Jimbeaux Bloggins
My enchanting ranting, poetry and prose
The occasional clippings, drippings
and Fun Fotoz

Adolescence Appreciation Week.... 

AAAND... we're back....

I've been sick... super sick... all week. Last Friday I started feeling some "murkiness" in the back of my throat. Saturday I had to go down to San Diego for a Pet Food event at a Brewery. The "Belching Beaver" near San Marcos is dog friendly and they have a lot of dog loving patrons... so the Unleashed by Petco store in San Marcos worked made an arrangement with the Brewery and they set up a booth and gave away a ton of coupons, goodies and our wonderful "I and Love and You" koozies.

I have SO many KOOZIES in storage that when I heard about this event I jumped on it.

Anyway, by the time we got back Sunday afternoon I was feeling worse and I ended up wrestling with the worst cold I've had in 10 years. Sucked. This was the kind of cold that no herbal remedy in the WORLD would want to mess with.

So I took some sick time and watched a few more movies. I also started watching TWIN PEAKS (From the early 90's... and yes... I never seen it) and AMERICAN HORROR STORY (Season 1. Its freakin NUTS... and awesome), but thats... for another day.

This week I channeled my inner adolescent and Watched DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (#24) and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (#44).

Dawn of The Planet of the Apes was damn good. Nobody wants to believe me. YES.. I was a Planet of the Apes FREAK when I was a kid. YES I watched every movie in the original series during "Planet of the Apes Week" on WOR-TV year after year. I HATED the Mark Wahlberg Tim Burton Remake. I was SO-SO on RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES with James Franco. But THIS time? This time they got it right. They rocked it....

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.



To be perfectly honest, I saw this movie when it came out in the theaters. I saw it in 3D. The I watched it again at home this week. I really liked this movie because they did a great job keeping the story and the characters (Humans and Apes) genuine, unique, strong, subtle. Yes, there was action and a lot crazy ape antics... Yes... these are animated apes... but it wasn't hokey.... it all worked beautifully. 

As far as the 3D... the 3D cinematography was artfully done. A pleasant surprise. Probably the best I've seen so far. I haven't seen a TON of movies in 3D, but nobody was trying to throw a spear into my face. The production value was far more poignant than that. While battle scenes were chaotic and complex... the landscape was breathtaking at times. The depth of the forest was magically brought to life. 

Anyway, it was not as goofy as you might think. Whether you are IN to the Planet of the Apes or not.... this was a good movie. Worth your time and money.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY!!!

It was good. Wasn't amazing. Another movie trying to be like Star Wars... telling relatively the same story. Doing relatively the same thing.

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team-the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits-Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand-with the galaxy's fate in the balance.




It's basically "HAN SOLO - The Early Days"

It's fun. Has a handful of cute comedic moments and one liners.

But I'm a member of the STAR WARS generation. I'm OG.... original gangsta... Nothing else will ever measure up.




 

More Movies.... 

HELLO!

More movies to mull over. Last week we drove up the hill to Ranchos Palos Verdes and saw INHERENT VICE....

and I was like.... whuuuuuuuuuut?

"Inherent Vice," is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first ever film adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel. When private eye Doc Sportello's ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin...well, easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," that's being way too overused - except this one usually leads to trouble. With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists... Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp - all Thomas Pynchon."

Seriously.... what was that?
 



Okaaaaaay. That was Interesting.... OUT there... funny at times.... foggy at others.... sort of hard to follow. Not impossible... but I think since I had NO idea what the movie was about... I felt like I was always two steps behind. WAIT.... maybe that is what I was SUPPOSED to feel. That's pretty much where Joaquin Phoenix was the whole time.

