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Release Date: August 29, 2012
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Director: John Hillcoat
Starring: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, and Guy Pearce
Plot: Lawless is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic gangster tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant’s family in his novel “The Wettest County In The World”, the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation’s most notorious crime wave.

Thoughts: I should really be more excited for this film. It has a lot of the things I like in my gangster movies and yet, for some reason, the trailer’s have underwhelmed to the point where I’ll likely wait for this movie to pop up on Netflix or TV before I actually watch it.

Lawless is a film that stars Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, and Jason Clarke as brothers who run a bootlegging business during prohibition era America and finds them hunted by the authorities as they try and build up their increasingly illegitimate business. Directed by John Hillcoat, the man responsible for one of the most depressing films of the last decade in The Road, and the terrific western The Proposition. I cannot help but feel like the star power of Lawless might hurt it more then make it great. Unfortunately for Shia LaBeouf, it is hard for me to buy into him being increasingly more dramatic in his films. He has shaken his Disney image but he has yet to shake his sense of comedic timing in his more serious roles and I cannot help but get the feeling from the trailers that, as the youngest brother of the core group, he’s going to be the one designated with unleashing the quippy one liners this film will have.

Now, what is likely going to get me to see the film is really if the word of month is good enough that I’m practically forced to go to the theater by friends just to see it. Unfortunately, though, I cannot help but shake the feeling that this film will be underwhelming even with all the talent that is on the screen.

This past week at the San Diego Comic Con, fans of Twilight got a treat with a panel that featured author Stephenie Meyer, and cast members including Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Green, Jackson Rathbone, and new to the cats, Mackenzie Foy. During the panel they introduced footage from “Breaking Dawn Part 2”, included in the footage was Bella (Stewart) dealing with being a vampire and the bloodlust that comes with it, along with her hunting down a mountain lion. Personally, I’m not a fan of the Twilight series and while it has had a positive effect of bringing vampires back in the spotlight, these aren’t vampires in any classic sense of the word. They go out in sunlight (and sparkle), have reflections, and none of the classic weaknesses (ugh). Pardon the pun, but the vampires of Twilight are completely toothless. Thankfully we do have reasons to care about vampires. And with Twilight going away, the doors will be open for some good vampire movies and fiction to return.

Its funny how easily it is to forget that Shia LaBeouf is actually a good actor. The three unwatchable Michael Bay Transformers made him into a laughable caricature of himself, but this is the same kid who starred in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Disturbia , and even Holes. He has talent, he just isn’t able to show it that much. Hopefully Lawless changes that trend. In the movie, based on the book The Wettest County in the World, LaBeouf co-stars with Tom Hardy as the Bondurant Brothers, two bootleggers in Prohibition-era Virginia who are threatened by authorities who want in on their profits. The mvoie’s awesome cast includes Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, and Guy Pearce. In addition to Lawless, Shia LaBeouf also has an illustrated book of poetry called Let’s Fucking Party. With no more Transformers in his future, lets hope Shia is able to rebuild his credibility.