Month: September 2012

Hostel Part 1 & 2

Year: 2005 & 2007
Directed By: Eli Roth
Written By: Eli Roth


When Hostel came out in 2005 I absolutely refused to watch it. To start with I felt it was only riding the coattails of another successful franchise, Saw.  I had heard nothing but disgusting things about the film and wasn’t interested in the new “torture-porn” fad that had developed in horror films.  I’ll admit I was taken in to an extent by the Saw franchise. I like those movies but not because of the torture but because I felt the story was clever and interesting.  This film seemed to be nothing but torture, and the things I had heard were enough to turn my stomach without even seeing the film for myself.  I am not a squeamish movie watcher, but as with all things there has to be a point to it and if something seems to be just overkill violence I’m not interested.

After the second film had come out I found myself at a friend’s house one day and had no choice but to sit there through the film.  I was shocked to find myself so interested in the movie.  I thought the obsession with death and the lengths people went to be part of it were very interesting.  It was then that I went backwards and watched the original. We are reviewing these two movies together because I do not think either is a complete film but together they tell two sides of an interesting story. The duality in these two films fascinates me in that the first film is about the victims while the second focuses more on the villains.

By and large these two movies are stupid.  The first one specifically is a bit much around every corner.  These two typical guys going around Europe acting like idiots doesn’t do much to draw you into the film, but everybody sticks with it because they know what is coming.  Nobody sits down to watch this movie not knowing what is to come and we sat down to see something vicious.  In the long run this movie does not disappoint in that aspect. It is without doubt very vicious and will leave you with images you won’t soon forget.  Just hearing about the things that were done in this movie made me feel sick, seeing them was something that I couldn’t quite shake.  I do like the mysterious quality of this first film though because for the majority of the film you have no idea why these things are happening.  The story is only vaguely told as well with the viewer having to figure out what is actually going on. It was easy for me because I went backwards in the movies and knew plenty about the organization that was capturing the victims, but I could see how plenty of people might have been lost in the first one by the end.  There are plenty of stupid people out there and these are the types of movies that attract stupid people. I’m sure several had no idea what was going on when the main character is having a conversation later with one of the killers.

Years ago when I begrudgingly sat down with my friend to watch Hostel 2 I was amazed at how interested I was in the movie.  The bidding war over the victims between people all over the world caught my attention.  It’s a fascinating idea and I can only hope that it is purely fiction.  After that it was the obsession with killing by seemingly normal people that got my attention.  Killing is wrong and it involves crossing a line that the majority of us will never come close to but there is a killer instinct inside of all of us.  Given the opportunity I think we would all be surprised with what we were capable of.  I found the two killers to be so interesting.  How the one that is gung-ho over the whole thing suddenly loses his nerve and can’t go through with what he thought he wanted.  Yet his passive friend is the one who turns out to be truly psychotic and falls prey to the blood lust of torture and killing.  When the victim turns the tables on him and becomes a member of the secret society I thought it was a great plot twist.

These aren’t great movies and I would hardly even go as far as to call them good.  I bought them for the collection because they surprised me and I like to remember that I can still be surprised by this medium of entertainment. This movie was given mainstream release after it impressed Quentin Tarantino and gave him a chance to slap his name on something successful. Having seen all of Tarantino’s films I can see what he liked about it. He has a sick obsession with violence and gore, this movie was right up his alley.  The movies were both written and directed by Eli Roth who would go on to play a significant role in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.  I would never recommend either of these movies to anybody because they are awful and disgusting movies.  Yet if you have a chance to watch them you might find yourself interested in it and I won’t say that either one isn’t worth your time.


I had never seen these movies before watching it for the blog. I think these are great horror films. They make you squirm and hide your eyes and wonder who (if anyone) is actually going to make it out alive. I really liked them. They are super creepy, and somewhat original in the horror genre, which I feel is a hard one to really excel in because it is done so much.

Here are just three of the posters for this film; they came out with a series of them. I really like the watercolor-like effect; it makes it look blurry and dirty. They all allude to something gruesome happening. I like the typography of Hostel. It’s pretty cliché as far as horror movie typography goes, but it’s still pretty nice.



Year: 1991
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: J.M. Barrie (novel), James V Hart, Nick Castle, and Malia Scotch Marmo


I once heard the hosts of my favorite morning radio show, Two Guys Named Chris, criticizing this movie and suggesting that it was a stain on Spielberg’s career.  I was shocked because I was under the impression that everyone loved this movie. Although maybe that is just because I have grown up loving this movie and still do. I was seven years old when it came out and I was exactly who the movie was made for.  I supposed it seemed silly to adults then and probably does now as well but through a seven year old’s eyes it just doesn’t get any better than this. Hook was made for young kids and it was made by a director with a reputation for getting through to kids.  This movie is dear to me for many reasons and it is one that I look forward to watching with my children one day.

If there is a stain on Steven Spielberg’s career it’s Indiana Jones 4 or the re-editing of E.T.. I say if for the simple fact that Spielberg’s career has been so distinguished that it’s easy to overlook the minor lapses like the aforementioned. I hardly think this movie was bad though, it might fail in comparison to some of his other work but I think it had a real special quality to it.  Spielberg used his talents to get great acting out of a group of young kids and paired them with a group of seasoned and talented actors. Robin Williams was on the rise in the early 90s and I think he was great as the grown up version of Peter Pan.  Dustin Hoffman was fantastic as Captain Hook, his wardrobe and stylist had a lot to do with that but he was really terrific.  As I got older and saw more Dustin Hoffman movies I could never believe that he was the guy that played Captain Hook.  The guy that I saw in those other movies just didn’t look the same.  It’s because Hoffman wasn’t Hoffman in this movie, he was Captain Hook in this movie. I think his performance makes the movie memorable as much as anything else does. I am not usually a Julia Roberts fan but I think she was great as Tinkerbell in this movie.  It was a role that I don’t think will ever be matched with that character. Roberts looked so great in that little outfit too, she has great legs. Though I read that she was so difficult to work with on set they nicknamed her “Tinkerhell.” Bob Hoskins is great playing the part of Smee, but I think he is too lovable as the character.  Hoskins is at his best when he is the mean and nasty villain, but I like the diversity we see with this character.

I also think a good argument against the critics of this film is the simple fact that it is a good idea.  I like the idea that Peter Pan decided to leave Neverland and grew up in the real world. That he forgot all about who he was until the day that he had to return to Neverland. The Lost Boys have had to learn how to survive without him and they turned to a new leader, one who isn’t keen on the idea of turning leadership back over.  When I was a kid I thought Rufio was the coolest guy I had ever seen.  I desperately wanted to have my hair done in that crazy multi-mohawk thing he had going on but my mom wouldn’t allow it.  She was protecting me from reality though really, it never would have worked with my hair and I would have looked ridiculous. I also like the idea that Neverland as a place can start to change who you are, just as the real world did for Peter Pan.  We see this with Peter’s son played by Charlie Korsmo.  By the time his father has regained his persona he barely remembers who his father even is, and he has become the protégé of Hook.

The battle at the end of the movie is epic and fulfilled all my wildest expectations out of a movie at seven.  It was big and exciting battles like this that influenced and developed my love for these types of scenes in movies today.  The all-in fighting and swordplay was so exciting, and then the tragedy makes it all real before the ultimate and final showdown between Pan and Hook. I also like that in the end Hook isn’t finished off by his greatest enemy, but by the creature he feared the most.  There were many themes I related to as a kid watching this movie.  Such as having a father that spent the majority of his time at work and missed things.  It was a movie that gave me comfort at the time because there was so much excitement and everything worked out happily in the end.

This movie may have been hated on by plenty but I doubt I am the only person of my generation that has sentimental feelings for it.  It’s that movie we all loved during the same age range and we remember the feelings it invoked within us.  I would recommend this as a good movie you could watch with your kids and one that if you take it for what it is you will enjoy yourself.  This movie is worth your time and I hope I have convinced you to give it a chance.


