GOD’S POCKET (2014)

Directed By: John Slattery 
Written By: Alex Metcalf & John Slattery 
Based on the Novel By: Pete Dexter 
 Cinematography By: Lance Acord 
Editor: Tom McArdle 

Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro, Richard Jenkins, Joyce Van Patten, Eddie Marsan, Christina Hendricks, Molly Price, Dominic Lombardozzi, Caleb Landry Jones, Sophie Takal 

When Mickey’s crazy step-son Leon is killed in a construction ‘accident’, nobody in the working-class neighborhood of God’s Pocket is sorry he’s gone. Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body, but when the boy’s mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck in a life-and-death struggle between a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please, and a debt he can’t pay


This is a film that’s hard to describe as the fact that you have seen stories like this on-screen before. Though this one feels strangely authentic and that is the scary part. As the film is so downtrodden it seems almost the product of nightmares.

Luckily the film stays low-key. It goes by quickly and with nary a kick. Though it takes its time to tell its story. It doesn’t feel like it’s dragging. It’s surprisingly lean, though it feels indulgent. There is no real fat in the film.

The film has an amazing group of actors, who are all good and believable. You only wish the film had more to give them as far as story and quality. While the film relies heavily on the atmosphere it feels at times like it has very few places to go. It presents circumstances and challenges but very little action and story.

This being one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last performances it is noteworthy as he is our put upon the protagonist. Trying to figure his way out of an increasingly sticky situation. While also being his own worst enemy. He seems to be one of the few semi-decent characters who while not being from the neighborhood which everyone reminds him. Still seems very much the product of it as he seems to fit perfectly in.

The film is the story of more a neighborhood that seems to be its own trap. We just watch the inhabitants as they go about their day-to-day life. The main story selling point the death of a young man seems to be just one of those things. An act of senseless violence. That seems like it will become some story of the investigation and seeking justice. Though it ends up just being a catalyst for changes and actions for some characters and setting in motion events.

The film seems constantly depressing as the characters seem to always make the wrong decisions and there is little to no humanity. Everyone is out for themselves. Anytime there is humanity shown it is rather surprising and usually followed by acts of merciless violence.

Christina Hendricks continues to come across as a desirable screen icon. She is luminous and beautiful and though she plays a grieving mother. Later in the film, as she seems to be irresistible to any male. She seems oddly emotionless as her character knows better yet is shocked by the attention paid to her. She commits an act but does so with what seems little care. That has incriminating results that she oddly seems to have no concerns about. Though they affect her.

Richard Jenkins truly makes a mark as a columnist in the middle of all this investigation. While being from the neighborhood has his own demons to deal with while trying to get the story. As he is easily distracted and we get some clues for his condition. We observe his questionable prowess with women also.

In fact, the entire third act of the film becomes strange at how quickly the neighborhood turns from favorable to certain inhabitants to just pure hate and the reason seems rather thin. Like it happens more because the script and story demand it rather than naturally or organically.

John Slattery making his feature film debut, Picked an exemplary story to tell. It always seems when actors choose to direct they pick material more character-based and depressing that has to be gritty to bring more of a reality, but smartly pick material that allows for an ensemble to play off of and includes actors friends who are more the character actor types. He could have done slot worse in the material.

The film at times feels like it is trying too hard to be gritty and showcase all his grime and crime. Then at other times it wisely becomes more understated.

The film has a strangely happy ending or as close as this type of film can have.

This is a film that feels in the same world as TREE’S LOUNGE only not as optimistic and also would go well with a viewing of THE DROP only this is less exciting and feels more authentic.

Grade: B-

SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009)

Directed By: Guy Ritchie
Written By: Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham & Simon Kinberg
Story By: Michael Robert Johnson & Lionel Wigram
Cinematography By: Phillipe Rousselot
Editor: James Herbert

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Eddie Marsan, James Fox

In London, Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. John Watson captures the follower of black magic and serial killer Lord Blackwood that has already killed five women when he is near to kill his sixth victim. Blackwood is sentenced to be strung up and Dr. Watson attests his death. However, Blackwood mysteriously returns from the afterlife and Inspector Lestrade summons Sherlock Holmes to help the Scotland Yard in the investigation. Meanwhile Dr. Watson intends to get married of the gorgeous Mary Morstan while Sherlock is visited by his former lover Irene Adler that has a secret agenda.




 I should have liked this film, but the film is too big, too many action set pieces, Too many explosions. Not enough Mystery. It’s like everything has to be bigger and better like it’s some kind of sequel or Michael Bay movie with better style and some sensibility.

It’s not good enough for Sherlock Holmes to be a good detective but must also be tough by doing bare-knuckle fighting, being a master of disguise, and always having a weapon handy. Like a victorian era super spy.

Once in a while, we get to see how Holmes’ mind works with deductive thinking. While having a semi homoerotic relationship with Dr. Watson, Who he is jealous of because he is not only moving out of the house they share but also getting married. The case they try to crack involves a woman from Holmes past who is lively and almost as cunning as he is and at first the case seems based on the supernatural. Than along the way becomes more logical.

The chemistry between Downey Jr. and Jude Law seems false and more manufactured than it should and makes you wonder if Jude Law was insulted as being the natural-born brit and having to play the sidekick to the American actor taking over a notorious British character.

The film isn’t horrible and it’s nice to see what director Guy Ritchie can do with a sizeable budget, but as I said before everything feels overblown and like it goes out of its way to keep reminding you this is the NEW Sherlock Holmes.

The leads are both charming and mark Strong is a good villain and the film’s more interesting scenes are when he is on the screen or exploring his character and it’s a conspiracy.

