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Killing Them Softly (2012)
Fantastic directing, an average crime story and enough political preaching to make you ill and you have Killing Them Softly
This is a movie that wants to be more than it ever can be. In the end I think the movie wanted to be two films, yet both have deep flaws. First lets talk about the political movie its trying to be. Critics and movie-goers have been claiming the political message is a bit heavy handed, this is the understatement of the year. We hear Bush's voice, Obama's voice and various commentators from radios and TV's so many times throughout the film that when it kept happening I could do nothing but roll my eyes. There were literally multiple scenes that end it just the camera centered on a TV with Barack Obama or George Bush speaking on it. The opening sequence alone is enough to make any film lover nervous for what they are about to experience. I had very high hopes and wanted to like this movie, but the blatant political agenda of the film completely damaged the more subtle political implications the film could have had on the viewer. The final speech at the end of the movie also could have been great, and although it was entertaining, no one really wants political advice from murderous gangsters. (views on founding fathers and America)
The second movie it's trying to be is much better than the political movie but still it is only an average gangster film that falls short due to unimportant and underdeveloped characters. Brad Pitts character is by far the most interesting but even he fails to become a three dimensional character until the very last scene. We have all seen the story before, job goes wrong and the heavies come to make it right. It is really nothing new and although the slow motion scenes were fun and the music reminded us Of Tarantino or Scorsese, it was still a film that feels as if its reaching for what it couldn't acquire.
Sum It Up: The obnoxiously overbearing political approach is incredibly off putting which makes Killing Them Softly ultimately another frustrating movie because we know it could have been so much more. Some scenes play out brilliantly but are only shattered in the next few minutes as we nearly choke on the political matter and meet another character that doesn't really matter.
An Education (2009)
Entertaining but predictable 1960's coming of age tale
I love stories that take place in the 1960's, I love the style, the look, the language, everything. This movie does a good job of portraying that time period through the eyes of a group a intellectual free spirits and the parents of a young girl with a bright future. This movie sadly suffers from glaring predictability to the point of anticipating its next move. Carrey Mulligan is talent not to be ignored though and her performance is strong and supported well by the rest of the cast. Her portrayal of a girl torn between the fun of the 1960's life outside of school and the future of a career at Oxford is completely natural.
I give this movie a 6 out of 10 because the unoriginal story unfortunately overshadows the rest of the film and its superb acting and heartfelt moments. In the end it does have a positive message which helps it out, but it still can't shake the fact that I predicted that message from the opening scenes.
London Boulevard (2010)
Entertaining Crime Drama
London Boulevard had many flaws but in the end I think it comes out with more good than bad. The actors give strong performances especially Winston and Farrell, and the plot definitely keeps you interested. This is a crime movie about gangsters, and doesn't offer much more than another story about the intertwining and complications of a certain group of gangsters.
I think some downfalls would be that some of the scenes tended to jump around and not flow into the next as smoothly but even this was not an issue much of the time. It had a strong sense of style which also made up for some weak moments in the plot, specifically around the middle of the film it looses momentum. If you like crime movies than this would surely entertain you on a Friday night but I wouldn't add it to your list of your top ten crime movies of all time.