Peeping Tom, Night of the Hunter and a whole host of older films were ignored or given bad reviews upon…
Killing Them Softly
In America you're on your own.
Jackie Cogan is an enforcer hired to restore order after three dumb guys rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse.
So this is a film about (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) a couple of low life criminals that (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) rob a poker game and get their come uppance. It´s also about (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) the guy going after the two low life (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) criminals that robbed the poker game. It's also about a guy with glasses (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) who screws hookers and drinks a lot and serves (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) no other purpose. It's also about another guy with glasses who (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) sits in a car most of the time.
Beautifully shot, sometimes funny, sometimes very violent film that keeps screaming in my face that it has a message instead of making that message relevant.
(WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!)
The December Project: Film #2
How this film plays with people will depend on whether or not you like your films subtle or not. Killing Them Softly isn't interested in letting its message sink in slowly. No, it's out to punch you. In the gut. Because you're fucking scum. And you deserve it, you worthless piece of shit.
Yes, Killing Them Softly is currently underperforming at the box office, and it also has a CinemaScore of F. But I'm not surprised. Killing Them Softly is an angry film. It's angry about politicians shoving bullshit down your throat. It's angry about how the economy sucks. It's a pissed off wild dog and it's about to shove its rabies down your throat…
Director, Andrew Dominik’s last film - Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - was one of the finest movies of the last decade which makes his latest effort all the more disappointing. Brad Pitt plays an enforcer who is hired to sort out a problem when two opportunistic wasters rob a protected card game. The thought of Dominik tackling a contemporary and socially relevant crime film sounded like a potent and exciting mix yet Killing Them Softly is a film that is rarely as insightful as it believes it is.
As a film it is aesthetically reminiscent of the grimy ‘70s crime dramas rather than the modern glorification of gangster culture. Barring a stylishly choreographed slow-motion centrepiece…
A sort of mumble-noir that, save for bursts of intense violence, crawls through its narrative with talky languorousness, Andre Dominik's "Killing Them Softly" is a slow rolling crime thriller that is sometimes smart and sometimes uninvolving. The film is a meditation on the late 2000s American economic state of being, using the mob as its representative symbol, but it can not muster the energy to drive a narrative to be more than just occasionally interesting.
Revolving around hitmen, the instability of crime syndicates, and the need to clean up each, "Killing Them Softly" has enough gunfire, violence, and long passages of dialogue to make things interesting. Unfortunately, the film has a meandering sensibility and little sense of urgency. It is…
Predicted that there would be five walkouts during the screening, but it turns out my prediction was too conservative. There were eleven walkouts during the film, the first two walking out almost immediately after the opening credits. Had these walkouts stuck around, they would've have been privy to a crime film that harkened back to the good old days of crime films, as well as one of the best movies of the year.
"Why are you being so fucking strident?
"Okay. Um, you should leave."
first time i saw this i was all, "lay off the horn, i get it with your neat little analogy." but on a rewatch that's quantitatively so little of the whole. instead, focus on the relentless momentum (both of words and actions), the efficient translation of Higgins' gangland socioeconomy, the ostentatious formal flourishes, and the idiosyncratic performances. yeah, smugly makes its themes thuddingly obvious, but compared to the current glut of AmerIndie crime thrillers this might even be another THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, quite the novel jewel. using the Velvet Undergound's "Heroin" over the scene of the guy shooting heroin is simultaneously an incredible and incredibly mistaken set of balls.
6/10: An elegant and stylish black comedy that has the look and feel of the 70's crime picture of yesteryears. Its dialogue-intensive driven is not meant for everyone but personally I find them realistic. Don't expect the recycling of a Scorsese or Copella - this a picture of its own kind.
There's a masterpiece hidden in 'Killing Them Softly', an often-hilarious neo-crime-noir that tries fifty times too many to shove the 2008 economic collapse down my throat. This movie tries too hard to emphasize financial downfall. Really, even 'Inside Job' didn't try this hard.
It's a classic example of biting off more than can be chewed. Because, at surface level, after wading through all those Obama speeches, is a great movie. The script is engaging and funny (multiple plotlines are equally interesting), and the performances are great, especially Scoot McNairy. If this movie just tried to be a simple crime picture, it would be one for the books. Instead, it dates itself by anchoring to its themes.
Cool setting, very slick movie. Takes a different direction than expected.
Most everything beyond the 2008 election subtext works well enough, but no need to talk about that too much - what I really want to know is how they kept Ben Mendelsohn (an incredible actor) so sweaty from minute one to 97.
What kinda temperature are we talking on set? Was some production coordinator put in charge of buckets and cloths? Is it a health issue, the copious drugs, or the understandings bearing down on his locker-besieged person that causes clear liquid to descend his face from scene to scene? America, it seems, is as literally hot as it is metaphorically hot, and either way, Mendelsohn keeps sweating.
It's a great film when it sticks to what I assume is closer to the original novel, that being criminals talking about being criminals. When there's a guy literally shooting heroin to the song "Heroin", it's less so.
I'll give the film credit for trying to be about something more than just a bunch of mobsters in malaise. I'm not sure it pulls it off, but it tries.
Gandolfini seems tired. The Brad Pitt characters seems like what Oceans 12 would be like without the fun and with killing.
I loved The Assassination of Jesse James... and I'm a fan of Brad Pitt and of gritty crime dramas, so this looked like it'd be great. Whilst there are some elements that work really well - the performances are excellent; the cinematography is gritty and atmospheric; the political commentary, which to many may seem a bit on-the-nose, made this small-scale story feel like it had national and international resonance - overall there just wasn't any characters I could really get invested in and I felt like the attempts at making a big political statement were lacking the subtlety needed to truly have an impact. It's one of those films that has admirable ambitions and is quite enjoyable, but is far from great.
The good: Slow pace and not overly glamorous
The bad: No likeable characters
That is to say they weren't dislikeable either, i just couldn't give a shit about any of them. It's a very simple plot about finding and taking out the guys that robbed a poker game and spends an awful lot of time having conversations between a couple characters about plans etc.
A lot of mafia and gang movies over glamorize them like they're cool but this plays the mafia down to the point that one poker night gets held up and robbed and causes a whole financial crisis thing. Any other movie would have been simply getting revenge on the guys that did because it pissed the gang off.
Plays a bit better on rewatch
- Eyes Wide Shut
- Speed Racer
- Marie Antoinette
- Spring Breakers
- The Captive
- Clouds of Sils Maria
- Goodbye to Language
- The Homesman
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the festival began in 1946.…
- Once Upon a Time in the West
- Assault on Precinct 13
- The Good, The Bad, The Weird
- Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
- Hard Boiled
I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…