Movie Review: Seven Psychopaths (2012)

"I like it.  It's got layers."
“I like it. It’s got layers.”

Martin McDonagh is a weird dude.  For those of you who haven’t seen In Bruges, his first feature, it’s very difficult for me to describe…really anything he does.  Here’s the simple review: if you liked In Bruges, you’ll like Seven Psychopaths.  If you hated In Bruges, you’ll loathe Seven Psychopaths.  McDonagh has clearly established an idiom all his own and is, if nothing else, a completely unique filmmaker in a derivative age.

I utterly loved this movie.  Loved it and the rating I’m giving it is reflective of my taste.  However, I would be perfectly respectful of someone who watched it and thought it was the biggest load of nonsense they’d ever seen.  This isn’t Citizen Kane.  It’s a preference movie.  If your sense of humor can run black as pitch and you don’t mind it being profane and exceedingly violent (hilariously so on occasion), this is your movie.  A sense of humor is a very tough thing to recommend or legislate with a review.  I am of the opinion that things are funny to a person or not and it’s not so much the material as how much you connect with it or it’s commentary on the world.  That’s going to be subjective and is why it’s a lot harder to review or recommend comedies than dramas.  A sense of humor is a personal thing.  Personally, I think McDonagh is a profoundly disturbed, hilarious writer and a talented director.

Seven Psychopaths is presumptively about two psychopaths (Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken) who make their living kidnapping dogs from wealthy people and then returning them for the reward.  This goes awry when they kidnap the dog of a mob boss (Woody Harrelson) who happens to be psychopathic himself.  Colin Farrell plays their friend sucked into their madness and as things go, the film gets increasingly meta and complex so much so to the point that there was a fantastic reveal involving a cravat (best use of cravats in cinematic history) and I blurted out loud, “That is awesome! ….wait…what?” 

McDonagh’s ultimate talent is that in the midst of his madness and chaos he can create characters you come to care very deeply about (very flawed though they may be) and then grounding the film in that connection so it’s a wonderful mix of mad humor and character-driven plot.  If this makes no sense, I completely understand and will refer you to my simpler review above.  I had a blast with this film and I can’t wait to watch it again.
9.0/10

Assassin’s Creed IV: Blag Flag Announced

assassinscreedblackflag22829213e

Ubisoft today announced that this fall we’ll be getting another annual dose of Assassin’s Creed.  The newest entry, Assassin’s Creed IV: Blag Flag clearly looks piracy-centric but no other details than the box art were released today.  Ubisoft will hold an official press conference with more details next Monday (March 4th).

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Casts Norman Osborn!

The new Green Goblin has an Oscar
The new Green Goblin has an Oscar

In a bit of a suprise (since filming has already started), Chris Cooper has been announced as an addition to the cast of Amazing Spider-Man 2 playing Norman Osborn, who will eventually become Spidey’s arch-enemy: the Green Goblin.  Willem DaFoe played this role in the Raimi trilogy.

This movie seriously puzzles me.  We’ve gone in a few weeks from having just Jamie Foxx’s Electro as the villain with Harry Osborn and Mary Jane joining the cast mix, to now also adding Paul Giamatti’s Rhino (still have no idea how that works) and now Norman Osborn as well.  Adding Cooper so late probably indicates that he’ll be a small presence in this film and will go full Goblin in the third movie.  However, I kind of feel like a lot of this introduction could have been done in the first film instead of retreading ground covered recently in the Raimi films (which lost their way-as most comic movies have-when they cram their cast too full instead of focusing on character development).  It’ll be interesting to see how things develop. 

Cooper is certainly a good choice and a fantastic actor.  I really did not like the Goblin in the Raimi treatment.  I like DaFoe, but the armored costume just didn’t do it for me.

Killing Time – February 28, 2013

This week I mainly focused on clearing out a backlog of graphic novels and ripped through quite a few.  My wife and I are going through all of The Big Bang Theory and sadly we’re nearly caught up.  I had a Scandal Season 2 Hulu marathon this weekend and I’m current on possibly the most addicting show on TV.  I’ve been overwhelmed by the site traffic; it’s absolutely awesome.  We passed 700 hits and have had visitors from 40 countries.  I’ve gotten to talk to a few of you on Twitter and it’s great to get feedback and to see what you’re writing as well.  Let me know how you’ve been murdering the minutes this week!

Books: Fooling Houdini by Alex Stone
                 Halo: The Flood by William Dietz
                 The Letters of JRR Tolkien edited by Christopher Tolkien 
                  This Will Make You Smarter by John Bockman
                                
Blu Ray: The Big Bang Theory Season Five
                     Game of Thrones Season Two
                     Seven Psychopaths
                     Robot & Frank                    

Music:  Not so much music this week as podcast catch-up: The Bugle, How
                  Stuff Works and iFanboy.

Video Game: Halo 4 (finished Spartan Ops Season One)
                               Halo CE (playing while reading the book; never done that one)
                               Borderlands 2 (Level 10 Gunzerker)
                            * I’m on XBOX Live, gamertag: sleeplessdave

Comics:   New Avengers Vol. 4 by Brian Michael Bendis
                       The Avengers Vol. 4 by Brian Michael Bendis
                       Avengers vs. X-Men: Consequences by Kieron Gillen
                       Uncanny X-Men Vol. 4 by Kieron Gillen
                       The New Deadwardians by Dan Abnett

New Mandarin Poster for Iron Man 3

hr_Iron_Man_3_30

There’s a new character one-sheet out for Iron Man 3 featuring the film’s main villain: The Mandarin.  I have to be honest: I’m not feeling Iron Man 3 yet.  The first trailer was very cool, but it left me with some concerns and Ben Kingsley was oddly one of them.  I love Kingsley.  I love the Mandarin (if you told me we’d make two Iron Man movies before getting to the Mandarin, I’d have been gobsmacked as he’s pretty much the only good villain Iron Man has).  What I’m kind of worried about is the take on him and the weird voice Kingsley is using (at least in the footage I’ve seen.  It seems off.  That, combined with a new director for the franchise, and I’m a little concerned about it.  I don’t think it’s the sure thing some movies this year are.  It is using Warren Ellis’ brilliant Extremis storyline though and these are just mild concerns not full-blown nipples-on-the-Batsuit panic.  Iron Man 3 will hit theaters on the now-traditional first Friday in May Marvel Weekend: May 3rd, 2013.