I remember watching this movie as a kid and loving it. I still love it. I think it especially special to kids who grew learning about the Peter Pan story. This is a real-life version of it including some popular people in the cast. I think Robin Williams makes a good Peter Pan, and in my book Julia Roberts is Tinkerbell.

I don’t hate this poster, but I don’t love it either. I think it is a little done over and over, this use of old paper and torn edges. This poster reminds me somewhat of the Goonies style poster. The characters are in a painting style, which I feel leaves Robin Williams looking way younger than he actually is in the movie. The font choice is perfect; it’s my favorite thing about this poster.

NEXT MOVIE: Hostel Part 1 & 2 (2005 &2007)


Year: 2002
Directed By: James Cox
Written By: Scott Rosenberg


This is a movie about wild and free spirited youths.  I really identified with it myself when I, myself was a wild and free spirited youth.  Those days are long forgotten now but it can still be exciting to see a movie like this that takes me back.  This is an interesting and cool movie that I still like to watch. I was ten years old during the time this movie was set in 1994.  I remember some of the things mentioned in the movie such as Kurt Cobain‘s suicide but I remember little about the style and fads of the time period. I think it is interesting that this movie was set in 1994 when it came out in 2002.  It makes the story feel more real that way, as if the writer merely put down a chapter of his own life from years ago.

This is a cool movie but I think I may have been over zealous when I bought it for the collection. I don’t know that it is that good. It’s a little bit too heavy on the drugs.  Once you’ve seen a movie like this some of the themes become a little redundant.  Not only that but the movie just doesn’t seem as awesome to me now as it did when I was 22. The cast is worth wild, featuring Jared Leto, Jake Gyllenhaal, Selma Blair, Jeremy Piven, and John C. McGinley.  I am a big fan of McGinley, specifically his work with Oliver Stone, but he had no business in this movie.  He plays the part well enough but I don’t think he fit in well with the younger cast.

I like this movie well enough but I don’t know that I would actually say it is worth your time.  It might only appeal to a certain generation and in that event it is only going to be a bad influence, as it was once a bad influence on me.  You probably won’t catch this movie on TV while you are channel surfing though. It’s one of those many movies in danger of being forgotten far too quickly.


This is a cool movie. It’s remotely interesting. I still don’t really know why it made it into the movie collection; I mean it’s not really great or anything. Jared Leto looks pretty sexy in this movie. That’s saying a lot since I don’t think he is anything near attractive these days.

Here is the poster/dvd cover. B-O-R-I-N-G. What is the typography even trying to do here? Look like a broken highway? The movie isn’t even about that. Apparently, I don’t like it too much.

NEXT MOVIE: Home Alone (1990)

Helter Skelter

Year: 2004
Directed By: John Gray
Written By: Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry (book) and John Gray (screenplay)


I don’t know that there has ever been a crazier or more dangerous person to walk the face of the Earth than Charles Manson. What I don’t understand is why a movie made about him wasn’t made for the big screen and ended up as a made for TV movie.  That turned out to be a great thing though because otherwise Jeremy Davies probably wouldn’t have gotten the part.  Davies has the look of a psychotic in his eyes, when he turns them on you he invokes fear.  Though small, like Manson, he manages to be such an intimidating and enigmatic character. He brings this story to life as the main character and I think he gave a performance that needs more recognition. Davies is also really great in the FX TV series Justified where he plays Dickie Bennett.

What makes Manson so scary is that he didn’t even have to do these awful random acts of violence himself.  He manipulated and controlled several people that would do his bidding without question. Making it even scarier was that the kids he managed to pull into his influence weren’t all rejected kids looking for acceptance. A few of them were very popular kids with seemingly bright futures ahead of them. One of them was even famous; I am referring of course to Dennis Wilson, the Beach Boy. Manson had them all thinking he was Jesus and going to lead them through a crisis called “Helter Skelter.” If I remember correctly, Manson believed The Beatles were sending him messages through their music and that song spoke to him or something.  Manson is an example of evil in this world, and the possibilities it can entail. These acts were so horrific, the victims were so unlucky to be the ones who Manson chose to terrorize and kill. He was trying to insight a race war that would decide the fate of the world or something along those lines.  The guy was crazy as shit to say it plainly, crazy enough to make you get up and lock your doors when you think about him.  You never know when another Charles Manson will rise up and make our greatest fears a reality.

