GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

2017-01-12 - Las Vegas Weekly

Las Vegas Weekly

Issue link: http://digital.greenspunmedia.com/i/772473

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 58 of 71

AAABC LIVE BY NIGHT Ben Affl eck, Zoe Saldana, Chris Messina. Directed by Ben Affl eck. Rated R. Opens Friday citywide. For his fourth movie as a director, Ben Affl eck returns to the street-level Boston crime of his fi rst two fi lms, once again adapting a novel by Gone Baby Gone author Dennis Lehane. But Live by Night only spends a short amount of time in Affl eck's native Boston, where it opens at the height of Prohibition in the 1920s. Once local criminal Joe Coughlin (Affl eck) hooks up with a big-time mob boss, he's shipped off to southern Florida, where the rest of the movie takes place, and where Boston Irishman Joe eventually builds an empire. The sprawling Live by Night is a bit episodic, with a story that might be better suited to a TV miniseries than a feature fi lm. But it benefi ts from Affl eck's increasingly assured direction, with gorgeous, sweeping cinematography by Robert Richardson and a feel for the glamour and the grit of the time period. Affl eck is sometimes blank as Joe, but he fi lls the supporting cast with talent, including Zoe Saldana as Joe's Cuban wife, Chris Cooper as a confl icted Florida sheriff and Elle Fanning as a haunted young preacher. The gangster storytelling is familiar, but Affl eck fi nds variations in the details, exploring the confl icts between entrenched interests and ambitious immigrants. Even the narrative detours mostly pay off in the end, giving the story a scope greater than its individual parts. It's a worthy addition to Affl eck's Boston crime canon. –Josh Bell + For Patriots Day, their third lm celebrating Real American Heroes (following Lone Sur- vivor and Deepwater Horizon), director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg have done away with the "real" part, inventing a sort of uber-American to place in the middle of a true-life story of heroism. Wahlberg's Boston police o cer Tommy Saunders is like the Forrest Gump of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing: He's there at the marathon nish line when the bombs go o , getting people to safety; he's the rst to interview a driver who was carjacked by the eeing bombers; he's part of the intense shootout that kills bomber Tamerlan Tsar- naev; and he's the rst to discover the hiding place RUNNING ON EMPTY SCREEN AABCC PATRIOTS DAY Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, Michelle Monaghan. Directed by Peter Berg. Rated R. Opens Friday citywide. PATRIOTS DAY STRUGGLES TO BRING A TRUE STORY TO LIFE GANGSTER'S PARADISE AN ASSURED BEN AFFLECK GUIDES LIVE BY NIGHT of Tsarnaev's brother and fellow bomber Dzhokhar, leading to Dzhokhar's capture. He even gives a rous- ing, emotional speech. Wahlberg plays Tommy with his typical working- class stoicism, but he's never much of a character, and the subplots about bombing victims are rushed and often sappy. Berg stages the bombing and shootout sequences with propulsive, visceral intensity, and the supporting cast (including John Goodman, Kevin Bacon and J.K. Simmons) is solid, but the movie is so self- congratulatory (it ends with a 10-minute series of uplifting interviews with the real subjects) that it becomes more about its own hero- ism than the people who lived through the harrowing events. –Josh Bell and the subplots about bombing victims are rushed and often sappy. Berg stages the bombing and shootout sequences with propulsive, visceral intensity, and the supporting cast (including John Goodman, Kevin Bacon and J.K. Simmons) is solid, but the movie is so self- congratulatory (it ends with a 10-minute series of uplifting interviews with the real subjects) that it becomes more ism than the people who lived through the harrowing events. Driver, left, and Garfi eld enjoy the Silence. (Paramount Pictures/Courtesy) L A S V E G A S W E E K LY 0 1 . 1 2 . 1 7

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of GMG - Las Vegas Weekly - 2017-01-12 - Las Vegas Weekly
Subscribe to email alerts