Victoria Jelinek

The Nice Guys

April 21, 2016 – The Nice Guys – Poster and cover for the official soundtrack that will be released by Lakeshore Recors on May 20, 2016

In 1970’s Los Angeles, private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and enforcer-for-hire Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) team up to investigate the case of a missing girl connected to the death of a porn star. March is a washed up detective who looks smooth, and who stays just on the ‘right’ side of the law due to the wise intelligence of his daughter. Healy is discouraged by modern society and struggles to better himself, even as he can’t seem to maintain a relationship with anybody and prefers to use force rather than words.

I think Shane Black’s movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is absolutely first rate, but The Nice Guys is firmly placed on my list of top 20 films-of-all-time. The script is excellent – smart, fast and witty with an undercurrent of poignancy – paralleling the entire film. While Director Shane Black throws in hard-bitten aspects of film noir (thugs, femme fatales, conspiracies, and fading glamor) for our enjoyment, and the pairing of Crowe and Gosling is hilarious, there is true depth to this film as it meditates on the American psyche through the 1970’s, when the country struggled to find its purpose after the assassination of promising political figures in the 1960’s and the end of the Vietnam War.

A must see film that has left me wishing Shane Black made more movies.

Robin Hood
May 12, 2010, 1:56 pm
Filed under: Published film reviews | Tags: , , ,

Richard The Lionheart and his right-hand man, Loxley, are slain in France when returning from the Third Crusade (1199). It’s left to one of their archers, Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe), to return Richard’s crown to London and Loxley’s sword to Nottingham. There, compelled to pose as Loxley, Longstride finds himself embroiled in politics and tackling a French plot that’s abetted by the traitorous Sir Godfrey.

It’s been a long time since there’s been a summer release that feels like an event film, and this is it. Darkly shot and Medieval in feel, Director Ridley Scott’s (GLADIATOR) film is a huge production that’s simply fun. It cost $200 million dollars to make and it’s already earned this money back in its release in the states and the UK alone.

While Crowe’s accent meanders (though never as bad as Kevin Costner’s, nor is there a mullet in sight), his often-seen scowl is replaced, here, with a twinkle in his eye and a sense of bonhomie. As an aside, Crowe spent four months learning how to shoot a bow and arrow, and can hit a target from 45m.

This film is action-packed but not juvenile – grown up without taking itself too seriously – and a summer ‘event film’ release that leaves you wanting more. (12A)