The Clasp by Sloane Crosley These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

Hey Girls, Your Boy Done All Right

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Oscar nominations were released on Thursday. The Critics' Choice Awards happened that evening. The Golden Globes are tomorrow. Everything is going off and I have only seen ONE film in the running (Silver Lining's Playbook- it was good but Oscar worthy? Well, that's a topic for another day) so I have a lot of catching up to do. Why then did I find myself in the cinema at 9pm last night watching Gangster Squad?! 

I have to say, I was a little bit worried about this film. I haven't been able to get a handle on perception of this film- I think a lot of people wanted to like it so they went in open minded and came out generous with their words. This is partly because they- no, we, because I feel the same way- want Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling to continue doing well. They have that likeability factor that you just cannot fake (did you hear that Eva? You know I think you're pretty cool but the others aren't going to come around so easily). Alas, this is not an analysis of celebrity and the 'X' factor. 

Gangster Squad was fun. It was a good Friday night film that didn't require too much thinking- just sit back, relax and take in the (sometimes gory) visuals. There were some nice little stylistic bits- slow-mo's, tricks with guns and lighters, the bit with the cuckoo Carmen Miranda style performance. Even though the setting was 1949, the style of the film reminded me of those late 80s and 90s action films (Christmas tree bit and Die Hard, anyone?). 

The cast worked really well together. Everyone brought their own slice of cool to the table. Josh Brolin was brilliant as the act first, think second Sgt John O'Mara. Sean Penn brought the crazy for villain Mickey Cohen. Emma Stone worked well with what little character development she had. As for your boy...he played the wingman really well. Not being the leading man allowed him to camp it up with little quirks such as the high pitched voice (every time he spoke, I thought of Connie Corleone for some reason) and the girly drinks. He got to do the charming, 'aw shucks, I got the girl' best friend bit again, which bought him legions of fans after his turn in Crazy, Stupid, Love (not surprising as that was his most accessible film during that busy 2011). 

For once, I don't have much to say about the score. It wasn't bad but it didn't stand out either. There were a couple of Hans Zimmer 'whomps' I think, which seemed a little out of place but I have just checked who composed it and it's Transformers' Steve Jablonsky (no matter what you think of those films, you have to admit the score is pretty epic- if you like that kind of thing that is) so I give him a pass.

Overall, go and see Gangster Squad if you want a well deserved break from awards season mania. In the meantime, watch the trailer for The Place Beyond The Pines, which was attached to Gangster Squad (at least over here). Everyone fell silent when it began and then afterwards there was a cacophony of whispered 'we have to see that' as everyone turned to their companions. I love the piano piece towards the end. Anyway, just watch...

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