Tag Archives: Ryan Gosling

Brian’s Review – “Drive”

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

Brian – 6 out of 10

It’s hard to get past the hype of a film when so much positive attention has been given its way. I’m sure many of you through either word of mouth or a good review from a publication have heard enough about a film that it made you excited to see it. Then, when it doesn’t live up to your expectations, you feel disappointed. I guess I felt exactly that way after seeing Drive. I had heard a lot about it including its possible inclusion come Oscar time. But, at the end of the day, it grades out as a good crime thriller that never gets close to greatness. A lot of interesting elements are here. The idea of a Hollywood stunt driver working on the side transporting criminals after they rob an establishment is certainly interesting fodder. It opened the door for possible amazing action scenes that are partially delivered and partially not.

The opening is fantastic. We get to see Ryan Gosling’s character listening to a police scanner while evading police by not just out-driving but also out-thinking them. Then, the film takes a detour and steers(these puns are getting out of control) towards a romantic story that never really feels complete. Carey Mulligan is supremely likeable but she’s given so little to work with. Her background is never explored. All we know is her husband just got out of jail, she’s crazy about her son, and she has feelings for Gosling. The rest of the time she’s forced to sit back and watch people in peril but never really reacts very much or even offer her own opinion on the matter. If you’re going to write a film where the romantic connection is supposed to be the anchor to the dramatic arc, you have to create a better sense of who these people are. That brings us to Gosling, who does exactly what’s required from the script but he’s so indelibly creepy that it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to get involved with him. There are long dialogue sequences where he’s completely silent or sitting with a half-cocked grin on his face like he’s a serial killer from a Thomas Harris novel. So, after all my criticism, why is this film a 6? The crime element worked very good. There’s a fair number of scenes that offer a great sense of suspense. I found myself on the edge of my seat whenever he was on a job as a getaway driver. I suppose it’s a film that at the end of the day tried to reach higher than its script would allow and partially delivers.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

When Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) discovers that his wife (Julianne Moore) wants to end their marriage, he reluctantly faces the unwelcome prospect of single life with the counsel of the younger and smoother super-bachelor Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Meanwhile, Cal’s adolescent son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), has formed an unquenchable crush on his 17-year-old babysitter (Analeigh Tipton) — but is she more interested in Robbie’s recently unwed father?

Rating: 8 out of 10

It was nice to see a romantic comedy with a new voice. This isn’t quite like the trailers depict, a cheery-the-time flick with lots of laughs and likeable characters.

The truth is, these characters are very flawed, which makes them feel more real. They’re more relatable and approachable, and because of this, we relate. There are some genuinely funny moments, but there are also some truly dramatic moments, too. Like any romantic comedy, the reality in the movie is a stretch, but in this case it works. The womanizer, played well by Gosling, is so over the top with his gigolo ways. But it works because of his great performance — comedy is something he doens’t do much. Steve Carell and Julianne Moore are also both excellent. The cast really makes this movie work.

I really enjoyed this far beyond what I thought I would. It doesn’t pull punches with a sense of drama that is based in reality, but knows when to stretch with its comedy. This is a very good date movie.

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 emptyness 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.

Rating: 5 out of 10

I understand that every romance doesn’t end with rainbows and doves flying through a crisp, blue sky, as children frolic in a meadow… You get the idea.

“Blue Valentine” is not one of those movies. The film has some wonderful acting, but I didn’t care about the characters all that much. They’re the sort of people who jump blindly into terrible situations, make awful choices, and I’m supposed to feel sympathy for them. Or maybe I’m not. Perhaps the director wanted me to sit and watch two very naive souls colide in terrible trajedy. The film is the deconstruction of a love story gone wrong.

There’s some very honest writing and acting, but it just didn’t work for me. There was also way too much handheld camera work. It’s a style that’s being used to death. Handheld works in very intense moments. It brings you close. But with this film, it’s an intimate portrait you’re forced to stare at from 2 inches away. I don’t always need to be sitting on an actor’s shoulder to appreciate the situation of their character. It was like going to a museum and standing 6 inches from every painting.