Category: Crime Movies


Top Ten Movies of the Summer

1. Pacific Rim- This movie is straight up the most fun I had at the movies at this summer. It didn’t feature particularly good acting, or ingenious storytelling, but it didn’t need it at all. It is like Independence Day except with giant monsters fighting giant robots, and there is nothing wrong with that.

 2. World War Z- I know that this probably isn’t everybody’s pick for second place, but it was one of the only films that came out this summer that exceeded my expectations. It was a very fun, intense, and entertaining blockbuster zombie movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.

3. This is the End- This is by far the funniest movie I saw all summer. Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and many more play incredibly funny versions of themselves in this incredibly raunchy apocalyptic comedy.

4. The Wolverine- Though the trailers didn’t make it look like anything special, this movie surprisingly really delivered. This is my favorite superhero movie of the summer, and taking the film to a Japanese setting made it all the more awesome.

5. Star Trek Into Darkness- The sequel to 2009’s Star Trek, slightly disappointed me, but was nevertheless a very good sequel. Though it missed some of the humor and energy of the first, it was a nonstop 2-hour thrill ride through space with a great performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, who is the man. I also lost my ipod touch when watching this movie, so that kind of sucked.

6. Fast and Furious 6-  It took what was awesome bout 2011’s Fast Five, did not take itself seriously, and had some truly incredible action sequences. Whether it is a battle on a free way involving a tank, or a scene where Vin Diesel literally drives out of a plane, this movie is ridiculous, and is all the better for it.

7. Iron Man 3- Iron Man 3 is for the most part a really good movie. It is much better than Iron Man 2, it featured the signature Robert Downey Jr. humor, and while there was some plot issues, for the most part it is pretty great. My main problem with the movie was how they handled the ending of the movie, but I’m still looking forward Avengers 2.

8. We’re the Millers- We’re the Millers is another really hilarious, raunchy summer comedy. Jason Sudeikis was really funny, plus there is Jennifer Aniston. As a stripper. Nuff said.

9. Elysium- While definitely not as good as director Neill Blomkamp’s previous film,  District 9, Elysium is still an exciting, innovative, and smart science fiction movie that dealt with real world problems. Personally, it was a little too short for me, and while it didn’t have as much power as District 9, it was a pretty good movie.

10. Man of Steel- Almost too action packed, this still made for a pretty solid superhero movie with a Dark Knight/Christopher Nolan feel to it.

 

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L.A. Confidential

Directed by Curtis Hanson

Rated R, Released 1997

Starring Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce and Kim Basinger

97/100

It is really kind of sad that Titanic won Best Picture in the 1997 Oscars for many reasons. First off, it makes one of the most serious events to happen in the 20th century into a melodramatic love story that contains a bunch of characters (at least for me) that you don’t really care for, and a love story that you cannot really care for either. The biggest reason why it is sad that Titanic won Best Picture is the other movies that it beat out. The nominees started out with As Good As It Gets and The Full Monty, both which weren’t going to win anyway, but then there was Good Will Hunting, which is an outstanding movie (you can see this by the fact it is in my top 20 favorites, and the fact that it has a 97 percent on Rottentomatoes) and most of all, L.A. Confidential.

L.A. Confidential focuses around 3 cops. First, Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) who is the kind of cop who yearns for the spotlight, then Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) who strives to be ahead, and finally Wendell ‘Bud’ White, a violent cop who will break the rules to serve out justice. After a shootout at a 24 hour diner, they each investigate together, using their own unique ways to find who actually is the bad guy.

This film is excellent in so many ways. First off, Almost every performance is memorable in this film. The most memorable performance in fact comes from Guy Pearce. When watching him, you have trouble believing that he is only an actor, as he perfectly captures the man striving to get ahead. Russell Crowe also gives one of his stronger performances of his career, as this is a role that fits him perfectly and his talent is put to its full extent, which is in fact pretty high. Finally, Kevin Spacey does a great job as usual, but it isn’t his career best for a few reasons. First, it isn’t as strong as a character compared to some other roles that he has played or won awards for, such as his career best performance in American Beauty or his outstanding role as Verbil Kint in The Usual Suspects. This is due to the fact that the character that he portrays isn’t a conflicted one, and is more of a showoff, which doesn’t leave off as much leverage for a strong performance than his other roles. In conclusion, he does a great job with his material he proves that he remains one of Hollywood’s greatest actors. Kim Basinger, on the other hand, gives off her best performance (granted i haven’t seen her in many other movies) and fluently gives personality and power to her character. She fully deserves the oscar given to her for her performance in this movie.

