REVIEW: BLACK MASS

REVIEW – BLACK MASS – Is Johnny Depp’s return to form as James ‘Whitey’ Bulger in Scott Cooper’s Boston set gangster pic, actually true?

There is no doubt that Johnny Depp is beginning to tire of visiting children’s hospitals dressed as Jack Sparrow. Maybe he’s also fed up of having to sit in Tim Burton’s make up chair for seven hours every day to recreate some fantastical personage that ends up always looking like Johnny Depp with tons of make up. He might even have started watching his own movies, something he denied doing and then made Dark Shadows to show the reason why.

However, Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass” is not quite the masterpiece, to be ranked with the best of Martin Scorsese, that it obviously sets out to be. The fact that the nearest Scorsese film it resembles is the messy minor work The Departed – also set in Boston, also featuring a corrupt law enforcement officer – is perhaps a warning sign. And yet The Departed was a noisily entertaining lump of grunge with a wonderfully over the top Jack Nicholson performance, full of grand Guignol verve. Black Mass is altogether more respectable. It’s a polished piece of film that tastefully harks back to the seventies. It’s layered narrative feels like an after thought and its script has a tendency to lead the audience by the nostrils, but it isn’t dull. It’s good TV. Not great TV. Good TV.

James Whitey Bulger (Depp) is a small time hood, being squeezed by the Italian mafia but when John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) comes back to South Boston after landing a job in the FBI he brokers a deal whereby in return for the Italians, the FBI will turn a blind eye to, if not facilitate Bulger’s rise in the crime world.  Bulger himself is a weird Vampiric creature who is closer to the Madhatter than he is to Donnie Brasco. This is a huge problem with the film. You don’t see a character. You see contact lenses and a weird swimming cap bald piece. Just once I’d love Johnny Depp to be in a film in which he wasn’t review as ‘unrecognizable’. He is given lots of great scenes – the family recipe one feels like an instant classic – but this is also the problem: lots of great scenes does not a story, nor a character make. And many of the scenes appear to be at the service of Depp, showing how threatening etc he is. But it is a one note performance. A scene with his wife (Dakota Johnson) is so underwritten on her part that it feels like the two of them have never met let alone had a child together. Edgerton actually has the more interesting role and he pulls it off, amazingly, while still looking like Joel Edgerton!

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50 SHADES OF GREY 2: SCRIPT LEAK

HOLLYWOOD – 50 Shades of Grey 2 doesn’t go into production for a few months but the script is complete and Studio Exec has gained EXCLUSIVE access to the final draft.

INT. A CORRIDOR. NIGHT.

We move down a corridor towards a bedroom door.

 ANASTASIA (O.S.)

No, oh no. Stop. Oh it’s too much. Stop please!

CHRISTIAN (O.S.)

You know you want it.

We go through the door and into…

INT. DARK BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Candles light the dark bedroom of Christian Gray. Clothes trail across the floor. A red evening dress, some lacy lingerie.

Anastasia Steele is in bed. Her hands are tied to the bed posts and she is blindfolded. She has put on a lot of weight since we saw her last.

ANASTASIA

Yes, I want it. I want it.

CHRISTIAN

Ha! I knew it. But you must beg your master.

ANASTASIA

Please, please!

CHRISTIAN

Very well.

He takes a chicken fry from the bucket of chicken fries that he had been holding out of sight. He wafts it in front of her face.

ANASTASIA
Oh please…

CHRISTIAN

A-a-a!

Anastasia reaches for it with her mouth but he pulls the bucket back at the last minute and starts eating them himself.

 ANASTASIA

Oh you sadistic asshole!

 Christian – who has also gained a substantial amount of weight – starts laughing his head off as he shovels more and more chicken fries into his mouth.

 ANASTASIA

Noooooooo!

 Suddenly he grips his chest. His face contorts in pain and he collapses dead.

 ANASTASIA

Christian, Christian are you okay? Christian answer me.

 She sniffs the air and twists her body so she can reach the fallen bucket of chicken fries. Twisting in a weirdly erotic way she manages to lodge her head in the bucket where noise of enthusiastic and happy eating can be heard.

 

THE END

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY 2: SCRIPT LEAK

HOLLYWOOD – The Studio Exec has managed to get our hands EXCLUSIVELY on the first draft of the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY 2 script. Read here.

