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The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Posts Tagged ‘imdb’

Abt at the Movies-Zero Dark Thirty

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

zero-dark-thirty1

Since “Abt at the Movies” took a brief hiatus, there have been a handful of movies that have come and gone.  Many of which became Oscar winners or nominees this past February at the Academy Awards.  One such film had been under intense scrutiny before it even came out.  Noted for its subject matter and controversial depictions,  Zero Dark Thirty was ruffling feathers and sparking interest before the opening credits even began to roll.  Since its release, it has garnered a wide variety of critical acclaim as well as public outcry, much of which derives from the various interrogation scenes that were, according to the filmmakers, true to life.

The opening of the film is set on a black screen with the headline, “September 11, 2001″.  We hear an audio clip of a woman frantically calling 911.  She is in one of the World Trade Center buildings on a floor above where the first plane just hit.  Her fate is clearly understood in her voice.  A chilling start to the movie, but a necessary part that gives the audience an idea of just why the protagonists in the movie do what they do.

Directed by Katherine Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty showcases a whirlwind of emotions, perfectly crafted by the three lead actors, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke and Kyle Chandler.  The rise and fall and rise again of the chronological hurdles that were faced is nothing short of exhausting.  Chastain earned her Oscar nomination as the beleaguered Maya who, through her tenacity and voracious determination, fought hell and high-water to find her target.

Director Katherine Bigelow does an equally amazing job at telling this story.  No stranger to military-style film-making  Bigelow was recognized by the Academy for her last film, The Hurt Locker.  Her attention to detail and gritty representation of the horrors of warfare were a perfect match to direct this movie.  The time progression in the film is handled perfectly.  With the events that followed September 11th, you are presented a series of immensely intense moments.

We all know the end of the movie.  We know what happened, or we know what we’ve been told, with the events that led up to finally eliminating Osama Bin Laden.  What Bigelow has done, is recreated a series of events spanning over 10 years that catapulted America to locating and disposing one of America’s Most Wanted.  In no small feat she has assimilated every little detail, every nuance and every possible feeling involved and encapsulated them in just under 3 hours of cinema experience.

Zero Dark Thirty is not necessarily an action movie.  It’s not totally a drama and it’s not a documentary.  It’s a primal look into what was gained, lost and then found again, to reach the ultimate catharsis for the players involved and, more appropriately, an entire country and more.  It’s a movie that has subject matter, riddled with a  variety of emotions, and presented them as thoroughly as possible, no matter how gut wrenching they may be.

Make no mistake, this movie can be difficult to watch.  Whether the events of September 11th are still a sensitive subject, or whether the idea of any kind of torture, no matter the outcome, is horrific, emotions will be touched upon in this 2 1/2 hour endeavor.  Zero Dark Thirty is an overall accomplishment in film-making and storytelling.

Rated R for strong violence including brutal disturbing images, and for language.  Running time: 157 minutes.

Summary:

5 out of 5

 

HOME THEATER DEAL OF THE WEEK

Samsung 40-inch Black LED 1080p 3D HDTV UN40F6400

samsung un40f6400

 

 

Enjoy your favorite programming in beautiful high-definition with the Samsung UN40F6400 TV.  With incredible clarity and a Clear Motion Rate of 480, your images will be smooth and blur-free.  Connect directly to the internet to stream your favorite music or programs with the built-in Wi-Fi capabilities and Samsung’s proprietary Smart Hub TV.

Abt at the Movies – Gangster Squad

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Gangster-Squad

It’s BACK! “Abt at the Movies”.  Every Tuesday we will be showcasing a new movie to come to home video.  In addition, there will be a special price on a select home theater item.  Check out our weekly reviews and piece together your dream home theater!

Gangster Squad

It doesn’t take us long to realize that the bad guy in this film is Sean Penn’s Mickey Cohen. I say that because after a brief narration showing Cohen boxing, we are taken to the high hills of Hollywood California behind the famous “Hollywood” sign. Cohen has a rival visiting Chicago gangster tied with chains between two cars as a couple of hungry wolves look on ravenously. In an obvious attempt to send a message back to Chicago about Cohen’s unwillingness to listen to anyone but himself, he tells both drivers to put the pedal to the metal and we see said Chicago gangster split in two as the wolves…well, you know.

