Tag Archive: giovanni ribisi


Gangster Squad was originally set to be released this year (2012) back in September, yet due to the tragic Aurora shootings the release date was pushed back and Hollywood execs felt the need to re-shoot what would no doubt have become an iconic scene in film history. The scene in question featured several of the characters shooting in to a packed screening at the cinema from behind the screen; obviously, this was changed as to not be associated with the Aurora shootings. However, now that everything has been amended Gangster Squad has a new trailer and a new release date of January 2013.

Gangster Squad is inspired by true events (although when a film says that you can never be sure just what is true and what has been fabricated) and Sean Penn plays famous gangster Mickey Cohen. The LAPD are undertaking an operation to keep the Los Angeles area free of gangsters in the 1940s and 50s and Cohen is at the centre of this scheme as he seems to be the most wanted gangster out there. Here is the trailer, you’ll get a better taste of the story from that:

 

 

The trailer does raise a couple of questions: Why does Ryan Gosling have such a squeaky voice? Did Emma Stone really believe that Ryan Gosling was a bible salesman? Is Emma Stone the most attractive actress working today? Who is the main good guy? But one thing the trailer does make clear is that Gangster Squad is determined to be a very stylish and quintessentially cool film.

The cast is one of the most exciting that I have probably ever seen. You’ve got the seasoned professionals in the form of Nick Nolte and Sean Penn; actors who have been around for a while but are now enjoying a reboot in their careers such as Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, the latter of whom has established himself this year as one of the coolest men on the planet. Then you have the rising stars of the bunch with Emma Stone and Anthony Mackie all topped up with those actors you see in a lot of movies but never have a main role; Michael Pena and Giovanni Ribisi.

 

With a cast this good, this experienced and this versatile you need a director who is going to be able to get the best out of every single one of them whilst telling a brilliant story and giving the audience a real sense of being in the mid-twentieth century LA. In Ruben Fleischer I am not sure if they have that kind of director. Fleischer is pretty inexperienced and Gangster Squad looks as though it should be aiming to become one of the best gangster films of all time, yet Fleischer has mainly worked on comedies up until now so it could be a risk with him at the helm. If he gets it wrong the majority of the blame will fall his way, but if it goes right then this could be where Fleischer’s career really takes off.

Gangster Squad resembles Ocean’s Eleven in the way it carries itself and oozes style and substance and it has a cast to rival the George Clooney film as well. I am a fan of gangster and crime films and I am very excited to see how Gangster Squad turns out; I have a very high expectation for this one and am sure that it will not disappoint!

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Ted Reviewed.

It’s a strange career that Seth MacFarlane has had; he wrote for Cow and Chicken, Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo; he’s appeared in Gilmore Girls and FlashForward, but it is his more adult animation that he is known for: Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show. Now Seth MacFarlane has released his first feature film to be written and directed by himself and he also voices the main character: Ted.

Ted is the story of a young boy’s teddy bear coming to life after a special Christmas wish is made. And if the storyline sounds right out of a children’s book the humour is completely grown up, grown up in the sense that it is for adults, not that it is mature. The boy who makes this wish is John Bennett, played by Mark Wahlberg who I had my doubts about when the film was released because he doesn’t seem like the usual go to guy for a comedy but he turns out to be a brilliant choice along with his co-star Mila Kunis who’s relationship with John originally gets in the way of John and Ted’s friendship. The supporting cast is full of people who made their names on sitcoms: Patrick Warburton, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi and a cameo appearance from Ryan Reynolds. There is also a voice over in the wonderful tone of Seth MacFarlane’s unlikely friend Patrick Stewart.

The humour comes in all shapes and sizes; the verbal humour and the physical humour are equally as funny and Ted seems to find the right balance between the two. The conversations between Ted and the supermarket boss are comedy gold, although you might not know if you’re laughing because it’s funny or whether you’re laughing because what Ted is saying is completely outrageous…but as long as you’re laughing, does it really matter?

