La La Land (2016) Review

La La Land (2016)

Directed & Written by Damien Chazelle

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt

Music by Justin Hurwitz

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

My Opinion:

So, this movie got a record 1,582 Oscar nominations yesterday (roughly). I finally saw it over the weekend & knew instantly that it would get loads of Oscar noms as this is the type of movie that’s SO right up the Academy voters’ street (and butt). Don’t worry – I’m not going to be all “this is overrated!”. Those people who go around shouting “this is overrated!” are so overrated. This is a lovely film. It’s a good film. It’s not, in my opinion, up there with the all-time musical greats such as The Sound Of Music, The Wizard Of Oz, Singin’ In The Rain, etc etc etc. It’s good! I enjoyed it and really liked Gosling & especially Stone, who are as great together as always. But I think people will realize ten years from now that La La Land doesn’t come close to touching the all-time classic musicals. (It’s also far less of a “musical” than I was expecting!)

I found the movie a little uneven. It starts out with a big musical number that has such a different sound & vibe from the rest of the film that it feels like it’s from a different movie. It’s an okay number (not my favorite & I can’t even remember the music from it right now) but it sets things up to be this epic musical when all we get are a few more “big” song & dance numbers (I did really like two of these) and several smaller-scale musical scenes. I felt bad thinking that this movie was overlong and could’ve had at least 20 minutes shaved off of it (it’s 2 hours 8 minutes) but I don’t think I’d have been checking my watch if they’d had more scenes like the musical number with Gosling & Stone in the observatory. That one was lovely & it was one of the only times I thought the film came close to the standard I expect from a really good musical.

This movie didn’t seem to have a clear overall goal or, shit, I dunno… a clear aesthetic? Don’t get me wrong – I loved the bold, primary colors and I’m still trying to decide which dress of Stone’s I liked the most (probably the green dress in the above photo). But this didn’t always fit with the other imagery or with the music when the movie tried to be more “classic Hollywood” or tried to go with a jazz vibe. Damien Chazelle was possibly trying to cram in too many different artistic & musical styles he likes instead of sticking to one main theme or at least trying to make these different styles mesh together a bit better. Being a lover of film & classic Hollywood, I was naturally more attracted to the scenes such as the lovely observatory number that attempted to imitate this (although some of the classic Hollywood scenes were somewhat derivative) than I was to the brightly colored musical numbers that felt like some 1990’s Gap ad. Or, as my hubby put it, a Feist video. 

I think what’s possibly my biggest problem with the movie (this may get me into trouble to say but, hey, no one is reading this, right?) – La La Land is a bit too “Millennial Musical” for me to really see it as all-time classic. I can’t see me wanting to watch this 52 years from now the way I’ll still happily watch all 3 hours of The Sound Of Music. FYI – I did the math to find out that The Sound Of Music is 52 years old. Then I realized that I’m sounding like the grumpy old person that I am so I did some more math and realized that I’ll most likely be dead in 52 years anyway, so… Okay, I guess if you really love La La Land & I’ve offended you with my “Millennial Musical” statement, you’ll get the last laugh when I die of old age soon. 😉

Summary:

La La Land is a good film with Stone & Gosling just as lovable together as always. I’m very happy for their Acting Oscar nominations and think they’re well deserved. I know I often come across as negative but I’m perfectly fine with all the nominations this film has received as I do think it’s a very good and, at times, almost fantastic film. It’s not like I could make a better movie! What do I make? Stupid spreadsheets! (Although I do make them almost as colorful as La La Land).

I just feel like some absolute masterpieces have actually been made in the past few years with little or no rewards while La La Land will likely win all it’s up for mainly because it’s the Academy voters’ type of “thing”. They love a musical and anything that celebrates their way of life. I truly wanted to love this movie. I wanted to be moved by a film that celebrates a “love of cinema & the arts” the way I was by Cinema Paradiso. Or perhaps The Artist or Hugo – these three films capture the filmmakers’ love of cinema in a way that La La Land never quite manages. I wanted the powerful emotional response I had to Arrival & to Room (btw – Amy Adams was ROBBED!!!). For whatever reason, though, La La Land didn’t strike a chord with me. It’s a lovely movie to take your mind off the rest of the world for a couple of hours but I didn’t walk out of it with that feeling of elation that I (and other movie nerds) get from only the truly best pieces of filmmaking.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Here’s that Feist video. La La Land is an enjoyable film but if you really don’t fancy it, I suppose you can just watch this video to get a feel for one of the three main vibes going on in it.