INHERENT VICE happens when we mix THE BIG LEBOWSKI and CHINATOWN... with a dollop of PULP FICTION. Joaquin Phoenix is great once again. I have to hand it to him. Even when you are feeling frustrated by your own lack of comprehension... you are still totally drawn in by his performance. He really takes you for a ride. Well... he gives you a great big haul off of a great big joint... and THEN he takes you for a ride. It's GO-TO-WORK-WITH-YOUR-SLACKER-POTHEAD-UNCLE DAY. Hooray. Get out there and investigate some stuff.

Imagine trying to do Detective work when you're STONED out your gourd? Thats what INHERENT VICE is like.  

One review I read hit the nail on the head-

Thank You CREATIVE LOAFING CHARLOTTE, 
http://clclt.com/

"Inherent Vice provides a contact high: Inherent Vice locates a mystery worthy of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe and basically sends in Cheech and Chong to crack the case."

Now... dont get me wrong. I wouldn't dare call this film a stoner flick. This is Paul Thomas Anderson for Krice Sakes, not Tamra Davis ("Half Baked") (No disrespect to Tamra Davis). This movie has a lot going for it.... you might even say it's pretty good.... but I don't think its anywhere NEAR his best work.

OK.... so NEXT?

GONE GIRL.

To Be Frank and Direct.... get right to the point... GONE GIRL was GOOD.... really really good. I liked it ALOT... but....  

I HATED that F****ing ending. Damn you. David Fincher. Damn you....


GONE GIRL - directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn - unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick's portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?



This movie was a lot of fun to watch. Great characters. The story really kept you on your toes. My wife and I kept turning to each other throughout the movie, making simultaneous reaction faces at every twist and turn.... But the ending sucked. Plain and simple. Again... maybe its supposed to suck... maybe as the viewer I'm supposed to hate what they did to me in the end. I feel betrayed. I feel used. 

(Maybe I should create and carry out some crazy plan to exact my REVENGE!!!!!)






 

Favorite Short Films of 2014 by Casey Cipriani 

Who?

Casey Cipriani! She's awesome.  

Casey Cipriani is the New York-based Assistant Editor at Indiewire.... I don't know... she wrote this article... don't worry about it.... 


Favorite Short Films:

I was lucky enough to get to see a wide variety of short films this year at various festivals. Shorts are often hard to find, but I promise if you seek these out (some of them available on Indiewire) you will not be disappointed.

 
"97%"

97% (Short) Trailer 2013 from Ben Brand on Vimeo.



 "The Apothecary"

THE APOTHECARY is a cinema verite documentary short film about Don Colcord, the beloved druggist in a remote Colorado outpost; his pharmacy is the only one within 4,000 square miles.  Don navigates a profound divide between his public persona and his personal life.  To the community in this former mining region, he is jovial and almost heroic; at home, on the other hand, he is impotent and isolated as a result of his wife’s long-term disability.  Thematically, THE APOTHECARY explores notions of individual duty and obligation in the face of privately held grief and ambivalence.



 "The Last Time I Saw Richard"


The Last Time I Saw Richard from Nicholas Verso on Vimeo.



 "The Life and Death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger"



 

"The Karman Line"

THE KARMAN LINE, THE BIFA 
WINNING STORY OF HOW A MOTHER IS STRUCK BY A RARE AND BIZARRE CONDITION THAT SEES HER BODY PHYSICALLY LIFT OFF THE GROUND AND HOW HER FAMILY STRUGGLE TO COME TO TERMS WITH HER ILLNESS.


"Lambing Season"



 

"Mr. Invisible"


Mr. Invisible - Trailer from Big Bright Lights on Vimeo.



"Noah"

(NSFW- Noah tells the story of a boy, a girl and a Facebook account)





 


"Pony Place"

Pony Place, Directed by Joost Rejimers. "When young Emma is prohibited from taking her iPad on holiday, she asks her grandma Koba to look after her digital horse farm. The task proves bigger than Koba expected."
 

"The Phone Call"

THE PHONE CALL, A short film starring Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent. "Heather works in a helpline call centre. When she receives a phone call from a mystery man, she has no idea that the encounter will change her life forever." 

