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Old September 30th, 2012, 07:04 PM
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Default End of Watch

Saw the movie End of Watch on a late Thursday night showing at the Ward Theater.

The movie is about the working and personnel lives of 2 Los Angeles police officers as they deal with gangs and a drug cartel and other things. What is different about this movie is its filming style, most of the time its done with the work of cameras within their police car and from their point of view.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: End of Watch

Helen, what did you think of this movie?

End of Watch (2012)
Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick. Directed by David Ayer.

David Ayer wrote Training Day, a movie I mostly enjoyed but ultimately hated. There are movies that can do that to me. As time has passed, my dislike for the film has grown as the memory of my enjoyment has faded. I can therefore be forgiven if my first reaction to the trailer for End of Watch was, “I’ll pass.” Then the reviews and word-of-mouth were quite positive, and then I survived (and kind of liked) Pitch Perfect, a film I saw only because I love Anna Kendrick. So yeah: bring it on.

Kendrick, alas, plays a rather minor part, but she is of course lovely in it, particularly in one scene where she speaks directly into a video camera for the sleeping Jake Gyllenhaal to discover later. The camera is a plot device to explain the shooting and editing style, which is very point-of-view for the greater part of the film. Gyllenhaal plays Taylor, a South Central Los Angeles police officer documenting some of his work for a project in a college course he’s taking. The camera captures exciting, first-person looks at heated confrontations with LA’s citizens, as when Taylor’s partner Zavala (Michael Pena) takes off his badge and belt and accepts a challenge to a fair fight, or when the officers search a house for children whose parents have reported them missing. The effect is like the kind of thrilling, kind of disorienting first-person shooter video games that are so popular now.

The action sequences are quite good, but Taylor’s camera also captures the everyday banter between the cops as they drive their beat, conversations about dating, marriage, childhood memories, and the differences between their ethnic traditions. A lot of it is mundane, but it’s mundane in a great way, because it’s in these scenes that the characters are developed so that what happens in the action scenes is a reasonable extension of the characters we’re getting to know. The rhythm and flow of the dialogue is the best thing about this film.

Although some of it requires a strong will to suspend belief, and some of it (including the opening voice-over) is a bit strong-armed, the relationship between Taylor and Zavala and the performances of the actors who play them make this a pretty exciting, never dull experience. The editing is kind of mind-blowing at times, something some viewers may find annoying (since I think most people don’t want to notice a movie’s editing) but I found kind of cool. It’s a tough, engaging, well-made film.

7/10 (IMDb rating)
72/100 (Criticker rating)
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Last edited by scrivener; October 25th, 2012 at 06:01 PM.
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