Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Light Between Oceans Review (2016)

“The Light Between Oceans” has an overwhelming sense of location. It’s set off the coast of Western Australia, primarily on a small, secluded island known as Janus Rock. Writer/director Derek Cianfrance, along with cinematographer Adam Arakapaw make expert use of that beautiful, wild land. We get constant shots of the sea line as clouds sit on the horizon, often covering the orange setting sun, characters slowly walking up and down the rocky terrain or on the beach as the camera tracks them from afar. Waves crash along the shore; the roar of the wind can be heard over the soundtrack. The experience of watching the film can be hypnotic, almost dreamy as if you’ve become stranded in this beautiful, rugged paradise yourself.

And yet, most of the time, it doesn’t feel like paradise. Despite the fact that the promotional posters show lead actors/beautiful human beings Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander passionately embracing in close-up (I guess if you have those two actors you may as well promote your movie like that) “The Light Between Oceans” is a mostly somber affair. Fassbender plays Tom Sherbourne, a World War 1 veteran looking for some peace a quiet. He takes a job as lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, however after a few months he’s unable to get local gal Isabelle (Vikander) out of his head--so he marries her. It’s an idyllic, picture perfect romance at first—lots of making out, smiling, frolicking on the beach—that soon takes a turn for the worst.

The movie can’t help but feel a little over-the top regarding its narrative. Doesn’t the idea of a period romance revolving around a lighthouse keeper and his wife on a secluded island feel, I don’t know, really really really hokey? The kind of supermarket romance novel you’re ashamed to be reading? I mean, a lighthouse keeper? Really? When the narrative melancholia begins to seep in, as Tom and Isabel run into their first major relationship challenge, things don’t get any less silly. They are unable to have kids; Isabel has not one but two miscarriages (kind of excessive, if you ask me). Later on, they rescue a baby from a stray rowboat after a storm (I’m not joking) and decide to raise it as their own daughter. Again, it feels over the top.

Fortunately, Cianfrance applies such a delicate, artful directorial touch (it’s reminiscent of Terrence Malick sans all the poetic voice overs) that keeps the film from turning into complete melodramatic drivel. The material may be slightly hokey, “b” grade romance but by god it’s still a beautiful movie to watch.

It also helps that Fassbender and Vikander are superb together. Fassbender is soft-spoken, slightly timid and effortlessly charismatic. It’s Michael Fassbender after all. He’s going to be charming in a romantic movie. Here he plays what is perhaps the nicest man in the history of cinema. Seriously. Tom is generous and compassionate at every turn, totally devoted to Isabel and her every need. In fact he’s too nice. I’m not saying Tom needed to be a jerk but a character that’s nice all the time gets dull after a while, even if Michael Fassbender plays him. Meanwhile, Vikander is sweet and gentle, with an undercurrent of anger and callousness. Isabel reaches a point where she turns selfish and cruel. However, considering all the emotional torment she’s been through you can’t dislike her entirely. 

Additionally, the film benefits from the arrival of a third protagonist Hannah Roennfeldt (Rachael Weisz, understated and tragic), the birth mother of the recovered baby girl. Cianfrance doesn’t always balance the three characters and multiple narratives well (I think he introduces Hannah too late, causing backstory involving her husband and life before losing her child to be rushed) but Hannah’s own tragic and uplifting journey is a welcomed addition to the narrative and is arguably more intriguing than the romantic up and downs of Tom and Isabel. What would it feel like to lose your child and then find out they’ve been secretly living with another family? And how heartbreaking would it be for your own child to view you as a stranger? Cianfrance explores these questions with tenderness and nuance.

“The Light Between Oceans” goes on longer than it needs to. The final scene (an epilogue of sorts set way in the future) is unnecessary--cramming in one last tragedy and trying to end the movie on more of an epic, multigenerational note. I get what Cianfrance was going for but overall the scene falls flat. In lesser hands, I think this movie would be a sappy melodramatic mess. As it is, while not flawless and not totally avoiding melodrama, “The Light Between Oceans” is a beautiful, well-acted romantic drama.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Don't Breathe Review (2016)

The experience of watching Fede Alvarez’s tense, kinetic horror picture “Don’t Breathe” is like if someone came up behind you, grabbed you by your shoulders, stuck a knife into your back and forced you to sit straight up on the edge of your seat for the full ninety minute run time. 

