Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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I'm going to start by saying everyone has their own taste in Film, some see a movie and get a feeling of mediocrity, where others see a film and believe it's Oscar worthy. This is why each of us is unique, we all have different tastes in what we like and dislike, and that's okay because we are Human after all. That being said I feel Capone is brilliant, it shows us the decent of a madman into madness. The film follows Capone in his last year of life after being released from prison at the request of his wife, on good behavior. At first you're like "what am I watching", then you get maybe twenty or so minutes in and you become fascinated with Tom Hardy (Bronson, Venom) acting as an elderly Al Capone, as well as the story that's being woven. The film opens with a few facts about Capone and then gives a lovely overview of a couple statues he may have owned. The first is Cleopatra; the camera shows her from the front side, the other statue is of Julius Cesar, which clever enough the camera shows from behind. Then we come to a hallway with some suggestive music, and Capone is show walking through very cautiously, the look in his eyes is very distant, but set on whatever he is looking for. He is holding a fire poker and enters a room, then out of nowhere a little girl appears in the closet, they both scream and he starts to chase her.
We come to find out that this elderly Ex Mobster is simply playing hide and go seek with his grand-kids. I mean what a way to open the film, showing his rise to power and his fall in just moments, and in such a simplistic way. Immediately I knew this was going to be a film that I would have to pay attention to if I wanted to understand it better. Written and Directed by Josh Trank (Fantastic Four Remake, Chronicle) I wasn't too keen on watching it until I saw the trailer, (I will share the link below). I mean not only is this a film about the end of the life one of the world's most notorious gangsters, but it also takes you on a ride through the mind of Al Capone as he slowly succumbs to Dementia which is a terrible mind erasing disease. Some of the things in this film are factual, for instance the stroke Capone has that eventually leads to his heart attack and soon after his death. Some of it could have been complete fiction, like Capone wearing diapers or having an illegitimate son from a mistress. Regardless of what is real and what is not, Josh Trank takes from both to create this chilling masterpiece. I do enjoy how we are shown the inside of this now lost Mobsters mind in the most interesting ways, sometimes while I was watching I couldn't tell what was real and just a figment of his imagination, or a dream. There was a wonderful ballroom scene that you think is real at first, but then come to realize he is just visiting memories in the back of his mind.
You really feel like you are watching Al Capone struggle with separating what's real and what's fake in these memories, they even incorporated the old tale of the Millions that Capone may have stashed someplace. There are parts of the film where the FBI is listening to him trying to find the money and parts where other Mobsters are doing the same. There are two parts I love most in this film, the first being where Al Capone takes a rifle and shoots an alligator after it steals the fish off his fishing rod. And the second moment is when Capone is watching "The Wizard of OZ" and starts to sing and move with the Cowardly Lion, both of these scenes are beautiful ways to show just how much of his mind had been lost due to his illness. It starts off a little slow as does any biopic, but it really digs deeper as it goes on, I will stop here because I want to recommend that you watch this Film. I really enjoyed it and I think Tom Hardy gives an Oscar worthy performance as Al Capone. I give this film a solid 9 out of 10, it was well written, well executed, superbly acted by it's entire cast and even the score was on point. I know it has gotten awful reviews so far and it's score got a score of 40% on the Tomatometer and 29% Audience Score, I'm thinking everyone still has a bad taste in their mouths from his version of "The Fantastic Four". However, I have seen plenty of other films lean toward bad reviews, yet are amazing and I have seen terrible films get great reviews. It's like my Grandfather used to say "Opinions are like A** Holes, we all have one". So I encourage you to give this film a shot, make sure you go in knowing that it's not a full on Mobster Film and that is it only Mob themed, I think you may be pleasantly surprised. Thanks for taking the time to read this review/summary of Josh Trank's Capone.
So I do like to get a random film in every now and again. This one happens to be a film that came out recently, I don't think it got a theatrical release but it was fun and entertaining none the less. The film is called VFW and it stars a fantastic cast of some of our older and favorite actors. Stephen Lang (Avatar, Into the Badlands) plays Fred Parras the Bartender and owner of the local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). William Sadler (Die Hard 2, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey) plays one of his platoon mates Walter Reed, Fred Williamson (Inglorious Bastards (the original), From Dusk Til Dawn) plays another of his platoon Abe Hawkins, I actually know Fred he is a great guy and fantastic actor. Martin Kove (Karate Kid, Cobra Kai) plays Fred's closest friend Lou Clayton from Vietnam, and finally David Patrick Kelley (The Warriors, The Crow, John Wick) plays Doug McCarthy another close friend of Fred's. We also get a nice guest appearance from George Wendt (Cheers, The George Wendt Show) he plays one of their fellow VFW friends. I'm going to jump right into it I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it had everything that an old timer action film needs. Blood, Gore, Action, Catchy One Liners you don't want to forget and a pretty decent story for what it is. It was Directed by new film maker Joe Begos (Bliss, Almost Human) and overall I think he did a great job with it. The film opens with a drug Lord, Boz played by Travis Hammer (Independence Day: Resurgence, The Last Ship) at his base of operation with a bunch of junkies that have pretty much become his Zombie Pets. They aren't actual zombies but they will do whatever it takes to get their next fix of the drug he produces and sells. So Boz is given some information by his little brother that makes him wonder just how far he can go, so he calls out a junkie Lucy and teases her with the drugs. He then decides to throw them over the balcony, then she then proceeds to throw herself over and SPLAT she dies. After this happens Lucy's sister Lizard finds out and decides to steal the rest of Bozs supply and go on the run. Lizard is being chased by Bozs gang when she decides to take cover in the VFW across the street, she gets inside and manages to hide the drugs in the toilet. The guys are gathered around drinking and telling stories to this younger soldier that has shown up back from the war, when Bozs goons break in and attack them all. These goons are so drugged up that they are very Zombie like which I thought was a nice edition to the film, the effects and gore are fantastic and the acting is on point. Basically what it comes down to is a group of old timer war veterans getting held up in their VFW, protecting this girl from a drug dealer that wants her dead. I really enjoyed watching this, it had plenty of action and one liners, also I always love Fred's work as well as Lang's. It's a a wild ride of a film, sort of B status but still good fun. I'd give this film a solid 9 out of 10 as far as an entertainment rating, and if you haven't seen it then I highly recommend the watch, you can find it streaming on the Hoopla service or rent/buy it on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, VUDU or Fandango.