Saturday, September 28, 2013

Could do better

American Gangster: Disappointing film loosely (very loosely) based on the life of Frank Lucas, a black gangster who made good in the drug trade of 1970s New York. Unfortunately the decision to portray him as a cultured, noble, even heroic man, and to downplay the appalling way he treats his subordinates and family members, means that what could have been an interesting and complex exploration of how intelligent and ambitious members of minority groups are drawn to crime (q.v. Scarface), instead winds up giving a pass to a deeply awful human being. The period detail is nicely done, though.

Kick Ass II: Disappointing adaption of the comic, which strips out the wicked subversiveness and just presents us with a right-wing nerd fantasy.

Movie count for 2013: 53