At the advanced screening I attended you could feel the electricity in the air—left and right people were cringing and covering their eyes, or laughing out of discomfort.  The entire room was under the movie’s control. When the end credits rolled the room was buzzing. To simply call “Don’t Breathe” tense would be a massive under statement. If “The Witch” (another superb horror flick from 2016) was a dread infused, atmospheric slow burn, “Don’t Breathe” is relentlessly visceral and brutal. You walk out feeling shaken and beaten down, though in a good way. Any movie that can evoke that kind of physical response (especially a horror film) is more than worthy of your time.

You won’t hear much from me in terms of plot because it’s better to go into “Don’t Breathe” knowing as little as possible. Three young house thieves: Rocky (Jane Levey), Alex (Dylan Minnette) and Money (Daniel Zovatto) think they’ve just scored the perfect heist. An old decrepit house in an otherwise abandoned neighborhood, populated by an elderly blind army vet (played with quiet, snarling menace by Stephen Lang). When they get there, things go wrong and soon the three find themselves trapped in the house fighting for their lives. As the night goes on and our thieves uncover more nooks and crannies of their dilapidated prison cell, the situation becomes far more twisted and disturbing than they could have ever imagined.

Alvarez is incredibly smart when it comes to crafting horror and tension. Considering that the picture spends most of its time pacing down dark corridors inside a creaking old house, he rarely goes for the easy jump scare. Instead, like any great horror film, the picture strongly relies on build up and anticipation. Some of the best scenes in the movie aren’t the brutal ones (although there are some spectacular “Oh god no!” moments, one involving a turkey baster) but the calm, quiet moments in between the brutality.

For a movie that can be so vicious, “Don’t Breathe” is made with gracefulness. Cinematographer Pedro Luque uses smooth, meticulous camera movements as opposed to jerky, choppy shaky camera to capture the action. “Don’t Breathe” is hectic and chaotic without being disorienting; you always know what’s going on and what each character is doing.

There’s plenty more I could discuss but I’m going to leave it at that. “Don’t Breathe” encounters a few bumps along the way; there are some cheap jump scare moments involving a vicious dog and it kind of goes overboard on the slow motion near the end. But overall the film is damn good; tense, terrifying and cleverly made. If the reaction at my preview screening is any indication, Alvarez’s picture is going to play extremely with the horror crowd.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Morris From America

More than anything, Chad Hartigan’s quirky coming of age film “Morris From America” serves as a showcase for the immense potential of its two main actors. That would be newcomer Markees Christmas as the titular Morris, a Hip Hop loving thirteen-year-old who recently relocated to Germany with his dad. Christmas is superb-- playing Morris as an awkward, timid loner with a bit of an attitude. Christmas’s natural, assured performance indicates that he is more than comfortable with carrying a movie.

Meanwhile Craig Robinson plays Morris’ father Curtis who’s taken a job with a German soccer team. Known primarily through his comedic work on the TV show “The Office,” as well as the “Hot Tube Time Machine” movies, Robinson demonstrates here his ability to handle more dramatic roles. He gives a poignant, sensitive performance as a recent widower trying to find the right balance of friend and parent in regards to raising his son.

As for the movie itself, “Morris” is a pleasing yet slight coming of age tale. Enjoyable enough in the moment but doesn’t give you a lot to chew on afterwards. There’s not much as far as plot’s concerned—it’s simply about young Morris trying to adjust to his new surroundings and make friends over the course of the summer while also dealing with new found feelings of love. Morris develops a crush on Katrin (Lina Keller) an intelligent, charming rebellious fifteen-year-old who brings him out of his timid shell by taking him to parties and feeding him ecstasy and marijuana joints. They have some amusing and heartfelt moments together but the relationship develops the way you expect it to with a predictably bittersweet resolution. In fact overall Hartigan’s screenplay yields little in the way of surprises.

However, the fact that Morris and Curtis are black and seemingly the only black people in the city they live adds an additional intriguing layer of alienation to the picture. Moving to a new place where you don’t know anyone is hard enough but to move to a new place where there’s nobody else who even looks like you would be an even bigger challenge. Hartigan deals with this issue of unfamiliarity and otherness in a subtle way. Morris is never seriously harassed but you can detect mild racism in some of his interactions with other German teens. After all, these kids probably haven’t encountered many African Americans (if any) and as such they only have stereotypes to go off of: black people are good dancers, black people are good at basketball etc.  Additionally, Morris is continually called “Kobe” by a German boy and frequently referred to as the “black boy” by both adults and kids.  

