American Gangster (R) 157 minutes B-
The Boyscout vs The Apprentice
Starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Cuba Gooding Jr., Josh Brolin, Yul Vazquez, Armand Assante, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Ted Levine
American Gangster is a good film and a compelling film... but it's not a great film. Denzel Washington is intense, captivating and always a pleasure to watch. Russell Crowe and Josh Brolin are also terrific.
But frankly, I found the film to be a slightly underwhelming and drawn out. The material here seemed a little too familiar even though it was well constructed and nicely done. Surprisingly the film had little or no emotional impact on me despite finding most of the characters very likable.
American Gangster is a lot like the last Pearl Jam album I bought... I went in expecting (hoping for) a classic, but what I got was a "nice", entertaining album that's better than most...but didn't quite live up to my expectations.
Lions for Lambs (R) 88 minutes C+
Metacommunication for Lions & Lambs
Starring Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Michael Pena, Derek Luke, and Andrew Garfield
This film probably isn't for everyone, and it is a little talky... but there is some important and interesting things being said.
In a nutshell the film is basically three parts- Activism/Getting Involved, Politics/Media and War/Sacrifice.
The film is a bit of a downer but performances by Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep are worth the price of admission.