Posts Tagged ‘Out Of The Furnace’

blackmassheader2It has been a while since the last time I did a Based On A Truesday Story (a play on the words Tuesday and True Story), but I had to bring it back for a special movie. This past Friday, Black Mass, the film about one of South Boston’s most notorious gangsters in James “Whitey” Bulger was released into theaters. The film stars Johnny Depp (Donnie Brasco) stars as the notorious gangster himself as it looks at how Whitey got the push he needed in the game thanks to corrupt FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton).  It takes you deep into South Boston as Bulger goes on a rampage as he becomes one of the most powerful gangsters and second on the list of the FBI’s most wanted men behind Osama Bin Laden. The film is based on the book of the same name by former Boston Globe writers Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill and it looks at what Kevin Weeks, Steve Flemmi, and John Martorano had to say about Bulger. The film also stars Dakota Johnson (50 Shades Of Grey) as Lindsey Cyr, Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) as Billy Bulger, Kevin Bacon (Footloose) as Charles McGuire, Peter Sarsgaard (Jarhead) as Brian Halloran, Rory Cochrane (Dazed And Confused) as Steve Flemmi, David Harbour (The Equalizer) as John Morris, Adam Scott (Step Brothers) as FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick, Corey Stroll (This Is Where I Leave You) as Fred Wyshak, Julianne Nicholson (August: Osage County) as Marianne Connolly, W. Earl Brown (Scream) as John Martorano, Jesse Plemons (Observe And Report) as Kevin Weeks, Juno Temple (Killer Joe) as Deborah Hussey, and the film was directed by Scott Cooper (Out Of The Furnace).

black massAs with every film that is based on a true story, there are always those who doubt how true each event is and whether or not Hollywood expressed their creative liberty with some of the film. Kevin Weeks, one of the men depicted in the film recently spoke out on the film calling it fiction. He commented on Johnny Depp’s performance of Bulger and how it was written saying, “The only resemblance to Whitey’s character was the hairline. The funny thing is, Whitey’s look didn’t really change at all, just his clothes. It’s like we were stuck in a time warp. And the mannerisms—the way that Whitey talked to us—he never swore at us. In all the years I was with that man, he never swore at me once.” He later commented on a scene in the film that was depicted in Miami when a deal was being made to take out an important figure. Weeks says, “That never happened. In fact, I didn’t know about Roger Wheeler’s death until the Callahan murder. So just by having me be there giving Halloran the money, they have involved me in a conspiracy to kill Roger Wheeler. I’ve been libeled. I wasn’t involved in that at all, so I have a big problem with that. I just don’t know where they get the right to put events in there that did not happen.” There is also a very cool article from Time Magazine that describes what was fact or fiction about some important events in the film. In the film, they claim that the violence increased once Bulger’s son died. While it’s true that his son did die, they claim that he had ordered several hits before then with Weeks telling The Daily Beast, “Whitey was violent long before his son’s death.” Nevertheless, I thought Johnny Depp’s performance was masterful and that he was the best part of the film. I do feel that they made Flemmi and Weeks minor characters in the film than what they probably were in real life. The film itself was good, but Edgerton and Depp absolutely steal the show. One of my favorite elements of the film was the cinematography because they take some amazing shots of the city of Boston and Southie. Overall, my final grade for the film is a B=+

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fantastic fourYou might be wondering about this week’s Super Sunday film entry considering we did the Fantastic Four last week, but I have a never before seen version for all of you this week. Roger Corman, the B-movie king who has produced more than 500 films in his career made this low budget version of The Fantastic Four that never saw the light of day. A group of four astronauts goes on a space mission that ends up being disastrous and they are forever changed after their spaceship explodes. Reed Richards (Alex Hyde-White) has the ability to stretch so he becomes Mr. Fantastic, Susan Storm (Rebecca Staab) has the ability to become invisible and she takes the name The Invisible Woman, Ben Grimm (Michael Bailey Smith) becomes this rock like thing that has super strength hence his new name The Thing, and Johnny Storm (Jay Underwood) has the ability to control flames and he becomes the Human Torch.  Together they will battle their arch enemy in Dr. Doom (Joseph Culp) who they thought was dead. The film also stars George Gaynes (Police Academy) as the professor, Kat Green (She’s All That) as Alicia Masters, Chuck Butto (Phantasm III: Lord Of The Dead) as Weasel, Carl Ciarfalio (Out Of The Furnace) as The Thing, and the film was directed by Oley Sassone (Bloodfist III: Forced To Fight).

dr. doomYou can immediately tell right from the start that this film is a Roger Corman produced film all the way and I honestly think I should have saved this for Cheeseball Cinema. This is one of the cheesiest superhero films that I have ever watched from the over acting to just about anything like the special effects, but they did what they had to do with a low budget. I can certainly understand why this never saw the light of day or why for a long time people never took these films seriously. The acting has to be the worst part about this film and I was surprised to see Michael Bailey Smith in this film after seeing him in so many horror films. A lot of the scenes are just too way over the top and overacted completely. The only thing I liked in this film better than the big budget version was the way Dr. Doom looked because it was really as authentic to the comic book as it could possibly be. For a final grade, this may seem harsh to some of you, but a D+ is the only foreseeable grade I could give this film. Again, there is a reason why this never saw the light of day, but you can watch it on Youtube.