 
"Tryouts"


TRYOUTS TRAILER from Susana Casares on Vimeo.



 "Yearbook"


 


And that's it. I created this post for myself as much as anyone else. Seeing that I'll be finishing and submitting 3 separate short film projects this year (possibly more), I wanted to check out all the films listed by the author. I also wanted to gather up more information so I could use the entire viewing experience as a source of inspiration and creativity.

The WHOLE reason I found this list... tucked away in a bigger article... an ensemble piece created by the staff at Indiewire... was because I was reading (ANOTHER article written by Casey Cipriani; Published on Jan 14) about the short film "Yearbook." Which I thought was pretty cool.

Watch: This Stunning Short Film Will Make You Think Hard About Humanity - http://www.indiewire.com/article/watch-this-stunning-short-film-will-make-you-think-hard-about-humanity-20150114

 

Working with Children and Animals... 


"Never work with children or animals”  - W.C. Fields

(Seems like I've broken that rule already... what about Pac-persons?)

Between takes, Director James Huffman discusses framing and intention with Ms. Pac-Man #setlife

 

Blue Ruin vs Under the Skin vs Case of The Missing Dog 


After a day of NFL Playoff football (Go Home Cowboys) I took in some of the Golden Globes last night. I'm a tiny bit baffled as to.... well... I'm not baffled really... not surprised really....

BOYHOOD won a Golden Globe for Best Drama, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress.... and I couldn't disagree more. Like I said before... I thought BOYHOOD was good. An impressive achievement in filmmaking. But many of the performances, I felt, were flat... Ethan Hawke was good... But I just didn't think Patricia Arquette was that great. I can appreciate the attempt to create a compelling and strong female character... but I don't think she excelled in that role.

ANYWAY... its just MY opinion... and I know plenty of people who LOVED this movie. I think sometimes people get charmed by a film and/or jump on a bandwagon and help build something up to be better than it really is.  

I have two more movies to write about.... BLUE RUIN and UNDER THE SKIN... #45 and #4 on the Paste Magazine Top 50 of 2014.

One interesting little side note nugget about BLUE RUIN... I worked with actor Macon Blair quite a few years ago on a 48 hour Film Project called "Case of the Missing Dog."



When I started watching BLUE RUIN, I kept asking myself "Why does this actor look so familiar?" I finished the film. Still couldn't place him. Then I saw my friend Jeff had posted something about the film on Facebook... congratulating his friend Macon... and BOOM.... I put it all together. The whole REASON I was worked on that 48 Hour film project back in 06 was BECAUSE of Jeff.  He has worked with Macon the year before and they had some success but Jeff had to back out last minute and he asked if me if I would be willing/able to take his place.

Pretty damn cool that Macon Blair... my old "Case of the Missing Dog" buddy was starring in this dark indie film that is now on Paste Magazines Top 50. 

So BLUE RUIN.... rock on....

Written and Directed by Jeremy Saulnier, Blue Ruin stars Macon Blair as a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.  

I liked it... Partly because its this quirky, cool, off-the-radar film that engaged and entertained.... and partly because every moment feeling so unconventional and unexpected. Macon's personality and physical presence fits this character perfectly.... or is it the other way around?

I like what I read in a different list about movies from 2014... "24 Movies You Probably Missed This Year, But Should Totally See"

like most humans, he’s not a natural killing machine. Blue Ruin’s well-staged action pile-up ends up being as believable, surprising, and occasionally as funny as it is tragic.

That about sums it up. You should see this one.

UNDER THE SKIN.... a very different movie...

This is one of those films that may mean something different... depending on who you ask.... and much of it might go right over your head. It's intriguing. It's creepy. It also has some disturbing, tragic moments... sounds like a lot of fun... right?

Under the Skin is a 2013 science fiction thriller art film directed by Jonathan Glazer, and written by Glazer and Walter Campbell as a loose adaptation of Michel Faber's 2000 novel of the same name. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien seductress who preys on men in Scotland.

