ACTOR - Ryan Gosling
I've learned it's important not to limit yourself. You can do whatever you really love to do, no matter what it is.
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|SirPant's Rating||My Rating|
Frankenstein and Me 1996, PG)
Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy 1998, Unrated)
Remember the Titans 2000, PG)
The Believer 2002, R)
The Slaughter Rule 2002, R)
Murder by Numbers 2002, R)
The United States of Leland 2004, R)
The Notebook 2004, PG-13)
Nick Cassavetes still has a long way to go before he reaches the greatness of his parents! This love story is nothing more than an attempt to make the audience cry and in doing so, convince people that it?s an emotional epic when in reality, It?s nothing of the sort. The young actors are totally unconvincing - Ryan Gosling?s attempts at depicting madness involved nothing more than lowering his eyebrows and growing a beard and Rachel ?Wow, isn?t everything amazing? McAdams?s performance was as over the top as it was bile-inducing. The Notebooks only saving grace was its scenes involving the brilliant James Garner and Gena Rowlands, although it?s safe to say it wasn?t their finest hour either. It was very predictable, totally unconvincing, clichéd to the point where it felt it was spoofing itself and above all totally unsensational. Why is so highly regarded is beyond me, it?s inoffensive enough but totally forgettable.
Stay 2005, R)
Suggest that Life is an illusion and you can pretty much get away with anything. Anything learnt here is serendipitous but many would say that is the art of physiotherapy, read between the lines my friends but for all the puzzling 'what the hell is going on' moments, there are plenty of pretty bits of filming, good acting and interesting twists and turns. It also feels like Marc Forster's love letter to 50's noir thrillers, albeit an updated version but still lots of green. I'm somewhere between liking it and thinking it was a load of old baloney but it does look good.
Half Nelson 2006, R)
Fracture 2007, R)
Although the story was intriguing and entertaining throughout, the unpredictable ending twist was somehow predictable. I don't mean the twist itself was predictable, just that you know that there would be an unpredictable ending. Anthony Hopkin's character was smug throughout but you just knew he wouldn't get away with it, it just seemed a bit too formulaic, even though I quite liked the end. I liked it, it just needed a little kick, something out of the blue and unexpected to give it a little spice.
Lars and the Real Girl 2007, PG-13)
Lars and the Real Girl really lived up to my expectations and then some. Ryan Gosling is definitely becoming the actor to look out for at the moment and his performance as Lars is a good example of why. The writing is brilliant and the actor's performances show understanding of this, I have to say, it's a breath of fresh air to see such an intelligently thought out film become so successful and embraced. Other writers/directors/producers should take note - Lars and the Real Girl is like the Harvey for our generation, it's that good.
Blue Valentine 2010, R)
Blue Valentine is pretty mundane when you think about it, there is nothing extraordinary about it, it is very real and very raw. It is extremely heart-wrenching at times not to mention emotionally draining to the point of exhaustion, the conclusion is devastating and and it will probably make you want to cry. I have to say it is one of the best films I've seen in quite a while. It is genuine and honest but it's not all bad news, the scene in the doorway where Ryan Gosling sings and Michelle Williams dances is truly wonderful and has shot right up to the top section of my 'favourite scenes of all time' list. The two actors do such a brilliant job, I couldn't see any other two actors pulling off what they did to be honest. The fireworks were a good metaphor at the end, I really hope that this isn't just a firework from Derek Cianfrance though. Highly recommended!
All Good Things 2010, R)
I've been looking forward to Andrew Jarecki's first feature since Capturing the Friedmans came out. He also executive produced Catfish, so exploring a notorious true story such as this got me, and a lot of other people excited. Unfortunately it's a little thin round the edges. I love Ryan Gosling but he didn't really bring anything to the role here, unless he acted exactly like Robert Durst does, someone please correct me if this is the case but what I saw was a passionless performance. Everyone else did a good job but the slow paced first half meant that the exciting and unpredictable second half came with a disjointed jolt. I don't feel a lot of things were explained very well, theories weren't explored and certain unimportant moments seemed to drag in some scenes while years passed in seconds in others. I liked it but the twists could have been handled better and the theories developed or even explained a little more clearly. I felt at times that they were worried about being sued too much, went to say something and then didn't. Good but a little frustrating.
