Thursday, 18 April 2013
A Location Between Perfection.
140 Minutes. Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Bruce Greenwood, & Harris Yulin. Director: Derek Cianfrance.
Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper in the same movie?! Fellas your girlfriend must be dreaming...but this ones for you and I'm not talking about some weird man crush thing (show of hands). The two actors are in a place between the Chris Pine, Josh Hartnett and Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt acting stakes of pretty boys turned good actors. Now after showing more of themselves in 'Drive', 'The Ides Of March' and 'Limitless' and 'Silver Linings Play Book' respectively Gosling and Cooper come together for 'The Place Between The Pines' that will go down as one of 2013's best told stories in cinemas. An epic film taken place over 15 years that shows the rises and falls of two men on two different sides of the law and the effect a fathers choices has on the echos of his sons life.
It all entwines into a brutually beautiful but hauntingly heartbreaking story of complex characters. What else would you expect from the Gosling/Cianfrance actor/director combo of 'My Blue Valentine'? Gosling swaps the 'Drive' of a classic American muscle car for a dirt bike and the cool Scorpion jacket for a red leather one. Add some peroxide and tattoo's and you have a guy that looks like a place between Eminem and Axel Rose, but beneath the surface of Gosling's stunt motorcycle character is the substance of a desperate man dying to provide for his son by any means necessary. It's intriguing and inspiring and hopeful and harrowing to watch. Gosling does it again, adding another incredible performance and what will go down as another cult classic in his career.
We've known Gosling is a top tier talent for the better part of a decade now, but it's only recentely we've begun to see just how good Bradley Cooper is. More than a funny 'Hangover', the Academy nominated star has shown his 'Silver Linings' and how 'Limitless' his talent truly is. Another desperate man in his own right, Coop plays a beat patrol cop with eyes on more than just his share. With the political backing of his father he just wants to do the right thing, but in a world full of wrong how does this man survive swimming with sharks? Especially when those he's trying to catch are just trying to do right by getting by. It's a complex, crafted idea of good and bad which is more than just your traditional cops and robbers story. Which side do you choose between the pines? Whose right and who's wrong? To reveal more would ruin the great nature of this story but trust us Gosling and Cooper will play it out for you perfectly with tension and tears. This is real man stuff for the GQ generation.
If you thought the two male leads where enough of a selling point then just wait until you see the rest of the cast. Underrated top actress Eva Mendes shows us just how great she really is with Mahershala Ali by her side with significance. While hardest working actress of the moment Rose Byrne is another wife in the middle of it all. Ray Liotta shines with sinister intentions in his screen time, while fellow 'Killing Them Softly' actor Ben Mendelsohn brings his Aussie charisma and charm to a likeable...no loveable criminal. It's hard to believe this chameleon character actor was a rich suit with no moral centre in 'The Dark Knight Rises'. This is just how good the rising talent of Mendelsohn is. When he's on screen in the right movie...Shazam! Harris Yulin also brings age and wisdom to the piece and what is it with Bruce Greenwood's congratulating bedside manner lately? Here he brings more sass to his style.
Still this is a father and son story and our boys here do well. Emory Cohen plays a perfect portrayal of modern youth, but it's Dane DeeHan that may just be the young actor of the moment. The unique, mature 27 year old talent can still play teens convincingly. Now after his HBO 'In Treatment' and an akwardly charming and moving performance in last years greatest movie 'Lawless' he raises the stakes yet again in what will be one of this years best pictures. There's just something about him. Echoing Gosling between the pines he just brings all of these complex characters and plotlines together perfectly...what more can you say then that? It's all on DeeHan. With a piano perfect moving soundtrack and the best use of Springsteen and Bon Iver since 'Warm Bodies' (another of this years best) this picture looks and sound the part. With thrilling, dark drama that ups the amazing action ante this switching narrative of life is as real as it gets. When your talking about modern greats for the moment, make sure 'Pines' has its place. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Sunday, 7 April 2013
This Week our 'DVD RACK' is a deluxe, bumper 'Boom Rack' looking at some film related reads.
BY TIM DAVID HARVEY
HARRY BELAFONTE: MY SONG-A beautiful and poetic autobiography about a man who has not only witnessed but has been actively involved with some of the major cultural, political and social changes in music, movies and more over the last century. Still alive to tell the real tales of his time with the likes of Marlon Brando, Martin Luther King Jr, John F. Kennedy and Sammy Davis Jnr. Did you know this award winning actor who broke cultural lines with Sidney Poitier not only was Bob Dylan's mentor but also the first artist to ever sell 1 million records with his Calypso record? Time to read all about it.
