Film Briefs: “Gangster Squad” “The Last Stand” and “Mama”

Arnold-Schwarzenegger-Bodybuilding-ProgramFilm Briefs is our way of giving our opinion on films we might not necessarily have the time to review in full.  This is a column where we sum up our feelings about the last few movies we saw and throw ‘em up just to give you an idea of what’s out there.

Follow the jump to see briefs for Gangster Squad, Mama and The Last Stand

Gangster Squad

051012-gangster-squadone-star2Gangster Squad has more plot holes than a drive-by ambush of a carload of tommy guns.  However, the plotting is the least of this gangster movie’s troubles.  Rushed pacing, jarring editing and a slew of characters existing for no purpose whatsoever only added to the confusion of why so many accomplished actors would be willing to participate in such a nonsensical over stylized mess of a cops vs criminals movie.  I wonder how long it will be before I forget that this movie even exists.  That was quick. (See Trailer here, or better yet, do yourself a favor and don’t click on the trailer.  Do something better with your time, like read the review for The Last Stand)

The Last Stand

628x471three-stars15The Last Stand is being advertised as Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s return to the action genre and for once, I actually paid for what was being sold.  First time Hollywood director Jee-woon Kim, who himself is no stranger to filming action, and filming it well mind you (The Good The Bad The Weird, I Saw The Devil) delivers a beyond belief action movie in the vain of those Schwarzenegger and Stallone-led 1980s and early 90s flicks that I hold so true to my heart.

These kind of movies are at their best when the plot is at its simplest, which it is; dangerous criminal on the run from a FBI task force and trying to get to the Mexico border who didn’t count on a group of backwater small town cops to stop him.  Insert a slew of shootouts, car chases and film it in an interesting manner and really, what more could I want from a Schwarzenegger movie?

Unlike The Expendables, this is not another relentless assault of scene after scene pandering to fans of those action stars of yesterday.  This is a sincere installment into the fantastical action genre that is known and loved for its abundance of smart-ass one liners, explosions, pointless side plots, bad guys who look the part, gun play, and timely comic relief. (See Trailer here)


mamaone-star2For those of you who are interested in watching a piss poor excuse for a drama disguised as a horror movie, here ya go.  Seriously, the plot of this movie is nothing more than a custody battle over two kids who were raised for 5 years in the woods by a mad ghost.  Opposing the ghost for parental rights are the kid’s uncle, who irritatingly becomes comatose rather than dying, which means that inevitably he will return and continue on with more of his bad acting antics, and his girlfriend, a rock n’ roller chick whose entire punk rocking character seems to have been written by the editor of the Hot Topic clothing website.  Why are you in this trash, Jessica Chastain?

As a rule of thumb, creepy kids in horror movies are supposed to equate to chills down the back of my neck, and at first it does, which is the sole reason for the one star.  As soon as the ghost reveals herself, which is relatively early on, all attempts at being a scary movie are lost – much like the asinine script and the 2 hours of my life spent at the theatre watching this. (See Trailer here)


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