Pubdate: Thu, 30 Aug 2012
Source: Pique Newsmagazine (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Pique Publishing Inc.
Author: Feet Banks


Marijuana is in the news a lot out here in B.C., with a lot of people 
calling the U.S.-spearheaded "War on Drugs" a total failure. Many are 
saying prohibition doesn't work and that one of the reasons we even 
have organized crime right now is due to the U.S. prohibition of 
alcohol from 1920-33.

Said Prohibition certainly produced its fair share of gangsters, but 
it also spawned the gangster movie. Flicks like the original Scarface 
(1932) and The Public Enemy came out before the Prohibition era even 
ended. Angels with Dirty Faces dropped in '38 and Hollywood has been 
enthralled with the genre ever since.

This week, director John Hillcoat (The Road, The Proposition) takes 
us back into the Prohibition but focuses instead on rural 
bootleggers. When the gangsters in the city unload a truck full of 
hooch in the middle of the night, this is where it came from.

Shia LaBeouf (Disturbia, Transformers), Jason Clark (Rabbit-Proof 
Fence, Death Race) and Tom Hardy (Warrior, Inception, Dark Knight 
Rises) play the Bondurant Brothers - bootlegger/distillers whose 
safe-sized operation gets a shake-up when the real gangsters roll 
into town. The G-men follow right behind, led by a particularly 
sadistic nutbar federal agent played by Guy Piece (Memento, Count of 
Monte Cristo) and what follows is a classic tale of ambition, 
corruption and the American Dream (with a preacher's-daughter love 
story tossed in for kicks).

Lawless is pretty badass but the story is hijacked by Hillcoat's 
attention to style. He continues to make meticulously great-looking 
films about the hard times and tough decisions (it can almost be 
called "bleak-chic") but he doesn't nail the pacing or character 
relationships this time around. Lawless doesn't careen uncontrollably 
towards a climax the way the best gangster films do and for three 
blood brothers the character relationships seem a bit hollow. Still, 
it's worth seeing. Lawless opens Friday at the always-good-times 
Village 8 Theatres.

Shia LaBoeuf is a bit of a gangster himself. He apparently grew up in 
one of the rougher parts of L.A. and, after cashing in on some 
blockbusters, seems happy to openly speak his mind. Recently he 
admitted to eating LSD on set to research for his role in the 
upcoming The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman and had this to 
say: "There's a way to do an acid trip like Harold and Kumar, and 
there's a way to be on acid."

Which is undeniably true and this committed-at-all-costs method 
acting has worked for guys like Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Al 
Pacino, Christian Bale and Daniel Day Lewis. LaBoeuf claims to be 
tired of making big studio, Transformer-y style blockbusters and 
wants to work more on his craft. Chewing tabs on a movie set will 
undoubtedly provide plenty of insight. Best of luck to the guy.

Speaking of bad trips, Possession also opens Friday. It's a 
devil-inside horror rendition of the Pandora's box story filtered 
through a based-on-true-events account of a little girl who gets 
possessed by a gnarly evil spirit.

No pre-screenings for this one (good for horror films because 
surprise matters) but the bad news is it's rated PG. The good news is 
Possession is produced by Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Spider Man) and 
directed by Danish actor/producer/director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch). 
It looks pretty awesome, despite Kyra Sedgewick.

I guess the lesson today is don't do drugs unless you're not afraid 
to admit it, and it's the innocent who usually get screwed over 
and/or possessed.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom