Film Reviews

Gangster Squad: Awesome Gangster Flick

“There’s two things you can’t take back in this world, kid: bullets from your gun and words from your mouth.”

Whether you’re a fan of gangster films or not, you should definitely check this one out. From the score and cinematography to the acting and plot, this film was jam packed with elements that make you jump, get you riled up, break your heart, and celebrate. What an experience! In the 1950s when Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), mob king, had full control over Los Angeles, Ruben Fleischer (director) puts us right there with the music, the fashion, the gender roles and the culture.

Things I really enjoyed:

Cinematography: In a gun fight jail scene every gunshot froze the image as if someone were taking a photograph each time a bullet was fired.

Shot sequence/ Camera work:  When heartbroken and drunk Jerry (Ryan Gosling) marches into the club set to kill Mickey, the scene plays in slow motion. The camera wobbles with each drunken step, vision blurs when Jerry loses focus, and each cut matches the beat of the dramatic music. Epic.

I’m a big fan of 50s themed movies because of the fashion and the traditions, but specifically in this film – the relationship between Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) and his wife. She’s not just a pregnant housewife, she’s the one who puts the Squad together. She carefully uses her intuition as she reviews their profiles and selects the perfect balance of skilled men for John. Way to go, girl!

Mickey, oh Mickey. He’s one of those bad guys who stick out like Hans Landa (Cristoph Waltz) in Inglourious Basterds (2009), or Bane (Ed Hardy) from The Dark Knight Rises (2012). They’re so evil and you almost hate them, you want them to get what they deserve… but you can’t help but want to pat them on the back in absolute appreciation for how good they are at what they do. You just can’t help but like ‘em.

And I can’t end this without saying that Grace (Emma Stone) was a sight for sore eyes! Her movements were very “Gene Tierney,” elegant and seductive but classy and composed.

All in all, the experience was powerful! See it for yourself. 🙂

– SD


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