Saturday, November 17, 2007

American Gangster

Finally, the movie i've been waiting to see since I saw the poster for it at Loews almost 2 years ago, is out. i had been anticipating the movie and building it up in my head for a long time, but it did not dissapoint. Denzel Washington played Frank Lucas, a drug lord and, of course, gangster in Harlem. Like most outstanding crime epics, American Gangster was based on a true story (Goodfellas, Casino, Donnie Brasco, etc.). The movie contained elements of other great movies, but still managed to maintain individuality and a non-cleshe storyline. Frank remined me of Scarface because of the way he started from the bottom and made his way to the top in the world of illegal drugs. Frank Lucas smuggled in the purest heroin that he sold at cheaper prices. Although composed at most times, he was a ticking bomb. He bashed someone's head in on a piano for acting inappropriatly at a party. However, he was ironically a very good family man. Russell Crowe was Denzel's doppleganger. He played the only cop on the force who was "straight" and didn't take bribes or do drugs- reminded me of Serpico (I guess the one thing Denzel and Russel Crowe have in common in this movie is elements of Al Pacino)- but he was a terrible family man.
My Favorite Scene: Its the beginning of the movie. Frank's boss just died, and since there is no oficial way of determinig power in the black mafia after something like this, people are trying to assert their power. Frank Lucas is in a diner, eating breakfast, when he sees a rival who is trying to get Frank to pay him and work under him. Frank excuses himself, goes outside, and shoots the man execution style right in the head. He walks back in the diner and finishes his meal.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Affleck Creates Masterpiece

After such recent flops over the past few years such as Gigi, Surviving Christmas, and Daredevil, Ben Affleck makes his directorial debut in his extraordinary new crime drama, Gone Baby Gone. Revisiting his screenplay writing days of Good Will Hunting, Affleck teams up with Aoran Stockard and Dennis Lehane and delivers a gripping storyline full of captivating twists and turns. Both the writing and directing of Ben Affleck are Oscar worthy. A native of the town himself, Affleck sets Gone Baby Gone in his hometown of Boston, and as a creative way of capturing the authentisity of the area, he recruited many actual residents to play small roles and stand-in parts. Ben took a break from acting in this movie, and gave the main role to his brother, Casey Affleck. His acting was adequate, but it wasn't a terrific performance. 138

Casey Affleck plays a private investigater who is working on a case of a missing girl. Although he isn't the greatest actor, Casey was teamed up with a cast that included Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris. Morgan Freeman's part was smaller than he usually plays as he wasn't present during the whole plot of the movie, however it was a very important role and figured into one of the most important twists in the movie. Ed Harris delivered an extraordinarily impressive performance as a troubled cop who turns out to be corrupt. There is a great deal of conflict in the characters' lives as they are affected by the case of this missing girl, but this straying away from the plot to deal with individual characters' personal lives is done very tastefully, and actually figures into the main plot and presents motivation for their actions in the movie.