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GANGSTER SQUAD - Discussion Thread
#1

There will be some SPOILERS in this.

This was OK.  It's about what you'd expect from the trailers.  Much more occupied with bringing a modern stylish/sexy/cool approach to the time period with its cast than doing anything particularly special with the genre or its stock characters.  All you gotta do is hear Steve Jablonski's (Bay's Transformers movies) bland score.

Sean Penn seems to be having a ball under his Mickey Cohen prosthetics.  Gosling brings a tiny bit of DRIVE to his character with sudden bursts of brutality and crazy.  Emma Stone has little to do.  Brolin is just playing a harder edged Elliot Ness.  Nolte being Nolte for less than 5 minutes.  Robert Patrick, Michael Pena, and Anthony Mackie fill out the minority slots who just shoot things in the background.  Giovanni Ribisi plays Ribisi.  And if you're familiar at all with the genre... you know what his character is there for.

This just made me want to do a double feature of The Untouchables and LA Confidential.  Better characters.  Better action.  Better stories.

But if you just want to see attractive actors shoot some shit up and be tough... it's not too bad.

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#2

Ugh...this movie. It's a little Mulholland Falls, a little Dick Tracy, a little The Monster Squad, and all supremely uninteresting.

Just come out & BOMB already!

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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

There will be some SPOILERS in this.

This was OK.  It's about what you'd expect from the trailers.  Much more occupied with bringing a modern stylish/sexy/cool approach to the time period with its cast than doing anything particularly special with the genre or its stock characters.  All you gotta do is hear Steve Jablonski's (Bay's Transformers movies) bland score.

Sean Penn seems to be having a ball under his Mickey Cohen prosthetics.  Gosling brings a tiny bit of DRIVE to his character with sudden bursts of brutality and crazy.  Emma Stone has little to do.  Brolin is just playing a harder edged Elliot Ness.  Nolte being Nolte for less than 5 minutes.  Robert Patrick, Michael Pena, and Anthony Mackie fill out the minority slots who just shoot things in the background.  Giovanni Ribisi plays Ribisi.  And if you're familiar at all with the genre... you know what his character is there for.

This just made me want to do a double feature of The Untouchables and LA Confidential.  Better characters.  Better action.  Better stories.

But if you just want to see attractive actors shoot some shit up and be tough... it's not too bad.

I'm not too surprised by this; I don't think anyone was thinking this to be a replacement for L.A. Confidential.

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#4

I'm wondering how much the reshoots affected the final cut.

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#5

From what little I know...

... there seems to be a tense shootout in Chinatown that replaced the movie theater shootout that was deleted after Colorado.  I'm not sure if it was just the setting that was changed, or if there were more changes to script/story/plot to accommodate the reshoots.

Not sure if the Chinatown sequence was always a part of the movie, but I know someone who was an extra during that scene which was a part of the reshoots.

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#6

Could the Mods move this to the Focused Discussion Thread? I think that's where its expected to be.

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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
Robert Patrick, Michael Pena, and Anthony Mackie fill out the minority slots who just shoot things in the background.

At first I was like, how is Robert Patrick a minority?  Then I began to hope he was playing a T-1000 again.

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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post

Could the Mods move this to the Focused Discussion Thread? I think that's where its expected to be.

Oh, should it?  I assumed 'Films in Release or on Video' WAS Focused Discussion.  Whatever is proper is fine by me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey View Post

At first I was like, how is Robert Patrick a minority?  Then I began to hope he was playing a T-1000 again.

He OLD!

But yeah, I didn't think that through all the way.

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#9

OH NO. I really wanted this to be good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm going to cross my arms and pretend you're lying about this, until I see it for myself.

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#10

It looked like a budget Untouchables. I was kinda okay with that.

Jablonsky's one of those peoples I really was praying would vanish after Bay dropped Transformers. More proof God is dead.

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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Decade View Post

Ugh...this movie. It's a little Mulholland Falls, a little Dick Tracy, a little The Monster Squad, and all supremely uninteresting.

Just come out & BOMB already!

My sentiments exactly. This should not have been as bland as it is. Everything feels phoned in and stagey and absolutely nothing worked for me. It reminded me of Lawless in that respect but at least that had a couple good performances.

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#12

Just echoing my thoughts in my review and in the other thread, but this can't decide if it wants to be DICK TRACY, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL THE UNTOUCHABLES, PUBLIC ENEMIES or Zack Snyder's GANGSTERS. Everyone, from Fleischer on down, are on a completely different page.

Not the worst movie this year, but definitely the biggest disappointment in some time.

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#13

It was like watching someone else playing a video game based in that era...poorly. Does some pretty intense historical re-writing to eke out some kind of conclusion. Weird facist undertow to the whole thing.

I think the worst thing about the film was how overcrowded it was. Too many people, not enough development to give a damn about any of them.

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#14

Michael Pena's like 10 years too old for his character.

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#15

This was irritating white noise from start to finish.  Felt like a parody of a serious gangster flick...almost SNL bad.

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#16

I made it through about an hour.  Scratch that, I made it through about 25 minutes, it just took me an hour to do so.

I think the movie wanted to be broad, violent fun.  Sort of like a comic book, and with self-aware nods to the genre.  The problem is, the movie is so dumb, so rote, it doesn't come across as knowing, it just comes across as a big, lazy cliche (The Big Cliche might have been a good alternate title.)  Gosling seemed to be having fun, but only because he was able to play his guy with a real comic lightness.  Penn, on the other hand, was just mugging, and it wasn't particularly fun to watch.

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#17

I saw the whole thing this weekend. I should have posted earlier, because it's quickly receding from memory. The script implied cartoon fun, but the direction was so deadly serious, and the lighting so damn dark, that the fun didn't come across. 

Any movie that leans on Ryan Gosling and Sean Penn to provide the few moments of levity is going to be a bad one.

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#18
AI'm watching this now. So far it's making me laugh very, very hard! Way too over the top and its funny that it seems Broslin is the actual lead which the trailers didn't show. Also why does Gosling sound seem like his character from Crazy Stupid Love? Ha! This all very silly like a weird hodgepodge of The Untouchables Chinatown and LA Confidential made into a black comedy. I'll share more thoughts when I finish this! Best comedy of the year so far!

Edit: What a disaster this movie is! It's a train wreck in the highest fashion. Everyone is miscasted, the worst violator being Gosling who is completely wrong for his role it's painful.

The characters in this are nothing but archetypes and poor ones at that and the tone of the film is way off it dosent seem to know if it wants to be a serious drama or a spoof of crime dramas and fails at both. The campy over the top violent scenes are really good "you know the drill!" Also it looks so cheap looking like it was made for 5 million on a really bad sound stage.

Last thing I want to say is the Sean Penn is super disappointing. He needed to go for the 11th and play Cohen in an absurd manner like Pacino in Scarface or DeNiro in Untochables but is more like a 5. It kind of undermines the whole film, it should of went for the over the top it was itching too but in the end it goes for being safe and it ruins the entire film. Sad that the best performance was by Stone who was written as the most generic of all the generic characters.
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