OK... so I... KIND OF know what this movie was about. It was interesting enough to keep my attention for 2 hours... but I don't know if I care enough to really spend the time and energy to digest and sort out the story and how I feel about it (Actually I think that's what I'm doing right now). The ONE thing that really grabbed me about this film is a heartbreaking scene that involves a family visiting an isolated rocky beach in Scotland. The family dog jumps in to the water to fetch a tennis ball and gets swept out by the rough tide. The WIFE wades out to try and help the dog and SHE gets pulled in by the dangerous rip current. The HUSBAND subsequently dives in to try and save his wife, but he can only get so close. The water very quickly sends the woman.. and the dog... further away from shore and into this REALLY sinister surf. A bystander notices what is going on and tries to help the husband. The bystander jumps in and manages to get his hands on the Husband and rescue him, pulling him back to shore... which is a visibly exhausting experience. Both men lay on the rocks, just out of reach of the undertow, struggling to recover... and after hearing another cry from his wife offshore... the husband stands up and runs back in to the water. Man, Wife and Dog... all disappear into the sea. The bystander manages to pull himself together enough to stand up.... only to be knocked out and kidnapped by the alien seductress (Scarlett Johansson), who was standing there, watching the whole thing unfold... doing nothing.... because she is an alien seductress. When The alien and her victim leave the scene, the camera pulls out to see the drowned couples' crying toddler sitting on a blanket, alone at this desolate dangerous, cold rocky beach.

The image of that baby sitting there alone... crying at the edge of the rising tide... is friggin brutal, man. Sheesh.... but... THAT is some damn compelling cinema right there.

I can't recommend this movie. It will punch you in the gut and laugh in your face.


  

Birdman VS Boyhood 

Ok... 2 new movies to check off that list. I went straight to the top. Forget this "32 out of 50" crap. I decided to spend a day playing the "National Championship" of movies from 2014. Number One "Boyhood" versus Number Two "Birdman." I have to say, I fully support a much needed playoff system.... because they didn't quite get it right.

BIRDMAN!!
 
"Former cinema superhero Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) is mounting an ambitious Broadway production that he hopes will breathe new life into his stagnant career. It's risky, but he hopes that his creative gamble will prove that he's a real artist and not just a washed-up movie star. As opening night approaches, a castmate is injured, forcing Riggan to hire an actor (Edward Norton) who is guaranteed to shake things up. Meanwhile, Riggan must deal with his girlfriend, daughter and ex-wife."
 
WOW. I loved this movie. I can't say that I would recommend this to just ANYBODY. This movie was WAY more of a personal experience than a story that I enjoyed.
 
I loved the story though. I loved the pace and the style... the acting... and the score. It wasn't the BEST acting I'v seen... nor was it the best score... but it was all done so well. It was so different. Unique. Energizing. Entertaining. Now... there IS a certain fantasy element that I wasn't crazy about but... I can live it. Didn't ruin anything for me.

If you consider yourself an Actor... you need to see this film.
 
If you are an Actor who has lived in New York City for any amount of time... you need to see this film.
 
If you are an actor who who has done any theater of any sort in New York City.... you need to see this film.
 
Even if you're not an actor.... far from it.... very likely you will enjoy this film.
 
Birdman is a series of one take scenes. The camera follows characters down out and around the narrow hallways and small rooms of a Broadway theater as they rehearse and prepare for the opening of play produced, directed and starring Riggan Thompson (Michael Keaton). The characters are constantly on the move.... the camera is constantly on the move... and the this crazy cool jazz drummer who creates almost the entire score... is constantly on the move... literally and figuratively. It's all very "New York." They managed to capture the energy of the city and suit her up.... New York City does a great job filling the "12th Man" role in this movie

I was in a play at The Beckett Theater in NY back in 2007. The play was called LEE/Gendary. It featured an ensemble cast (We all played several different roles throughout) and the way I would describe the story is that it was an abstract rendition of what was going on in the Heart, Soul and Mind Bruce Lee the night of his death.

