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Author Topic: Gangster Squad (2013)  (Read 2406 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2013, 09:48:05 AM »

As noted by CJ further up the thread, its release was pushed back for reshoots due to the Aurora theater shooting. I don't think that came in the last two weeks though. It's not illogical to assume the studio thinks it's a turkey, giving the general quality of January releases. Or September releases, for that matter.

But anyway, what did *you* think of it Jenkins?

« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 10:04:47 AM by Groggy » Logged


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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2013, 10:52:55 AM »

Ask question, get answer, albeit in the wrong thread:

Gangster Squad (2013) - 7/10. An unofficial team of LAPD members bring maximum heat to bear on the operations of gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn and an amazing prosthetic nose). "Inspired by True Events" and set in 1949, the film has a color palette that matches postcards of the period (if you doubt it all you have to do is wait for the end credits--done as postcards--to do a comparison). It also has CGI that makes an LA that no longer exists live again. It even has men who smoke, know how to work lighters, and wear hats. And it has a squad of stereotypes--the hard-charging, no-nonsense leader (Josh Brolin), the goofy sidekick (Ryan Gosling), the Black Guy, the Latino, the Old Guy, the nerdy electronics expert. Nonetheless, these characters are re-invested with traits that make them worth caring about. Emma Stone is in the picture as Gosling's love interest, and her character is used in a way that is actually important to the story. (Special acknowlegement needs to go to Mireille Enos as Brolin's long-suffering wife: both performance and role are exceptional). Not all the plot tracks--I'm guessing there were some scenes cut and that there's an extended-version of the film in our future--but things move along so quickly there's almost no time for any head scratching. Many of the plot turns are predictable--but again, old skins have been filled with new wine, and it's all to the good. And when the terms of the final confrontation were announced it was all I could do to keep myself from doing a fist pump. Some of the action was hard to follow (which accounts for my giving the film a reduced score) but there is no dint of excitement. Comparisons will no doubt be made with The Untouchables--for my part, I think GS is the better film--but the movie I was most frequently reminded of was Dick Tracy (I just got the blu-ray a couple weeks back, so that may account for it). The one really refreshing aspect of the film is its lack of irony. The film is about tough men with a tough job who don't have the luxury to second-guess themselves. And the filmmakers respect what the characters do--the men are presented as true heroes, men who returned victoriously from WW2 and found themselves with an even more difficult war to fight. They fought and they won, with honor. Damn straight.

Glad to read a positive review for a change. Smiley

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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2013, 07:42:01 AM »

Movie tanked with just $16.7 mil. this weekend. So now it's a critical and commercial flop.

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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2013, 10:57:05 AM »

I'll be seeing it tomorrow  Afro

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« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2013, 01:50:30 PM »

Let us know what you think CJ. A good review from you and DJ might convince me to see it.

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« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2013, 05:17:01 PM »

It's a nice nod to the 30s warner movies - it's old school through and through. It looks great (late 40s LA really comes to life, cgi done right), moves at an incredibly quick pace and is over the top fun that doesn't take itself very seriously. The characters are given just enough screen time to make you care about them - the critics seem to be criticizing the film for what it isn't trying to be. The score was solid too, it didn't have that lifeless quality that plague hollywood movies. Gangster Squad is much better than the somewhat forgettable Mulholland Falls, which has a similar plot.

I had a feeling this would be enjoyable once critics panned it for being gratuitously violent. On a somewhat unrelated note, it's so funny how they continually get fooled by pretentious garbage like Road to Perdition yet whiff on solid, old-fashioned entertainment. That's not to say it's perfect though - the script could have used another draft and the action can be a bit incoherent at times, though ultimately satisfying.

The nightclubs almost could have made a Melville film and the heroin bust car chase on the dirt road reminded me of Touchez pas au grisbi.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 05:21:53 PM by T.H. » Logged


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« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2013, 08:18:28 PM »

Initial reaction, Entertaining, will expand upon it tomorrow. 8/10

Quote
The nightclubs almost could have made a Melville film and the heroin bust car chase on the dirt road reminded me of Touchez pas au grisbi.

Noticed a few other possible Crime/Noir quotes myself - The pool execution looked identical to William Holden's demise in Sunset Blvd., and Josh Brolin's toss of his LAPD badge into the Pacific reminded me Eastwood's toss of his San Francisco PD badge into the gravel pit pond in Dirty Harry.

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« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2013, 05:37:24 PM »

How many gangster films do we have based circa 1950's Los Angeles, how many novels come to mind? Other than James Elroy's LA Quartet and his related novels and films, not a whole hell of a lot. Gangster Films inevitably revolve around New York and Chicago with a occasional nod to Las Vegas.

Gangster Squad though isn't really a Gangster Film. I was reminded more of "The Dirty Dozen" than "The Godfather" "The Professionals" more than "Goodfellas" its structure is more in the vein of a "men on a mission" film. You may think then that it would be more akin to "The Untouchables" (1987) same premise but that film was a meandering moralizing bloated mess. It was actually more like what I remember of The Untouchables TV drama with Walter Winchell doing a voice-over, every episode about a raid on an illegal distillery or a brewery.

Sean Penn plays Mickey Cohen as a downright scary over the top sociopath gang leader of LA's mob with a dedicated ex guerrilla trained GI Josh Brolin on his tail with a squad of hand picked off the book LAPD hard cases across a demographical spectrum. The rest of the cast are great, but most are underutilized, the film could have been a tad bit longer to flesh out the characters. Ryan Gosling (the womanizer), Robert Patrick (the old school gunslinger), Anthony Mackie (the ghetto, knife-wielding black cop), Giovanni Ribisi ( geek electronics expert), and Michael Pena ( Hispanic cop). More time also was needed with the Cohen gang.

The movie is a time machine to LA of the 50's (even Carmen Mirada makes an appearance) beautiful to look at with a top notch production design. I'll have to pick up the DVD to see how many Gangster/Film Noir references I can spot. A guilty pleasure pastiche of a Classic Gangster/men on a mission/40's Pulp and unlike LA Confidential this one got the HATS right. 8/10

« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 10:14:08 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2013, 11:44:37 AM »

If anyone is interested, that author of 'Gangster Squad' is doing a AMA on reddit.

Ask Me Anything:Paul Lieberman

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« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2013, 12:15:13 PM »

 Afro Thanks, that was great, and I actually learned something:
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[the movie-theater-shoot-em-up scene] was cut after the Colorado tragedy, and a new scene shot in its place. That's why release of the film was delayed for four months. In my view, the inconvenience to a piece of entertainment commerce was insignificant when compared to the real human toll--the studio did the right thing.
I now remember seeing that scene in the trailer and wish they'd kept it. Oh well, maybe we'll get it on the home video release.

Btw, a followup question makes it clear that the Chinatown scene was the replacement for the movie-theater-shoot-em-up one.

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« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2013, 12:28:05 PM »

Thanks  Afro

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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2013, 01:13:00 PM »

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film4/blu-ray_reviews_58/gangster_squad_blu-ray.htm

Can't wait! Sure hope the cinema slaughter scene is available amongst those that were deleted.

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« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2013, 07:25:18 AM »

Bad news. These are the deleted scenes per Blu-ray.com:
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Deleted Scenes (HD, 12 minutes): Seven deleted scenes flanked by a quick introduction from Fleischer: "Cohen Meets Russo," "Del Red Chase," "Chavez Ravine," "Griffith Observatory," "Wooters Drives Grace to Whalen's," "Posadas: Cohen Threatens Squad" and "Cheif Parker Gives Permission/Evidence Room."
Doesn't sound like the original cinema scene is in there.

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