Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2022 Kick-Off: End of Watch (2012)

Hello, friends!

The 2022 Ultimate Decades Blogathon has begun! Yesterday, my co-host Kim got the festivities started with her review 1992’s of Porco Rosso. Today, I’m coming at you with part 2 of the kick-off. With my review of 2012’s gritty buddy cop film End of Watch. I’m excited for the entries this year! For the next two weeks, stop by here and Kim’s blogs to catch them all. Now, on to my review!

End of Watch movie posterSynopsis
Police officers Brian Taylor (jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Pena) patrol the city of Los Angeles.

To start off, End of Watch is not a movie for the faint of heart. There is so much cursing it would make Michael Scorsese proud and the violence is brutal and uncompromising. Now, if you can sit through all that, there is a wildly entertaining movie to be found underneath. I’m usually not a fan of the β€œfound footage” or documentary style of film making but I actually didn’t mind it here; the style adds an affect that complements the story. Plus, it switches back-and-forth between a hand-camera and a regular camera so the whole thing isn’t unsteady, which makes it more bearable. In a buddy cop movie like End of Watch, the leading pair can make or break the film. Luckily, the two leads of Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are a perfect duo. The friendship the two of them display is authentic and spectacularly gritty. As the film progresses, you grow attached to both of them and their relationship that makes the Fast franchise’s family motif seem pale in comparison. All of the time spent with Brian Taylor (Gyllenhaal) and Zavala (Pena) culminate in an emotional ending. When rewatching this film, I forgot that it starred America Ferrera. I am a huge fan of the series Superstore, where Ferrera plays the central character. It is a big shift to see her in a role so different than the comedy role I’m used to and she nails the part.

I thought End of Watch was GREAT πŸ˜€ It’s violent and unflinching, yet heartfelt and genuine. Gyllenhaal and Pena have unquestionable chemistry and brought the friendship to life. If you can make it through the brutality and vulgarity, you’ll find there is plenty of heart underneath.

The word “fuck” is used 326 times, making this film tenth in the all-time profanity list. (via IMDb)


Cast & Crew
David Ayer – Writer / Director
David Sardy – Composer

Jake Gyllenhaal – Brian Taylor
Michael Pena – Mike Zavala
Natalie Martinez – Gabby
Anna Kendrick – Janet
David Harbour – Van Hauser
Frank Grillo – Sarge
America Ferrera – Orazco
Cody Horn – Davis
Cle Sloan – Mr. Tre
Jaime FitzSimons – Captain Reese
Richard Cabral – Demon
Diamonique – Wicked
Maurice Compte – Big Evil
Alvin Norman – Peanut

Movie Quote of the Week – 2/9/18

Answer to MWL 2/7/18: Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) – Brokeback Mountain

We could have had a good life together. Fucking real good life. Had us a place of our own. But you didn’t want it, Ennis. So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain! Everything’s built on that! That’s all we got, boy. Fucking all. So I hope you know that if you don’t never know the rest. God damn it. You count the damn few times that we have been together in nearly twenty years and you measure the short fucking leash you keep me on and then you ask me about Mexico and you tell me you’ll kill me for needin’ somethin’ I don’t hardly never get! You have no idea how bad it gets. And I’m not you. I can’t make it on a couple high-altitude fucks once or twice a year. You are too much for me, Ennis. You son of a whoreson bitch. I wish I knew how to quit you. -Jack Twist

Thanks for everyone’s submissions and 500 points to the following people for answering correctly:

Damien (Riley on Film)
Allie (Often Off Topic)

Lightning Review: Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler movie posterSynopsis
Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) gets himself into the world of street crime journalism. He considers himself a hard-working businessman and will do anything to get the story, and a paycheck.

Before I saw Nightcrawler, I had only seen the trailer a short time beforehand. At first I had just wrote it off but I was persuaded into going to see it (it didn’t take much convincing to get me to the theater). Most of the reviews have been very positive. I don’t want to be β€œthat guy,” but I didn’t particularly care for this movie. I’ll get the good out of the way first. Mad props to Jake Gyllenhaal because his performance was phenomenal. He completely got into the mindset of the deranged Lou Bloom. His delivery, his mannerisms, everything he did on screen was electric. I also liked how the cast was very small, allowing it to become intimate (if that is a good way to describe this kind of film). It spends adequate amount of time with each of the characters, both Gyllenhaal and the supporting cast, and never felt packed. This was a story about Lou Bloom and everything and everyone present was to further his story.

Now for a thriller, I didn’t find myself thinking β€œWhat’s going to happen next?” I was drawn to Gyllenhaal’s character, and was interested to see what his next move would be, but I didn’t find myself much interested in anyone else. Like I said, every character was used to advance Lou Bloom’s story. I felt no sense of urgency or that edge-of-my-seat feeling throughout the majority of the film. For his directorial debut, Dan Gilroy wrote a fantastic character piece, but unfortunately I couldn’t get into it. I will give Nightcrawler this: it really makes you think about today’s media and how they portray events.



Cast & Crew
Dan Gilroy – Director/Writer
James Newton Howard – Composer

Jake Gyllenhaal – Louis Bloom
Rene Russo – Nina Romina
Riz Ahmed – Rick
Bill Paxton – Joe Loder
Ann Cusack – Linda
Kevin Rahm – Frank Kruse
Eric Lange – Cameraman

Lightning Review: The Day After Tomorrow

The Day After Tomorrow movie posterSynopsis
Paleoclimatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) and his team, Frank Harris (Jay O’Sanders) and Jason Evans (Dash Mihok), discover global warming will cause catastrophic climate shifts in the future, they report their findings, only to be dismissed by the Vice-President (Kenneth Welsh). However, when the weather begins to go awry as Hall predicted, he heads to New York to reach his son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), before the world enters a new Ice Age.

The Day After Tomorrow is a disaster movie that has many of the genre’s cliches. The dialogue is corny and the characters overall are fairly forgettable. Then there are the staple comedic character and love story. Dash Mihok is the comedic relief of this movie and is pretty funny, but the love story between Sam and Laura Chapman (Emmy Rossum) felt like any other teen romance in similar films. Special effects are where The Day After Tomorrow truly excels. But that isn’t much of a surprise since it is directed by Rolland Emmerich and his films usually have impressive visuals. Speaking of Emmerich films, apparently when the Vice-President is a central (or somewhat central) character, he is always a jerk (just wanted to state my observation). If you can put logic aside and don’t take this movie too seriously, The Day After Tomorrow can be a fun and entertaining romp through the disaster genre.