Plus this Gap ad:

And this is easily my favorite theme from La La Land. I do think this is beautiful and wish all the music in the film was as simple & elegant as this piece. THIS feels timeless:

The Big Short (2015) Review

The Big Short (2015)

Directed by Adam McKay

Based on The Big Short by Michael Lewis

Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Big Short is a 2015 American biographical comedy-drama film based on the non-fiction 2010 book of the same name by Michael Lewis about the financial crisis of 2007–2008, which was triggered by the build-up of the housing market and the credit bubble.

My Opinion:

Seriously? The Big Snore is up for the Best Picture Oscar?? No. Just… No. It’s not a bad film but it is pretty damn… Hmm. I don’t know! Pretentious? Up its own arse? Kind of like the Academy, I suppose.

This was the movie I was talking about in my review of Spotlight when I said that the Academy is out of touch with the general public. This feels like the kind of movie that they nominate because they feel like they should. I’m not saying that stuff like Trainwreck or Jurassic World should be up for Oscars or anything like that. The general public likes a load of shit! But can a film not be “worthy” AND also be entertaining? Too many Oscar nominees in the last ten years are, quite frankly, just plain boring to watch. And what happened to movies that are just beautiful pieces of art? I’d say The Revenant fits that description – it’s absolutely beautiful. Where the HELL am I going with this argument?! I have no idea!!! 😉 I mean, Mad Max: Fury Road is up for Best Picture and that movie kicks m*%#erf*%#ing ass so it invalidates my argument. Back to The Big Short

It probably doesn’t help that I was really disappointed at having to go to this movie since The Hateful Eight was sold out. However, it’s an Oscar nominee so I figured I’d at least appreciate it after making myself sit through it. Dammit – I can’t say that’s what happened.

The Big Short is not all bad and the story itself, although too complicated for us everyday idiots (as the movie constantly points out to us morons) is pretty damn fascinating. But, yes, you’re SO right BigShort-makers – I clearly am an idiot because all the talk of loans and numbers and banking did indeed make my eyes glaze over. Yes, I fully admit that I couldn’t follow any of that but I found the celebrity-cameo-fourth-wall-breaking childish explanations to be completely obnoxious. And they still made no damn sense of it all.

All the condescending breaking of the fourth wall aside, I did really like following some of the individual stories. This movie feels a bit messy as it focuses on so many different characters but I suppose it also gave me something to look forward to during the parts I didn’t care about so much.

My favorite parts by far involved Brad Pitt and the two young men his character worked with during this housing market loan bubble thingymabob gobbledegook. I thought Pitt was really good. Remember his very very early days when his acting was pretty dodgy? No, you’re all too young. Trust me – he’s now a very good actor compared to how he started out and he’s one of a handful of actors that may make me actually watch a movie I otherwise might have avoided.

I can’t stand Christian Bale (no reason – just can’t) and his character was in danger of being an annoying caricature but, by the end, his story was the one I enjoyed the most after the Pitt trio. But anytime Steve Carell or especially Ryan Gosling were on screen, I lost interest. They just didn’t work for me, especially Gosling’s arrogant whatever-the-hell kind of rich, straight, white, male scam artist he was.

The Big Short takes what could potentially be a rather boring story involving financial matters that it knows most of us won’t understand and manages to make a movie that is not only rather boring but also obnoxious by infusing humor that doesn’t quite work and by constantly reminding us that it’s smarter than its audience. But, if I’m not being so cynical, I suppose that’s the point the whole film is trying to make so it’s actually quite brilliant.

