Black Mass

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kevinknapman
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Black Mass

#1 Post by kevinknapman » Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:28 pm



Directed by Crazy Heart/Out of the Furnace's Scott Cooper and starring Johnny Depp as real life Boston gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger, Black Mass may not offer anything particular new to the crime film genre but is still a solid example of it nonetheless. Cooper and cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi capture the era perfectly with considerable style.

A decent, largely male, cast impress. Johnny Depp, despite some dodgy make up and creepy contact lenses, delivers a performance far better than most of his from the past ten years. Sinister and threatening and mercifully free of the cartoonish mugging that has been his stock in trade of late. Benedict Cumberbatch is a little wasted as Bulger's politician brother Billy, with the film preferring to concentrate on the relationship with childhood friend turned FBI agent John Connolly played by, the very good, Joel Edgerton.
An embarrassment of good supporting turns include Kevin Bacon, Adam Scott, Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, Peter Sarsgaard, W Earl Brown, David Harbour and Corey Stoll.
It would have been nice to have had more of a female perspective on things though, with only Julianne Nicholson making any kind of an impact as Edgerton's wife Marianne.

The main problem perhaps is that it does feel like the film is treading over pretty familiar ground. Anyone who's seen films like The Departed or Donnie Brasco will have seen similar stories on the big screen already, while those familiar with the, underrated, TV series Brotherhood with Jason's Isaac and Clarke will have already seen a fictionalised depiction loosely based on the Bulger brothers.

Despite that, Black Mass is still worth seeing. It's real life story of gangsters, politicians and FBI agents is certainly intriguing enough to sustain interest for its 2hr running time.
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Re: Black Mass

#2 Post by Cortone » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:59 pm

I thought there would be several comments after the Odeon Screen Unseen viewing, but could not see any.

First of all, a couple of people walked out within 5 minutes - I think because they were expecting Lady in the Van. Black Mass was quite violent in places, and rather more so than Lady in the Van.

Overall, for me, Black Mass was not Johnnie Depp's finest hour. It is interesting, but JD - who I usually like, and sometimes adore - just did not connect (based on his appearance largely), and especially as the brother of Benedict Cumberbatch, although the reality of this was probably more astonishing (as the film portrays). The casting did not seem right. And the story could have flowed or built better.

However, the story was interesting. I doubt I will go to see this again at Leeds Film Festival though, even with a festival pass...

I'd give it 6.5, which is lower than on IMDB and Rotten tomatoes, but I did just not believe JD's character... I just did not connect fully with what was on screen.

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Re: Black Mass

#3 Post by The Sparrow » Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:22 am

I know someone who also thought Odeon was going to show Lady in the Van despite me pointing out the clues Odeon gave! They would have to be huge Red Herrings to fit Lady in the Van! :confused:

I totally disagree and think this film was excellent and it was great to see JD getting back to proper acting. He and his scary contact lens frightened me to bits.
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Re: Black Mass

#4 Post by valda » Sat Nov 28, 2015 2:54 pm

I saw this yesterday with my Cineworld card. It was all well trodden ground, shown many a time. Good supporting cast, and great costumes.

All in all JD uglies up. The end

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Re: Black Mass

#5 Post by Shey » Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:41 am

I loved this movie. Great actors and great movie from Johnny Depp.

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Re: Black Mass

#6 Post by nosila50 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:02 pm

Enjoyed this and it was gritty but no worse than some of our British dramas.

Johnny Depp was brilliant and very believable in the role. Always like the 'where are they now'
follow ups at the end and he was lucky to get 12 years freedom before they caught him.

pa*d for this one although using the Meerkat voucher so not a bad deal and was not left wishing I had saved my money. 8/10
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Re: Black Mass

#7 Post by missgotty » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:28 pm

I thought this was a pretty good film, typical gangster foundations but interesting alliance with the so called good guys. I'm a little bit suspicious as to how much is actually true as the real life Whitey Bulger says the film is not a true depiction of what happened.

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Re: Black Mass

#8 Post by Nazerino » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:15 pm

Interestingly it's based on the book by journalists from Boston Globe who had Spotlight team.

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