By Kleinz 57
So it’s been a tad slow ’round these here parts the past few days, but I hear 5Piece might make good on his promised oral history of why the Timberwolves suck so much wang. That’s right. I am being harsh. The T-Wolves are crapping all over my the blackened hole where my heart used to be. Edward Norton knew what was up when he said hurting the ones you love “works both ways.” By the way, remember when we thought knowing about Fight Club made you edgy in high school? Such simpler times back then. I miss Bush.
It’s January, which usually means studios are dumping their shitty genre pictures, turdy comedies, and if we’re lucky, their shitty turdy genre comedies. Reshooting an original sequence where tommy guns ripped through a movie theater screen was a big reason to blame for Gangster Squad’s delay. Before the Aurora shootings, Ruben Fleischer’s latest was slated for September 2012, and with a cast like this, it’s not ridiculous to think Warner Bros. thought it had something big on its hands. Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, Michael Pena, the T-1000, and that sadface medic from Saving Private Ryan ditch their LAPD badges to organize a vigilante-style SQUAD and take out GANGSTER Mickey Cohen (a scenery-chewing, 50-something Sean Penn who thinks he’s still a 30-something Sean Penn). Toss in Nick Nolte in a wonderful turn as The Thing, Emma Stone in/out of a red dress, and the guy who directed Zombieland and with crushing fist of Big Warner Brother, feelm cannot lose, no? Right? I need an answer because this movie makes no fucking sense.
I see the fedoras. I see the ironically unironic cardigans. I see the Lucky Strikes and the Tommy Guns and the vintaged dialogue and the stupid, stupid nicknames. Gangster Squad might have made for a charming little trip back to 1949 if the script and the likes of “Biscuit Pants” Jerry weren’t busy cramming it all down your throat in 90 minutes. Hey, sugar. You lookin’ for a nip, toots? Stop it, Ryan Gosling. Just stop. I dunno what’s with the nasally robot thing you’re doing, but if you mention your second tour on the frontlines again, so help me God I will end you and those immaculate abs.
Gangster Squad is so aggressively vintage and it tries really hard to look like pulpy crime fiction without actually doing much. Inconsequential shootouts are cut so quickly the action is impossible to see, and Fleischer gets remarkably terrible performances out of a pretty solid cast. Not to mention Will Beall’s adaptation of Paul Lieberman’s Tales from the Gangster Squad sucks an impressive amount of logic through its crusty cornhole — what makes Mrs. Brolin so qualified to recruit the Gangster Squad members? How can Mickey Cohen still be in power if he literally kills anyone who screws up? AND SERIOUSLY RYAN, STOP DOING THAT VOICE THING. By the end, you’re left hoping everyone involved just dies in some terrible domino chain of car explosions. No, no. Walk closer to the dynamite trunk. Don’t worry, I’ll drive Emma home.
At a college Halloween party — many years ago, I ran into two dudes (naturally) dressed as the Blues Brothers. In my infinite freshman douchedom, I jokingly mentioned to “Elwood” how much I hated Ilinois Nazis. He just looked at me like I was trying to pick him up. So of course I pushed it and asked why they were both “wearing sunglasses in the dark.” They had no idea what I was talking about. They weren’t Blues Brothers fans. They just liked the idea of dressing up like them. Posers are worse than nut cancer. I did get “Jake’s” number, though.