Basically, loads of Americans were lied to and sold the “American Dream” thing by big banks who ultimately f*%ed them over the way big money always does and the little guys all lost their homes while rich bankers got even richer. The rich bankers are smarter than us and the rich filmmakers are smarter than us. Okay, The Big Short, I guess I get the point you’re trying to make. Too bad I was too bored to care.

I’d watch a movie about this topic again as I do think it’s one hell of a crazy & scandalous story but I think I’d prefer to see it from the viewpoint of us everyday schmucks who always get screwed over. Or maybe in a slightly different style, at least. Financial shit is boring as hell but, hey, The Wolf Of Wall Street was FAR from boring. Maybe this would’ve been a better film if it had been made by Scorsese. Bonus points for Brad Pitt’s & Christian Bale’s characters, though – those bits help liven up what is otherwise a movie not really worthy of a Best Picture nomination.

My Rating: 5.5/10

** I went to Spotlight & The Big Short two Sundays ago on my own and, in between the two movies, I texted my husband. I just thought I’d share this as the predictive text really cracked me up. I’m easily amused… 😉 My texts are in blue:

My Top Ten Ryan Gosling Movies

Happy Birthday to Ryan Gosling, who turns 35 today! 🙂

Sorry, Ryan Gosling – I’ve totally gone off you. Wait… That sounded rude. It was a bit like “Happy Birthday! I hate you.” 😉

No, I don’t hate Ryan Gosling – I was a big fan of his for a little while back in his Drive days (waaaay back in 2011). I even started a little Ryan Gosling Project where I was going to attempt to watch every film he’s been in. Well, I didn’t get very far with that. I got bored and, after the horrible reviews for Only God Forgives (which I still haven’t seen), I kind of abandoned the project before I’d even started it.

I do think Gosling has displayed some pretty good acting skills in some of the lesser known films below, such as Half Nelson, so it’s a shame that not many people will have seen him in things beyond The Notebook & Drive. I’d really like to see him in a good movie again soon because, when a role is right for him, I think he does a good job & has a charisma about him that not all actors have.

So here are My Top Ten Ryan Gosling Movies (ranked by movie, not performance) counting down to my favorite:

10. Murder By Numbers

9. The Ides Of March

8. Crazy, Stupid, Love.

7. The Notebook

6. All Good Things

5. Half Nelson

4. The Place Beyond The Pines

3. Blue Valentine

2. Drive

1. Lars And The Real Girl

**FYI – I don’t even remember Murder By Numbers so maybe that would rank higher on a re-watch. As for The Notebook, it’s an extremely flawed film that makes me want to gag half the time. But, screw it – kissing in the rain is sexy.

The Films I’ve Not Seen (there aren’t a lot – maybe I should attempt my Ryan Gosling Project again):

Frankenstein And Me
The Unbelievables
Remember The Titans
The Believer
The Slaughter Rule
The United States Of Leland
Stay
Fracture
Gangster Squad
Only God Forgives

The Greatest Sounds In Cinema – The Wilhelm Scream

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A while ago on Twitter, I answered a question asked by The Dirk Malcolm Alternative: “What are the greatest sounds in cinema?”. I gave the answer of The Wilhelm Scream. You can read the replies and more about the Wilhelm Scream here: Dirk’s Five: The Art Of Noise. 🙂

Oh, and I’m also very happy to have correctly guessed last month’s Who’s That? over at Mr Rumsey’s Film Related Musings. This is a great competition he runs where we all have to guess a different movie silhouette each month. Last month’s was Ryan Gosling’s “The Driver” from Drive. Go to this link HERE to see if you can guess this month’s silhouette! 🙂

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All Good Things (2010) Review

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All Good Things (2010)

Directed by Andrew Jarecki

Starring:
Ryan Gosling
Kirsten Dunst
Frank Langella
Kristen Wiig
Philip Baker Hall
Diane Venora
Lily Rabe

Running time: 101 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Inspired by the life of accused murderer Robert Durst, the film chronicles the life of the wealthy son of a New York real estate tycoon, and a series of murders linked to him, as well as his volatile relationship with his wife and her subsequent unsolved disappearance.

