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Trailer for Runner, Runner (2013)


Runner, Runner Poster

Runner, Runner (2013)

Runner, Runner is about a college student (Justin Timberlake) who desperately needs money to pay his tuition, so he turns to online gambling.  He loses and thinks that he has been cheated, so he tracks down the man in Costa Rica who he thinks is responsible for cheating him (Ben Affleck).  Eventually the cheated is working for the cheater until the FBI closes in.  Now it’s time for the student to become the teacher.

The rest of the notable cast includes Gemma Arterton, Anthony Mackie, David Costabile, Diana Laura, Laurence Mason, Louis Lombardi, and Sam Upton.

The film is written by Brian Koppelman and David LevienBrad Furman directs.

Affleck appears like he plays a deceitful bad guy for a change.  Looks interesting enough.  Timberlake is 32 years old, but still playing a college kid.  He will probably still pull it off.

After watching the preview, I’m sold.  It looks pretty good.

The film is set to release on 10/4/13.

Pain & Gain (2013)


Pain and Gain Poster

Pain & Gain (2013)

Michael Bay took a true story about bodybuilding thieves and kidnappers, and chewed it up and spit it out bigger and better than before.  The producer and director has a tendency to go big or go home.  Pain & Gain went huge with a super sized Mark Wahlberg, a bulkier Dwayne Johnson “The Rock”, and an extra beefed up Anthony Mackie.

Pain & Gain Trio

I should not have enjoyed this movie, but I did.  It is supposedly a true story, but you have to believe that with Michael Bay involved, the film could very well be far from the truth.  Everything about the movie was way over-the-top.

Pain & Gain Over the top

The movie was raunchy, vulgar, and went totally off the deep end.  It’s filled with drugs, cussing, nudity, and brutality.  I was caught off guard at how funny the movie was though.  I expected an action/adventure and I got an action/comedy.  The story is pretty twisted and it needed a lot of comedy to help you get through it, so kudos to the filmmakers for recognizing this fact.  The real story was probably not that funny.  The real story was probably not that entertaining either.

If you are not a fan of dark comedy, then you might not like this movie.  It is mostly filled with dark comedy and stupid comedy.  After all, all brawn and no brains is the underlined theme of this film.  The movie could also be considered very offensive.  If you are easily offended, you might not like the film.

Pain & Gain Wahlberg hit

The rest of the notable cast includes Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, Bar Paly, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, Michael Risponi, Larry Hankin, Tony Plana, and Peter Stormare.

The characters were far out, but very well-acted.  The casting was perfect.  I don’t think that you could find a funnier bunch of giants anywhere.  With that being said, if this movie had a different cast, it probably would have just been awful.  I am certain that the actual people that the characters are based on are not nearly as likable as the actors who play them in the movie.

Pain & Gain Wahlberg Pool

With how big Mark Wahlberg is now, if he could go back in time and fight his character in The Fighter (2010), he would beat the crap out of that guy.  He gained 40lbs. to make Pain & Gain and he looks gigantic.  Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” somehow became more enormous for his role.  It just goes to show the dedication that these guys had to make the movie.

Pain & Gain Johnson Crazy

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

If you liked Pain & Gain, then you will most likely enjoy:

2 Guns (2013)

Broken City (2013)

Ted (2013)

Gangster Squad (2013)


gangster squad cover

Gangster Squad (2013)

With a huge squad of big name actors, Gangster Squad definitely had enough firepower and got the job done right. Although with such a high caliber cast, one would have to try very hard to not make a good film. With Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Giovanni Ribisi, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Robert Patrick, Michael Pena, Anthony Mackie, who could go wrong? The supporting cast is an endless number of recognizable awesome character actors and I couldn’t name them all if I tried. Every other scene I recognized another face. I kept saying; Wow he’s in this too? Or, I like that guy. What else have I seen him in?

gangster squad group

This could just be perhaps, Josh Brolin’s best performance. He was excellent! His role fit him like a glove.

Ryan Gosling was his usual suave and slick self. Once again he was paired with Emma Stone as they were in Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011). They were a great couple again, but her character in my opinion, did not get much of a chance to develop. She was the big love interest, but she really was not in much of the movie.

Gangster Squad is Sean Penn’s best movie since Mystic River (2003). He has quite honestly been pretty disappointing on and off the screen in the last decade. This is a solid comeback movie for him. His character far exceeded my expectations.

Speaking of comeback movies, Nick Nolte surprised us all with a major comeback and Oscar worthy performance in the movie Warrior (2011). Even though his role in Gangster Squad was pretty minor, he reminded us that he can still act.

Giovanni Ribisi never ceases to disappoint and he continued that tradition once again.

Robert Patrick’s film career peaked when he played the T-1000 robot in the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). He has been in many movies and TV shows in the last 22 years since then, but none of his roles have ever lived up to T2. He gives a good supporting role in Gangster Squad.

terminator 2

Michael Pena and Anthony Mackie have both been up and comers for a while. The two of them were both fun additions to the film.

The filmmakers did a remarkable job recreating Hollywood in the 1940s. Everything about the movie seemed real and believable. The clothing, the cars, the buildings and surrounding landscapes, and even the way people talked and acted were all works of art in themselves.

Gangster Squad is one of the best movies that I have seen in the last year. I was only a little disappointed that Emma Stone did not get much of a chance to develop her character. Even the much lesser known Mireille Enos, who was Josh Brolin’s wife in the film, seemed to have a bigger role than Emma Stone. If the film was a little longer and had developed its female characters a little more, I think that it would have been even better. The film was pretty amazing though, and if you have not done so already, you should check it out!

I rate this movie an 8.5 out of 10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

emma stone gangster