Bruce Banner (Eric Banner) is a scientist working in a lab with his girlfriend Betty (Jennifer Connelly) when an accident happens. His father, played by Nick Nolte, (who Bruce has believed died when he was young) turns up to try to warn him that things are not as they seem. Eventually, it turns out, no spoiler alert here, that Banner has some strange DNA stuff going on that causes him to turn into the Incredible Hulk when he gets mad.
It’s an origin story, and for me, it takes a bit long to get anywhere. There are lots of sad thinking shots and confusion. The split shots were a nice nod to the comic book origin of the character and the story. Looking back at The Incredible Hulk, it did a great job of knocking off the whole origin story in the title sequence. It looks like our next Hulk sighting is going to be in the next Avengers film, and it will be Mark Ruffalo again. I’m pleased about this.
This Martin Scorsese remake of the 1962 film has Robert De Niro playing Max Cady, just released from prison after serving fourteen years for beating and raping a young girl. Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) was his lawyer who buried evidence that his victim had been promiscuous, concerned that this may have reduced Cady’s sentence. Cady begins to stalk Bowden and his family, wife Leigh (Jessica Lange) and fifteen-year-old daughter Danielle (Juliette Lewis). When the law cannot help him, Bowden tries to take things into his own hands.
The heavy influences from Alfred Hitchcock are most obvious in the unnerving camera angles and intense music, but for me, instead of making it a classic, strong thriller, it was fairly absurd. I’m generally not great with thrillers, but this really didn’t bother me too much at all. Although I found it a bit difficult to get past De Niro’s accent.
Cape Fear was nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Robert De Niro) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Juliette Lewis).
It’s post World War 2 in Los Angeles. Gangsters are rising across the country. LA is being taken over by Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). The police are corrupt, and their hands are tied by legal restraints while Cohen takes over every racket possible. The chief of police Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) decides he needs to go to great lengths to beat Cohen, and commissions Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) to pull together a squad of police who will work beneath the radar to destroy Cohen’s business interests, therefore ensuring not only his demise, but reducing chances of another gangster coming in to take Cohen’s place. The Gangster Squad they set about cleaning up the city.
There is some clichéd predictability (most notably the fact that Sgt Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) starts as a corrupt playboy who only joins the squad after an innocent shoeshine is killed in front of him and he wants to right this wrong), but generally, it’s a good concept. I have to admit, though, it just didn’t grab me. There was not a lot of emotional connection to the characters, so I didn’t care who lived or died. The tension wasn’t all that great either, and when there was tension, it was resolved quickly and easily. It’s a fun film and worth a watch, but I felt that it really could have been much more.