Today, again, let’s talk about old movies. And with old I don’t mean “the classics” but just movies ten or more or less years old; movies that went out of the public awareness already years ago. Let’s not talk about why I’m trying to review them. It should be clear for all that recent movie production in Hollywood neither meets my expectations nor my standards in entertainment.
So, yes, you’re free to assume Orca was bored out of her skull when it came to creating the audiovisual entertainment program for dinner time and evenings with hubby. Often we try to think about movies we kinda liked when they originally appeared on the cinematic circuit.
Today I’ve found two cinematic marvels for you. Stuff you might want to watch again too. Let’s get on with it:
It was an ingenious enough plan: rob the Riviera Casino’s count room during an Elvis impersonator convention. But Thomas Murphy decided to keep all the money for himself and shot all his partners, including recently-freed ex-con Michael Zane. With $3.2 million at stake, the Marshals Service closing in, and single mom Cybil Waingrow and her son Jesse constantly confounding things, Michael must track down Murphy.
This flick is nasty! No other word for it. There’s not a single likeable character in this plot. Chief of the villains is Kevin Costner as a sociopathic psychopath, a real rotten figure. But the rest of the very good cast (Kurt Russell, Courtneney Cox, Christian Slater, David Arquette, Jon Lovitz, Thomas Haden Church …) aren’t saints neither. In fact is everybody trying to steal from everyone else and trying to get their hands on the 3.2 mio loot in this 2001 gangster “comedy”.
Unfortunately are Slater and Arquette criminally underutilzed but the play between Russell, Costner and Cox is well worth watching. Nobody here is particularly clever or smart but their ruthlessness is utterly entertaining.
All in all there are enough quirky ideas and action scenes in 3000 Miles to make this movie never boring. I guess the IMDb rating of 5.9 is a bit low. It’s not an outstanding movie but far ahead of much of the shit of today.
3000 Miles is brutal, it’s fast when it needs to be fast, slows down in the right moments and keeps a well paced tempo all the time.
This movie is also a hommage to Las Vegas. And you’ll see more Elvises than you’ve ever seen before, in your whole life! But we won’t get to see Graceland. Not even once.
And best of all, this flick doesn’t pretend to be more than it is: A gangster romp. With some shock value but also with enough laughs. Dunno about you, but when I see an Elvis I just have to smile. When I see hordes of Elvises I’m buying your shit! Simple as that.
Two convicts, one charismatic (Willis) and the other a hypochondriac (Thornton), break out of prison and immediately start a bank robbing spree, kidnapping bank managers, spending the night with their families, then going with the managers in the morning to rob the banks. Using a dim-witted stunt man as their getaway driver and lookout, the three successfully pull off several jobs (even gaining the attention of a television show about American criminals), and become known as “The Sleepover Bandits.” Things are going great until the bank managers begin to realize that the robbers are non-violent and therefore no threat to them or their employees, changing the game for the Bandits. To add to the complications, a bored & unhappy housewife (Blanchett) ends up in the hands of the criminals, and begins to have romantic feelings for both Willis and Thornton, causing a sticky love triangle.
Another star studded gangster rom-com of the early millenium, Bandits is also walking the fine line between comedy and drama and crime thriller. It does so with less runny-shooty-shouty stuff than 3000 Miles to Graceland, and in a slower pace. But better.
Also it’s far less brutal, as Willis and Thornton are kinda what one would describe as gentlemen gangsters. Still there’s not a single dull moment in Bandits. This movie and its characters are way too charming and fluffy to bore us.
All three stars are at the height of their game. Or let’s say they are on average as I’ve yet to see a movie in which any of them do disappoint me. Quite contary to other H-wood stars who sometimes give us an impression as if they phoned in their lines.
Same can be said about nowadays directors. Particularly those of giant franchise movies. Movies in 2017/18, more than ever before, it seems the directors don’t pay attention to detail anymore, they let too many things just slip and create products in a line with other products of the same franchise. As stand alone movies they often are nothing but shit.
Looking at you, Jar-Jar Abrams, Ruin Johnson and Disney/LucasFilm. What went wrong in the few years between 2000 and now? Why can’t highly paid people not do their jobs properly anymore and just make some movies? Is that asked too much? And we, the audiences, why do we still pilger into the theatres and throw our money at their shit?
Barry Levinson helmed Bandits with love and great care. It shows in every aspect of the film, from the engaged acting to the action scenes. As a product it’s well-rounded. Exactly as the movie studio and the audiences expected it to be. Maybe even a tad better.
The dialogue, even if a bit cheesy at times is never too much in-yo-face-mofo but carries the meaning very well without overdoing anything. Nobody tries to out act any of their co-stars. As audience we can feel how well everybody got along. Great ensemble work. And that is always a good sign.
It’s gotta be said that Bandits is the better movie than the loud and spectacular 3000 Miles. In the end they are both playing on a level that is hardly reached anymore by modern movies.
What say you, dear readers? You prefer good movies or spectacular plotholes in 3D? Are Orcsibaby and her hubby just too old geezers to get modern entertainment? Let me know in the comments below!