Jan Wahl Movie Review: ‘Gangster Squad’ & ‘California Solo’

Listen To Entertainment Reporter Jan Wahl, Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm On KCBS All News 740AM | 106.9FM
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(L-R) Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Michael Peña, Robert Patrick & Anthony Mackie "Gangster Squad" (credit: Wilson Webb/Columbia Pictures)

(L-R) Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Michael Peña, Robert Patrick & Anthony Mackie “Gangster Squad” (credit: Wilson Webb/Columbia Pictures)

 

(KCBS) – KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews “Gangster Squad,” starring and Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling, about the LAPD’s fight to keep Mickey Cohen and the East Coast mafia out of Los Angeles in the 1950s. Also “California Solo” about a former Britpop rocker who has settled into a comfortably numb existence in farm country just outside Los Angeles. Starring Robert Carlyle, Alexia Rasmussen, Michael des Barres and Danny Masterson.

KCBS Entertainment Reporter Jan Wahl:

 
GANGSTER SQUAD (R)

The year is 1949 and Los Angeles may just be taken over by Mickey Cohen. The film beautifully recreates nightclubs, neighborhoods and hoods in general of L.A. But, it is the vicious Cohen that a group of police is determined to bring down.

As good as this group of brave lawmen (Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin) is, the movie is made truly interesting and exciting by Sean Penn. Penn plays it psychotic yet compelling, wish there was more about him. The movie is too violent, the graphic blood and gunplay bringing it down.

janwahlhats 02 5 Jan Wahl Movie Review: Gangster Squad & California Solo

Two & 1/2 hats.

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Alexia Rasmussen & Robert Carlyle in "California Solo" (credit: Matthew Barnes/Strand Releasing)

Alexia Rasmussen & Robert Carlyle in “California Solo” (credit: Matthew Barnes/Strand Releasing)

 
CALIFORNIA SOLO (R)

Robert Carlyle, who many of us know as the leader of the guys in The Full Monty, plays a former British rocker now worker on an organic farm by day and a podcast about tragic rock stars at night.

When he’s cited for DUI, his life changes and he’s forced to confront his demons. Carlyle makes us feel the pain of post-fame life and the challenge of making peace with the past.

janwahlhats 02 5 Jan Wahl Movie Review: Gangster Squad & California Solo

Two & 1/2 hats.

 

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Movies To See Right Now: Amour, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Les Miserables

Home Viewing/DVD: Bernie & Arbitrage

In Theatre: Anything Goes (through Feb. 3 at Golden Gate Theatre)

You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl’s movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
 

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