Basically, watching Ted is a bit like watching a 100 minute long episode of Family Guy. The jokes seem to always be in that vein and you wouldn’t be surprised if they had been used in the television show, there are a lot of references to popular culture figures and there are even a couple of cutaway scenes that Family Guy is famous for. All this is great… if you are a fan of Family Guy, but it isn’t very original if you just take your television show, change a couple of characters and put it on the big screen which is what watching Ted felt like. Luckily though, I really like Family Guy so I didn’t mind at all. Again, I love pop culture references but I think if you insist on making pop culture references then keep them limited or else you are at risk of alienating your audience if they don’t know what you’re on about and Ted had everything from Justin Bieber, Van Wilder, Brandon Routh, Aliens and a hell of a lot of Flash Gordon. There were a lot of jokes that fell dud because of the audience’s lack of knowledge about aspects of popular culture but there was just enough brilliant lines throughout the rest of the film to keep everyone laughing.

I am a big fan of Giovanni Ribisi and I’ve seen a lot of his work and I think he is very funny but I thought the whole storyline with him trying to kidnap Ted seemed a little bit thin and it wouldn’t have really mattered if that never took place. The storyline just existed to give a very cliche ending bringing John and his girlfriend back together and so Seth MacFarlane could make jokes at the expense of an overweight child (not complaining about the last bit, it was really funny!)

Ted is not for the faint hearted but if you like cure, close to the bone humour, then you’ll love it.

My Rating: 7/10.

UK Release Date: 9th November 2012.

The Gangster Squad is an upcoming crime drama chronicling the LAPD’s fight to keep the East Coast Mafia, led by Mickey Cohen, out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s.

Ruben Fleischer is at the helm of The Gangster Squad and while he may be inexperienced in the genre (his previous directorial outings being comedies Zombieland and 30: Minutes or Less) the cast is star studded. Taking the lead as Mickey Cohen is the brilliant Sean Penn and the LAPD officer charged with stopping him is Josh Brolin. Support comes in the form of Hollywood hot property Ryan Gosling, the wonderful Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, Giovanni Ribisi and Anthony Mackie.

This is an absolutely fantastic trailer and is a brilliant advert for the film. It clearly defines the opposing characters (Penn and Brolin), it provides a great insight of the sort of action and tone of the film and provides a bit of comic relief in the form of Gosling’s character. I think that The Gangster Squad looks like a fantastic film and this trailer has certainly peaked my interest.

The crime genre is a timeless one and audiences are always going to be interested in it. Two of the greatest films of all time were gangster flicks, The Godfather and Goodfellas, but while the more recent Public Enemies and American Gangster failed to make any real waves in the film industry both were well received both critically and commercially. Success is surely on the cards for The Gangster Squad.

UK Release Date: 3rd August 2012.

Ted is the upcoming live action/CGI animated film that is directed, written and produced by Seth MacFarlane and so if the film goes well, all credit to him, if it goes badly MacFarlance only has himself to blame. Since creating hit animated television shows Family Guy and American Dad, MacFarlane has tasted success but also splits audiences right down the line, for all the fans he has he sure does have his haters too.

Ted is the story of a young boy’s wish coming true. When he was younger, John wished that his teddy bear (Ted) could come to life and talk to him. As John got older, Ted also got older and as an adult John’s attempts to embrace his adulthood and move forward in a relationship with the love of his life, Lori, are scuppered by Ted’s irresponsible and vulgar lifestyle.

For Seth MacFarlance’s live action directorial debut he has got a pretty good cast on his hands. Mark Wahlberg plays John while Mila Kunis plays Lori and the cast is filled out with Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton and Laura Vandervoort.

Whilst you may not be able to tell this from the trailer, Ted is supposed to be a comedy and not just a piece of rubbish. To say it’s a comedy there aren’t many, if any at all, funny parts of the trailer. Ted himself just comes across as someone you just want to punch and the overall type of comedy just seems immature and dated. I won’t be lining up to see this, that’s for sure.