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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Peña’:


End of Watch Movie Review

As Mel Gibson’s character Porter grumbled in “Payback,” “Dirty Cops. Do they come any other way?”  Cop movies most always thrive on Bad Cop Syndrome.  They’re either on the take through organized crime or confiscating cash to send their kids to college, ripping off drug dealers or at the very least hiding behind badges as bullies. Those are the reasons why ‘End of Watch’ is such a fresh look at the cop movie genre.  The story’s about two partners in the Los Angeles Police Department.  Officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) & Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) get up every day & do the job.  What I loved about the movie is, these guys weren’t looking to score a huge payday & retire. It was quite the opposite.  Their idea of ‘hitting it big’ is always in the form of a big bust.  These LAPD officers are the good guys.

What I also enjoyed was the balance between action on the streets & verbal action between buddies in the squad car.  Spending endless hours on patrol, Brian & Mike talk about virtually anything from sex to Starbucks.  These scenes just tick away until the moment something happens.  When they get the call, it’s on.  NO SPOILERS.  I live in Southern California. What happens in Downtown Los Angeles seems a million miles away.  It is dark, desolate & dangerous.  The actors playing gang members are a constant reminder: Make sure your GPS works, respect their space & stay out of alleys.

On the first night of prep for this film, Jake was on an LAPD ride-along.  It’s there where he witnessed a shoot-out between gang members and one person was murdered right in front of his eyes.  Gyllenhaal did express experiencing intense moments of fear out in the field.  How could you not? The point of exposing yourself to such violence & potential life peril, is to simply funnel all that energy into a performance, which he most certainly did.  When they do go out an those calls, I had to remind myself to breathe.

Finally, a cop movie where you’re rooting for cops. The only problem: The bad guys are just too well-funded, too many in numbers, too armed & way too murderous. “End of Watch’ is rated ‘R.’          You can follow me on Twitter @leoquinones

CAUTION: This is the RED BAND Trailer for “End of Watch”

 



30 Minutes Or Less Movie Review

Jesse Eisenberg is Nick.   A guy who hates his job, his boss & probably his life.   What does he do for a living?  He delivers pizzas like a NASCAR Ninja in just 30 Minutes or Less.   Nick’s last delivery is gonna be a doozy.  Two second rate losers (Danny McBride & Nick Swardson) hatch a plan to make quick money.  Instead of robbing a bank themselves, they’ll strap a homemade bomb on a stranger & make him do it.

As you’ve seen in the trailer, once the bomb has been planted on Nick, he seeks help from his best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari).  Armed with only knowledge of 80’s action flicks, these two idiots rob the local bank to the tune of 100,00 bucks.

Two familiar faces are scene stealers with limited screen time. First, the hitman (Michael Peña). Very funny.  Also, from TV’s “Rules of Engagement,” is Bianca Kajlich who plays a local stripper. While dancing on Danny McBride, Bianca goes full blown topless. No special digital effects or enhancements. Man, the one time I want 3D & it’s not even there.

The idea of these two numb nuts getting away with this high profile robbery in Grand Rapids, Michigan is certainly a stretch. You’ll just have to go with it.  It’s a straight up rated R stoner comedy.  If you dug “Pineapple Express,” this is your movie.

There’s nothing worse than having a bomb strapped to your chest.  Can you imagine!?!  On the other hand, there’s nothing better than the Film Freak iPhone – iPad App. It’s the movie app that saves you money on movies. Just search Film Freak

I’m not a credible bank robber, but life is fun. Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones



The Lincoln Lawyer Film Freak Movie Review

Matthew McConaughey has undertaken a tough acting assignment, playing a likeable lawyer.  Michael “Mick” Haller makes being a lawyer cool.  Instead of going to the office everyday, YAWN, Mick’s office comes to him! It arrives in the form of a Lincoln Continental Town Car driven by his employee/chauffeur, Earl. The possibilities are endless.

“The Lincoln Lawyer” is based on the best-selling novel by Michael Connelly.  Good material begets good talent.  Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, John Leguizamo, Frances Fisher and Michael Pena.  The way Director Brad Furman cast this film makes him the coach of an All-Star team.

Mick Haller gives dregs of society sound legal representation.  It’s borderline unethical, shrewd, calculated & I loved every minute of it.  He’s attained a street smart inner working of the Los Angeles legal system.  When a local bail bondsman (John Leguizamo) drops a rainmaker case in his lap, Mick licks his chops to defend a rich socialite (Ryan Phillippe) who’s accused of attempted murder, which includes the raping & beating of a prostitute.  Despite all the family money, Mick’s in control & calling the shots. It’s Mick’s way or the highway. (Did I mention his mobile office?)

The story grows darker every minute & brings a fresh look to courtroom dramas.  Matthew McConaughey & Ryan Phillippe discussed before filming, it would be wise not to rehearse their scenes together.  This allowed a spark of uncertainty, trust & an opportunity to have the actors continually surprise each other during the 37-day shoot.

Kudos to Brad Furman on showcasing many parts of greater Los Angeles. Not just Beverly Hills & the Valley.  Here we get to see gritty locales like Echo Park, Lincoln Heights & the Lynwood County Jail. Which Furman says was “incredibly real & also pretty appalling.”

At the end of the day, this one touts a perfect game of cat & mouse. Buckle up, hit the gas & enjoy “The Lincoln Lawyer.”

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