Drive 2011, R)
Drive oozes style, class and cool. It has all the ingredients of a classic thriller/neo noir, modern but with an 80s twist. There is definitely something for everyone and it looks so damn good. Nicolas Winding Refn is the director to look out for, Bronson was an ace film too and this is an great follow up. Ryan Gosling is fast becoming the actor of a generation too, he's living up to his reputation too, his performance seems effortless and is perfect. It's been branded by some as the best film of 2011, it's certainly up there as far as I'm concerned, it might be a three horse winner along with Black Swan and Blue Valentine.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. 2011, PG-13)
At long last, a Rom-Com that isn't horrible. This is down to the fact that it has a good cast, nothing is over done, it has genuine tender moments, it doesn't contain artificial sweeteners and nothing stupidly out of the ordinary happens. It could have done without the 'Graduation speech' scene but it's forgivable. All in all, it was one of the more pleasant surprises of 2011. I really liked I love you Phillip Morris too, so I'm looking forward to seeing more from directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.
The Ides of March 2011, R)
As plot lines go The Ides of March is pretty predictable and not particularly original - it is the great performances from the impressive cast that makes the film entertaining. George Clooney has already proved himself a talented director and his credibility remains very much in tact, he actually steps to one side on the acting front with this film, unselfishly and quite sensibly concentrating on the Ryan Gosling's character. He's had a good year eh, he can proudly add this to CV, as can all the supporting cast. Overall, it's a simple yet entertaining political thriller, nothing over the top but you'd have to be pretty naive for it to be a political revelation but it's entertaining all the same. I can't stand that poster though!
The Place Beyond The Pines 2013, R)
The Place Beyond the Pines is a great exit from your typical Hollywood formula. Original and unexpected are two very different things and this film has ample of both in the best possible way. For me this is another example of a new wave of American cinema, I for one welcome its long overdue arrival. It's the ultimate anti-blockbuster/anti-franchise film when you think about it, instead of a story being stretched out in 3 films, you actually get 2 films for the price of one (with a Return of the Jedi conclusion plus the next three films). Derek Cianfrance is another new director to watch out for, he deserves all the praise he's received so far. He deserves praise for the story alone but the direction, editing, soundtrack, performances etc are all top notch too. I think when you've got a story this good people raise their game, let's hope other directors and producers take note. Hollywood needs a revolution and these types of films are leading the way.
Gangster Squad 2013, R)
Gangster Squad is cliched, unoriginal, not particularly well written and a bit cartoon like. This is all made up for by the fact that it is lots and lots of fun. The cast is great, Sean Penn standing out as a baddie to remember. I'm the first one to point the finger at inaccuracies and laziness when it comes to script but I just couldn't help but like Gangster Squad. It never tries to be LA Confidential or The Untouchables and to be honest, both those films are a little over rated anyway. It's pure pulp popcorn fun.
Only God Forgives 2013, R)
Only God Forgives seems to have suffered at the audiences lack of imagination rather than the Kubrickian style delusion of grandeur from director Nicolas Winding Refn that it has been accused of being. Its similarities to Kubrick's work are understandable but ever since 1996's Pusher, Refn has proved his worth and his vision is his own. Drive seems to have done the director less favours than it first seemed and could possibly be the film he is going to be forever compared against, even though I don't think it's his most creative film. Only God Forgives is a visually stunning film with heaps of subtle metaphors and intriguing social caricatures. The narrative is deconstructed perfectly, leaving the audience to decide who is who to them and who or what the film is about. It's all about interpretation. If Quentin Tarantino had made it everyone would be raving about how clever it was. I loved it.