The problem with Manson is that he is such a fascinating person that we all fall under to his spell to an extent.  We want to understand more about him but you just can’t understand crazy.  It’s the show he puts on, the possibilities, the unknown as to what he will say or do.  He is truly insane and famous for it.  He might say or do anything given the opportunity and we all find ourselves curious as to what it might be. I really fear what a guy like this could do in today’s world.  With the potential to reach so many more people through networks like Twitter and Facebook.  The world has changed so much but people haven’t necessarily changed very much.  There are evil people out there and eventually someone crazier will take the stage.  It’s a terrifying prospect but a chance that lurks in the dark corners of society.

Part of this movie does focus on Roman Polanski who was the biggest victim of the Manson family really.  He wasn’t murdered but he had to go on living with the murders.  With the loss of his child that was so close to being born, and his wife being murdered for no real reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Roman Polanski is a controversial figure today and I will be honest in saying I do not know enough about what he did to weigh in appropriately. Although I know enough about Polanski to pity the life he has had to endure.  Yes he has achieved great success in his field but he hasn’t had it easy at all.  He is a Holocaust survivor for crying out loud.  It is hard enough to have survived one of the most awful events in the history of the modern era but he then had to go on and be the victim of such a horrible crime.  I can’t imagine what it must have been like for him but this movie really makes me feel his pain.  To have to go through it with the media scrutinizing the situation so heavily must have been truly awful. I know a little about what Polanski did to get in trouble but not enough to think ill of him. To be honest I think I avoid finding out the real story specifically because I don’t want a reason to dislike Polanski.  The man has simply gone through too much to have me as one more person judging him.

This is an awesome movie and it tells a story about one of the craziest things that has happened in this country during the twentieth century.  As it goes with all movies based on a true story this movie is pickled with inaccuracies but in the end it is close enough to the truth that it doesn’t really matter. If you enjoy this movie I would suggest you research some into the real version of the events as they happened.  As good as this story is the real story is even more insane.  I think this movie is worth your time and would strongly suggest you see it if you haven’t had the chance yet.


This movie is completely scary and creepy in every way. I was immediately drawn into it the first time I watched it about it 3 years ago. This is one of the best made for TV movies I have seen. It is almost like a movie version of E! True Hollywood Story. (And I love that stuff) After watching this movie the first time, I wikipedia-ed Charles Manson and read about the real life events. The man is seriously crazy in every way. I think this movie depicted him in a very true way. The other members of the “Manson Family” were also portrayed really well. This is a great movie if you are interested in movies that depict real life events. It gives you an insight to the madness that was Charles Manson.

NEXT MOVIE: Highway (2002)

The Help

Year: 2011
Directed By: Tate Taylor
Written By: Tate Taylor (screenplay) and Kathryn Stockett


This is a great movie and I can see that, but this movie makes me sad more than anything else. The world is full of hypocrites; of hateful, judgmental, and ignorant people who live to hurt others. Movies like this are good at reminding us that they are out there.  We don’t need a movie to do that though.  These people didn’t just live in the 60s; they have lived and thrived among us for the 50+ years since. Every single day there are people all over the place reminding us how awful people can be; it’s an unfortunate reality of life. This movie is sad, it’s about the hate that has existed among us and about how mean people can be. I am not a fan of this movie because I am not a fan of the mood it has put me in. I respect the story that it is telling and hope that it reaches the closed minded people of the world.  I was reached by another movie with a similar theme though, and everything else after I have just found depressing instead of moving.

This movie might not move me but it has the potential to move so many people and that makes it important. I sincerely hope that each and every other person that watches this movie learns a serious and important lesson. There is nothing good about hate, about judging another person based on the race, gender, or sexual preference. I do my best in life to never be that way and I personally hate reminders about how others choose to be.  This movie is really sad, and I never enjoy watching it.  Amber read the book, and although I respect everything my wife loves I do not enjoy this movie as she does. I don’t know all the back story that she does though and would probably feel differently if I had read the book.

