In the Age of Netflix: Quick Reviews of Some Older Movies (The Departed; The Marine; The Guardian)

by on March 8th, 2015
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The Departed
Starring Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg & Martin Sheen
(There’s a Baldwin in it too, but I hate the Baldwins, so other than this mention, he was a bit unmentionable in relation to the flick, save a few quippy lines)

Bottom Line – – – Loved it. Nicholson was at the top of his game as a sort of mobster playing both sides of the law to his own twisted tune in my favorite city, Boston. I am not much of a DiCaprio fan, but past my own prediliction to rip apart any performance the guy can deliver, he played the role of a hard-knock kid turned undercover hoodlum set out to bring down Nicholson and his gang. I am a bit prejudiced where Matt Damon is concerned, but even as much as I love the guy and was thrilled to see he and Wahlberg in their hometown digs, Matt just didn’t take the role to the high level that he could have as Nicholson’s wonderboy/mole on the career fast track embedded in the local PD. Wahlberg’s character was a bit over the top and the play between he and Martin Sheen’s straight cop routine was classic and provided much of the laughs throughout the movie.

They hyped this one as an Oscar contender when it came out, and the Academy did not disappoint. Hollywood has been hardpressed to put anything out as entertaining as this one in a long time. Scorcese did himself proud. My vote – 3.5 out of 4 “Oh Yeah”s

The Marine
Starring some WWE wrestler and the hot chick from Nip/Tuck (yeah, neither of them are that important to name) and Robert Patrick of Terminator 2 fame.

This movie was a little cheesy, and relatively short by recent movie measures (I think it was over in like 90 minutes)… but the action, choreography, cinematography were fabulous. I really enjoyed the action, and even some of the very cliche humor caused a laugh, but the acting was a little substandard, even for Patrick. Glad I caught this as a double feature at the drive-in the first time and didn’t pay full theater price, but catching it again in streaming was more entertaining since I didn’t have to fork out any more green for the experience.

Rightfully so, no awards were given for this (except maybe for a Razzie or two), but it was entertaining enough. My vote – 2.5 out of 4 “Oh Yeah”s

The Guardian
Starring Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher & Sela Ward.

Okay – I didn’t like either of the male leads of this movie, but as the second feature of the above double feature headliner, I decided to give the story a chance. Reminscent of Officer & A Gentleman and Top Gun, this one fit the formula and managed to not go too over the top. No one ever thinks of the US Coast Guard as a romantic “Ooh Rah” type of military organization, but having lived in Alaska myself and having heard the tragic stories of people unfortunately lost in the very rough, very cold Bering Sea and other just as tough spots out in the vast Pacific, I was interested enough to see how they would portray the heroic rescue swimmers who are sent out when lives are in distress.

Costner was his usual bland self, void of any dramatic emotion, as is typical of his style – but Kutcher was shockingly believable in his role as the Ace school candidate with a sad past haunting his purpose and ability to be a real team player. The action and scenery was good while showing rescue missions, and there were a few parts of the training shots (the bulk of the story is here) where corny cliche was won over by some real audience connection time. All in all, you come out of watching this movie with a real respect for the people of the Coast Guard portrayed in this movie who risk their lives saving others.

No awards here either, but this is another re-watchable movie. My vote – 3 out of 4 “Oh Yeah”s

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