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My Opinion:

Earlier in the year, I decided to start a Ryan Gosling Project where I’d watch all his films. But then… I don’t know, I just sort of fell out of love with him. So I haven’t continued that project but I guess I can add All Good Things to the list HERE.

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I thought this was a decent “based on a true story” (suspected) murder mystery movie. It’s not a genre I really go for but occasionally I’m in the mood for this kind of thing. I have to admit that I sometimes miss those (horrible) true story made for TV Lifetime movies in America. All Good Things is that exact sort of thing – It’s a Lifetime movie with a bigger budget & better actors. Okay, those Lifetime movies do get played in the UK but I just don’t have time for those (horrible) wonderful movies anymore. I miss Nancy McKeon, though – is she still doing that type of stuff?? And Valerie Bertinelli! And Meredith Baxter-Birney!

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So, anyway – this film is based on the story of wealthy Robert Durst, whose wife went missing in 1982. The case remains unsolved but Durst is suspected of two other murders 20 years later (and was tried for one, in which he claimed self-defense). Gosling plays Durst (but with the character name changed to David Marks) and Kirsten Dunst plays his wife Katie.

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I’ve never really liked Kirsten Dunst but I have to say she really did a very good job in this film. She was the highlight of the movie for me & I thought her performance was even better than Gosling’s. Obviously, it’s not a spoiler to say she disappears & we never see her again but, luckily, the film spends the majority of the time focusing on the marriage so she’s in the film a lot. After she disappears, the film goes through the next 20 years or so very quickly (maybe a little too quickly considering that this is when things got REALLY interesting & f%*ked up!).

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Ryan Gosling also does a good job but I kind of feel like we’ve seen too many similar performances from him before. He plays the character as a quiet, deeply troubled man (the type of role he plays so often). He plays it very subtle & it’s nice not seeing some over-the-top psycho but, again, we’ve seen this from him before. My very favorite Gosling movie is Lars And The Real Girl – he plays the role of Marks the same sort of way as he played Lars (but with a crazy anger underneath the surface – Lars was crazy but just sweet). He was great as Lars – if I hadn’t already seen that film, I’d probably be more blown away by his performance in this one. He is good in this – I’m not saying he isn’t. I just thought that Dunst felt like the true star in this one.

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Summary:

All Good Things is a very intriguing mystery based on the real life 1982 disappearance of the wife of a wealthy businessman. Gosling & especially Dunst give very good performances and a lot of time is spent exploring their characters & their relationship. Then she disappears & things get REALLY odd. I liked this movie quite a bit considering it’s not my favorite sort of genre. It really is an interesting case so I can see why they made a film out of it. I recommend this if you like “true crime” dramas.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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The Place Beyond The Pines (2012) Review

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Seriously – this is a 2012 movie??

Director: Derek Cianfrance

Starring:
Ryan Gosling
Bradley Cooper
Eva Mendes
Dane DeHaan
Emory Cohen
Ray Liotta
Ben Mendelsohn
Rose Byrne
Mahershala Ali
Bruce Greenwood
Harris Yulin

Music By: Mike Patton. That’s right – of Faith No More! Cool. Noticed his name in the credits and wanted to make sure to mention him – love Faith No More. And… Anyone remember Mr Bungle?? Ha!

Plot:

I’m not sure if I should go into the plot much. The way they are marketing this film, by only really focusing on Ryan Gosling, is a bit misleading. Ryan Gosling plays Luke Glanton, a motorcycle stuntman. While in town with a travelling fair he works for, he sees an ex-lover of his (Romina, played by Eva Mendes). Luke learns that Romina’s one-year-old son is his. Luke decides to stay in town and help to raise his son even though Romina has moved on & is with another man. He gets a job at an auto repair shop but, when that doesn’t earn him enough money to help his son, he turns to robbing banks. Luke soon becomes addicted to this “easy” way of getting money.

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This is all pretty much everything I read about before seeing the film. But there’s MUCH more to the movie than just this one story about Luke. So don’t go to it expecting the entire movie to just be about Ryan Gosling going on a bank-robbing spree. The movie is better than just that.

