Archives for posts with tag: James Gandolfini

I remember the book “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” because it sat on the back of the commode in my parents’ bathroom for something like five years. I don’t remember the 1974 movie (I was eight years old). The 2009 version, “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” (One Two Three? That’s too many words – things are faster paced these days.), is a sometimes-too-stylish, quirky thriller about a subway hostage/ransom event with an interesting criminal twist. Not bad, but when someone asks, “Can you name 10 Denzel Washington movies?” I doubt this one will come to your mind.

“The Drop” (2014) is the story of a man and his dog. And Chechen mobsters. And Brooklyn. And Tony Soprano (except he’s not Tony Soprano). And murders. And money. And a communion that will never be shared. Tom Hardy offers one of the most authentically unplaceable New York accents I’ve ever heard. It’s a beautiful thing. The story is a classic mob double-cross with a twist that reminded me of “The Usual Suspects.” I was, literally, on the edge of my seat for the last 30 minutes. When the final scene faded to black, I smiled. That’s a good movie.

When I was a kid, I never wanted to be a magician, so maybe I can’t appreciate “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” (2013). I hate to use reviewerspeak, but Steve Carell stars in an uneven movie that follows a formulaic plot (dude was a star, now a has-been, hits rock bottom, tries to find his mojo, hijinks ensue, gets the girl, learns something about himself, blah, blah, blah). Jim Carrey, who I think is generally gross, plays Burt’s rival, a generally gross illusionist. There are funny parts, but there’s also an unlikeable, coarse edge that too many comedies have these days.