Tag Archive: Ryan Gosling

Movie Review: Ides of March

Right now America is caught up in some crazy politics, watching GOP candidates beat on each other verbally to try and win the nomination. One mistake can send a career into a tail spin. So it’s perfect timing for the Ides of March to come out. The plot follows Governor Mike Morris(George Clooney) is trying to win the Democratic primary in Ohio. He has one of the best in Stephen Myers(Ryan Gosling)who is a young and overly ambitious idealist who has basically bet all in on Morris. He butts heads with the storied campaign manager, Paul Zara(Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Once Stephen makes the mistake of taking a meeting with the rival candidates campaign manager(Paul Giamatti) everything starts to spiral out of control.

George Clooney is simply a master, his directing skills for a film like this are frankly amazing. This film feels old school but yet it’s so overly modern. Even though the film focuses on a Democratic primary the film never feels overly political. The behind the scenes nonsense that goes on in politics is just hard not to be interested in. The best thing Clooney did is allowed the actors some breathing room. There are no quick cuts every actor gets time with their scenes. For us it pays off. Of course Ryan Gosling stands out here, the guy is simply a movie star, every time he is on screen it’s hard not to watch him. Hoffman chews through his lines and comes off as a man who has really seen the rough battle of politics year after year. I just eat up everything about this film.

Even the romance between Gosling’s character and a twenty year old intern, played by the amazing Evan Rachel Wood doesn’t feel forced. Frankly it’s one of the most important moments in the film. I really don’t want to go into detail about the plot. The trailers did a good job of keeping everything in the dark. Just know that this film is very current and Clooney playing Mike Morris is very brave since decisions he makes in the film are not exactly classy. It’s a brave film and every actor gives it all and frankly the movie is just a pure treat to anyone who enjoys film.

Ides of March is important too because many Americans need to realize that politics in this country has simply turned into a dog fight. People using dirt and lies to control others and manipulate voters. Even though the characters are great and well written and the actors are all top notch, you very much feel disconnected to all of them. Everyone minus one major character is lying all the time. The world of politics that sets America’s leadership is essentially flawed, this movie plays with that and is like a huge wake up call. The film is lightly flawed as once the plot is fleshed out, it’s rather basic, and the film feels rather short. These are minor flaws though in an over all great experience.

Rating: 7.5/10

Movie Review: Drive

Drive is a simple film really that is frankly beautiful and brutal. It won’t be a film for everyone. For me the movie is a reminder that Hollywood and Los Angeles is frankly a beautiful place. The film is a love letter to film, noir, and Los Angeles. Like I said the plot isn’t the deepest. Ryan Gosling plays Driver, a man who only speaks when necessary. A Hollywood stunt driver that falls for his neighbor, played by Carey Mulligan, who has a son with a man who just got out of prison. This man, whose name is Standard, owes protection money to some bad people. Driver gets involved to help his neighbor and her son. Things quickly go down hill and Driver finds himself having to resort to using the rage he has inside him to pick off the men pulling the strings.

Ryan Gosling is a star, it’s been a good year for him. Here though he reminds you of the classic bad ass actors. Every move he has reminds you of Steve McQueen. He possibly only says fifty words in the entire movie yet in silence we know exactly what he’s thinking. The rest of the cast is really solid. Carey Mulligan plays a very innocent woman who is a waitress. She is almost too innocent at times, we find out how she got involved with a thug like Standard, she was dumb and sixteen, got pregnant and has either been too afraid or too dumb to leave him. That one scene makes you understand Mulligan’s character, why because it’s clear there are many women out there that make dumb mistakes like this. Albert Brooks, who I love, plays one of the most cut throat gangsters we’ve seen in film for a while. Most people know Brooks these days as being the voice of the father fish in Finding Nemo. Here he is down right scary, he doesn’t mind using brutal violence to get a point across. Every scene he is in is a joy since his dialogue is just so much fun.

The key to Drive being so good is the films look. Nicolas Winding Refn just has an amazing eye. This pretty basic crime drama suddenly become something more. Every scene he is doing something a little different. The one thing people should know is that the movie is violent. The film is pretty violent free for about forty five minutes but as things go down hill the violence picks up. Most people won’t mind this but for me it stood out, it’s not a negative, the violence makes the plot stronger. The gangsters are scarier this way, Driver is a man with anger inside of him, without the violence we wouldn’t understand any of this.

It also must be stated that the soundtrack is mind blowing, you could watch this movie with your eyes closed and enjoy yourself. This is one film that does a very good job of making Los Angeles look cool. Most film loving shooting cities like New York or Chicago, most think of L.A. and just think of highways and Hollywood. Sure a movie called Drive focuses on that in L.A. there are a lot of roads. Most people in that city drive most of their day. The film uses this and in a way makes Los Angeles a character in the film. It is something to behold and this and maybe Collateral are two very true Los Angeles films. Just do yourself a favor and check this movie out. You will not be let down, Gosling is a movie star and this is the movie that cements that.

Rating: 9/10

Movie Review: Crazy Stupid Love

This movie can be placed in the “almost” category, everything is in place for something really special but when it came to closing the deal, they blinked. The film follows Cal(Steve Carell) is a simple and basic guy. We open on him eating dinner with his wife Emily(Julianne Moore) and she tells him she wants a divorce and that she cheated on him. He deflates basically. Having never been with any other woman than his wife, Cal is lost at a singles bar he continues to go to. That is until he is taken in Jacob(Ryan Gosling), who teaches him the ins and outs of the new dating game. Meanwhile, Jacob falls for a law-student named Hanna(Emma Stone) who is not very impressed with how he picks up women.

This film could easily stand alone on the actors it has in it. Both Carell and Gosling are very appealing here, as is the rest of the supporting cast. Emma Stone is just charming and is lining herself up in my opinion as the real next Julie Roberts in Hollywood. Julianne Moore doesn’t get a lot of screen time here, but when she does, she stands out. She is frankly always great in what she is in. Still beyond the cast Crazy Stupid Love could never make a decision on what type of film it is. Don’t get me wrong it is funny, the characters have charming moments. Yet when the film just starts feeling unique it gets weighed down by cliches and just nonsense.

Two other story lines in this film follow Carell and Moore’s children. A thirteen year old boy who is in love with the seventeen year old baby sitter. Problem is the baby sitter has a crush for the much older Cal. This story line continues to slow down and wreck an utterly charming film. First off I despise this cliche’d pointless move to have a young teen who “wise beyond his years”. We see this time and time again, it’s old, it’s boring, and seeing it here was a huge let down. Yet not seeing they were setting their boat aflame they continue to ram the kid down out throats.

The films biggest failure was simply blinking when they had a chance at something special. There is a twist in the final act which spices things up but still leads into the basic rom com direction… It’s just a shame and a waste. It reminds me how much I love the film The Breakup, starring Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn. That film was funny but never blinked, it was about a breakup and I know the ending pissed some people off but it was real and not cliche’d at all. Here Crazy Stupid Love blinks on several occasions which is a shame. I say that because the actors and the characters frankly are so great. It’s sad the story and plot lags behind them and simply never generates anything note worthy.

This is essentially the Spider-man 3 of rom-coms, just has too much going on. We care and like Carell and Gosling, Moore and Stone so much that jumping away from them to follow some cliche’d thirteen year old boys arch is overly frustrating. A lot like SP3 the film sets up something special and then kind of fumbles everything into an ending. I’d suggest seeing it due to the performances, but the plot and cliche’d rom-com devices will leave you wishing for more.

Rating: 6/10