Although, I do wish the film had given Robinson more to do. I wanted to learn more about his character and life outside of simply being Morris’s father (we only catch a few brief glimpses). What about his own struggles with being one of the only African Americans in town and in his profession?

Overall, “Morris From America” is never bad or even dislikable. It’s well made and well acted, though its impact is admittedly minor.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ben-Hur Review (2016)

There are bad movies that make you physically angry and offended and then there are bad movies that just make you really bored. “Ben Hur” (the fifth film adaptation of Lew Wallace’s historical/religious novel about Romans, revenge and redemption, the most notable version being the 1959 Technicolor epic directed by William Wyler) fits into the latter category.

It’s simultaneously bland and heavy-handed--presenting its religious themes and messages with the subtlety of a Cat o’ nine tales against your bare back. For those who’ve seen the iconic Wyler film, this new version (directed by Timur Bekmambetov) is an abridged rehash with more dirt and mud, cheap looking CGI, atrocious shaky cam and quick cutting. For those who haven’t seen or heard of the Wyler film it’s like a watered-down faith based “Gladiator.”

The film revolves around Jewish Prince Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) who’s betrayed by his adopted brother/Roman officer Messala (Toby Kebbell) and sentenced to a slow death in slavery. Ben-Hur manages to hang on and returns to his homeland, full of hatred and seeking revenge but ultimately learns to forgive through faith…and Jesus Christ himself. That’s the gist of both versions, although Bekmambetov and screenwriters Keith R Clarke and John Ridley choose to spend around fifteen minutes on the stuff leading up to the betrayal, namely the background on Ben-Hur and Messala’s relationship.

That’s all well and good except that the rest of the picture (the betrayal, Ben-Hur’s stint as a rower on a massive Roman army ship, his meet up with the Arab Sheik Ilderim etc.) feels so rushed. The 59’ film was a leisurely three and a half hours while this one is that same three and half hour story crammed into just over two hours. I get that a three hour film isn’t viable in modern Hollywood but then why try to be so faithful to the ’59 version?

So much of the movie is insipid and tired plotting, bouncing from one familiar beat to another. We get voice over narration at the beginning and end. About eighty percent of the dialogue is characters boringly explaining the plot or character motivations to each other. Practically every scene and critical moment in the narrative is telegraphed. Morgan Freeman stars as Ilderim-- playing the same wise and wisecracking character he’s played countless times except with dreadlocks. Freeman doesn’t do much acting but he’s the only one who looks like he’s having any fun and in the scenes between him and Ben-Her there’s a microscopic semblance of repartee and playfulness that the rest of the movie is lacking.

The film’s emotional/spiritual climax and subsequent resolution is rushed and utterly ham fisted. Ben-Hur’s transformation comes too abruptly and is sounded out for us as if we’re a bunch of ten year olds.

Speaking of sounding things out for us, the picture’s religious component is heavy-handed to say the least, making the ’59 version look subtle by comparison. A lot of this has to do with the depiction of Jesus himself. In the ’59 version we never saw his face or his body straight on and he never spoke, evoking both a sense of mystery and importance. He was also used sparingly, making his few appearances more significant. In the 2016 movie we get more scenes of Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro), shown full on, talking and talking…and talking. Every time he opens his mouth it’s to hammer home the film’s themes of brotherhood, love, forgiveness and belief in God. Even when he’s on the cross he has enough strength to talk out loud to his father, asking him to take mercy on the people who did this. Seriously, leave something for us to get on our own. How is it that a 1950’s studio epic had a better depiction of Jesus?

This shallow, overly preachy treatment of the Lord and Savior ultimately diminishes his presence in the film, turning him into a cardboard cutout spouting strained “Jesus-isms.” I realize the religion/faith element is what makes “Ben-Hur” “Ben-Hur” but, like everything else in this new version, it’s spoon fed to you.

