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Movie reviews: The Drop and Locke (spoilers)

August 3, 2015 Leave a comment

I went on another Tom Hardy binge over the weekend, but for good reason. The following movies were two that I’d been meaning to see for months but hadn’t had a chance. So onward we go:

Movie: The Drop

Starring: Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace

Available on: HBO Go and Amazon Prime

The Drop is a pretty typical Noo Yawk movie in some respects in that it is set in a pretty blue collar neighborhood where the characters meet and interact, usually at the local bar where Bob Saginowski (Hardy) and his cousin Marv (Gandolfini, who passed away about a month after filming wrapped) work. Cousin Marv used to own the bar, but through some gambling and debt issues, had to sell to some Chechen mobsters. Their bar is one of many that is used as a “Drop” where money from shady business goes to for collection in the wee hours of the morning.

Bob is a pretty laid back dude, perhaps a wee bit on the slow side. He finds a puppy in a trashcan belonging to Nadia (Rapace), a neighborhood girl who’s got some skeletons in her closet as well, notably a sociopathic ex-boyfriend named Eric (Matthias Schoenaerts). People get shot, drinks are drunk, and Bob keeps slinging the drinks, cleaning up limbs, and welcoming his new puppy pal into his home.

However typical the movie sounds though, the performances of the actors sets it apart from other mob movies. Hardy gets into his character in his methody way (never change, Tom), and Gandolfini as always steals every scene he’s in. What’s interesting in this film is that the only American in the primary cast is Gandolfini, everyone else is either British, Swedish, or Russian.

Movie: Locke

Starring: Tom Hardy

Available on: Amazon Prime

Tom Hardy is literally the only person who shows up onscreen in this movie. He spends the entire length of the film in his BMW X5, driving from his workplace to a London hospital where his one night stand is giving birth to a baby (he’s married, by the way). Every interaction he has is a phone call he answers through Bluetooth. What makes the movie interesting is the content of the calls. His life’s path changes from the minute he steps foot in the car to when he makes it to his destination, and he’s not exactly a saint in the audience’s eyes by the end. Still, it’s a formidable performance by Hardy, and I highly recommend it.

If Tom Hardy doesn’t get nominated for an Academy Award this year, I’ll be very surprised.

Legend: A biopic about the Krays starring my boy Tom Hardy (trailer)

June 26, 2015 Leave a comment

I’m so going to watch this when it gets released in the Fall here in the States. Tom Hardy is playing both twins. Seriously. Both.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray ruled the London underground in the 60s. There is another biopic from the 90s called “The Krays” that I also enjoyed, starring Gary and Martin Kemp from the 80s act Spandau Ballet. Check it out if you so please:

This was your Tom Hardy moment for the day 🙂

Categories: Movies Tags: ,

Mad Max: Fury Road (a review, spoilers possible)

May 18, 2015 Leave a comment

So what’s to be said about Mad Max. You know the backstory – rogue wanderer of the wastelands trying to do things. All caught up? Good. So forget everything you remember about the previous 3 films except Tina Turner’s fabulousness, and go into this one with eyes wide open. This is a different Max from George Miller; this Max (Tom Hardy) does his thing, but isn’t out front and center. That role belongs to Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a one armed soldier slave gone rogue who is trying to smuggle out the piece of crap warlord’s harem of wives back to her home of greener pastures for a better life.

Don’t get me wrong; Hardy plays a mean Max. In fact, here he’s meaner and more of an antihero than before. However, that plays well into the story when it comes time for redemption. It’s more hard-won.

I like that this film gives me the same vibes as the Alien movies: Furiosa, like Ellen Ripley before her, can hold her own against crazy odds and doesn’t play the scared victim part well. To me that’s great because that’s the norm for most high-octane action movies. Guys want to be the heroes, and the girls want to get with the heroes. Mad Max spins that idea completely around on its heel and gives the ladies the glory of the fight.

It’s a Mad Mad world, and George Miller gives it to the audience old school-style; a lot of real explosions, stunt work, and crazy souped up cars against a wasteland landscape. There is some CGI (and you’ll be able to tell where pretty easily), but it’s used very sparingly. This is like an outback western from the future apocalypse to come.

Whatever you do, make sure you get your snacks and bathroom duties out of the way before the show because you’re not going to want to leave your seat for anything.

George Miller, you’re still the master. This is the same guy who brought you the original Max movies as well as Happy Feet and Babe. He can spin a yarn with the best of them and it’s always a treat to watch.

My overall score: A+ for kick ass special effects, bad ass women, and a great antihero who doesn’t have to talk your ear off or get nekkid to make his presence known.

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