Another reason I do not like this movie is because I love Bryce Dallas Howard and in this one she plays one of the most awful women I have ever seen in a movie.  These women are out there, we all know one or two.  I just hate seeing an actress I am so fond of play such a despicable character. Bryce Dallas Howard of course is the daughter of the great filmmaker and once actor Ron Howard.  I like her not only because of that but because of some of her performances in other movies.  I thought she was incredible in The Village and Lady in the Water although I might be one of the few that actually loved both of those movies.  Hilly Holbrook is a woman full of hate and arrogance.  There is absolutely nothing to like about her and that is not Bryce Dallas Howard’s fault, I just wish someone else had played the part.  I would feel much better hating a character that is supposed to be hated if she was played by someone I didn’t like.

Emma Stone is great in this movie.  I was not her biggest fan a few years ago when she burst onto the scene but I have come around. She is a great actress that shows very good versatility and her career seems to get more distinguished every year. One ironic tidbit in relation to her and this movie is that both she and Bryce Dallas Howard have now played the same character, Gwen Stacy, in different Spiderman movies. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are both fantastic in this movie as well but I fear they won’t have many other opportunities to shine like they did in this one.  I hope that I am wrong about this because I thought they were both great and would love to see them again.  Octavia Spencer did win the Academy Award for her part so that should open up many opportunities for her.  I just don’t see her fitting into many other roles as well as she fit into this one.

I see this as a movie about women made for women.  There are very few men in the movie at all and none with an extensive part.  I may see this as a movie for women but I still think it is a movie EVERYONE should see because we all need to learn the lessons that are offered from a film like this.  We all need to see how destructive and uncalled for hate and racism are.  Our country has come a long way since the sixties but it hasn’t come far enough if you ask me.  Racism is still rampant in this country and more often than not leaders on all sides make things worse as opposed to better. This country will never be able to be great again until we learn to be better as people.  We have to be able to work together, we have to be able to treat each other like human beings, and we need to quit with all the hate.  I don’t think this will ever happen, but the world would be a better place.  People of different races and sexual preferences are no less human than the person judging them but some people are too close minded to see the reality of that.  These types of people will always be around, and they will always find someone to put into power that will validate their beliefs.

I don’t like this movie or movies like it because they hurt me.  I feel an uncomfortable feeling in my gut every time I watch a movie like this because racism bothers me so badly.  That isn’t a feeling I like to endure and no matter how good a movie might be I find it hard to like when it makes me recognize the ugly realities of human nature.  This movie is worth your time though, despite the bad feelings while watching it now I have still found myself sucked into the story.  It is a good story, and one everybody out there can learn from.


I really like this movie. It is one of my favorite book-to-film adaptations. I think that all of the actors in the movie were perfectly cast. They played their parts perfectly and looked amazing in the costumes of the era. The book was truly amazing and moving. It made me think about how we all have treated each other over the centuries, and like Ryan, it always makes me sad.

It reminds me that we are still fighting for simple civil rights. I grew up in the South. My great grandparents had African American “help.” After reading this book, I talked to my grandma about it. I never once remember ever hearing my family (my mom’s or my dad’s sides of the family) speak in a derogatory way of anyone from that culture. I grew up not even knowing their was ever a difference. My grandma said that she remembered her maid and that she was like family. Their families spent Christmas together and everything. This made me so proud of my grandma and my family before me. I get to claim to be a part of the lucky ones. There is still so much racism and prejudice out there and it is sickening. I wish everyone could just go about their own lives and leave others to theirs.

The book isn’t based on real-life events. All of it is fictional, and even knowing that it is still heartwarming and enlightening. I totally recommend both the book and the movie.