“Ben Hur” is a waste of time, a one hundred million dollar historical epic that fails to be exciting or epic. A film about religion and spirituality with little nuance or finesse.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hell or High Water Review (2016)

David Mackenzie’s “Hell or High Water” is a lean, character driven crime thriller seasoned with bits of humor to temporarily ease the tension and the occasional moment of abrupt, brutal violence to put us back on edge. The film derives additional freshness and urgency through its setting and atmosphere.

“Hell or High Water” is set in small towns scattered across Texas--small towns that are slowly fading away do to the recession. Boarded up buildings, deserted properties, signs that read: “closing” and “property of the bank” dominate the film’s mise en scene.  And through the unsubtle comments of the residents in these dying towns, one can feel a lot of anger and resentment towards the banks.

It’s in this environment of economic depression and pent up anger that the film’s narrative emerges. Two brothers, Tanner (Ben Foster, menacing and delightfully unhinged) and Toby (Chris Pine, a little more mild mannered and cunning, but intimidating when he needs to be) have taken up bank robbing to pay off their outstanding debts to the bank. In the vein of Bonnie and Clyde or John Dillinger they drive from small town bank to small town bank, hitting the cash drawers. The picture is essentially an extended chase between the brothers and a pair of Texas Rangers/ longtime friends, Marcus (Jeff Bridges) and Alberto (Gil Birmingham).

But if you’re expecting a fast paced, adrenaline fueled action film about cops and robbers then look elsewhere. Instead the mood is often casual and easygoing, as if a bank-robbing spree is no big deal. The brothers have come to terms with being outlaws; the film skips the “planning” stage and the moral and ethical questioning. Meanwhile, the townsfolk feel more anxiety and animosity towards the banks than the bank robbers (the implication that the banks are the bigger crooks can be felt loud and clear) and our Rangers are surprisingly cool and unhurried. Instead of being passionate lawmen determined to catch the outlaw, they seem to be doing it more out of obligation.

In other words, the dramatic stakes feel low most of the time, which is peculiar for a crime thriller about bank robbing but also appropriate when considering the situation. The townsfolk don’t care because it’s not their money being taken (that’s being taken by the banks; again the message is loud and clear, maybe too loud at times) and the bank doesn’t really care either because the brothers are stealing from the cash drawer only. Of course, two men can’t just go around robbing banks, hence the Marshal’s patient pursuit (the FBI isn’t even interested). Through the arduous and somewhat outdated method of in person bank robbery, the brothers find a way to get back at the system without greatly affecting it or the livelihood of those around them.

The relaxed nature of “Hell or High Water” and its straightforward story allow Mackenzie and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (“Sicario”) to focus more on character rather than plot. The picture is impeccably paced—leisurely without being to sluggish. Sheridan’s tight, focused screenplay has a schedule to keep (the brothers have to keep moving after all) but it allows the interactions between the characters to play out in an unhurried fashion. The film switches back and forth between The Rangers and the brothers as they converse with each other--planning their next move or just chitchatting about whatever crosses their mind. These calm, quiet dialogue driven scenes make up a lot of the movie.

“Hell or High Water” thankfully doesn’t have extensive plot exposition and there aren’t any flashbacks. What we learn about all four primary characters we learn through present conversation and action, as well as details at the various pit stops they make (at one point, the brothers briefly visit Toby’s ex wife and two kids). Though Mackenzie and Sheridan also trust in their audience by not over explaining. When we first meet each pair there’s already an established foundation between them--a sense of trust and familiarity, a repartee. These are characters that have known each other for quite some time and had a life outside of the film. Instead of having to formally set up a narrative, Mackenzie and Sheridan drop us into the middle of one that’s already in progress.

Pine and Foster convincingly play charming, down to earth brothers and their reasons for turning to crime does come from a genuinely good place. However it takes courage to essentially be an outlaw and both Toby and Tanner have no problem carrying out nastier, more unforgivable deeds later on in the film without looking back. In fact they can be straight up cold-blooded at times, giving them moral complexity.  

Bridges slips comfortably into his role, playing a cleaned up, more refined (and significantly less drunken) version of Rooster Cogburn from “True Grit.” He has such a comforting, likable onscreen presence here as an experienced and highly intelligent Marshall who’s just getting sick of the job (he’s retiring soon). This is the best Bridges has been since, well, “True Grit.” Meanwhile, Birmingham holds his own with Bridges--giving a playful performance with an undercurrent of wisdom and world-weariness.

