First things first: let's get all the Drive comparisons out of the way, shall we? 1. Ryan Gosling is in it. 2. Nicolas Winding Refn directs it. Good, that's that done. Now forget about Drive, because Only God Forgives is about as similar to that film as I am to Ryan Gosling. And despite what you may have heard, that is, alas, not at all.
One of the conditions of me joining The Shiznit after closing down my own unbelievably popular and hilarious film blog was that I would become the site's Gosling Correspondent: any and all Ryan Goslingness would have to pass through me before it made it onto the internet. The rest of the team made a bit of a fuss, but when I took my shirt off to reveal my full chest tattoo of Ryan's face, they soon agreed to all my demands. Turns out I didn't need to take my trousers and pants off as well, but still, in for a penny, in for a pound.
It turns out that I have a small issue with a lot of gangster films, which I didn't realise until watching Gangster Squad. For all their sharp-suited, Tommy gun-wielding adventures, most feel the need to bring home the heavy-hitting drama underlying it all. Of course, there's no problem with this, but it seems to me that Hollywood has spent so long trying to tell us the real story behind some of history's most infamous outlaws, that it seems to have forgotten how to tell us the fake, fun, irresponsible version. This is where Gangster Squad chimes in; a film so gloriously cartoony at times that it feels ripped from the frames and pages of a graphic novel. Even though it is actually um... based on true events.
Eastern moviegoing audiences have proved to be a massively untapped market this year, so it's only natural that Warner Bros would want to tailor the marketing for Gangster Squad to make it successful overseas. If you ask me, there's a home run waiting to be hit in South Korea with just a few new tweaks and edits.
Crazy Stupid Love is a movie that wants it all. It's a romcom that knows it's a romcom and wants you to know it knows it's a romcom. Characters reference popular movies and the clichés therein; by pointing out the elephants in the room, they're allowing us in on the joke. "Damn, love is crazy and stupid," they nudge and wink to us, but because they acknowledge the craziness and stupidity of movie romance, they assume they'll get away with it. Luckily for us, the characters of Crazy Stupid Love are so darn charming, they do.
That Ryan Gosling: so hot right now. It's easy to forget he started his career as a Disney Mouseketeer in the same stable as Britney, Christina and Justin, but today Baby Goose finds himself with two critically-acclaimed movies out on the same day and a Clooney Oscar-grabber still to come. Ladies, if you thought he was hot stuff in Crazy Stupid Love as a spray-tanned, six-packed womaniser, then prepare for your ovaries to implode when you see him play a strong-and-silent getaway driver with a penchant for deep, meaningful gazing sessions. "Hey girl," he seems to say. "I'm capable of astonishing violence, but I'll make a good makeshift father for your son, too." Make no mistake: he's husband material.