Tag Archives: eva mendes

We Own the Night My Reviews 26 JAN 2008

We Own the NightBrooklyn, New York, 1988. Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) is a manager of the El Caribe nightclub – a man who breaks the rules and lives the fast life of the party. Joseph Grusinsky (Mark Wahlberg) is a highly honoured police captain in the New York Police Force – a man of principles and a stickler for the rules.

However, unbeknownst to most, these two polar opposites are in fact brothers, sons of the highly decorated Chief of Police, Burt Grusinsky (Robert Duval). Brooklyn at the moment is under siege, with drug cartels and gangsters slowly throttling the life out of the city. The police force is under tremendous pressure to produce results, particularly because so many of their numbers are being mowed down by criminals.

Joseph needs to organize a raid against a particular Russian mobster suspected of bringing drugs into the country. Unfortunately the only catch is that this mobster has ties to the El Caribe, and thus indirectly to Bobby. Unwillingly to listen to his brother and get out while he can, Bobby ends up getting dragged into the raid – with disastrous consequences.

However, it is the revenge hit on Joseph that turns things really nasty. Despite their differences and the fact that they don’t get on at all and would rather see each other destroyed, family bonds are not bonds that are easily broken and this loyalty is what drives Bobby to dive head first into the most dangerous of situations in order to catch the man behind his brother’s hit.

Nothing awaits the Grusinsky family but bloody tragedy – but this tragedy is indeed the crucible to bind a divided family even closer together!

We Own the Night is a 2007 crime/drama movie written and directed by James Gray (his third ever flick and surprise, surprise his third crime/drama). It stars Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes and Robert Duvall.

The story is nice and gritty, and fairly simple to follow, with not to many big surprises or twists in the tale – just typical good cop/gangster drama that holds no punches and tells a story that even though it doesn’t emotionally attach to any of the characters or situations, does manage to capture your attention and keeps you engrossed for the duration of the movie. The main theme that runs strongly through this movie is that of family bonds and the indisputable fact that blood is thicker than water. It examines to just what length a person would go to look after their own, no matter the consequences or the danger that could stand in their way.

The movie starts off slowly enough and takes time to build up both sides of the family before rushing headlong into an action sequence that just continues to up the tension and the action for the rest of the story. – The camera work and the occasional use of monochromatic sequences and clever sound tricks enhances the more dramatic scenes and you are left with a very technically adept movie that looks good and feels polished.

Seasoned actors Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg give splendid performances though Joaquin without a doubt steals the show as Bobby. Eva Mendes isn’t half bad either and we get another solid performance from veteran actor Robert Duvall.

The soundtrack for We Own the Night contains a lot of 80’s music, so be warned. The opening sequences can be pretty tough going for anyone who despises that particular era’s sounds. The soundtrack for the movie is composed by Howard Shore, a veteran composer whose most notable works includes the music for The Silence of the Lambs, Mrs. Doubtfire, Philadelphia, Ed Wood, Se7en, Dogma, High Fidelity, Panic Room, The Departed and The Aviator, the last of which earned him a Golden Globe. He is also the man behind the music for the highly successful Lord of the Rings trilogy.

We Own the Night turns out to be a very competent, well-executed and straight forward crime drama that is thoroughly gritty and engrossing and is sure to entertain you, even if isn’t necessarily your most favourite of genres. It has some good and gritty action sequences, plenty of drama and one or two clever little surprises in store for you, but at the heart of it all it follows a pretty much tried and tested formula and therefore won’t disappoint any fans of the genre.

We Own the Night1 We Own the Night2 We Own the Night3

Related Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0498399/

Ghost Rider My Reviews 10 APR 2007

ghost riderSo we decided to give Ghost Rider a shot over the weekend. Now, I’ve always been a fan of the comic, especially when Salvador Laroca was doing the pencils on the book. So when Marvel’s latest comic book hero to film star landed on our shores, I pretty much had to go see what they’ve done with the old chap.

Now not being one of Nicholas Cages greatest fans ever, I was already cringing at the fact that I’d have to be seeing old Snake Eyes in all the non-CG shots. That said, I was pleasantly surprised how well Cage pulled this one off. I genuinely enjoyed his portrayal of old flame head. He was goofy, he was serious, and he was fairly likeable, all rolled into one. Eva Mendes made an appearance as the love affair in the movie, and though I don’t know too much about her, I cant really say bad things about her. And although it isn’t necessarily a bad thing for her fans, I really do wonder if she knows how to do up the top button on any one of her outfits.

Live action aside, this movie was always going to be made or broken on the strength of its CG scenes. And in this regard it didn’t disappoint. The CG was pretty awesome. Very nice overlays, backgrounds and special effects make Ghost Rider a feast on the eyes. Super-powered villains, hot bikes and whipping chains all look and feel good in this one. The soundtrack was okay. Probably. I can’t say it really stuck in my head so I can’t really remember if it was any good at all.

All this praise aside though, the movie really comes out feeling ordinary. I cant really talk badly about it, nor can I rave about it. It was a perfectly ordinary (some would say boring) super hero yarn. A definite must for fans of the character, but for most people this is one movie they can safely skip over.