(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.
Two & 1/2 hats.
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.
Two & 1/2 hats.
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.
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