I really enjoyed this movie. My hubby didn’t so much. He thinks it’s because I have the hots for Gosling but I don’t think that has anything to do with it. He’s still hot, even with some really ugly tattoos and a Metallica t-shirt, but he certainly doesn’t do it for me as much in this film as in others. And he’s good in this, as always, but he doesn’t steal the whole show. His character isn’t quite as strong as in other films – he was much deeper in things like Lars And The Real Girl & Half Nelson and he was “cooler” and more mysterious in Drive. The director, Derek Cianfrance, also did Blue Valentine. I still haven’t fully decided if I prefer that or Pines but I do think Gosling’s character was more well-developed in Valentine & he delivered a better performance. But, overall, Pines is probably a more “entertaining” film with a better story as opposed to Valentine which is more about the performances than the story.

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If you love Drive, you MIGHT like Pines but don’t go to it expecting it to be anything like it. It’s very different. There was a bit of a hoodie at our screening – he did stay for the whole thing but he & his woman kept talking to each other about being bored. This is where I always get a bit snobby and say things like “people need to find a little something out about a movie before going to it!” but to be fair, although I knew what kind of movie it was as I’m a movie lover & do my research, I do think they’re making this movie look a little too much like another Drive. As to be expected as it’s the same director, it’s much more like Blue Valentine. It’s a drama. It has a slow pace. It IS a little overlong (as much as I enjoyed it I did feel it could have been cut down by half an hour). It’s my kind of thing, though. It’s not going to be for everyone.

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As for the stories (as I said, there’s more to it than just the story of Luke and this has been hinted at in enough reviews that I don’t think I’m spoiling anything), they were all good but I especially liked the first one & the final one. The final one was a complete surprise as I knew nothing at all about that one before seeing the film. I think I felt the most for the characters in the final bit & found my heart pounding a little when there were a couple of times where you really didn’t know what was going to happen to them. I thought all the characters in the whole film felt realistic as well – these seemed like real people because I thought they acted in ways that real-life people in the same situations may behave (not as common in movies as it should be!). As it’s marketed in that Drive kind of way, I thought it would be really violent. It’s not. There were a few times where I thought it might suddenly get crazy-Drive-level-violent but it thankfully didn’t. Not saying I don’t like Drive – I love it. But this film didn’t feel the need to up the violence or the action or to start acting all “cool”. It kept things slow & steady but it still had me on the edge of my seat at the end in a similar way to how I felt while watching American History X. Not sure why this comparison popped into my head while watching Pines – I think the tension I felt toward the end was quite similar (although American History X is definitely a better film).

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A quick mention of the performances: As I said, Gosling is good as always but it’s not his strongest role. Eva Mendes is good as is Mahershala Ali, who plays her boyfriend. I liked the character Ben Mendelsohn plays – the owner of the body shop where Gosling works. Ray Liotta is… sooooo Ray Liotta! So, you’ll be happy if you like Ray Liotta but I found it quite disappointing that he’s playing the same role here that he ALWAYS plays. In fact, that’s probably the thing I liked least about this film. Dane DeHaan also plays a very similar character to one he’s played before but he’s very good at that sort of role and I thought he was very good in this – he’s possibly one of the best things about this movie, actually. For me the most pleasant surprise was probably Bradley Cooper, though. He plays a rookie cop. This is also widely known about the plot (if there’s a bank robber there has to be a cop!) but they REALLY don’t focus much on him in the trailers & things I’d seen beforehand. It’s a big role! Honestly, the only thing I’d really seen him in was The Hangover so, naturally, I wasn’t overly impressed with him. (The Hangover isn’t really my type of thing). But then he was suddenly up for an Oscar! (I really do want to see Silver Linings Playbook). So, yeah – turns out he can act. I thought he was good as the rookie cop who’s a bit unsure of himself.