While the film is a good popcorn film afterward you start to feel the fat and the grease and wonder why this movie really needed to be made. Again it’s not horrible it’s not bad either. It’s ok and has some things going for it, but the end feels unnecessary and unremarkable. It keeps your attention as any time the film seems to begin to slow down another action sequence pops up. Not always for a good reason, But for the most part everyone involved seems to be having fun.

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GRADE: C

THE GENTLEMEN (2019)

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Written & Directed By: Guy Ritchie
Story By: Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson & Marn Davies
Cinematography: Alan Stewart
Editor: James Herbert & Paul Machliss 


Cast: Matthew McConauhey, Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Eddie Marsan, Henry Golding, Colin Farell, Michelle Dockery, Tom Wu, Jeremy Strong, Chidi Ajufo, Lyne Renee 

A talented American graduate of Oxford, using his unique skills, audacity and penchant for violence, creates a marijuana empire using the estates of impoverished English aristocrats. However, when he tries to sell his empire to a fellow American billionaire, a chain of events unfolds, involving blackmail, deception, mayhem and murder between street thugs, Russian oligarchs, Triad gangsters and gutter journalists.

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GANGSTER NO. 1 (2000)

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Directed By: Paul McGuigan
Written By: Louis Mellis & David Scinto
Adaptation By: Johnny Ferguson
Cinematography: Peter Sova
Editor: Andrew Hulme 


Cast: Paul Bettany, Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis, Saffron Burrows, Eddie Marsan, Andrew Lincoln, Jamie Foreman, Ken Granham 


A middle-aged crime boss smugly reflects back from 1999, narrating the brutality which made him triumphant – and feared. As an unnamed young hood in Swinging 60’s London, he aped his mod boss Freddie Mays, and seemed to do anything for him. But his narration exposes all-consuming envy: of Freddie’s supremacy, and especially his tall bird. The baby shark develops his viciousness and backstabbing, scheming to be Gangster No. 1.

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FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW (2019)



Directed By: David Leitch
Written By: Chris Morgan & Drew Pearce
Story By: Chris Morgan
Based on original characters created by: Gary Scott Thompson
Cinematography: Jonathan Sela
Editor: Christopher Rouse 


Cast: Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba, Helen Mirren, Eiza Gonzalez, Eddie Marsan, Cliff Curtis, Eliana Su’a, Rob Delaney 


Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity. This film is a spinoff for the most popular characters from the series who started off as villains and then became fan favorite heroes.

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LONDON BOULEVARD (2010)

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Written & Directed By: William Monahan
Based on the novel by: Ken Bruen
Cinematography: Chris Menges
Editor: Dody Dorn & Robb Sullivan 


Cast: Colin Farell, Keira Knightley, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone, Stephen Graham, Ophelia Lovibond, Anna Friel, Ben Chaplin, Eddie Marsan, Sanjeev Bhaskar 


Fresh out of prison, Mitchel wants nothing to do with crime but accepts a kip from Billy, a marginal grafter, and accompanies Billy on rent collection trips. He’s also old school, wanting revenge on two youths for assaulting a mendicant he’s befriended. He’s got a strung-out sister to protect, and he’s offered a job protecting a famous actress from paparazzi. The plot lines join when Michael finds himself attracted to the actress and Billy’s Mob boss, Gant, finds ways to force Michael work for him. He also warns Michael off revenge against the assailants of his friend. What are Michael’s options: is there any way to avoid Gant, protect his sister, and find a path to love?

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DEADPOOL 2 (2018)

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Director: David Leitch
Written By: Rhett Rhesse & Paul Werneck, Ryan Reynolds
Cinematography: Jonathan Sela
Editor: Craig Alpert, Michael McCusker, Elisabet Ronaldsdottir & Dick Westervelt 

Music By: Tyler Bates 


Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams, Briana Hildebrand, Eddie Marsan, Rob Delaney, Terry Crews, Bill Skarsgard, Alan Tudyk 


After losing the love of his life, 4th wall-breaking mercenary Wade Wilson aka Deadpool must protect Russel must assemble a team of mutants and protect Russel from Cable, a no-nonsense, dangerous cyborg from the future and Deadpool must learn the most important lesson of all, to be part of a family again.

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WHITE BOY RICK (2018)

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Directed By: Yann Demange
Written By: Andy Weiss, Noah Miller & Logan Miller
Cinematography By: Tat Radcliffe
Editor: Chris Wyatt 


Cast: Richie Merritt, Matthew McCognahey, Bel Powley, Bruce Dern, Piper Laurie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rory Cochrane, Brian Tyree Henry, RJ Cyler, Eddie Marsan, Jonathan Majors, YG 


The story of teenager Richard Wershe Jr., who became an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s and was ultimately arrested for drug-trafficking and sentenced to life in prison.

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VICE (2018)

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Written & Directed By: Adam McKay
Cinematography: Greig Fraser
Editor: Hank Corwin 


Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Jesse Plemmons, Alison Pill, Tyler Perry, Eddie Marsan, Justin Kirk, LisaGay Hamilton, Bill Camp, Lilly Rabe, Stephen Aldy Gurgis, Shea Whigham 

The story of Dick Cheney, an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.

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ATOMIC BLONDE (2017)

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Directed By: David Leitch
Written By: Kurt Johnstad
Based on the Graphic Novel “THE COLDEST CITY” By: Antony Jonhston & Sam Hart Cinematography By: Jonathan Sela
Editor: Elisabet Ronaldsdottir 

Cast: Charlize Theron, Sofia Boutella, James McAvoy, Toby Jones, John Goodman, Eddie Marsan, James Faulkner, Til Schweiger, Bill Skarsgard 


The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.


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