Tag Archives: Ryan Gosling

Drive

A Hollywood stuntman (Ryan Gosling) who moonlights as a getaway driver is lured from his isolated life by a lovely neighbor (Carey Mulligan) and her young son. His newfound peace is shattered, however, when her violent husband is released from prison.

I normally do not care for excessive violent movies but I enjoyed this one. It had elements of some other favorite movies of mine including Kill Bill (2003), Man of Fire (2004), The Mechanic (1972) and The Cooler (2003).

This particular movie reminded me of the movies I saw in the 1980s with my friends. It had a Miami Vice feel. They did use a few music video montages to advance the story. Normally I do not care for this technique but it worked well here.

The trailer above tells the complete story of this movie. Ryan Gosling plays “Driver.” He does not have a name. His character is mysterious. All we know is he is an excellent driver and as the movie goes forward he is good at a few other things too. I like his character as he is a man of his word. He has good intentions.

Unfortunately for our hero his story takes place in seedy Los Angeles. There are elements way beyond his control and we get to see how this mysterious man reacts. It is a quick, fun joy ride.

I am giving this movie 3.6 out of 5 stars. One of the main reasons why I am rating this one high is it is short. It is only one hour forty minutes. If it was in the two hour range I would give it a 3.

My only complaint was the use of Christina Hendricks (aka Joan Holloway on Mad Men). I wish she was given more airtime. Still it was nice to see her and Bryan Cranston (aka Walter White on Breaking Bad) taking a break from my favorite AMC Television Shows.

Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. This movie is available for Netflix Streaming.

All the best,

Alan
Alan Zibluk
The Film Movie Critic
http://www.filmmoviecritic.com
E-mail: the@filmmoviecritic.com

The Ides of March

Dirty tricks stand to soil an ambitious young press spokesman’s (Ryan Gosling) idealism in a cutthroat presidential campaign where “victory” is relative. The film, directed by George Clooney, is inspired by the real-life experiences of an aide who worked on Howard Dean’s failed 2004 run.

This movie stars Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella, Jennifer Ehle and Michael Mantell.

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti are two of my favorite actors. They are usually not leading men but their performances in any movie stands out. It was great to see them play off each other. Marisa Tomei did a great job as the reporter covering the primary. This is a well cast movie.

This film is a political drama and not political thriller. There are no car chases, guns fired or punches thrown. There is one death. Was the death accidental or intentional? It was a question that went through my mind as I watched. This is a thinking person’s movie.

Most people I know hate politics. Unfortunately politics is part of our everyday life. Most people think of politics as just holding public office. I see it when someone wants to be Grand Knight in a Knights of Columbus hall, a Grand Master in a Masonic Lodge and Condo President. It can get ugly.

Ryan Gosling does a good enough job as the leading man. His character is a player with integrity. He knows how to work people and at the same time does believe his man (George Clooney) is the man. He really believes his candidate will make the world a better place. He is idealistic and watching him change as the story develops was good drama. I have a friend who was involved in a political campaign some years back and got bummed out by the treachery and backstabbing. I have another friend that was in the Press so this story is very believable to me.

I’m giving this movie 3.2 stars. It was an elaborate chess game and it was entertaining seeing it play out. I like movies that make you think. I liked it for Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and Marisa Tomei. I also liked Gregory Itzin’s small part at the end. He was President Charles Logan from the popular show “24”. I would like to see the four of them again in a movie.

Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue.

All the best,

Alan
Alan Zibluk
The Film Movie Critic
http://www.filmmoviecritic.com
E-mail: the@filmmoviecritic.com

The Notebook

Two young lovers (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) are torn apart by war and class differences in the 1940s in this adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’s best-selling novel. Their story is told by a man (James Garner) who, years later, reads from a notebook while he visits a woman in a nursing home (Gena Rowlands). Nick Cassavetes directs this heart-tugging romance about the sacrifices people will make to hang on to their one true love.

I want to go on record and let my readers know I do not have anything against movies classified as “chick flicks.” I enjoy all types of different movies. I liked “The Proposal (2009)” starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. I really liked “Love and Other Drugs” and rated very high on this blog. Click here for my Love and Other Drugs review.

I have such an utter dislike for The Notebook. I am surprised how many women rave about this movie. I have many women friends who will post on Facebook “what part of no didn’t you understand” as their status. Same women friends love this film. I am going to guess that the person who said “no actually means yes” got the idea from this. In the beginning Noah is clearly stalking Allie. She says no quite a few times and he still doesn’t leave her alone. He even follows her when she is on a date with another man on a ferris wheel. This is not romance, it is stalking.

People see movies like this and think this is how I should act to impress someone. Our society is way too imitative. I have wasted so many hours of my life in sexual harassment training to learn two things… Don’t ever touch and no means no. This movie undermines this.

The second thing I didn’t like about this movie is how Noah dealt with his best friend getting killed in war. It didn’t seem to faze him when it happened and he never talks about it. What was the point of having this character? If his loss was more part of the story I think I would have liked it better.

The last thing I will say is I did not like the ending. I thought it was selfish and it bothered me. I do not think this is a good movie.

I am giving this one 2 stars. I recommend “The Proposal” and/or “Love and Other Drugs” over this.

Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue.

All the best,

Alan
Alan Zibluk
The Film Movie Critic
http://www.filmmoviecritic.com
E-mail: the@filmmoviecritic.com

Blue Valentine

Once crazy about each other, Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan Gosling) have now grown apart. Cindy is bored and disenchanted with her life while Dean languishes in the emotional emptiness of their sexless, routine life in rural Pennsylvania. As they muddle through their marriage, they hearken back to the golden days when life was filled with possibility and romance. Derek Cianfrance writes and directs this drama.

This is the exact opposite of a “feel good” movie. This is one of the most depressing, uncomfortable films I have seen in a long time. It felt extremely real as I have met these people at different points in my life.

Dean is a smart, funny guy with a good heart. He loves Cindy (or at least the illusion of her). He is faithful but drinks a little too much and lacks ambition. He is content with just doing okay. Cindy with the exception of being in the medical field and not ending up like her parents isn’t sure what she wants. Cindy has made a lot of mistakes in her life but she is trying. She wants to evolve as a person, Dean not as much.

It is a great story as both characters are flawed but not evil. You see two different points of view. It goes back and forth to the beginning of their relationship to the pivotal point where they decide if they should continue.

It was uncomfortable to watch as they argued in public. She would walk away from him and he followed. Her co-workers and family were uneasy about this as it was obvious he had been drinking. She would yell for him to go home and he wouldn’t. Do you call the police in this situation? I think we can all relate to this dilemma.

There is strong graphic sexual content in this film. It was necessary as it does advance the story of these two. I am giving it 4 stars. It is a sad but one of the better movies I have seen. I promise you will feel bad after watching this. I do recommend having a box of Kleenex nearby.

Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue.

All the best,

Alan
Al Zibluk
E-mail: al@alzibluk.com