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Summary: I liked this a lot but it’s not for everyone. It’s a slow-paced drama with some very good performances but not any really amazing ones. It’s a little overlong but has a good sense of growing tension, especially at the end, which kept me very gripped. And I really cared about most of the characters. Good drama. I recommend it. But remember it is NOTHING like Drive. Overall, though, something holds this movie back from being excellent instead of just very good. No, I don’t know what that something is. If I knew, I’d be the one making the movies! 🙂

My Rating: 8/10

Mike Patton – The Snow Angel

The Ryan Gosling Project

My Top Five Metallica Songs

My Top Five Metallica Songs

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In honor of Ryan Gosling’s Metallica – Ride The Lightning t-shirt in The Place Beyond The Pines (Good movie – read my review HERE), I thought I’d post my Top Five Metallica songs. I’d like to point out that I’ve mellowed out now. My metal days are over & I can’t say I’ve listened to Metallica much since about 1992. But I did love them at the time. Okay… I do admit that all of these are on my iPod so I may be fibbing a little.

1. Master Of Puppets
2. One
3. Fade To Black
4. Seek & Destroy
5. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

Honorable Mentions:

Battery
The Thing That Should Not Be
For Whom The Bell Tolls

And I love these (more than some of those above) but figured they shouldn’t be in the top five as they’re covers:

The Small Hours
The Wait
Am I Evil?
Die, Die My Darling (yes I like the Misfits one)

Sexy Ryan Gosling rocking the metalhead look:

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And in searching for the Ryan Gosling photo, I found this one. Ha! Ties in to my recent post about Disney Princesses, I guess. I’m digging Alice In Wonderland’s new look. I think all the Disney girls need to get themselves some tattoos & piercings.

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Ryan Gosling Project – The Place Beyond The Pines

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I’ve just seen The Place Beyond The Pines. It’s good – I really enjoyed it. Will try to write a review soon(ish) when I get the time. But I figured I should update my Ryan Gosling Project (I’m planning to watch every movie he’s been in). Here’s every Ryan Gosling movie I’ve seen ranked in order starting with my favorite:

1. Lars And The Real Girl
2. Drive
3. Blue Valentine
4. The Place Beyond The Pines
5. Half Nelson
6. The Notebook
7. Crazy, Stupid, Love.
8. The Ides Of March

It’s very close between Blue Valentine & The Place Beyond The Pines – I may change my mind on that. (I change my mind a lot).

I do have a really sad & annoying habit of ranking things from my favorite to my least favorite. So… Yeah – I’ve done that with every movie I’ve seen so far this year. Here’s the list of the ones I’ve seen in the cinema. And, again, I’m sure some of these will change position by the end of the year as I change my mind a lot. 😉

1. Django Unchained
2. Robot & Frank
3. The Place Beyond The Pines
4. Warm Bodies
5. Side Effects
6. Flight
7. Wreck-It Ralph
8. Les Miserables
9. Oblivion
10. The Croods
11. The Impossible
12. Life Of Pi
13. Trance
14. Vinyl
15. Oz The Great And Powerful

Link to full list of everything I’ve seen this year: 2013 Movies Seen

3 New Photos for Ryan Gosling’s Only God Forgives

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Three photos from the next Ryan Gosling & Nicolas Winding Refn (director of Drive) project, Only God Forgives.

Link to full article & the following synopsis here: GeekTyrant

Julian (Gosling) lives in exile in Bangkok where he runs a Thai boxing club as a front for the family’s drugs smuggling operation. When Julian’s brother Billy is killed their mother, Jenna (Kristen Scott Thomas), arrives in the city. She wants revenge and forces Julian to find the killer. Julian’s contacts in the criminal underworld lead him directly to The Angel of Vengeance, a retired police officer who knows everything and who is both Judge and Punisher. Jenna demands that Julian kill The Angel of Vengeance, an act that will cost him dearly

The Ides Of March

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I said it before and I’ll say it again – the only reason I watched this is because Ryan Gosling is in it. It’s about politics. I hate politics. This sort of drama also isn’t really the kind of movie genre I tend to go for. So bear that all in mind during my quick little review!

