Man movie, Downey Jr is money as Tony Starks ***
The Great Gatsby Not enough words to describe how much I enjoyed this film. *****
Star Trek Into Darkness A sequel that was much better than the original, suprising. ***
Fast & Furious 6 Over the top, crazy & a kick ass time at the movies. RIP Paul Walker ****
Hangover part III Not nearly as bad as II but not on the same level as the 1st. **
Now You See Me Top movie of the year for me. The whole cast/movie was money. ****
The East All over the place and sad because it had some real potential. *
The Purge Look so forward to this movie and it let me down big time. *
The Internship One of the most underrated/under apperciated movies of the year. ***1/2
The Heat Bullock & McCarthy team up one of funniest movies of the year. ****
Man of Steel Henry Cavill was good as Superman but the movie lacked something **1/2
Vehicle 19 Not bad but felt like it was a movie I have seen before. **
This Is the End The funniest movie since the Hangover. *****
World War Z Brad Pitt in his best movie of his career. *** 1/2
Lone Ranger Johnny Depp always plays weird characters. Meh movie **
The Way Way Back One of the feel good movies of the year. Loved it ****
Grown Ups 2 Was it possible to be worse than the 1st? Please stop makint these. *
Pacific Rim It was fun to see on the big screen but wasn’t a great movie. ** 1/2
RIPD Thought it was possible to be a good movie, boy was I wrong. *
Red 2 Not as fun as the 1st but not a bad sequel at all. **
Wolverine Way better than the 1st and a solid piece to the franchise. ***
2 Guns Denzel & Marky Mark, combo made in heaven. Loved it. *** 1/2
We’re the Millers 1000% better than I would’ve thought. Aniston is HOTTT in this. ****
Kick Ass 2 Funny spots but not nearly as good as the 1st. Let down big time. **
Paranoia Liam Hemsworth is a star in the making. ***
You’re Next Underrated movie of the year. Great film that kept you guessing *** 1/2
The Family Terrible just terrible. Good acting but the plot holes were huge! *
Prisoners Arguably the best film of the year. MUST SEE!!!!!!! *****
Rush Fantastic Film. Daniel Bruhl was money. ***
Don Jon JGL 1st direct/star movie and it was a fun little popcorn flick. ***
Gravity Lots of praise but not be me at all. Mediocre at best. **
Runner Runner Very smart movie that won’t get the credit it deserves. ***
Captain Phillips Loved it! Tom Hanks derserves some award buzz for his role in this. ****
Escape Plan Very good movie. Loved the concept and the old times killed it. *** 1/2
Thor – The Dark World Light years better than the original. Hemsworth is carving his nitch. ****
Hunger Games – Catching Fire So so good. I am already for the 3rd movie. ****
Homefront Good, not great but James Franco played a great villian. ** 1/3
Grudge Match It wasn’t terrible by any means but wasn’t all that and a bag of chips. ** 1/2
The Wolf of Wall Street Fun FUN FUN FUN – Don’t listen to the critics go enjoy this movie!!! ****
Lone Survivor One of/if not the best time I’ve ever had inside a theater. *****
Jobs Not as bad as some of sad but left you wanting a lot more. ***
Blue Caprice If you know the story than you really need to see this movie. ***
The Worlds End Terrible. *
Mud Long but McConaughey is becoming one of my favorite actors. ** 1/2
12 years a slave Just brilliant film. Chiwetel Ejiofor is name you should know. ****
Fruitvale Station Michael B Jordan has arrived in the movie scene. *** 1/2
Only God Forgives This gave Evil Dead it’s run of worst movie of 2013. no stars
Out Of the Furnace Harrelson & Bale give some of the best perf. of 2013. ****
American Hustle Nothing about this movie was bad. Cast/Story/Score all perfect. **** 1/2
Dallas Buyers Club McConaughey/Leto were absolutley amazing in this! ****
Saving Mr. Banks Tom Hanks is back and better than ever. *** 1/2
The Butler Just wasn’t very good. **
The Kings of Summer Fun movie with a very cool story and some solid young acting. ***

Side note – If there were any films in 2013 that I haven’t listed and you think I should check out or if there is any film on this list that I gave a bad review and think I should give a second chance let me know. Comment below or hit me up on twitter @rickygangster

Lone Survivor Review

I saw a special screening of the movie Lone Survivor last Thursday. I was really looking forward to seeing this as the trailer really caught my eye and I had some high hopes with Peter Berg directing and an awesome cast to go along with it. After taking a few days to think about it and get the right words together and are some of the things I liked and didn’t like about the film.

