Monday, July 25, 2016

The Nice Guys

★★★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"I think I'm invincible. I don't think I can die!" That's a hilarious quote from Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys, one of the best comedies of the century, & one of the best films of the year so far. Gosling plays Holland March, an alcoholic private investigator with a young daughter, Holly (played by Angourie Rice). March seems to be down on his luck lately, namely being asked to by an elderly woman to find her husband, although an urn with his name is on the mantelpiece. March is also trying to find a girl named Amelia (played by Margaret Qualley), after being hired by a woman to find her niece, porn actress Misty Mountains (played by Murielle Telio), after noticing her a few days prior. However, she really saw Amelia, because Misty died in a mysterious car crash (crashing into a house after driving down a hill). Problem is, Amelia doesn't want to be found, so she hires enforcer Jackson Healy (played by Russell Crowe) to find March & tell him to stop looking for her. So Healy goes & finds March & breaks his arm. Healy is then approached by two men, an Older Guy (played by Keith David) & Blueface (played by Beau Knapp), who are also trying to find Amelia. They escape after being sprayed with blue dye. Healy & March meet again & decide to work together to find Amelia, eventually finding themselves in a web of lies, deceit, porn, the Mafia, pollution, & "experimental filmmaking."

This was a comedic tour-de-force. Russell Crowe & Ryan Gosling were excellent, & their chemistry is undeniably terrific. But the greatest performance of all was by Angourie Rice, who was spell-binding here, portraying well beyond her years. The direction from Shane Black was great, directing another great film after 2013's Iron Man 3 & his 2005 masterpiece Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The screenplay from Black & Anthony Bagarozzi was brilliant. And the soundtrack is one of the best of the century. Although it does fall slightly below Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it still is a brilliant film. I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a better comedy this year. It definitely reached comedic greatness.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Money Monster

★★★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"We're human beings. We're not computers. We have a conscience." That quote from George Clooney is from Money Monster, one of the best & most original thrillers of the decade. Clooney plays Lee Gates, a Jim Cramer-esque host of the TV show, Money Monster. His longtime director, Patty Fenn (played by Julia Roberts) is leaving after the day's show. IBIS Clear Capital CEO Walt Camby (played by Dominic West) is scheduled to be on the show to be interviewed about a crash caused by a glitch that cost investors $800 million. However, Camby is on a plane to Geneva. Midway through the show, Gates is taken hostage by Kyle Budwell (played by Jack O'Connell), an irate investor who lost $60,000 that he inherited from his late mother due to the crash, money he invested after Gates endorsed IBIS a month ago. He forces Gates to put on a vest filled with explosives. If Gates doesn't give Budwell any answers, Budwell will detonate the explosives. Now, Gates, Fenn & Budwell, along with IBIS PR head Diane Lester (played by Caitriona Balfe), must find the answers about what went wrong, discovering a web of lies & deceit.

The film was excellent. Clooney, Roberts, O'Connell, West & Balfe were excellent. The direction from Jodie Foster was extremely well-done, along with the screenplay from Alan Di Fiore, Jim Kouf & Jamie Linden. The editing was excellent, brilliantly assembling the film's use of real-time. This is definitely an excellent thriller.