The picture really picks up steam near the end; things get out of control for the brothers and blood is shed.  Though the movie never goes off the rails and it closes on a tense, nonviolent verbal confrontation (rather than say, a gun fight) that both brings the narrative to a satisfying close and leaves things partially open.

“Hell or High Water” may not reinvent the wheel but it’s an exceptionally made character driven crime film that’s as relevant and urgent as it is entertaining.


Florence Foster Jenkins Review (2016)

“Florence Foster Jenkins” is a light, consistently funny and heartfelt little movie about one woman’s dream to sing Opera. There’s only one problem: she can’t sing to save her life.

That woman is Florence Foster Jenkins, an aging wealthy heiress who owns a high-end music club along with her husband/failed actor St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant). Jenkins loves music and wants to become an Opera singer; so she hires the very best teacher and brings in a fresh young piano player Cosme McMoon (Simon Helberg, giving a giggly, fidgety, slightly effeminate performance that often feels forced and excessive). But limitless time and money can’t produce the ability to carry a note or a sense of pitch or rhythm.

So what we’ve got here is an “Emperor’s New Clothes-“esque situation. Florence can’t sing but Bayfield, McMoon and others keep telling her she can and she goes on believing she can. When it comes time for a concert at the club, Bayfield painstakingly selects an audience (including members of the press) that won’t tell the truth.

The best thing about “Florence Foster Jenkins” is that Frears and screenwriter Nicholas Martin allow us to laugh at Jenkins’ terrible singing without laughing at her. Considering that the movie is about a wealthy white woman pursuing a wild dream while wrapped in a comforting blanket of forced smiles and “yes” men, the movie isn’t as cynical or scathing as it could be. It never feels like the film is actively trying to mock or criticize her and her naiveté. Instead Frears applies a delicate touch that inspires sympathy on our part.

During her lessons, as she tries oh so hard to sing, you can’t help but laugh at her screeches and the bewildered people around her who have to bury their real reactions. And you’re supposed to laugh. At the same time, the more you get to know her and the more time you spend around her bubbly infectious personality you can’t help but like her and admire her spirit. She’s revealed to be a sweet, caring, selfless person who’s simply passionate about music and wants to share that passion with the world. Her efforts to support and promote the arts are always apparent.

As usual Streep is magnificent, playing Jenkins with intelligent foolishness. Like her similarly eloquent, animated performance in “Julie and Julia” Streep is an effortless comedian but she also mixes in just enough tenderness and vulnerability to keep Jenkins from morphing into a total caricature. Grant is also strong; at fifty-six the British actor is still charming as hell. At first you’re somewhat skeptical of Bayfield and his motives. Since their relationship is wholly platonic and he’s a struggling artist himself you wonder if he’s simply using her for selfish reasons. But when you see all that he does for her and during their quieter, private scenes, you can feel a genuine sense of affection between them.

Yet, I have to wonder. What would happen if Bayfield, McCoon and others told her the truth? Would it be really devastating for her? Would she never recover? What would be the harm in gently giving her honest feedback instead of letting her believe she’s a great singer, especially when you consider all the work Bayfield has to do to keep the lie going? Seeing as how she’s so nice and generous, the silence on the part of her friends and acquaintances can’t help but feel a little disingenuous at times. These are fascinating questions/issues that the film never really explores in any caliber. Hell, there isn’t even a discussion between Bayfield and McMoon about the matter. It’s a neglected angle that keeps this otherwise solid film from achieving greatness.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Suicide Squad Review (2016)

There’s a compelling nugget of an idea buried within the loud, CGI laden superhero stew that is “Suicide Squad.” That is: a “Dirty Dozen”-esque action/buddy film with imprisoned DC supervillains.

The idea of a group of vulgar, crazy, self-motivated, ice-cold killing criminals coming together for the purposes of good is intriguing and different enough to work in this current superhero film climate. Warner Brothers found the right writer/director in David Ayer (“Training Day,” “Fury” “Sabotage” and “End of Watch”) who has a proven track record for writing compelling tough guy characters on both sides of the law and writing funny, authentic tough guy banter for them to hurl at each other. With “Suicide Squad” Ayer is given a potentially strong cast of villains to do his thing.