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Based on the failed June 28, 2005 mission “Operation Red Wings“. Four members of SEAL Team 10 were tasked with the mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.

1. Peter Berg – Peter Berg wrote and directed this movie based off a true story of “Operation Red Wings”. Berg is an unbelievable director and his work on FNL (Friday Night Lights) hasn’t been matched. Berg brought his A game to this film and from start to finish he paints an amazing picture of this brotherhood that is known as our military.

The movie starts off with some great banter among the soldiers and just goes off from there.

He made it believable, these soldiers were shot and broken down by calling down flights of mountains but still fought with the big picture in mind. The detailing of the gun battle is some of the best you will ever see in a movie.

In one scene he built you up and all hope was found for the two soldiers that were left and bam, Berg took it away and made you realize that it’s not as easy as a chopper coming to save the day. It was a gut-wrenching scene that left you on the edge of your seat.

He made you understand the battles of not only what the soldiers go through but what Afganhistan and the Taliban have done as well.

2. The Action The 40+ minute gun battle was just perfect. It also painted this picture of how inexperienced the younger Taliban soldiers were and not being accurate with their shots and showed the soldiers plucking them off with accuracy and precision.

I also enjoyed how the soldiers fought. They got shot but still kept fighting, took the hits and kept reeling. You don’t always get that with movies and how chilling it is that this being a true story hits even harder knowing that there are man and woman going through this on a daily basis.

Berg never let it get to personable, you knew only bits and pieces about each character and he let the acting and action do the talking throughout the film.

Berg belongs in the Best screenplay/Best director/Best picture for what he brought to the table in this film.

3. Mark WahlbergHe was unbelievable in this film. Easily one of his best acting jobs he has done in any film. He was smart, funny, witty and when it came time to get down he did. Just the way he clicked with the other guys and how he portrayed such an important and pivotal role in this film was amazing. I would have no problem with him being nominated for Best Actor for this.

4. The Supporting Cast – The rest of this cast was out of this world. It was nice to see Berg use Tyler Klitsch (FNL fame) who has been in a bit of a rut as of late (Battleship, John Carter). Berg brought out the best in him in this film. He has great chemistry with Wahlberg/Foster/Hirsch.

I won’t lie I didn’t know much about Ben Foster prior to this film but I will be looking up some earlier films and checking them out. He played a true bad ass. He took the biggest beating of the four and the way it came off was awesome. Just the way he handled how his character took the gun shots and still kept fighting for his life and fighting for his fellow soldiers was great.

Emile Hirsch I have seen play in multiple films in the past (boy he’s come a long way from when he was in “Girl Next Door”). He was the 4th and last piece of this awesome casting.

Eric Bana (Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen) and Alexander Ludwig (Shane Patton) both had small but meaningful roles that also added to the film.

5. The Score – Berg reunited with Explosion in the sky who he used a bunch in Friday Night Lights. EITS were amazing in this and the score for this film was brilliantly put together.

6. The Credits – After a little over hour and half gut wrenching film, they did an amazing montage of the actual soldiers that were involved “Operation Red Wings”. You just watched a movie surrounding the story of what happened and how these guys fought for their lives and seeing the photos of them with their families was surreal.

The Verdict

5 out of 5 stars

Just a chilling and mind-blowing look into what happened “Operation Red Wings”. The acting from the entire cast (Wahlberg Oscar Worthy performance included) combined with Berg’s writing and directing makes this one of the best films of 2013 and quite possibly one of the best films I have ever seen.

Special Thanks goes out to all the men and woman that sacrifice theirs lives to protect me and my family every single day. Thank you for what you do.

