Gangster Squad

The Gangster Squad movie poster

Back East he was a gangster. Out on the West Coast, he’s Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), the ruthless Brooklyn-born mob king who has taken over Los Angeles. Based on a true story, Gangster Squad chronicles the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD’s) battle in the 1940s and 50s to rid the city of Mickey Cohen and other East Coast Mafia types.

Sean Penn in The Gangster Squad

Sitting at the head of an illicit money-making machine, Mickey Cohen is raking in the dough from a full range of criminal activity. From drugs and guns to prostitutes and wire bets, all dollars flow his way. To make matters worse, Cohen is operating under the protection of the police and politicians who are under his control. Until, that is, a small group of LAPD outsiders decide to take back the city and tear Cohen’s world apart.

The Gangster Squad

Led by Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), the “Gangster Squad” operates in secrecy. No badges, no names, no mercy. The film’s star-studded cast also includes Nick Nolte as LAPD Chief “Whiskey Bill” Parker, Emma Stone as Grace Faraday, Anthony Mackie as Coleman Harris, Giovanni Ribisi as Conway Keeler, Michael Pena as Navidad Ramirez, and Robert Patrick as Officer Max Kennard.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in The Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad was written by Will Beall (TV’s “Castle”) based on Paul Lieberman’s book, Gangster Squad, and directed by Ruben Fleischer. The film is scheduled for release by Warner Bros. Pictures on September 7, 2012.

The Amazing Spiderman

The Amazing Spiderman, a 2012 superhero-action film, will be perpetuating the Spider Man franchise just a little a bit longer, after the most recent Spiderman movie has been slated for a summer release this July.  Although the narrative of the story won’t be vastly different than that of the previous Spiderman film, this time around, Park must cope with his powers amidst the hells of high school.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), your average, run-of-the mill high school teenager, wants nothing more than to make it through high school.  Well, that and save the world from any existential threat that may come its way.  But that’s after he has a run-in with his father’s former Partner, Dr. Connors (Rhys Ifans).

Discovering a briefcase that belonged to his dad turns Parker into an outcast, mutant with spider-like abilities.  Trying to win the heart of his high-school crush Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and dealing with his new gift becomes all too much to handle with Dr. Connor’s alter ego starts to plot death and pain for Parker and his family.

Directed by Marc Webb, Spiderman ranks among the best of the best when it comes to America’s most adorned superheros.  The Amazing Spiderman has the advantage of modern visual effects, a recent fascination with dark superhero stories (thank you Dark Knight), and a rising Playboy in the making as Andrew Garfield shows us the “untold story” of the Spiderman.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

Crazy Stupid Love

Crazy, Stupid, Love is the 2011 romantic-comedy that has everybody talking.  With “Sexiest Man of the Year” candidate Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone, Crazy, Stupid, Love is crazy packed with laughs, fun and a set of actors that make not loving them just seem…stupid.

Cal and Emily Weaver have had their tough times, but this time, no therapy will be able to save them; Emily wants a divorce.  Cal, totally blind sighted by his sweethearts desire to separate, goes into a comma of self-loathing and despair, plaguing everybody at the bar with his dejected attitude.  But when stud Jacob Palmer see’s Cal down on his luck, he decides to lend a helping hand.

While Jacob is helping Cal, he finds a challenge of his own; wow Hannah, the new Law School grad, into coming home with him.  When she says no, he becomes motivated that much more.  Finally coercing her to come home with him after her breakup with her boyfriend, he soon finds that she’s much different than the girls he’s been known to be attracted to.  When Jacob finds out something no one could have expected, his interest in Hannah is stunted as Cal’s new bad boy imagine is shattered at the stunning news.

Directed by Gleen Ficarra and John Requa, Crazy, Stupid, Love brings that light-hearted ambiance that most rom-com’s lack while still delivering killer punchlines.  Crazy, Stupid, Love is able to do both; entertain us with witty comebacks while still keeping the mood real and upbeat.  It’s realistic nature coupled with real-to-life situations make this movie a must-see.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment

The Help – A Film By Tate Taylor

The extremely heavy issue of racism in the 1960’s had been taken to a lighter level in the new film The Help, directed and written by Tate Taylor. Adapted from the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett, the film offers a powerful cast, including Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Emma Stone.

The Help explores the racial discrimination of the white Southern-bourgeoisie against their black household maids…..only this time, with a twist.  The movie approaches the familiar subject from an unfamiliar angle, turning the limelight away from the whites and onto the black “help”. Even if such topic may seem a bit off especially to caucasian viewers, in the end, everything turn out to the greater reality of accepting the past and ironing out differences to proceed on as better human beings – together.

Emma Stone plays the young Skeeter, a society girl who returns home to Mississippi in order to become a writer. She decides to tackle a controversial subject and ventures out to interview the household maids in the community and document their side of the story. Though she may seem to find herself going to a more dangerous direction, nevertheless, the enslaved black maids have found their voice and even someone, not from their own race, listening to their woes and pains in life.

Aibileen, a black maid played by Viola Davis, influences Skeeter’s story as she opens up about her sorrows and tumults, while remaining ever-polite throughout the process.  She also encourages other women in her situation to begin telling their stories as well.

The story conveys the suffering the black maids endure from their white employers, but also the fact that, despite it all, they maintain an overflowing love for the children for whom they care. While this film is by in large part light hearted and comedic, do not be surprised if you find yourself mixing your laughter with the occasional tear – for no film that touches on the topic of racism could bypass the issues that weigh heavy on many hearts. Spencer, who plays Aibileen’s best friend, Minny, demonstrates her control over the mood of the film by creating an entertaining, feel-good movie.

Overall, Taylor succeeds in maintaining the integrity of the book while turning it into an award-winning film by depicting the Southern culture of the 1960’s with a powerful cast, lovely setting, and intelligent dialogue. The Help is a must see movie that will not only widen your historical knowledge, but will leave you laughing, crying, and feeling good inside.

Rebecca Wang – Producer
Rebecca Wang Entertainment