Tag Archives: sean penn

Gangster Squad by Ruben Fleischer (2013)

There are some films that leave a bitter aftertaste when you get back home from the cinema after the screening. It’s not that there is something wrong with them. But something isn’t right either.

This is a film noir – chapeaux bas to the idea. Well, there is a grain of Tarantino style goriness which was probably what caused a little bit of disgust to my taste.

It is an ensemble cast led by Josh Brolin, who has a good role – in general all is exceptionally well written. The dialogues work. The costumes are obviously spotless, the job of the set designer is indeed amazingly done.

It feels more like a music video than a feature length film. Maybe because too much has been presented in a shallow, simplified way. What in a classic film noir was unsaid and therefore not shown, here is depicted to the tiniest detail. A film noir is a genre where certain rules should be followed and even though Emma Stone does look like a cartoon wife of Roger Rabbit, I am not convinced by her acting.

Even Ryan Gosling’s character is uneven and unconvincing for whatever reason.

Josh Brolin is great and so is Sean Penn. Giovanni Ribisi also deserves a special mention. But overall – this is not a masterpiece.

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The Tree of Life by Terence Malick

It’s an organic cinematic experience where little can be explained by reason and a lot is felt rather than understood.

A large portion of the film is set in flashbacks of family life in 1950’s/1960’s South. Another lot though, is set in an unspecified time and space. Be it the internal life of stem (?) cells, the outer space, erupting volcanos, jungle, rocks, salt desert, mountains, ancient temples and the postmodern city jungle of skyscrapers.

The image of family life is intense and slowly unveiled onscreen.

This is not a film for everyone. Not much actually happens. A lot is anticipated. Little is told.


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Filed under 2011 cinema releases, film reviews