September 3rd, 2012

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Lawless

I really knew zero about Lawless going in, other than the cast. Honestly, I didnt need to know more than Tom Hardy and Shia LeBeouf to put this on my list. Yes, I'm a fan of Shia, but we'll get to that later. As someone who's really plugged into the movie scene, it feels really strange and disconcerting to start watching something and have no \m/ clue what it's gonna be about.

Turns out its about moonshiners during prohibition. I was half expecting a western. It's based on a true story about three bootlegging brothers fighting off some corrupt authorities. I'm still a bit hazy on some of the details. Combination of being distracted, not being able to differentiate characters, and the incredibly slow pace. While the story itself may not have grabbed me too well, I did like the individual characters.

Movie MVP of course goes to Tom Hardy as Forrest Bondurant. The man is just so good at playing the quiet, stoic type (see also Warrior) who puts on a tough face but has a lot of heart and loyalty. I, and apparently the rest of the audience, really loved his barely audible grunts and mutterings that he often favored instead of dialogue. Brought a few moments of much needed levity and brightened up the otherwise dreadfully slow film. Hardy was paired off quite beautifully with the lovely Jessica Chastain. She was graceful and direct, a stunning opposite to Hardy, and she commanded every one of her scenes (even if she was just in the background).

The other big name leading the movie was Shia LaBeouf as Jack Bondurant. I realize that he is a rather polarizing actor. However, having been a fan of his since Even Stevens, I will always give him the benefit of the doubt. We'll ignore Transformers and a few other key films as well as a few offscreen antics, and he is a rather fine actor. Certainly had my attention throughout. His girl was Mia Wasikowska, and while I dont typically like romantic storylines, I thought theirs was cute. She was a preacher's daughter, and he had a habit of embarassing himself and angering her dad. He also had Chronicle's Dane DeHaan as Cricket, his best friend and engineering mastermind who also added a little life to the movie.

Anyways this is one of those cases where it felt like a quality film, it had all the right elements for it, I just couldn't quite get into it. And when I did, it didn't hold me for long. Two hours dragged on for what seemed like four.

Lawless - \m/ \m/ \n
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Hit and Run

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell have got to be one of my favorite celeb couples. They're so sweet and playful and funny, you just wanna hang out with them all day. Case in point, there's the whole sloth thing. Well with Hit and Run, you get to hang out with them for a couple hours at least. Shepard actually wrote the screenplay, co-directed the film, and even did much of his own stunt driving.

Dax is Charlie, a nice guy hiding out in witness protection who's in love with Kristen's Annie. Annie gets a job offer she can't pass up and Charlie offers to drive her there and relocate, despite the potential danger to himself. Through a really contrived series of events the bad guys end up finding them and there's A LOT of car chases. Sure, the plot may be thin, but it's a hell of a ride.

What sold the movie was our leading duo. Duh, they had chemistry and fun and everything else that I love about them as a couple. Just when things would start to get overly sappy, there'd be a hilarious conversation about stereotypes or inappropriate language, and then we'd have another car chase. Fun!

The supporting cast was an interesting mix. Kristin Chenoweth was adorably chewing scenery like there was no tomorrow as Annie's boss. Oh and she brought along a friend for a surprise mid credit cameo! Tom Arnold's US Marshall was a bit much. Smallville's Lex Luthor, Michael Rosenbaum joined the party as Annie's ex-boyfriend. When I said some of the plot was contrived, I was mostly thinking about how he was added into the mix. Still, as a supergirl I enjoyed getting to see him on the big screen. Oh and why did Bradley Cooper have dreadlocks? That was just wrong.

So maybe this wasn't the most quality film out there, but it was certainly a fun way to end the summer.

Hit and Run - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/