The Monocle – “Lawless”

Why, hello there! I hadn’t seen you come in. Please! Make yourself at home. Help yourself to some tea, and the biscuits will be on their way shortly.What was that? Oh goodness, pardon my dimness. But of course! You’re not here for that- no, no, no. You’re here for something much, much, more. You’re here because you fancy yourself a means of receiving the absolute best in cinema examination. Is that correct? Well it seems you’re in luck, my deer friend, for you have stumbled upon the beginning of “The Monocle.”

Here, the Classy Deer herd will help quell your most maddening curiosities with a quick but thorough analysis on the movies out in theatres today. Now, there is no trickery of any sort here, our writers personally attend these screenings  at regular theatres you may congregate at as well, and we inspect them on all aspects of cinematic structure (i.e. cinematography, acting, screenplay, so on and so forth). Operating on a 1 – 5 “Bowtie” scoring system, you will easily recognize just how prestigious we deem the movie to be, with the best movies earning a “Golden Bowtie” of approval.

You may proceed to  “Oooooh!” and “Aahhhh!”

However, “to each their own,” we do not take this as an opportunity to muddle your minds, but to simply place a perspective from which you may base your own sophisticated thoughts upon. And with that, be sure to regularly aware yourself of future posts which we will update you on our Facebook page. I do hope you enjoy our very first review featured below.

Have a splendid day my fellow deer lovers!

Sincerely,

Directed by: John Hillcoat
Written by: Nick Cave
Released: August 29, 2012
Theatre watched at: Century 8, North Hollywood

 
Happy Post-Labor Day everyone! Speaking of labor, boy do the  Bondurant brothers handle their business. In “Lawless,” Forrest, Howard, and Jack Bondurant (played by Tom Hardy, Jason Clark, and Shia LaBeouf respectively) are having to deal with the repercussions of running a liquor bootlegging business in the midst of Prohibition in 1930’s Virgina. That means having to put up with the corrupt and psychotic actions of Special Agent Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) who comes into town from Chicago, planning to force the Bondurants to give up a percentage of their illegal activities in order to make sure things stay seemingly….under the law. Guess what, they “…don’t bow down to nobody.” And so a bloody and viscous war ensues between the liquor bootleggers and the cops.

Such an epic set-up, and yet, it doesn’t quite reach the peak it sets for itself, however this movie is still a gorgeous and powerfully acted piece of work that excels largely in placing you in a convincing 1930’s America atmosphere. I’ll start off by placing my bet that either Tom Hardy or Guy Pearce will be nominated at the Oscars for their performances.

Tom Hardy, fresh off of Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises,” wins me with another polished performance as brutal, mumbling, and quite humorously awkward, Forrest Bondurant. Hardy has easily become one of my new favorite actors for his immersed and physically creative approach to his characters. I’ve never felt so terrified by a character saying the cliche phrase “Don’t you ever touch me again.”

As for Guy Pearce (Prometheus, Memento), man what fun it must have to play Charlie Rakes! His character is this narcissistic, egotistical, playboy-wannabe, high-pitched giggle freak, whose sole means of getting what he wants is by hitting/shooting anyone he comes into contact with. He’s intoxicatingly fun to watch here, I wish they had explored his character a bit deeper. As for the rest of the cast, they do an amazing job all together, although unsurprisingly, LaBeouf’s performance can’t hold up to anyone else. One of my more personal disappointments was that Gary Oldman had much less screen time than I thought he would get! *sob sob* But what’s a 30’s centered flick without a mobster right? (Sidenote: If you were a fan of the beginning of the year’s “Chronicle” and were delighted by the actors in them, you’ll be happy to see Dane DeHaan having a fairly prominent supporting role here as Cricket, the brother’s close friend and brewer mastermind.)

As for the film itself, the plot is nothing new. At times I had difficulty really focusing on who I was suppose to be rooting for, mostly due to the narrative shifting to Jack’s view most of the time yet having so much of the weight of the story on Forrest. However, the photography and sheer amazing visuals make up for this. I’m also thinking this movie could be nominated for set design as well. If that’s not enough,  it’s badass throughout, with intense moments of violence and blood that are effective and not just for show.

Overall, I enjoyed this flick and think it’s definitely worth a trip to the theatre despite its shortcomings in narrative. There’s enough awesome performances and beautiful visuals to make this a great end to the 2012 Summer line-up.