The Iceman (2012)
The Iceman is the chilling true story of one of the most famous contract killers named Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon). He was known as “The Iceman.” Kuklinski was believed to have killed at least over 100 people. He had ties to the mob and he had his family convinced that he was a businessman.
The movie is directed by Ariel Vromen.
This is another limited release movie with a huge cast that also includes Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, Robert Davi, David Schwimmer, John Ventimiglia, Danny A. Abeckaser, James Franco, and Stephen Dorff.
Why does a movie like this have such limited release? The only answer that I can think of is that a film about a real-life serial killer is not a topic that would be popular to the general public. We all know that is not true with all of the hardcore violence in movies and television these days. So, the question still remains and I don’t have a real answer for it.
I knew absolutely nothing at all about “The Iceman” before watching The Iceman with the exception that he was a real hit-man at one point in time, and I had seen the trailer for the movie. What I learned about the guy from the movie was creepy and insane. It kind of makes me want to read the book that the movie was based off of written by Anthony Bruno called “The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer.”
Michael Shannon has been a wonderful character actor ever since his first film appearance in Groundhog Day (1993). In more recent years he has successfully made the transition to making movies as an awesome main character. This trend started when he made Take Shelter (2011). In The Iceman Shannon is electrifying. His performance is nothing short of deserving Oscar gold. He was extremely convincing as a stone-cold murdering lunatic with a love for his family.
Chris Evans was unrecognizable at first, but very entertaining.
Winona Ryder made a big comeback in Black Swan (2010). In The Iceman, I think that she successfully clinched her comeback into the spotlight. She brought talent to the movie not seen out of her since the 90s. Dare I say another person from this film deserves an Oscar? She should at least be nominated.
I would say that 2012 is the year that Ray Liotta died as an actor and then was resurrected. He looked and acted like death in the unwatchable Killing Them Softly (2012). He was resurrected in The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) and he became his old bad-tempered self again in The Iceman.
The rest of the cast was there to put all of the pieces of this true serial killer story together.
As expected, the movie was brutally violent and loaded with f-bombs. What I did not expect was the strong presence that each of the main characters had on screen. They each did an outstanding job in becoming the real people that they were playing and telling their terrible story on film. Their performances made the movie powerful and worth watching.
I think that it is worth tracking down a theatre that is actually playing this movie and checking it out for yourself, that is, if you are a fan of true crime films.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
One of the darkest, creepiest Disney kids movies that I can recall in recent years.
The awesome, unique animation was obviously influenced by the warped brilliance of Director Tim Burton. It is basically the love child of The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) and Corpse Bride (2005). Ever since Burton made a name for his crazy self when he directed Beetlejuice (1988), every one of his movies has been a visually stunning work of art.
Burton takes the classic Frankenstein (1931) and puts it in a blender with Lassie Come Home (1943), Pet Sematary (1989), The Mummy (1932), Dracula (1931), The Wolfman (1941), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Gremlins (1984), and Godzilla (1954). The monster that is created from this movie concoction goes by the name of Frankenweenie.
Frankenweenie is a touching, heartfelt, twisted tale of a boy’s love for his dog, Sparky. After a Sparky dies in a terrible accident, the boy cannot cope. He tries to use science to bring his beloved dog back from the dead. His classmates think that he is doing the experiment to win the trophy at the science fair. In order to compete, the students try to raise dead animals of their own.
The entire film has a classic old-movie feel that is incredible. It is the first full-length animated film that I have seen that has achieved the sense of an earlier time in such a realistic way.
Fun facts: O’Hara and Ryder played stepmother and stepdaughter in Beetlejuice. The character that Ryder voiced actually looked a lot like she did in Beetlejuice. Landau was in Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (1999) and Ed Wood (1994).
The movie is rated PG. Parental guidance is suggested. I highly suggest that you view this movie before you show it to your little ones. It was pretty frightening for a Disney movie. That being said, you might just get pulled into this funny, clever, tender, superbly crafted film.
I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.