MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:28 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Ray Liotta, Forest Whitaker, Sean Faris, Michael Chiklis, Common
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Released On: April 23, 2013
Kiddie Movie: Send them to bed.
Date Movie: It’s suspenseful and sometimes violent. She might snuggle.
Gratuitous Sex: Not really.
Gratuitous Violence: Some pretty good quality kills.
Action: It’s pretty much all set in the diner. No major chase scenes here.
Laughs: Nah.
Memorable Scene: You could tell amiss was everywhere when Will went to the bathroom.
Memorable Quote: Nothing stood out.
Directed By: David Armstrong
Cool Things about the Blu-ray: Nothing really – just a “behind the scenes” featurette.

I really wanted to like “Pawn” a lot more than I did, I mean it had Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta, Michael Chiklis, and even Common did a good job in his role, but sometimes a movie goes for too many twists and turns, and I think this is where “Pawn” kind of loses it a bit.

First, let’s get to the story…

We get a dude being interrogated in a hospital bed, and we get a scene with Will (Whitaker) entering a diner. Will is also a police office. It’s obvious something is amiss in the diner as Will seems like a regular, and Charlie (Stephen Lang) behind the bar sends off signals that there is a robbery in progress. As the movie would have it things are really amiss in this diner, people are not who they seem, and we are supposed to be led on an hour and a half suspense ride of “who really are the bad guys,” but instead we have Nick (Sean Faris), fresh out of jail, and being set up as the real bad guy, the pawn as it would be, and we are supposed to wonder if Common will be able to figure out that Nick isn’t bad, just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or is he really the bad guy?

I’m not going to go too much more into this movie so as not to spoil it should you rent or buy it, but I will say that I find it odd that the mob ends up looking like a complete bunch of boobs in this movie, and although sometimes they get portrayed that way, I’m thinking Ray Liotta’s character, simply credited as “Man in a Suit,” would never be a part of the mistake going on there.

The acting is good, I was surprised to find as many big names in the movie as there are, but I think the movie would have been better served with one less twist or turn, and just let the movie play out where the cops thought Nick was the bad guy, and go from there.

A decent enough thriller, some quality kills, but a story that tries too hard leaves “Pawn” as a 3 star out of 5 from me. A lot of potential lost in a lot of muck.

In terms of the extras on the Blu-ray, well, you aren’t getting this one for the extras because there is just a basic, behind-the-scenes kind of featurette where pretty much we get young actors saying how awesome it was, yet slightly intimidating, to work alongside some legends.  Good enough.

That’s it for this one! I’m the Dude on the Right! L8R!!!


MPAA Rated – R
It’s 2:04 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Jordi Molla, Ray Liotta, Paul Reubens
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: New Line Cinema
Release Date: 2001
Kiddie Movie: Unless you want them to be drug dealers, or users. Actually, maybe you should bring them – it might scare them straight.
Date Movie: She might get frightened and hold your hand.
Gratuitous Sex: Some.
Gratuitous Violence: Some pretty gratuitous violence.
Action: Not really, it’s more of a drama.
Laughs: Not really.
Memorable Scene: Most of the movie is a scene.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Ted Demme

After seeing “Blow” I almost think I can be a drug dealer. Granted I wouldn’t have the guts to get started in the first place, but it was a nice lesson in things to and not to do if you plan on dealing drugs. But first, let’s give you a brief rundown of the story.

In “Blow” you’ve got Johnny Depp playing the real-life drug dealer George Jung. George is one of those guys who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and in the end at the wrong place at the wrong time. Through the story we get to see George finding himself on a beach in California with his buddy Tuna (Ethan Suplee). Life is well, especially with their being able to hang out with a bunch of stewardesses, and getting high. Paid a visit by another buddy, George realizes that there is a market for good pot on the east coast, hooks up with Derek (Paul Reubens) who can get the pot, but the trick is getting it there. Good for him his girlfriend is a stewardess because their luggage doesn’t get checked at the airport so they are the perfect carriers.

As his east coast business grows, well, George eventually gets caught and winds up doing some jail time. Lucky for him, though, that he ends up meeting Diego (Jordi Molla) who tells George to get to the big time he has to meet Pablo Escabar (Cliff Curtis) and that the real money is in cocaine. George works it big-time, and life is good. But, of course, it’s not. He marries a dudette named Mirtha (Penelope Cruz), gets stabbed in the back by his supposed friends, and loses everything. If only he could make one more run he could get back on his feet and take his daughter away. Oh, if only.