Ryan Gosling plays one of the campaign managers for George Clooney’s character – a governor and presidential candidate. I actually didn’t know beforehand about the other big names in this – Philip Seymour Hoffman as the senior campaign manager for Clooney, Paul Giamatti as a rival campaign manager, and Marisa Tomei in a pretty small role as a reporter. Oh, and Evan Rachel Wood as an intern for the Clooney campaign. Evan Rachel Wood not only got to be in this with my lovely Ryan but also starred in Across The Universe with another big crush of mine – Jim Sturgess. So I’m pretty sure I don’t like her. 😉

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Thanks to the hubby for pointing out that George Clooney directed this movie & wrote the screenplay (along with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon) in response to me saying that Clooney seemed a bit wasted in the movie. Okay – it makes sense then! It’s not a big role compared to Gosling’s – the story really follows his character. Clooney IS perfect for the role, though. Not hard to imagine him as a politician with his natural charm & charisma – if he ran for something in real life I might actually take the time to vote! The other big names did seem a little wasted, though – Hoffman had a bit more screen time than Giamatti & Tomei but it still wasn’t a lot compared to Gosling. And they did their jobs well, as they always do, but their roles didn’t really require much effort from them.

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Overall, I think this movie lacked the passion & dramatic tension we’ve had from other political dramas. (Not that I’ve watched many so maybe I’m not the best judge. Lol!). I remember getting very into the story in Good Night And Good Luck (that was political, right?!). And I’m sure All The President’s Men is a much better movie about political scandal (not seen it!). Okay – I really don’t know much about political dramas. Feel free to ignore this review. :-p

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Perhaps, as real life politics are so corrupt and there are plenty of scandals to choose from, I think a fictional movie about the dirty stuff that goes on behind the scenes doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the ones based on true stories? The movie started out okay but then the “scandal” came to light and everything that happened afterwards suddenly made it feel like a Hollywood movie. Which it is, so maybe that’s not a bad thing! Worth a watch if you like political dramas & quality actors.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Good but currently in last place in my Ryan Gosling Project 🙂

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The Ryan Gosling Project

Okay, I’ve just watched The Ides Of March (will do a review sometime soon). I’ll be honest – I watched it ONLY because Ryan Gosling is in it. I mean… it’s about politics. I hate politics! But I love Ryan Gosling. Oh yes I do.

So, anyway, I was thinking that I should watch every movie that Ryan Gosling has been in (not counting TV stuff). My IMDB Top 250 Movie Challenge is still my main focus but this can be my little side project (when I need a Gosling fix). 😉 He’s not been around TOO long so it’s doable. And I don’t think I’ve loved any other actor as much as I love The Gosling (other than Johnny Depp starting back in his 21 Jump Street days but I’m finally getting over him these past few years!).

So here’s a list of Ryan Gosling movies that I’ve seen and not seen. Unfortunately, it does look like I’ve probably already seen all the best. And… Crap! Looks like I have to watch two football movies? Ugh! Worse than politics. 😛

Seen (in order from my favorite to least favorite. but all of these were good. well, except for The Notebook – that’s only that high for the rain scene if I’m going to be honest! the movie is a bit rubbish overall. only worth the watch for Ryan):

1. Lars And The Real Girl

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2. Drive

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3. Blue Valentine

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4. Half Nelson

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5. The Notebook

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6. Crazy, Stupid, Love.

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7. The Ides Of March

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Not Seen (saw Murder By Numbers but it was so long ago I don’t remember it so will have to re-watch):

Frankenstein and Me
The Unbelievables
Remember the Titans
The Believer
Murder by Numbers
The Slaughter Rule
The United States of Leland
Stay
Fracture
All Good Things
Gangster Squad
The Place Beyond the Pines (not out yet)
Only God Forgives (not out yet)

How many people are going to moan at Drive being number two? 😉 I may change my mind on that – the top two are VERY close. Drive is cool, he’s sexy as hell in it, I love the jacket, and the soundtrack is awesome. But… it ruined Finding Nemo for me a little bit. Nemo’s dad is such a bastard! Lol!

Any recommendations on ones to start with from the not seen list? And can someone explain to me what it is about Ryan Gosling that makes him so sexy?! Because he’s not actually my usual “type”!