NEXT MOVIE: Helter Skelter (2004)


Year: 2004
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Written By: Guillermo del Toro, Peter Briggs and Mike Mignola (comic books)


For a long time this was one of my favorite comic book films.  At this point in time there is plenty of steep competition though as comic book films seem to own the big budget movies that are released.  However in 2004 when this movie came out I thought that the only films in the genre that were better were X2 and SpidermanI had never heard of Hellboy before seeing the movie and had absolutely no familiarity with the comic.  I felt like I was taking a chance when I watched it and was pleasantly surprised when I not only liked it but loved it.  I think this movie has a great story and script, excellent casting, and nonstop thrills that keep it interesting.

The first film in a comic book franchise is always tricky to make.  Do you please the comic fans or do you create something new that anybody and everybody can enjoy?  One way or another somebody is always disappointed and criticism will come.  I think this movie did an excellent job with its beginning though.  Something that slows down these first films is the fact that everybody has to be introduced, there powers or abilities have to be explained, and that can take up half of the film.  This film does all those things so nonchalantly that it makes it surprising that so many others do it wrong.  I think that is a credit to the filmmaker.  Guillermo del Toro is a highly respected filmmaker and for good reason.  Most of the comic book films at the time weren’t getting what you would call high profile directors behind the camera, but this movie is evidence that it clearly makes a big difference. Del Toro not only directed this one but worked extensively on the script himself and movies are always better when the director is telling his own story and not someone else’s.  What del Toro made in the end was funny, exciting, and most importantly it was cool.  I have said before that one of the most important parts of some movies is how cool they are and del Toro knows how to make a cool movie.

I am a big fan of Ron Perlman and think he was awesome as Hellboy.  Perlman has extensive experience being put under heavy make-up for a role having played The Beast on the long forgotten Beauty and The Beast television series.  That experience obviously played a part in the decision to cast him because whoever played the part would have to undergo lots of time in the make-up chair.  What I found so interesting in Perlman’s performance though was how well he played the part.  As Hellboy he was supposed to have the persona of a very young man and Perlman was 54 when this movie was made.  He was so funny and smooth as Hellboy, a bit rough around the edges but that’s part of who Ron Perlman is. Perlman is a real nasty looking guy, which is part of what I have always liked about him.  He is great as a bad guy and that is where he is often cast, so I specifically like how well he played the good guy in this one. I am a fan of Sons of Anarchy on FX and think that Perlman is great in that show as well, a perfect role for a guy like him.

As for the rest of the cast I will say that most of them did much better than I would have expected from them.  I am not usually a fan of Selma Blair and she isn’t great in this one or anything but she isn’t bad either.  Rupert Evans was good as the pure of heart FBI set to take over keeping up with Hellboy but they really made a mistake letting him go for the sequel.  John Hurt did a great job in his role and I thought Doug Jones was also great voicing the character of Abe Sapien. I don’t know that it really mattered who voiced Abe Sapien though, he is an awesome character and I don’t think it made a difference what he sounded like. My favorite of the other actors in this film though has to be that of Jeffrey Tambor.  The man is just awesome in everything he is in and I am always happy to see him in any movie.  He has a larger than normal role for him in this one and I like that even better.

When it comes to the bad guys in this one I don’t think it even matters who played the parts.  When establishing any story that involves good versus evil you just can’t go wrong by making the bad guys Nazis.  Nobody will ever be quite as hated as Nazis. Viewers all over the world love to hate and root against them in movies.  The character of Kroenen is without doubt one of the most badass villains I have ever seen in any movie.  From the very beginning when he cuts down all those US troops you can’t help but just get excited at what else this guy might do and he just keeps doing it. The mask he wears, the weapons he uses, and the way that he just won’t die is all incredibly badass and awesome. A villain like Kroenen is essential to any movie like this. He isn’t the main bad guy; he is the ultimate weapon the main bad guy sends out to do his business. Karel Rodin played the part of Rasputin and he is very good in that role.  He has a villainous look to him and seems threatening with everything he does. I liked him as the head villain but he is overshadowed a bit by his main henchman.

