“A U.S. Customs official uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Pablo Escobar.” (IMDB)
Bryan Cranston is one of my favorite actors of all time. Team him up with John Leguizamo who is yet another favourite and chances were this was going to be a winner even if the script is terrible.. but it wasn’t terrible. It was great. I loved everything about it. It felt slightly like a bit more upmarket version of Donnie Brasco.
The costumes, the lighting, the amazing homes on occasion contrasted with the reality of the lives of those undercover. Underneath it all there was this great tension, like at any minute everything could go very wrong indeed, and now and then things did go very wrong.
This movie did receive some mixed reviews elsewhere. Diane Kruger was impossibly gorgeous, Benjamin Bratt appears in a very silver foxy role – and silver suits him – Juliet Aubrey was great as the long suffering wife of an undercover agent and Olympia Dukakis has a small but effortlessly fabulous part especially delightful for those of us who have loved her since the mid 80’s.
I do feel the need to read the book this was based on now.
“A photographer for Life Magazine is assigned to shoot pictures of James Dean.” (IMDB)
Dane DeHaan and Robert Pattinson together on screen. I should have been literally glued to my chair, laptop lid closed, watching this. I’ve been fans of both of these guys for years now. Sadly the movie did not grab me. I found the runaround that James Dean gave Dennis Stock far too annoying. In fact the way he treated everyone deeply irritated me.
I think the truth is, Dane was doing way too good a job here of almost inhabiting the skin of James Dean and I just did not like that guy. It probably does not help that I know almost nothing about him and have never seen any of his movies. I am sure if you are a James Dean fan perhaps you would have enjoyed this movie far more than I did.
The one time this movie did grab me was when James went to a dance at his old high school. On that occasion he was charming and lovely to the people there. If this movie had been about that guy I saw in that moment, I probably would have loved this. But by all accounts, that is not who James Dean was at all.
Robert Pattinson has a habit of choosing not great projects. I sat through a couple of really deeply terrible movies just because he was in them. I mean, hello, The Rover. This one was ok and he was ok in it. But not ok enough to keep my laptop closed for the entire movie.
The costumes were pretty great, as were the locations. In general this movie was very well done. It is just a shame the person it was all about was so annoying.
“The story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists responsible.” IMDB
Obviously as this is based on a real event where people were injured and killed, his movie is NOT for anyone who can’t deal with gory images. I understand they are kinda sorta telling the story of what happened but I think they could have gone a little lighter on showing the injuries.
Also I think if you are going to put an actor as well known as John Goodman into heavy makeup and dark eyebrows to resemble someone else, that is a Not Great idea. Every time I heard his voice I was freaked out by what he looked like. It also has Kevin Bacon which is never a bad thing.
Mark Wahlberg is pretty incredible in his role, but I am a fan of his. If you don’t like him you are probably not going to enjoy this movie, because his character is central to everything that happened – and it is a completely fictional character. There was no one police officer involved in almost every aspect of the bombing and aftermath. There were many wonderful people who did not have their part of the story told here.
That is where the film falls down for me – it is impossible to suspend my disbelief. I would have preferred a version with the “real” police officers played by actors, but then it would not have been so Wahlberg-esque. This is an important story and I feel it would have been better to stick to facts not make up a convenient character for “movie” reasons.
I was quite horrified at what they did with the “interrogation” of the wife, especially holding up a printed out photo of her dead husband which I do suspect may have been the real image, I never saw it myself though so I can’t be certain. That was unexpected and quite gory and unnecessary.
On the plus side, I did think J.K. Simmons was amazing as Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese especially in the Watertown shootout scenes. Alex Wolff as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Themo Melikidze as Tamerlan Tsarnaev did some amazing work in tough roles as the terrorist brothers. Jimmy O. Yang was incredible as Dun Meng and that particular aspect of the story is one many are unaware of.
Would I recommend it as a movie to watch? That is such a difficult question. Probably not and that is a shame. This was a missed opportunity to tell the real story of what happened, not some half-real half-fake version.
All of these movies are older movies from 2015 and 2016. They would now be available on DVD as well as via various movie streaming services.