Gangsta Squad


This week we get a throw back to the Gangsta Era of the 40s and 50s where organized crime and mafia syndicates ruled just about every metropolitan city area. This is story is about an ambitious man looking to cut ties with the syndicates of the east and create is own west coast empire. One problem though. LAPD ain't havn' it! It's Lights, Camera, and "RE"-Action time at


First thing we noticed about this film is movie is the co-starring role of Anthony Mackey.  This was a first to see an African-American playing a Cop of the infamous 40s and 50s Mob scene. He didn't even die in the movie. Amazing! You may remember Anthony Mackey for his role as Tupac Shakur in the Hip Hop Biopic Notorious, the story about the life of Notorious B.I.G.. Mackey also costarred in the Academy Award Winning Film "Hurt Locker"


Gangster Squad is the perfect movie for all you Gangsta Hip Hop heads out there still romanticizing about the Mob days of the 30s, 40s, and 50s.  Pretty much everything you'd want from a good gangster movie is delivered in healthy portions here: blazing machine guns; exploding cars; corrupt politicians; a nasty villain who wants to rule the city; dedicated cops happy to break the law in order to uphold it.


Frustrated cop Josh Brolin leads a group of bad boys - played by Michael Pena, Ryan Gosling,Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi and Robert Patrick - to bust the plans by Sean Penn's ambitious mobster to rule Los Angeles.


This movie is Set just after the Second World War, director Ruben Fleischer fills the film with violence and Gangsteristic sequences highlighting the firepower of Thompson sub-machine guns. The chief cops are war veterans who fought for freedom, only to see their city threatened by a perpatrat'n dictator. A big-nosed Penn is at his scenery-chewing best as fact-based Mafia bad guy Mickey Cohen, Gosling relishes his turn as the cop who loves getting his hands dirty while Ribisi (soon to be seen as David Koresh in Waco) manages to make the film's most cliched character bearable (he's a tech expert with a loving family, so guess what happens to him?). The film was shot on hi-def video. Good work. 


In short you get an hour and 13 minutes of a good guy mob tracking down the bad guy mob for a good ole mob to mob show down. The perfect movie for you wannabe gangstas out there or even you real ones. 

To some up this movie we give it a "Wait for DVD". Although the movie was entertaining we don't see any benefit to catching it in the theater. If you have a 50" Flat Panel and surround sound with a Bass Speaker, the explosions and Tommy Gun action should fill the room just nicely.



If you're looking for a back to back "Gangsta Movie" night you can also check out the 1997 flick "Hoodlum" featuring Lawrence Fishburne playing the infamous Bumpy Johnson


The white-run Mafia and the black-run numbers game meet head on with explosive impact in this period crime thriller. Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson (Laurence Fishburne) is an African-American ex-con who, after a stay in prison, returns to Harlem at the height of its renaissance before World War II. Looking for work, Bumpy becomes a lieutenant for Stephanie St. Clair (Cicely Tyson), the queen of Harlem's numbers racket. Bumpy's old friend Illinois Gordon (Chi McBride) gently expresses his concern about Bumpy's life of crime, and social worker Francine Hughes (Vanessa L. Williams), who is attracted to Bumpy (and vice versa), suggests he should be doing something more positive with his life. But Bumpy contends that the numbers game is the only business in the community that blacks are able to control themselves. The numbers game is very profitable -- enough so that mob boss "Lucky" Luciano (Andy Garcia) wants in on the action. He assigns one of his key men, "Dutch" Schultz (Tim Roth), to try to strike a deal with Stephanie, but negotiation isn't Dutch's strong suit -- he finds that murder is a far more effective tactic in taking control of a business, and Dutch is not the sort of person who's bothered by violence. Hoodlum was director Bill Duke's second film set in the milieu of the Gangster days of the 1920s and 1930s, after his breakthrough picture A Rage in Harlem. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

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