Gangster Land (2017)

Director: Timothy Woodward Jr

Writer: Ian Patrick Williams (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Faris, Milo Gibson, Jason Patric, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Peter Facinelli, Mark Rolston, Michael Pare, Sean Kanan

 

Plot: The story of America’s most famous mobsters and their rise to power, GANGSTER LAND examines Al Capone’s ascension through the eyes of his second in command, “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn. Once an amateur boxer, McGurn is lured into the Italian mafia after the murder of his step-father. Upon joining, he rises swiftly through the ranks along with friend and eventual Boss, Capone. As the Italian mob becomes the most lucrative criminal organization in the country, tensions build with “Bugs” Moran and the Irish mob which ignites a brutal gang war culminating with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.


Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Gangster Lesson

 

Story: Gangster Land starts in prohibition era America, Chicago, where amateur box Jack McGurn (Faris) is trying to find a way to make extra money, Al Capone (Gibson) see potential in making him part of the Italian Mafia in the on-going war with the Irish.

When the peace is well and truly shattered the bosses are targeted leaving Al Capone to rise to power in the Mafia where he recruits Jack McGurn to be his second in power, the problem is the bloodshed is increasing on a seemingly daily basis and George ‘Bugs’ Moran (Facinelli) isn’t losing his Irish Mafia without a fight.

 

Thoughts on Gangster Land

 

Characters – Jack McGurn is an amateur boxer that after his father is gunned down by the Irish mob joins the Italian Mafia as Al Capone’s righthand man gaining the reputation and nickname of ‘Machine Gun’ as it becomes his weapon of choice while gunning down the Irish. Al Capone is a name we have all heard before, an icon in the Mafia history, here we follow how he got placed in the position of head of the Chicago branch waging war against the Irish. Detective Reed is one of the few honest cops shown in the film, he knows the problems but not how to solve them. Lulu is the dancer Jack falls for, she becomes the beacon of light for Jack even after she isn’t interested just because of the suit Jack was wearing. George ‘Bugs’ Moran rises to power in the Irish Mob, he has a short temper which leads to him going after Jack and Al.

PerformancesSean Faris takes the leading role in this film and he is great as he keeps our attention with every decision his character makes. Milo Gibson gets to step into the iconic gangster role where he must compete with many actors to have played the role, he is good in this role never looking out of place. The rest of the cast give good performances through the film.

StoryThe story follows how the events of the St Valentine’s Day Massacre came about with the rise of Machine Fun Jack McGurn and Al Capone in the Mafia. We have nearly all heard of the story of Al Capone or at least heard the name, so watching how he had early days in the mafia with his righthand man McGurn rise to power is interesting and the story doesn’t fall into the mindless over the top gangster traits. As I do struggle through gangster films as time, I did find myself enjoying how this one unfolded, the storytelling process makes each scene feel like you want to see more.

CrimeThe crime side of the film comes from the world we are entering, showing us just how the gangs were acting towards each other.

SettingsThe film is set in Chicago in the 1920s, I feel the whole film does feel authentic for the time we are watching unfold.


Scene of the Movie –
Machine Gun’s Plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would have liked more facts about what happened.

Final ThoughtsThis is a gangster film that shows you can make the calm ones that show historical events, it has the beginning of Al Capone and his righthand man as well as showing how the St Valentine’s Day Massacre unfolded, this is something both interesting and compelling to see.

 

Overall: Stylish gangster movie.

Rating

 

 

Hollow Man 2 (2006)

logoDirector: Claudio Fah

Writer: Joel Soisson (Screenplay) Gary Scott Thompson (Story)

Starring: Christian Slater, Peter Facinelli, Laura Regan, David McIlwraith, William MacDonald, Sarah Deakins  

Plot: Following the re-launch of the project from the first film, Michael Griffin (Slater) takes over as the murderous Hollow-man. Believed that he will not get a chance to become normal again, Michael goes after the people who could save him. Maggie Dalton (Regan) was part of the team that worked on the project, but after Police officer Lisa Martinez (Deakins) is murdered her partner Frank (Facinelli) teams up with Dalton to uncover the truth.   While they are looking for answers, Michael chases them down, but her bosses are using them as bait Colonel Bishop (MacDonald) leads the man hunt for Doctor Reisner (McIlwraith) but can anybody stop Michael?  

Verdict: Poor Sequel

Story: When the first one came out, it was brave and interesting, this tries to live off the success of the original with one of the worst storylines I have seen in recent years. You have idiot cops who spend time looking for an invisible man, injecting them with the drug that makes them invisible without worrying about the side effects even after seeing those side effects. There is zero character development on the villains and very weak on the heroes. In the end it is like an extended rampage of the invisible man with his origin. (2/10)  

Actor Review: Christian Slater – Michael the hollow man himself, determined to find the formula to make him live long he will kill to get it. Considering he is only actually seen near the end, it is more of a voice over performance and Christian really has slipped off the radar after his early roles. (5/10)  

slater

Actor Review: Peter Facinelli – Frank the cop out for revenge after his partner is murdered by the hollow man. He breaks plenty of laws to get his vengeances to chase down the hollow man. Not the best performance or the best written character. (3/10)

pete

Actor Review: Laura Regan – Maggie the scientist who knows the hollow man is after because she worked on the project to making him invisible. Another poor performance, showing that this should have been played by a more capable actoress. (3/10)  

laura

Actor Review: David McIlwraith – William Reisner the lead scientist who made the hollow man the way he was and left him for dead. Simple doctor performance who never really excels. (4/10)  

doc

Actor Review: William MacDonald – Colonel Bishop the man behind the project that has lied to the people involved and now has to cover up the truth before it is too late. Typical Colonel Performance trying to be strict without really being in charge. (5/10)  

 

Director Review: Claudio Fah – Looks like he struggled to handle the material given to him, doesn’t live up to the original or anywhere near it. (3/10)  

Action: Fights with an invisible man, doesn’t work. (4/10)

Horror: Loses the horror aspects created in original. (3/10)

Sci-Fi: Fast forwards over the sci-fi side of the story. (3/10)

Special Effects: Poor special effects used unlike the original. (4/10)

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: The settings are not used well, as everyone seems to go the most obvious places to hide instead of the smart choices. (2/10)

Suggestion: After the Kevin Bacon one was very popular and very well made this is like a spoof film that shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breathe as the first one. (Avoid)  

Best Part: Nothing

Worst Part: Turner takes the drug with no effects but others go through incredible pain.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No franchise killer

Tagline: There’s more to terror than meets the eye  

Overall: Awful Sequel That Insults Original Rating 14