Hot Sexy Amber Heard

Okay – When looking at my stats I’ve noticed that people often seem to have come to my blog after doing a search for Amber Heard along with words such as hot and shower scene (this would be because I mentioned her shower scene in my review of The Ward). So… I figured I’d do an Amber Heard post again and see what happens! 😉 She really is hot and my current girl crush but I still love Ryan Gosling the most (he gets lots of hits too!). Here are two great pictures of them:
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My Top Five Movies About Love

What the heck – since Valentine’s Day is coming up.

1. Up

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I posted about this recently – I’ve never found any love story in a movie as believable as this one.

2. WALL-E

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What can I say? Pixar is perfect. Not only do I find animated romance more believable than live-action romance, I also find animated ROBOT romance more believable. 😉 Has anyone ever loved anyone as much as WALL-E loves Eve? I don’t think so.

3. Before Sunrise & Before Sunset

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Look! Humans! What can I say? These two were so perfect together & had such great chemistry. I found this romance very real. It’s a very “me” kind of romance.

4. (500) Days Of Summer

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“What?”, you say. Well, it’s real. Very real. Who can’t relate to this movie? Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so fantastic in this. You truly believe he loves her and you can actually feel his pain. Who doesn’t love a bit of unrequited love in movies?!

5. Cinema Paradiso

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Is this cheating? 😉 Sorry but I can totally relate to “love of cinema”.

Honorable mentions to these dudes:

Lloyd Dobler

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Perfect boyfriend or what?! The movie isn’t in my list, however, as that bitch SO didn’t appreciate him & his awesome “boom box over the head playing Peter Gabriel” thing. He shouldn’t have gotten on that plane with her. She’s not in love with you, Lloyd! Bring your boom box and cool Clash t-shirts over to MY house. 🙂

Ryan Gosling

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Hey girl. Gotta mention Ryan Gosling. You know, just in general. For being so freaking sexy cool all the time. I absolutely refuse to be all girly & put that totally contrived Notebook movie in my list. However, being in love with The Gosling, I can’t exactly pretend I don’t secretly love the whole kissing in the rain scene… 😉 Okay okay – I kind of like the movie! I admit it! But I only think it really works while it’s showing them as a young couple – I didn’t buy into the old couple at all. Damn you, Ryan Gosling, for making me go all girly!

Jake Ryan

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Last but certainly not least. I’ll always remember my first (movie) love. 😉

Only Ryan Gosling…

…would be able to pull off looking like a scumbag and still have me crushing on him. I mean, this is what the guys that I avoided in high school looked like! 😉 What is it with you, Ryan Gosling?! I just don’t get it! You sexy sexy man.

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Nice but I slightly preferred Master Of Puppets. And I gotta say the Metallica fans at MY school looked nothing like Ryan! I might have hated high school less if they had… 😉

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Only The Gosling could wear those stupid trousers.

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Even hotter with a baby.

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Smoking. Icky habit. But oh so sexy in THIS mouth.

For anyone who doesn’t actually know, these photos are from the movie The Place Beyond The Pines, which will be released in the UK on April 12th. I’ll watch it. But only because of Ryan.

Here’s an old favorite. Again – only The Gosling could look good in glasses.

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Ryan Gosling – What is it with this dude?

I’m a girl, in my 30s, therefore I should like Ryan Gosling. And I do! But why?? I can’t quite figure it out. He’s not my type. I tend to go for brown hair & brown eyes and that “boy next door” pretty face. I’m not one of these girls who goes gaga over The Notebook (it made me gag a bit but I must admit that a passionate kiss in the rain would be awesome). It wasn’t until seeing Lars & The Real Girl that I started falling in love with Ryan Gosling (GREAT movie – highly recommend it!). Then came Drive and Crazy, Stupid, Love. Wow. How sexy is Ryan Gosling in those movies? I don’t get it! What is it about this guy? And I kind of hate myself for liking a guy that every other girl seems to go for – I’m usually not that mainstream! 😉 At least I can say this – who, exactly, is Channing Tatum and where did he suddenly come from and why on earth should I find him sexy?? But back to Ryan Gosling – I just thought I should share a link that’s been around for a while now but I must admit I go back to every now & then:

Rub Ryan Gosling. Enjoy.

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