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Prisoners (2013)


Prisoners poster 2

Prisoners (2013)

Before seeing Prisoners, I guaranteed to people that it would be good.  Sometimes it is as if I just know.  I did not have any doubts about this movie at all.  I am not narcissistic.  I just sort of have a sixth sense.  I am like Haley Joel Osment’s character in The Sixth Sense (1999).  However, instead of seeing dead people, I see good movies.

Can’t you just hear me whispering softly?  “I see good movies.”

Bruce Willis responds, “In your dreams?”

I shake my head no.

“While you’re awake?”

I nod.

“Good movies like, in graves?  In coffins?”

“Walking around like regular movies.  They don’t see each other.  They only see what they want to see.  They don’t know they’re good.”

Bruce Willis asks, “How often do you see them?”

I whisper, “All the time.  They’re everywhere.”

Prisoners is about two little girls who go missing.  Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is the father of one of the girls.  He will stop at nothing to find out who took his daughter and will do whatever is necessary to get her back.

Prisoners Jackman Gyllenhaal police

The movie was directed by Denis Villeneuve and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrance Howard, Maria Bello, Melissa Leo, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, Wayne Duvall, Len Cariou, David Dastmalchian, and Dylan Minnette.

Prisoners was gripping.  It did not take long to pull me in to the disturbingly chilling story.  It’s the next day and I’m still thinking about the film.

It should go without saying that it’s not exactly a feel good movie.  Two little girls disappear.  There is nothing good about that.  Because of the subject matter, some aspects of the film are hard to like.  However, the film was so well-made that it doesn’t pull any punches, and rightfully so.  You have to see the bad in order to appreciate the good.

Prisoners Gyllenhaal Jackman

The movie is brutally violent and gory.  There is plenty of language and blood.  It captures the eeriness of the twisted plot perfectly.

Jackman plays a broken man who does not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to get his daughter back.  His performance was excellent.  It might be his best and more realistic role yet.  It is Hugh Jackman unplugged like you haven’t seen him before.

Prisoners Gyllenhaal Gun

Gyllenhaal plays the detective on the case.  He is obsessed with his job and has solved every case that he has been assigned to.  He is not about to fail now.  This movie is equally Gyllenhaal’s movie as much as it is Jackman’s.

The rest of the supporting cast all play their parts well and Leo stands out among them.

The film is just over two and a half hours long, but I was so in to it that I did not notice.  Time flies when you’re have fun, or watching a good movie.  Prisoners never gets boring.  It absorbs you and keeps you guessing until the end.

Prisoners Jackman Gun

Jackman, Gyllenhaal, and Leo all gave Oscar worthy performances and the film itself is the best movie that I have seen so far this year.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale on 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you liked Prisoners, then you will probably enjoy:

Mystic River (2003)

End of Watch (2012)

Out of the Furnace (2013)

The Machinist (2004)

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Happy Birthday to Clint Eastwood


Clint Eastwood Cigar

Happy Birthday to Clint Eastwood!  The legendary actor/director/producer turns 83 years old today.

Clint Eastwood Aiming

Not only is Eastwood one of the greatest actors of all time, but he is also one of the best directors out there.  Not including television shows or documentaries, Clint has acted in 60 films, produced 30 films, and directed 32 films.  He has also been involved in composing music for 7 films.  Eastwood has shown us that he can pretty much do it all when it comes to moviemaking.

I have seen the majority of Eastwood’s films.  He has made so many great movies that my list of favorites goes on and on.

Mystic River Eastwood Directing

My favorite film that Clint Eastwood produced and directed but did not star in is Mystic River (2003).

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Eastwood

Besides “The Man with No Name” Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)), my favorite Eastwood western is High Plains Drifter (1973).

High Plains Drifter Hell

I’m not going to list them all, because as I said, the list goes on and on.  Some of my other favorite Eastwood movies are In the Line of Fire (1993), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Gran Torino (2008), and Blood Work (2002).

Million Dollar Trio

Just writing about these Clint Eastwood movies makes me want to have an Eastwood movie marathon.  I might just have to do that one of these days.  That would be a marathon of awesomeness.

In the Line of Fire Eastwood Roof Hanging

Thank you for a lifetime of phenomenal films Clint!

Dirty Harry Eastwood Gun

Go ahead, make my birthday!

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