28 September 2012
First off, apologies and all that for the lack of updates on here of late, I'll admit the new Blogger might be better but I don't understand it properly for a start, (I'm going to make the writing bigger too) secondly I've been mad busy, which is all good, so not going to complain.
Last Friday I watched Killing Them Softly, I'd been looking forward to this one so caught it the day it came out, like the geek I am, if you haven't seen it and intend to - don't read this as it will probably spoil it for you.
I first spotted this in the great LWL mag and started seeing posters at various tube stops in the capital earlier this month, great cast; James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Brad Pitt, Sam Shepard, Vincent Curatola and even Benny from The Sopranos is in it. Worth watching if you're as oobatz a Sopranos fan as me. Based loosely on the 1974 novel Cogan's Trade by George V Higgins, the gist of this film is a dirty, sweaty bleak assassin/hitman movie set in a post Katrina New Orleans and a seemingly pre-apocalyptic America during the ongoing economic crisis over that side of the water. Directed by Andrew Dominik (Chopper) the story is set around Two bumbling hoods Scoot McNairy (twitchy) and Aussie Ben Mendelsohn (greasy) who together with small time crook, full time Dry Cleaner Johnny (a heavyweight Johnny Sack from the Sopranos) decide to commit their perfect crime, a hit on a mob protected card game.
The game is ran by Markie (Ray Liotta) who it's commonly known organised the last hit on his own game, so all fingers will point his way for sure? It's fair to say everything doesn't exactly go to plan.
Heroine addled Russell (Mendelsohn) yaps too much for his own good, in a town where everyone knows one another, it's not long before it's all gone tits up and the clock is ticking.
Enter Brad Pitt to Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around, as Mr Fix it, Cogan, a professional enforcer brought in to deal with the situation. A hitman who likes to do things as 'pleasantly' as possible, like whacking his targets from afar so he doesn't have to live with their blood, guts and moans, thus the films title, Killing Them Softly.
I'm not too sure what happened to Ray Liotta since his world beating turn as Henry Hill in Goodfellas, since that we've seen him victimised in Copland, has half his brain devoured by Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal, offed in Narc and Smoking Aces, I didn't see what happened to him in Operation Dumbo Drop but in this one it's fair to say he doesn't fare to well.
As expected, he takes the blame for the second heist despite having nothing to do with this one. Set upon by two more wiseguys we watch as the rain pours down and has ten shades of shit kicked out of him until he vomits, a toe curling watch from where I was sitting. Next up, Cogan's shirt and tie man in the car, contact (Richard Jenkins) gives him the orders from above, an anonymous and seemingly dis-organised, organised crime family who haggle with costs and don't want to make too much of a mess.
Markie's fate is sealed in a scene I couldn't quite work out as truly amazing or a bit too much like something from a shite CGI infested high octane Jason Statham film. He gets done in a drive by shooting in full on high definition, slow motion with a (now forgotten) cheery song playing over the top. I was impressed, but also felt sorry for poor old Ray as his head slowly crackled through the windscreen. It wasn't what they all wanted, especially Cogan who would have preferred someone else to do it. Step forward that someone else, Mickey (Gandolfini) as a usually reliable hired hitman from New York. Unfortunately since the last time they worked together problems in his private life have mounted up and it's fair to say he's thirsty, very thirsty. Unreliable, the last we see of him is a drunken rant in his dressing gown at his hotel having just fucked a hooker. The best lines in the film come from the big man. Different film, different thing, but classic big Tony characteristics for sure, red tinted specs can't hide that.
I thought this film was really good but left feeling a little odd, for reasons I'm not sure, I do love films like this. Critically acclaimed already, it's a good watch and harps back to decent old school crime capers for sure, the ongoing political commentary on the US state of affairs ties it all together and it finishes abruptly with a great last quote, all in all a decent deep down and dirty film, I'll probably have made my mind up when it hits the dvd shelves.
Posted by One-up at 01:44