‘Gangster Squad’ Is the Most January Movie Ever

Any seasoned cinephile is familiar with the January Movie: something genre-driven, with a kind of gray or bluish tint, that wouldn’t even register were it not released in the dead of winter, when we’ve already seen everything good but still don’t want to sit around the living room making conversation. Gangster Squad, I am pleased to report, takes this underwhelming formula to new heights lows middles.

First up, of course, you’ve got A-list talent wandering around doing laughable noir voices—Josh Brolin is a notch below Michael Shannon’s Boardwalk Empire growl, and Ryan Gosling landed near Al Pacino’s high-pitched Godfather. The ultraviolence is a Dashiell Hammett novel rendered as Itchy & Scratchy cartoon. Oh, and never have so many dudes fired WWII-era machine guns at people five feet away and missed entirely.

It’s Sean Penn who should be really pissed, though: easily the most impotent bad-guy super-mobster in half a century. The Terminator-like good guys (seriously, one of them is Robert Patrick, who played the T-1000) basically destroy his empire throughout the movie as he rages helplessly in a mansion and never comes close to exacting any adequate revenge. Plus, terrible makeup. And it looks like they ran out of money in the final fight scene, so it’s just a bunch of dark, grainy footage that Michael Mann may have cut from Public Enemies? All it was missing, really, was a labored nod to Chinatown. Just kidding! That’s in there, too. 

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Links: Clive Owen as Abe Lincoln, Lady Gaga’s Orgasm

● What does it take to look like Jennifer Aniston? At least $56,000. That’s how much it cost for Aniston’s hair stylist to accompany her on the Marley and Me European press junket. The studio picked up the tab. [DailyMail] ● The Public Enemies trailer is out. What can you expect from Michael Mann and Johnny Depp as John Dillinger? It’s like Heat meets Bonnie and Clyde. [AppleTrailers] ● Rumor has it Steven Spielberg wants Clive Owen for his Abraham Lincoln biopic. I have a feeling audiences will only want to see this Abe Lincoln if he’s a gun-toting badass. [Film]

● Lady Gaga says her new tour will be like a “creative orgasm” because she has “no limitations, she’s free.” [DigitalSpy] ● If you’ve been feeling like the plot of Grey’s Anatomy has been lacking, you can make them do whatever you want with the new Grey’s Anatomy video game. Bed-hopping and gay-bashing not included. [IGN] ● After leaving the Playboy Mansion, then being left by Criss Angel, what’s left for Holly Madison to do? Dancing with the Stars, apparently. [Us]