Ethics, knowing what is “right” and what is “wrong” isn’t always black and white. Many people live life on the straight and narrow, never doing something morally wrong. What happens when those same people are placed in an extraordinary situation? Doing something “wrong” may be the only thing they can do so the”right” thing happens. Hell or High Water poses this moral quandary with great writing, directing and cast… Continue reading “Hell or High Water” »
We spent the weekend trying to find horror films on 3 services: Netflix, Amazon Prime and Dish On Demand. We discovered a gaping disconnect from movie ratings and what we actually thought of the film. The question needs to be asked, are ratings on these services bullshit? Continue reading “Are Movie Reviews BS?” »
Whilst not the best gangster film I’ve seen, BLACK MASS is definitely a great showcase of Johnny Depp at his most committed. Via plenty of makeup and a heavy Boston accent, Depp is really able to transform into the infamous Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger. The trouble with Scott Cooper’s third film comes from the curse of the “biopic” where fact tends to prevail over good storytelling. A strong first act establishing Bulger’s criminal domain along with his trusty crew (a tremendous assembly of heavyweights W. Earl Brown, Rory Cochrane and Jesse Plemons) descends into a mostly unseen decade-long pact between Bulger’s gang and the FBI that is just nowhere near as interesting as the gang’s criminal exploits (which are stellar). It really doesn’t help that that the feds in this movie just aren’t very interesting and are such a huge part of it. Benedict Cumberbatch is also awfully miscast as Bulger’s Senator brother. There was definitely a great film somewhere in there but aside from Depp and his onscreen subordinates (again, Brown, Cochrane and Plemons are just excellent) BLACK MASS doesn’t achieve the emotional resonance of CRAZY HEART nor the climactic majesty of OUT OF THE FURNACE. 8/10
*It pains me to say this given that I’m such a fan of Cooper’s, but Scorsese would have made BLACK MASS Best Picture material.