Our squad members include: the hit man Deadshot (a cocky, loose Will Smith that we haven’t seen in a while), the demented Harely Quinn (Margo Robbie, flirty, giggly, gleefully lethal), an Australian thief named Boomerang (Jai Courtney, who is surprisingly effective), a buff reptilian fellow called Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and a Latino gangster version of the Human Torch, Diablo (Jay Hernandez).  In addition, the great Viola Davis plays the ice-cold government organizer of the squad and Joel Kinnaman plays a Spec Ops bro. Oh, and The Joker (Jared Leto) shows up sometimes.*

The picture is at its best when Ayer lets the squad shoot the shit together. If “Batman v Superman” was overwhelmingly gloomy and serious, “Suicide Squad” is more loose and playful because the characters (and the actors) look like they’re having fun. They’re have a good time being bad guys and being in the presence of other bad guys, trading jokes and insults. Unlike Superman, they don’t have to worry about etiquette or maintaining a public image. In fact they don’t give a damn what you think of them. Because of the PG-13 rating, the film isn’t quite as edgy or brash as it should be but the cast members still make their character’s malevolence and impoliteness apparent.

Unfortunately “Suicide Squad,” like a number of studio manufactured superhero movies, succumbs to certain nagging genre tropes and undercooked plot points that dilute the authentic stuff, namely, a one-dimensional antagonist with poorly defined abilities and motives. She is The Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), a witch from another dimension. It would be too lengthy and convoluted to explain exactly how she becomes a threat (in the movie it’s sloppily established) so lets just say she wants to destroy the world. How? Using a big beam of blue energy that shoots into the sky causing destruction somehow I don’t quite know how it works.  

All I know is that the “big-beam-of-energy-shooting–into-the-sky” cliché needs to go away. It’s a lazy, poorly established excuse for spectacle and CGI. This trope is part of the larger issue with “Suicide Squad:” it turns into yet another generic, predictable superhero spectacle with the group saving the day and stopping bigger supervillains. And in its attempt to be so epic and monumental (through the blurry, chaotically photographed action scenes and blaring orchestral score) it undercuts the tightknit, playful dynamic of its core characters. In other words, the film becomes dictated more by plot and spectacle than character.

It also doesn’t help that the beginning is bogged down in exposition and set up. There are a lot of characters to introduce and the picture does it in the blandest way possible. Using a top-secret government binder, Davis’ character quickly reads each of the characters names and attributes, which is followed by brief flashbacks. Riveting stuff, I know. There are simply too many characters for me to care about any of these introductions. I don’t need to see a Reader’s Digest version of Deadshot’s backstory, or Quinn’s. I don’t care if Deadshot has a daughter because the relationship is surface level.

Instead of giving us a bulleted list of the characters and flashbacks that slow the pace down it would have been better to just put these people together; establish their character and personality through interaction and experience, like Ayer did in both “Fury” and “Sabotage.” Let certain details of their backstory come out organically through conversation and the action they’re involved with presently. Once all the group members are set up at the beginning scarce character development happens in the later sections (with the slight exception of Diablo).

There are some funny one-liners and the enthusiasm and playfulness of the cast kept me from totally checking out. But for the most part, the back half of the picture is one dull, murky action scene after another--ultimately leading to a bigger, duller and murkier action sequence involving a torrential downpour of rain and that goddamn beam of blue energy.

I could go on but I think I’ll stop here. “Suicide Squad” is better than “Batman v Superman.” It’s more fun, it’s not as bloated nor does it feel like a commercial for upcoming DC Extended Universe movies (though it is clearly set after the events of “Batman v Superman”).

Sadly, that’s not saying much. The “Suicide Squad” itself is used to tell the same bland superhero tale we’ve seen before.


*Similarities to Heath Ledger are immediately apparent in the way Leto over enunciates his words and drags out his sentences. However, the Ledger Joker was an all out anarchist who wore a dorky purple suit while Leto plays more of an eccentric gangster. In addition to the white makeup and green hair, he’s tatted up, wears flashy suits and lots of gold bling, resembling a skinny Tony Montana. I wish I had more to say about him considering all the attention he and Leto’s method acting process got leading up to the film’s release but he makes a minor impression here; he could be cut without disrupting the movie. There is a romance between him and Quinn but there just isn’t enough room for it to blossom into anything substantial.