A gruesome introduction to a clearly maniacal leader who wishes to have Los Angeles between his fingertips.  While Mickey finds no competition from outside gangsters, there is a lawman who sees Los Angeles, not as a place to be owned, but to be protected.  Sgt. John O’Mara played by Josh Brolin has an equally telling introduction as he is seen following a man who picks up a starry eyed girl from outside California hoping to make it big. O’Mara clearly knows this guy’s scam and follows him, much to the dismay of his partner who refuses to join his partner. Why? Because the creeper guy works for Mickey Cohen, a Los Angeles untouchable, even for the LA Police.  Not one to avoid conflict, O’Mara  proceeds to enter the guarded Cohen building and proceeds to crack some heads, break some hands, shoot some baddies and save the starry eyed girl from a disastrous outcome.

Upon returning to the police station,  O’Mara gets chewed out by his boss for doing his job, and being told that he should have never entered the world of Cohen’s.  Just shy of receiving disciplinary action, O’Mara leaves frustrated and is then approached by the grizzly Chief Parker played by the equally grizzly Nick Nolte.  Here, he offers O’Mara a proposition to put together a team featuring Ryan Gosling, Robert Patrick, Michael Pena, Anthony Mackie and Giovanni Ribisi.  They do whatever they can, off-the-books, to bring down Cohen’s criminal enterprise once and for all.

I found the look and feel of the movie very compelling. There is something special about a period piece that can recreate the sights and sounds of the post World War 2 generation. The songs, styles and overall look are remarkably recreated. I’m a sucker for noir stories, both for their look and feel and Gangster Squad hits the nail on the head in that department. Rainy nights, dark alleys, gruesome death scenes and so much more are sprinkled throughout the movie, it’s enough to satiate any hard boiled detective fan.

Where the movie does fault is in the pacing and the actual script of the movie. Once O’Mara puts together his rag-tag team of do-anything tough guys, it quickly moves from shoot out to shoot out without any intelligent progression. Penn’s Cohen character comes across as wildly blood-thirsty in several scenes, so much so, it looks like a parody of a Dick Tracy villain; prosthetic nose and all!

The movie also tries to stuff in a superfluousness story line featuring Gosling and Emma Stone‘s character as she secretly has a love triangle between him and Mickey Cohen.  It’s a really disappointing result and a distraction from the movie.  If you want to see Gosling and Stone all kissy-faced, check out Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Gangster Squad does a great job at recreating the look and feel of post World War 2 Los Angeles. Giving viewers a glimpse into the seedy, gangster ruled underground is fun, but the execution lacks in offering a lasting impression.  The script is, at times, laughable and can come across as a 1950′s gangster parody. A decent 2 hour crime drama, but do yourself a favor and check out others like L.A. Confidential or pretty much anything with Humphrey Bogart for a taste of great noir films.

Rated R for strong violence and language. Running time: 113 minutes.

Summary:

2 and half stars

 

HOME THEATER DEAL OF THE WEEK

Samsung Black Blu-ray Disc Player- BD-E5700

samsung bd-e5700

Make the leap to watching gorgeous Blu-ray movies with this Samsung BD-E5700 Blu-ray player.  Enjoy incredible quality video and watch streaming content with the built-in Wi-Fi!

Abt At The Movies- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

We are doing a new weekly segment called “Abt at the Movies”.  Every Tuesday we will be showcasing a new movie to come to home video and there will be a special price on a select home theater item good for one week only.  Check out our reviews and piece together your dream home theater!

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

There have been numerous incarnations of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s titular character  ”Sherlock Holmes” since his inception in the late 1800′s.  After numerous books, radio shows, comics, movies and TV shows, the character Sherlock Holmes and his trusty partner Jon Watson fell by the wayside. That is until Director Guy Ritchie stepped in.  Taking a depart from his usual movies of fast-paced indie action films, he decided to try his hand at creating a blockbuster hit movie with a blockbuster cast and presented his version of Sherlock Holmes, not as a foppish English detective, but as a man who uses his own fists as much as his brains.  Enter Sherlock Holmes in 2009 and you have a smashing success.  In true Hollywood fashion, when the original is good, the sequel MUST be better!

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