The Movie: 7.5/10
Duality isn’t rare, we all contain some hint of different faces we show to the world. The Iceman is based on a true story, a real person who by all accounts had two very different lives. Richard Kuklinski is the lead character, a thug, killer, family man. We meet him as he commits a cold-hearted crime, and it goes from there. He falls for a young lady (Read about the true story, the movie doesn’t tell it like it really was.) who becomes his wife and becomes the “softer” side of his life. He also meets a crime boss who becomes the focus of his harder side of life.
He hooks up with all kinds of shady characters and through it all we see that he is detached from almost every human emotion we can identify with. It’s a hard story to describe. I mean, it’s really straight forward. A bad guy kills people for the mob, and he has a family he loves who have no idea who he really is. That’s about it. The thing is, the cast makes this story so much more compelling. Michael Shannon is amazing, as always. Winona Ryder revives my interest in her by being really top quality in every scene. Everyone else holds their own in this mostly serious and dark story. I didn’t even realize that Chris Evans is the main cohort of our lead psychopath. Evans does a great job of swirling around the scary killer and the almost comic relief of the entire movie.
The look of the movie is pretty good, if not a bit dull and even underwhelming. I have no idea about the intent of the director and editor, but ultimately the tone of the story was underwhelmed by the monotony of the colors, the filters, and sets. It just got a bit heavy on the eye tolerance for dark and dankness.
The pace is pretty good, it just sort of hushes us along from decade to decade without a very deep dig into each character along the way. I know they had a lot to cover, and I did get a very good overview of the life of Richard Kuklinski in terms of Hollywood vision. I just didn’t get much else. I got his wife totally, Ryder is to be credited with that. At least we get that Hollywood vision of the wife, not reality at all, but it’s the movies so fair enough.
Overall I can’t say I “enjoyed” the movie since it’s such a dark and disturbing theme, but I did find it very intriguing. The performances are the star of the show, way over the story. I kind of like that quality, but about 20 more minutes might have raised the whole movie just a bit. If you want to see a showcase of Michael Shannon and Winona Ryder this is a must see!!
- Making Of The Iceman – This is not the making of feature you were expecting, instead a bunch of interviews that last about 30 minutes.
- The Iceman Behind The Scenes – Cast & Crew discuss the making of the movie and the real life story behind the film.
Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
It’s the boxes which I don’t like, however, they did rip it up a bit. I don’t dislike it, it is just neutral which is almost as bad. I wouldn’t have it as a poster. The menu is basic, navigates, and that’s it.
Audio & Video: 6/10
The Iceman’s 1080P AVC transfer is not going to set your world on fire but it does capture the gritty tone of the movie quite well. Black levels are all over the place they almost look milky in the very dark opening scenes. Color is pretty subdued throughout the films entire run-time but detail is evident in the shots that take place outside. The Iceman is quite an ugly film to look at but the subject matter kinda overrides that.
Audio fares much better with the Dolby True-HD 5.1 track delivering on all fronts. One of my favorite scenes here is the Disco/Nightclub where Blondie’s Heart Of Glass is playing. The sound-field is so good here you feel the bass and the people’s clothes swishing together as our anti-hero gets close to them. The audio track is pretty good for this type of movie not showcase material but it does serve the movie well.
For an evening of quality performances, The Iceman is a good choice. I would add a couple other of these “true” stories, like Zodiac with Gyllenhaal. It is a rental for me since I don’t have a desire to watch it again or show it off to anyone who might come visit.
Overall Score 7.5/10