“Blow” is a really good movie, complete with quality violence, a lovely story, it keeps things at a good clip so you don’t really get bored at seeing all of the fun George is having with his life, and Ray Liotta continues to show that he is a top-notch actor. Too much money, too many drugs, and George falls into the same pitfalls as you would think – all roads lead to jail. Too bad George didn’t head some of the following rules (at least we know them now): Don’t get high on your own supply; Women are evil, especially those that, when you comment to them that they should quit doing cocaine because they are pregnant, well, they say that at least they quit smoking; Spend the extra money and launder your money through the United States, or at least a less volatile country, and maybe set up a Swiss bank account rather than store it is said volatile country; Even if you get shot, don’t give up the name of your middleman because your partner will stab you in the back and undercut you; If you clean up your act, don’t attend a party thrown by your wife which is attended by all of your old drug buddies; and, if after a whole bunch of years you run into an old buddy saying he can get you that one last run, one last big score, well, odds are he’s now working for the Feds. Just some rules to live by as a drug dealer.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a good drama with a pretty depressing story, “Blow” just might be the movie for you. Johnny Depp kicks ass as George, showing a weird innocence at mostly just being amazed at what he has been able to do. I give “Blow” 4 stars out of 5.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Cop Land

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:45 Long
A Review by:
Stu Gotz

Cop Land
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Miramax
Release Date: 1997
Kiddie Movie: Lots of use of the “F” word, and a nudie bar scene so I’d say probably not.
Date Movie: It’s a good drama, bring them along.
Gratuitous Sex: Some boob shots in the nudie bar.
Gratuitous Violence: Some quality kills, blood, and a gory burn victim.
Action: No real high speed car chases in this one, but some pretty good suspense type scenes.
Laughs: Not really.
Memorable Scene: None stand out, just the whole movie is good.
Memorable Quote: Again, none stand out.
Directed By: James Mangold

I’ll be honest with you, when I first heard about “Cop Land” all I knew was that Sylvester Stallone was to star in the movie. Knowing this I honestly thought the movie was doomed to be cheesy. Let’s face it folks, Stallone has a knack, or maybe a curse, that in any movie he has top billing, although often action packed and entertaining, it tends to be over-acted and unbelievable. I call it the “Stallone Factor.” With that I wrote the movie off. But then I heard that Di Niro, Liotta, and Harvey “The Bad Lieutenant” Keitel were also in the movie. Hmm… maybe this movie would be good after all. You know what? It wasn’t good… It was GREAT! Best cop/mob drama I’ve seen in a long time, and maybe that Stallone curse is lifted!

Unlike other cop and mob movies, “Cop Land” doesn’t overdue stereotypes and avoids all those cliché high speed chase scenes that end up in monumental explosions. Instead, we are given an overweight, droopy Sheriff Freddy Heflin (Stallone) who desperately wants to be an NYPD Cop. Problem is he’s partially deaf, and therefore winds up being the patsy Sheriff of a podunk New Jersey town. This really doesn’t sit all that well with him, but what else is he to do? Harvey Keitel plays Ray Donlan – You can think of him as the “Godfather” of bad cops, and it’s a role he plays well. All of the bad cops in New York’s 34th precinct report to him, and he keeps the heat off them courtesy of mob money.

Now, in order to keep better tabs on his men and get some pretty safe housing at cheap interest rates, Ray and the mob boys have worked it out over the years so that the players in this cop game get the low interest loans, usually in exchange for bending the law and always keeping their mouths shut. Basically the cops of the 34th own Garrison, New Jersey (didn’t Pullman try something similar in Chicago?), and this land has its own rules, which Sheriff Freddy really has no control over. Anyway, “Cop Land” also has the likes of Gary “Figs” Figgis, played by Ray Liotta, as a coked out (and I’m not talkin’ soda) cop who wants out of it all. This doesn’t sit too well with Ray. And lastly, we have the smooth, NYPD Internal Affairs Investigator, Moe Tilden (Robert Di Niro), who knows what’s going on and desperately wants to expose it all, but he doesn’t have that one piece of evidence to put the case together. So, how does it all play out? Well… I don’t want to spoil it for. Just know this – Ray is one heartless mother-fucker, Sheriff Freddy gets a spine, and a lot of bad cops wind up dead.

For me the best way to describe “Cop Land” is “believable.” Sitting there in the theater I really felt sorry for poor, dim-witted Sheriff Freddy, I felt rage when I thought about what a ruthless bastard Ray was, and I just loved Di Niro’ s portrayal of a sneaky and cynical IA officer. With that being said I give “Cop Land” 4 of 5 stars. A great movie – ’nuff said, and I’m Stu Gotz.