Another excellent part of this movie is its script. The script is filled with strong dialogue and clever wording throughout the entirety of the film. Another great part about this script is its story, which is of more thanks to the book that this film is based off, yet it is thanks to this script that this film had such a naturally flowing story line. I also thought that this screenplay was very clever in the way because instead of having a normal flowing plot line like other movies, which tend to focus on one main character and other minor characters, this movie focuses on three different main characters, and intertwines their stories throughout the film. This type of plot could be compared to the movies of Quentin Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds, Pulp Fiction) except for the fact that it is all one story and all of the main characters know each other from the beginning of the movie. The format for a traditional Tarantino movie would include a few different stories of people who start out not knowing each other, and then a series of events that end up intertwining each story together. Overall, this movie has an excellent screenplay which definitely deserved the Oscar given to it and the transition from book to movie is basically flawless, making off for a great movie that stays true to its book.

In conclusion, this is an excellent movie that both captures the dark essence of crime in LA, and makes for an engrossing murder mystery filled with great performances, direction and sharp dialogue.

Yoni Gottlieb

1-24-11

The Departed

Movie Review This Week

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The Departed

2006, Rated R

Directed By Martin Scorsese

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg and Martin Sheen

85/100

It is ridiculous to see that it took close to 40 years for Martin Scorsese to win his first Academy Award and yet he is such a talented director. Now, the movie that did this for him was, as you know, The Departed. Even though he probably should have won due to his amazing array of fantastic movies, such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas. Yet out of his best movies, The Departed is definitely one of the best.

What mainly helps this film is the fact that it has a very intriguing plot. The Departed is mainly about the Irish Mafia in Boston. It starts out with the head of the mafia, named Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) giving a monologue over how he took over his share of Boston. He reminisces that the way he got his power was by realizing that “No one gives it to you-you have to take it,” a quote that i found sad but true if you think about it. The movie continues by introducing Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) who as a kid, becomes friends with Costello, and then grows up to be a State Officer who is a rat (tells Costello what the police are doing) for Costello’s mafia. The other big character in this movie is Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) who comes from a bad family filled with crime. Unlike his family, Billy is training to be a cop when he gets put undercover into Costello’s mafia. As Costigan starts to gain trust from Costello, the police start to realize that they have a rat, suspecting anyone but Sullivan. At close to the same time, Costello realizes he has a rat in his group and he starts searching for him. To reveal any more would spoil the movie but the rest of the movie is breathtaking, entertaining, violent and shocking and is capped off with a very good ending.

My personal favorite part of this movie wasn’t a surprise; It was its exceptional script from William Monaham. This film is filled with sharp, realistic and memorable dialogue from each character. The second best part of this movie is its exceptional ending and twists. This is due to the 2002 movie “The Departed” is remaking: Internal Affairs. The movies greatest triumph is probably the fact that its storyline has the kind of story where you want to know what happens next. Another part of this movie that was good were its performances. The most memorable performance probably comes from DiCaprio as Costigan. It is by no means his best performance (I prefer his performances in Catch Me If You Can and The Aviator) but he definitely does a great job portraying the pained undercover cop, suffering from the things he does and sees along with his panic attacks. He is easily the most likable and human person in this movie, due to most of the other characters in this movie being mafia subordinates, or trashmouth cops who also aren’t too nice. Damon does a solid job portraying Sullivan, its just you can’t help but really hate his character. The only other character that is likable is Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen), who is in charge of Costigan. Queenan is the good cop when the cops play good cop/bad cop and he does a excellent job doing it. Also, Scorsese’s direction is not the best of his career but it is neverless breathtaking.

Overall, this is a very engrossing crime drama in which the few flaws that it obtains are overshadowed by its excellent script, cast, and direction from Martin Scorsese.

Yoni Gottlieb

12-28-10