Lone Survivor hits theaters limited on December 25th and worldwide January 10th, 2014.

Prisoners Movie Review

Over the weekend I decided to pop into the movies again, this time I went to see Prisoners. The moment I saw this trailer I knew it had potential to be a great movie. The cast is star-studded with Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard and Maria Bello. Well with all that being said lets dive right into the 9 things I liked and didn’t like about Prisoners.

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Plot: When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue leads and the pressures mounts. Just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?

Prisoners Movie Review

1. Denis Villeneuve was the director of this film and I had previously never even heard of the guy, which was kind of scary because this movie looked good but the thought of a director whose never really done a big style film was concerning.

But Villeneuve nailed it; from start to finish he kept you on the edge of your seat and kept you guessing throughout the movie. The pain and anguish you felt for this family was heartbreaking, you couldn’t help but want to see this family get his retribution.

2. This movie had a great story (Aaron Guzikowski penned this). They made you care about the characters, they didn’t make you feel dumb by any means and they even got you to feel for Alex Jones (Paul Dano) which that in itself was amazing. Guzikowski has a sick mind for sure to write this movie but the writing on this was just brilliant and the fact that Villeneuve was able to translate that to the big screen so well was great.

3. Hugh Jackman: It doesn’t get bigger than Jackman. He is a star and he showed why in this movie. He played an intense, caring and fight to the death father that just wanted his daughter back. You slowly watch Keller Dover (Jackman) transform from a concerned father into a guy that was willing to do anything to find his daughter. A lot of people said “Oscar talk” before this and I was like that is a big statement to make but as of right now Jackman has to be a front-runner for Best Actor.

4. Jake Gyllenhaal: Jake is easily one of my favorite actors, he has played in some really god movies over the past few years (End of Watch, Source Code & Brothers). He rivaled Jackman with his performance in this. He played Detective Loki, who was in charge of finding these little girls and knocked it out of the park.

5. Paul Dano: Dano was on the big screen with some big stars in this and held his own just fine. The way he portrayed Alex Jones, a timid scared and very creepy adult that wasn’t all there, he nailed it. His character was written so well that you couldn’t help but feel for him towards the end of the film.

6. The rest of the cast: Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Viola Davis & others. Perfect casting for this film, Howard was great for this role and was interesting to see his character (Franklin Birch) turn into the guy that Kellen Dover wanted him to be and not who he thought he should be. Viola Davis didn’t have too much screen time but one scene in particular she was amazing. I won’t spoil it, you will just know whenever you see it. I think the Grace Dover character was made for Maria Bello and nobody else. A movie is only as good as its cast and this showed it.

7. The emotion: I am a huge movie guy and will give just about any movie at least one shot. But the bad thing is seeing so many movies you find it hard to care about characters. Only really good movies get me to care and this was one of them. I was emotionally invested into each role; though it was a tad long they still kept the movie going at a steady pace. Whether it was Dover (Jackman) just beating Jones (Dano) into a bloody pulp or Grace (Bello) just crawled into a ball on a bed crying missing her kid, you felt what they felt. That is what makes a great movie and boy was this a damn good movie.

8. Kept you guessing: I love a movie where you sit through the movie and just keep trying to guess who is the killer or who is this or that. This was that movie; I was sitting there next to my brother and just trying to figure out where they were going with the movie. I would think it was going to go right and they hooked a left 4 streets before that right. They led you to believe many different things and none of which really came to fruition.

9. The payoff: I refuse to spoil any of the ending for you guys but what a freaking ending. (That is all I will say about that) If you have seen this movie, please leave a comment below on your thoughts on the ending. Would love to hear what people thought of it.

The Verdict:

5 out of 5 stars

Villeneuve & Guzikowski teamed up to bring what I think is a top 5 movie of the year so far, actually might be the best movie I’ve seen this year. Just a fun thrilling ride start to finish that keeps you guessing at every turn. Two Oscar worthy performances by Jackman and Gyllenhaal, a supporting cast and an amazing movie that will keep you talking about it for days.