BIRDMAN is kind of like that.... but less abstract.

BIRDMAN also represents an actors experience. Thats why it really resonated with me... why I was sucked in and enthralled the entire time. If you've ever walked the streets of New York.... went to an audition or two.... stopped somewhere for coffee with a friend... then went to your acting class... then knocked off a performance in a play that night. If you've spent weeks working on a stage production... learning your lines.... rehearsing... dealing with the good and the bad people in your cast and crew... dealing with the good and bad elements of your personal life... carrying around this character that you've been developing... this movie will speak to you a little more directly than your average person.

I thought it was fun. I thought it was inspiring. I really enjoyed this movie.

BOYHOOD on the other hand..... hmmmmmm....

The joys and pitfalls of growing up are seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), his parents (Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke) and his sister (Lorelei Linklater). Vignettes, filmed with the same cast over the course of 12 years, capture family meals, road trips, birthday parties, graduations and other important milestones. Songs from Coldplay, Arcade Fire and other artists capture the time period. Directed by Richard Linklater.


BOYHOOD was good. It was an impressive ambitious achievement. It was fun to watch the characters grow up. It was kind of like watching some family's home movies or a slide show. But it wasn't THAT great. Definitely shouldn't be number one.... on any list. I really don't see why so many of my friends were RAVING about it on Facebook. Again.... like I said... its GOOD... but I don't really feel the need to sign from the rooftops. The movie is all about "Moments" and how we all evolve and exist based on our own unique series of moments... that make up who we are..... and even though we all have our unique moments... they are all oddly similar.... in one way or another.... which is cool.... sure.

Kristen and I enjoyed it... we laughed out loud when outfits and hair styles and attitudes would change with the seasons. We also found ourselves really FEELING the dramatic turns. Ethan HAWKE was really good in this.... but on a solid performance level.... thats about it.

Patricia Arquette... I don't know.. she started out strong... good attempt to portray a strong female character... but I think she dropped the ball towards the end. Marco Perella played a good villian as the drunk abusive "Next" husband.

I often felt like I was watching a documentary BECAUSE of the lack of quality "performance" I guess it was supposed to be that way? The first half of the movie felt less like that than the second half. I felt like the "actors" in the beginning of this film... of this PROJECT.... 10 or 12 years ago... were giving more to their performances.. and that really showed. I also think that when "Mason" got older... the actor and the character... Linklater started giving him more scenes where he needed to ACT... and he is just not very good...  that became distracting for me.... kind of made me cringe. There were a few other performances in this film that made me cringe.

There was a LOT of cringing in this movie... often it was an elicited response.... a lot of cringing came about because the interactions between the characters and the stories that were unfolding were designed to make us cringe.... like we were re-living a handful of super awkward moments in our own life.

Very Ambitious. Impressive achievement in filmmaking. Interesting. Not the best movie of the year.... not even close.



 

Movie # 49: "The Immigrant" 

THE IMMIGRANT is the next entry in my "50 movies in 60 Days (or something like that)" experience/experiment. THE IMMIGRANT actually was NOT on the Paste Magazine list of the 50 best films of 2014 (That I referenced earlier) ... but it was on THIS list....

BUZZFEED - 24 Movies You Probably Missed This Year But Should Totally See.

So this is MY "Movie # 49"

I don't want to start referencing too many lists and get everyone (and myself) all confused, but THE IMMIGRANT has been on my Netflix Watch List for Months so I decided to throw down and watch it. This 50 films thing is my own game anyway. I can't make up and change the rules as I go along, right?

THE IMMIGRANT stars Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner. It was directed by James Gray and won a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress and a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematographer. 
 
  • After her sister is quarantined at Ellis Island, a Polish nurse (Marion Cotillard) is forced into prostitution by a theater manager (Joaquin Phoenix) who moonlights as a pimp.




