Lost River… Oh, Ryan.
My expectations were lowered considerably before seeing The Place Beyond The Pines by quite a few unimpressed murmurs from pals who’d seen it. This might have helped, because I thought this film was seriously good.
It’s a mood thing, the whole flick feels weighty, significant. It’s in the style. Gosling’s coolness walking through the fair, the broken stare of Cooper and the rising rage of Dehaan. It adds up to powerful cinema. Cianfrance is the real deal.
Anyone who went to see Only God Forgives expecting Drive type fare was, I imagine, very disappointed and mildly traumatised. Unfortunately for this film, that was probably about 75% of the audience.
All that aside this movie is one of the best I’ve seen for a very long time. It is depraved and you won’t leave the cinema feeling warm inside, that is for sure. Achingly slow paced, limited dialogue and hyper-violence are given a work out in some of the most beautifully lit spaces to ever make it onto a screen. If you dig this stuff, you’re going to love this film. Everything is just so fierce at every juncture, it’s relentless and such a complete vision too, solid and robust.
Unfortunately while Winding Refn is a genuine master, after this I fear funding and free reign might be a little hard to come by in the future, at least for a global theatre release. If it does cause trouble for him though he can happily say ‘fuck it’, because this movie was worth it. Just awesome, “Wanna fight?”
Unfortunately Gangster Squad is another one of those films that on paper should be great, but inexplicably falls short. Much like the flick Lawless a really good cast just doesn’t have enough to work with here. Gosling’s cool, Stone smokes but it isn’t enough. Director Fleischer’s work on Zombieland was superb and 30 Minutes Or Less was solid, but this is neither of those things. Poor old Sean Penn too, what a waste!
The Believer is mildly interesting fare about a Jew hating Jew. He basically has unresolved issues that are given weight by classic Gosling facial expressions, without these I think an audience would’ve been less inclined to care. Unfortunately for everyone involved though, the show is stolen by Billy Zane’s hair. Not awful, not great.
It’s not the heavyweight champion I really wanted it to be. Ides Of March doesn’t have the knock out punch, and I feel if it went up against anything really tough it might be found to have a glass jaw too. It holds the attention and there is drama, but there is in reality no consequences to characters actions, at least that the viewer cares about. One moment does contradict me as things fall apart and the most innocent of the players becomes the inevitable victim. Mostly though it just wasn’t mean enough. It needed more in the way of Alec Baldwin cameos, think The Departed and Glenngarry Glen Ross. That ‘fuck you, you’ve been found wanting’ attitude is sadly lacking.
It’s official, Drive has one of the greatest elevator scenes ever given over to cinema. The love that this film received makes me happy, it proves that people still know what cool is – cars, scorpions on jackets, toothpicks, head-stomping, Ryan, Carey, electro and pink titles that remind me of Cocktail…
Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a really good movie. Straight up. It is a rom-com, but it has a barely revealed reverence to the twisted world of love, which lets you know very subtly that although things in this movie are going to turn out all right, the film itself knows that isn’t always the case in tricky ol’ reality. Also Gosling is fucking great, actually the the dialogue is fucking great, Ryan just adds the pretty, really well.
More Gosling and more nose bridge squeezing and blinking in Fracture, none of which distract from this being hell of a thriller even if the plot kick at the end is so sign posted it destroys its impact.
More Ryan Gosling and this time he’s playing a crackhead teacher with a heart in Half Nelson and doing it quite well too. Not well enough though to provoke any sort of emotion from my empathy vacant husk, but plenty good enough to not start wishing the flick would end. I have noticed Ryan does a lot of eye blinking and bridge of the nose squeezing to indicate inner strife/conflict.