Monday, June 10, 2013

Movie Week – End of Watch

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I’m a sucker for a good cartel story and not just because I grew up a stones throw from Mexico.   I dug when they showed up in The Shield.  I dug when they showed up in Breaking Bad.  I enjoyed their inclusion in Southland. 

And since I know I dig cartel stuff, I knew I wanted to watch End of Watch.  Plus it was a pretty buzzed about movie and who isn’t remotely interested in those? 

I have to say that I sort of found the in-story use of cameras to be jarring. It really took me a minute to get adjusted to it.  I get that that’s what kids do nowadays, but the fact that it was in story took some getting used to. 

I really enjoyed how the story progressed.  We got a clear foundation of the characters and who they were, on both sides of the game.  We really got a taste for all of the players right off the bat, without it feel forced as it does many times in film.  That impressed me. 

And I was really sucked into the escalation of things.  The balance between the Brian and Mike’s personal lives, their rising stature in their precinct and the growing threat of the cartel was so well done.  And because of the situation there was certainly a growing dread every time Brian grew closer with his girlfriend.  It was great. 

The fact that it was had elements of a thriller without being a nonstop thriller really appealed to me.  Hearing about the personal aspects of Mike and Brian’s lives as well as seeing the more mundane aspects of their jobs, it just really struck a chord. Because when that excitement came, it was a weird feeling of both being ready for a change of pace yet still being caught off guard. 

Michael Peña’s portrayal was really beautiful.  Mike was Brian’s partner but he also dispensed with life advice like a big brother.  There were times that I really believed Michael was Mike, which is a feat because I loved him as Army on The Shield.  But he looked so natural in the role that I forgot he as acting. 

And honestly I loved the gang scenes as well.  It reminded me of home and of people I grew up with.  That party where Big Evil is formally introduced, I’ve been cookouts like that.  I literally got a tinge of homesickness watching that scene. So, kudos to everyone involved in that. 

I really can’t think of anything that I didn’t dig about End of Watch.  If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely check it out, because it’s a genuinely good film. 

I won’t say that I saved the best of Movie Week for last, but I probably saved the second best of Movie Week for last.  

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