Movie Review: The Nice Guys

nice-guys-movie-poster-2016This weekend, I took some relaxation time, and the wife and I went to see a film. I’m a bit of a Shane Black fan, loving Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, and lots of his other work (he basically write perfect neo-noir, and I love me all the types of noir).

So The Nice Guys was right up my alley. And boy. It was literally camping in my alley, wanting to hang out and be my best friend.

The plot is delightfully simple, yet convoluted in the right timing (I’ll get to that in a second), the acting is top notch, and the action is shaky cam free!

For me, thrillers or mysteries live or die by the timing of plot reveals. I’m a pretty sharp guy, and my wife can attest, that I figure out plots pretty quickly and are pretty accurate in my predictions.  The trick is not revealing too much too early, and that’s a hard craft for most movies. Which is ok. I’m a limited sub-set of an audience, and I don’t expect every movie to match me.

The Nice Guys nailed the timing issue of their reveals (as Shane Black often does), delivered a lot of delightfully dark humor around those reveals, but kept the plot simple enough that it didn’t feel preachy or in your face with its twists. It felt natural, and you felt swept along on the journey as these two very broken men face down crime-ridden 70s LA (which, by the way, felt absolutely perfect. The clothes, the music, the theme. It was everything I wanted to see about 70s LA).

It was perfect noir. Absolutely perfect.

Also, read this article if you need further convincing.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Spoilers/Review)

ImageNote: I am an avid (some would use the word fanatic) Captain America fan. I saw the first one in theaters multiple times (19), and my house is littered with Cap memorabilia. I am predisposed to love this film. However, I try to be objective. As of this review, I’ve seen the film 3 times. 


After reading the disclaimer above, I feel I can sum up this movie in three words. Greatest. Movie. Ever.

Let’s start with the positives, and we’ll end with the negatives. 

Plot? Simple. Concise. An excellent example of straight forwards, interesting, storytelling.

Pacing? Tense. Movie did not feel 2 and a half hours long. I was on the edge of my seat still, during my third viewing..

Cinematography? Overall, an A-. There were some issues with shaky cam during a few of the action sequences, but overall, not enough to distract or jar me from the film.

Fight Choreography? Wow. Literally, the only word I have to describe the action in this film is “bonecrushing.” It was hands down, some of the best fight choreography I’ve ever seen imparted on a film in recent years. (Man of Tai Chi is up there also). 

Acting? Great. Every actor nailed their part, and there was no weakness among the principal cast. Really, the only part of the cast I’d call out would be Emily Vancamp’s Agent 13/Sharon Carter, who wasn’t bad at all, but she simply wasn’t playing on the same level as veterans Robert Redford, Chris Evans, or even recent TV-to-film transfer Colbie Smulders.

Uh…Marvel callbacks and references? Awesome. The movie was so jam packed, and so heavily integrated into Agents of Shield and the Avengers, that I could hardly keep still. Or from talking. (Sorry fellow viewers).

I’m carefully trying to avoid spoilers, since the movie just came out today, so I’ll keep it short. This is my favorite movie of the year.

And this is hands down my favorite Cap costume thus far. I loved the callback to Captain Steve Rogers of the Secret Avengers.


On to the negatives. There aren’t any.