THE IMMIGRANT was good. And yes, the best part about this film is Marion Cotillard's performance and the cinematography. I would classify this film as something my Mother and Father in-law would enjoy. It DOES have a little nudity, but most of that nudity is introduced in the form of burlesque performances that Joaquin Phoenix and his all female "Theater Troupe" put on. The production value as it pertains to recreating New York City in 1921 was great. Joaquin Phoenix was also great.

This movie felt like it coulda/shoulda been a play. That's not a bad thing. It coulda/shoulda been a really GOOD play. I would go see that play. The assorted antics of the theater troupe would translate really well into a stage production. Plus, the tragic and complex, moving relationship between "Ewa" (Cotillard) and "Bruno" (Phoenix) is the stuff I'd expect from a playwright like Tennessee Williams or Neil LaBute. 




 

50 Movies in 60 Days (or something like that) 

I feel like I'm WAY behind. I've been so busy the last few months of 2014 that I haven't had the time to watch as many movies as I would like. As a big fan of MOVIES in general, I'm definitely been missing out. As a Director/Writer/Actor, every film offers a unique experience and an opportunity to embrace and absorb another artists vision and the outcome of his or her efforts. Directors, writers and actors can learn something from every film... even the bad ones. The more movies you watch the better... and many of them should be seen multiple times.

I haven't had time to do that... and that makes me sad. Can't seem to find time to follow my own advice.

So over the holidays I started reading all the 2014 Best-Of lists and came across this....

PASTE MAGAZINE - The 50 Best Movies of 2014

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2014/12/the-50-best-movies-of-2014.html

I liked this list more than others because it contains a fair and decent representation of all sorts of films, from all genres and budgets. Ive read about many of those film before... and I want to see them all. So there you have it. I'm going to see them all. Not necessarily in the that order, but in the next 60 days, I'm aiming to see all 50 movies on this list.

Friday night Kristen and I went to the Arclight Hollywood to see A MOST VIOLENT YEAR (#19 on the list). The film got a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 86 on Metacritic...

"In 1981 New York, a fuel supplier (Oscar Isaac) tries to adhere to his own moral compass amid the rampant violence, corruption and decay that threaten his family and his business."



It was good. Not great. I think my expectation was for it to be more in line with a Scorcese film. I was anticipating shades of "GOODFELLAS," "THE DEPARTED," "MEAN STREETS" and "AMERICAN GANGSTER" (Not a Scorcese film). This movie was good because it's different.  Seems like Director J.C. Chandor made a concerted effort to defy or separate from those films. The filmmaker and the characters were committed to an entirely different story. Believe it or not, there was not ONE gangster in the film.

I (Kind of) wish there was. The acting was great. The story was solid, entertaining and engaging. The hero of the film "Abel Morales" was determined to do whatever it takes to build his business... to create his own kingdom... but he wanted t do it the right way.... no corruption.... no short cuts. This guys was honest, honorable and super intense... the problem I had with that is that he was kind of a one note guy. The film was filled with example after example of how he managed to take the high road, over and over again, and successfully compete with corrupt competitors in the shady and crooked economic and political environment of 1981 New York City.

But I would have liked to see more layers in his character. His wife (Jessica Chastain, who is fantastic) was the daughter of a well known mobster.... and while I'm sure it was a choice to not introduce the audience to ONE mobster... I would have like to learn more about her and her background.... i wanted to meet her Dad.

And how about some MUSIC? There was barely any score or soundtrack. For the most part, it was a testament to the acting, that the performances were so good and so alluring that we didn't NEED any music... but its 1981 New York City.... I would have enjoyed some throwback tracks. The movie DID start out with an oldie but goodie... but that track was NOT from 1981 (I don't think) and that was pretty much all we got. 

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, I would give it a 7 out of 10. I liked it, but I was expecting to be blown away. No pun intended. 

Ok pun intended.


 
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