Interior/Night

Anastasia is naked, blindfolded and tied to the bed. Christian Grey appears, his turgid penis glistening in the moonlight.

Christian

Tell me you want it.

Anastasia

I want it.

Christian

I don’t believe you. Make me believe you.

Anastasia

I want it. God, Christian. I want it so bad.

Christian

Beg me.

Anastasia

Please, please. I beg you. Take me. Take me now!

(Long Pause)

Christian

Damn.

Anastasia

What’s the matter?

Christian

Nothing, just give me a minute.

(Long Pause)

Anastasia

Hello. Are you still there?

Christian

Yeah, I’m still here.

Anastasia

Then what the hell are you doing?

Christian

Ah. Look. This isn’t going to happen.

Anastasia

I knew you shouldn’t have had the 4th Vodka Espresso.

Christian

Yeah. Shall I order a Chinese and we’ll watch something on Netflix?

Anastasia

Sure. Untie my arms and go and order.

(Christian unities her arms and she takes off the blindfold)

Christian

There we go. Are you coming down?

Anastasia

I’ll just finish myself off and I’ll be down a minute. I’ll have a Beef Curry and some of those Satay Chicken on sticks.

Christian

Prawn crackers?

Anastasia

Is the Pope a f*cking Catholic?

FIN

WHAT WE LEARNED FROM THE 2015 OSCARS

HOLLYWOOD – So the Dolby Theater has been hosed down and returned to its daytime occupation as headquarters to the International Illuminati, but what did we learn from the 2015 Oscars?

We sent the Studio Exec FACT squad into the after parties and green room to see what we could see.

1. Filling in for the Beastmaster, Neil Patrick Harris is truly a talented entertainer. A funny comedian – although some of his joke writers need firing – , a wonderful song and dance man and a disturbingly good magician. How else but by magic could he have managed to make me laugh at Jack Black?

2. Patricia Arquette is one cool lady. Not only is her body of work impressive, but her acceptance speech spoke of something real. Along with Reese Witherspoon and her #AskHerMore stance, it’s good to see the sisters doing it for themselves. And while we’re at it good on Melanie Griffith for not mouthing platitudes about her daughter Dakota Johnson’s success in Fifty Shades of Grey. Surely tone deaf red carpet reporters can understand she might not to watch her daughter’s BDSM scenes? Perhaps not.

3. Terrence Howard might find himself replaced by Don Cheadle next year.

4. Following Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar victories Hollywood bookshops are going to have to stock up on diagnostic manuals as stars starting looking for the next big disease.

5. Boyhood and Birdman both deserved recognition, as did Selma, Snowpiercer, Get On Up , The f*cking LEGO Movie and a whole bunch of others. We’ve become a list crazed culture and so the Oscars have become if anything more important. Sure it’s meaningless; sure it shouldn’t matter. But meaninglessness is hardly a disqualifying factor in our twitterverse culture. Long may it reign.

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HOW TO WATCH FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

HOLLYWOOD – New guidelines on how to watch Fifty Shades of Grey have published.

Fifty Shades of Grey Watching Guide:

1. Sit comfortably in the cinema.

2. Take the blindfold out of your trouser pocket where it will have been warmed by your excitement.

3. Position the blindfold over your eyes and then tie the knot tight. No peeking. Tight I said. Owch, that’s too tight. Okay that’s Okay.

4. Oh wait, they might have some good trailers. Take the blindfold off.

5. Nope, adverts. Put it back on again.

6. Now there are trailers. They might have the one for Mad Max: Fury Road or The Force Awakens.

7. The movie is beginning. Reposition the blindfold.

8. Take the earplugs out of your pocket where they will be moist from the melted chocolate bar you forgot was in there.

9. Put them in your ears. That’s right. In. Deep. Uh huh! Okay. Can you hear me? No of course you can’t I could say anything. You smell like a wet badger. Did you hear that? I don’t care if you did. Did it hurt your feelings? I don’t care. I am the MASTER.

10. Once the film is over, think about the ten dollars you paid for your ticket and you didn’t even get to see the film did you? Ow! That hurts! Think about it again. Ow. And again. Again. Ahhhhhhhh.

Fifty Shades of Grey is out.  

 

50 SHADES OF GREY ENDING CHANGED

HOLLYWOOD – The trailer for the new 50 Shades of Grey film hit the internet this week, along with a rumor that the ending of the film will be dramatically different from the finale of the E.L. James authored masterpiece.

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