THE SILVER LININGS PLAY BOOK: If you thought the Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence Oscar winning film was good then wait until you read this. You could say the start of this year has been one of books that movies where based on and the writer should always get the first credit. After all the chicken came before the egg and between short chapters with quirky names Matthew Quick delivers a classic that is sympathetic and funny. Bringing the often arms length over-looked problem of anxiety to the table this book is bold, beautiful and brilliant.
LIMITLESS-That isn't it for Bradley Cooper based books. Maybe I just like the covers hey. 'Limitless' or 'The Dark Fields' as it's originally known by Alan Gylnn is the story that led to 'The Hangover' stars true breakout movie. Concerning the idea of what it would be like to take a pill that improved how you performed mentally this is a 'what would you do' story with scary and thought provoking moral messages. The vivid and descriptive way this book is wrote at times, matched with the quick thinking fact of the matter thought processes really immerses you in the substance. With this rags or riches tale, Gylnn really is on something here.
DRIVE-How about some Ryan Gosling ladies? What is this 'A Place Between The Pines' tie-in post (send me the cheque in the mail fellas). If you thought Gosling's dark classic really was one of modern greats greatest wait until you read this novel. On par with the sublime soundtrack this quick read wasn't devoured in a return train ride because it's short. It was burnt through because it's a real vivid page turner taking us through the darkness of the neon shades of Los Angeles in depth and detail. Celluloid or pages we can't wait for the sequel 'Driven'.
GANGSTER SQUAD: More Gosling, I know...I know. Some hated the great movie that was based on this book. Still these real accounts of the Los Angeles Police Departments battle for Los Angeles with mobster Mickey Cohen is another quick page turner of intrigue and investigation. There is nothing cool or classy about gangsters (yeah I said it, come and get me) but the good guys getting it done makes for a cool police story. From the files of 'Gangster Squad' if you like your cops and robbers stories than cop this one. It's a steal.
DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?: 'Blade Runner' anyone? Ever since being enthralled by movies like 'Total Recall', 'Minority Report' and 'The Adjustment Bureau' and noticing in the credits 'based on the book' I have been intrigued by the science fiction writer Phillip K. Dick and everyone should too. Finally this year I have started to read up about him and what a way to start with the science fiction masters classic. A man who is one of the greatest American authors of all-time and a guy who's stories from decades gone are still influencing future films like they where brand new ideas. If only he was here to see. 'Blade Runner' came out just after he died. Rest In Peace sir. We're counting electric sheep for you.
THE DESCENDANTS: Kaui Hart Hemmings story that inspired a great George Clooney film is a trouble in paradise story that is dark funny, sobering and punch drunk with love. Based in Hawaii and showing it's not all sun and sand this important story of failing franchises, marriage and life has many moral messages that will centre you. A man is losing his wife and while she is in a coma he learns she was going to leave him for another man...and there's still happiness to be found in this story. Incredible.
THE BLIND SIDE-Last year I was reading 'Moneyball' by Michael Lewis and the autobiography of Michael Oher (thanks for the love Mike) 'How I Beat The Odds'. It's funny how it all turns around. This year I found myself reading 'The Blind Side' by Lewis based on Oher's life. It became a hit movie with Sandra Bullock, but first 'The Blind Side' became another classic by revolutionary sports journalist Lewis looks into this young, Superbowl winning Football stars coming of age life, the business of NFL recruitment and the invaluable asset of the man paid more to protect the quarterbacks weak spot. 'The Blind Side' has all the elements of a descriptive sports analysis and a beautiful story that's amazingly fact not fiction.
THE LINCOLN LAWYER-Michael Connelly used to write about police reports for the 'Los Angeles Times' no wonder this author is so knowledgeable about the city of Los Angeles, crime and the legal process. 'The Lincoln Lawyer' made a great movie and career redemption for Matthew Mconaghey (shout out to John Leguizamo for the love) and it's always interesting to see how a film translates and differs from the text. This pure page turner really keeps you immersed in the details of this case no matter how in depth it is to the fine point of every move and mannerism, so delightfully descriptive. You'll feel like you're investigating the case first hand and that's what makes it such a captivating and interesting read. Especially if you read it in Mconaghey's signature southern drawl. As long as I get to take my shirt off.