This is the kind of movie I can’t say enough good things about.  I was really disappointed with the sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army and think that it was an awful follow up.  The movie had its moments but overwhelmingly I thought the story was too silly and weird.  Things focused way too much on fairy tales where the first one was more cosmic and mysterious.  We do not own the second film because we simply didn’t think it was worth buying. Despite that I still look forward to the possibility of a third film.  I have heard nothing in a long time about a third Hellboy but there is always the chance a movie studio decides to roll the dice on a franchise with name recognition. I think this is an awesome movie that anybody would enjoy.  I’d imagine plenty of people never gave it a chance simply because it is called “Hellboy,” but they are missing out.  This is a fun and exciting movie that is more than worth your time.


I liked this movie a lot. It’s about the only thing I like that has Ron Pearlman in it. Ryan is a huge, huge fan of Sons of Anarchy and I again seem to be the only one in the world that doesn’t like the show. In any case, I think this movie is fun and silly. It’s an easy movie to enjoy and has a great storyline.

I don’t like the poster or the DVD cover of this movie, so I am not going to waste time writing about it.

On to the next film!



Year: 2001
Directed By: David Mamet
Written By: David Mamet


This is a movie of great one liners with clever and witty dialogue all throughout the movie. It’s a movie that will keep you guessing with many twists and turns. Its cast is made up of mainly older actors who prove that they still had plenty to offer. I think the most important thing about this movie is that it is cool; its coolness factor makes it significant if nothing else does.

This was written and directed by David Mamet who has been involved with some really great TV shows.  Specifically The Unit and one of my all-time favorite shows The ShieldI always think films that are written and directed by the same person have a special quality to them and that is there in this one.  Mamet wrote a really interesting story and he found some quality people to bring it to life.  I am a big fan of Gene Hackman and I think with this movie he proved that in 2001 he still had it.  As it is put in the movie “he’s so cool that when he goes to sleep the sheep count him.” This wasn’t the only great performance Hackman turned in at the plus 70 age range, but it is one of the last films he made.  Hackman was a great actor and I really miss seeing him in movies.  I have never been a big fan of Delroy Lindo but he isn’t a bad actor and does well in this movie. I think Danny Devito is great as the dangerous fence.  I am not a fan of what he has done on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia so I like a movie like this one that reminds me what he is capable of. I am a fan of It’s Always Sunny, but not the part that DeVito plays as Frank.  Frank has progressively gotten weirder and grosser to the point that his character as a whole only brings the show down now.

In the supporting roles of this film I really like Sam Rockwell.  I have always been a fan of his and I was really looking forward to what else he had to offer around the time this movie came out.  I don’t know why but for whatever reason his career seemed to move in reverse as the 2000’s progressed.  I am not really that familiar with Rebecca Pidgeon beyond this movie but I don’t know that I have to be.  She is a real badass as Hackman’s girlfriend/wife/whatever and the one that really keeps you guessing the whole time.  I don’t really like how her character panned out but I thought she was sexy in the role and fit well with the cast.

This is a movie that I found impressive the first time I saw it and I still enjoy it.  It doesn’t garner enough of my enthusiasm now having just reviewed a different but similar film in Heat.  Heat is an entirely different film altogether but they are both about criminals pulling heists so the similarity is there.  I think this movie has too much that just works out too perfectly for the characters involved but that is the main flaw.  There is also some poor audio with background music playing over dialogue but I think that is simply the work from a less seasoned director in Mamet.  I do think Mamet did a good job otherwise though and he wrote a great story.  This is a cool movie and I think it is worth your time if you have an opportunity to see it.


I actually really like this movie. It’s a little long, but it’s worth the time. I am a big fan of Gene Hackman, so I could watch it for that reason alone.

I really like the design for this movie. It is set up in a grid-like structure that was pretty popular around the time that it came out. I also like the use of typography in the top right corner. The last names have hierarchy over the first names of the big names of the movie. (haha) The only thing I find really inconsistent with it is that Hackman’s face looks posed and purposeful, while the other faces are scenes from the movie. I feel like they should have either gone with all faces, or all scenes. Other than that, I like this one.

NEXT MOVIE: Hellboy (2004)