Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Be Cool Review

Brewster's Millions is happy to announce we have a guest reviewer this week. My good friend Jamison recently took in a viewing of the Get Shorty sequel, Be Cool. He says he just couldn't not write a review of it, and so I'm happy to say he is allowing me to post it here. Let's hope there will be many more reviews from Jamison in the future.

Get Shorty is truly one of my favorite Cuss 'em up movies of all time. And when I heard of the sequel "Be Cool" coming out, I was very pumped. Breifly, the storyline is that the main character, Chili Palmer (played by John Travolta) is tired of the movie biz after having just made a terrible sequel to his first movie, staring Martin Weir (Danny De Vito). Chili has a music producer friend named Woods who is shot during the start of the movie by Russian mafia goons (still not sure how they come into play, I guess they are rampant in L.A.). Due to this turn of events, Chili offers to help out his friend's wife (Uma Thurman) run thier business. Whilst scouting out a talented singer in a club (Christina Milian) Chili is forced to tangle with her sleazy music manager (Vince Vaughn), his gay body guard (The Rock), and his producer partner (Harvey Keitel, who played in Chilis first movie, but in this movie, everyone acted like it was a different person... really confused me). Wood's horrible management of his music company gets Chili entertwined with members of the same Russian mafia (that killed his friend Woods) and a rich, well-to-do, clean-on-the-outside rap roducer (Cedric The Entertainer) and his gang of merry thugs. Uma's charachter had at one time done the laundry for Aerosmith. This sets the stage for Chili and her to make contact with Steven Tyler at a L.A. Lakers game. They end up getting thier scouted out chick (whos group used to actually be called "the chicks"... horrible, I know) a duet with Tyler at an Aerosmith concert. Getting her foot in the door to be produced... I guess...

I actaully went into this movie EXPECTING to like it. The start of the film was pretty pathedic. Chili goes on to explain to his friend Woods that he couldn't get a PG-13 rating in his last movie because it had the "f word" in it more than one time... He then says "You know what I think of that? FU*? that." And, in fact, that is the only F word in the whole movie, allowing it to keep a PG-13 rating. But before I go on, don't think that due to the rating it is safe for all 13 year olds. Every other allowable curse is throw around like a rag doll... if I heard a 13 year old speak like these characters, I'd probably slap him myself... Anyway, it was just pretty stupid to literally use that word for no reason at all... but that's just me...

The movie just does not have that Get Shorty feel. Get Shorty kind of felt like a comic book to me. It was fun, colorful, and the characters drove the plot. Chili was much smoother, much cooler in the first one. In Be Cool he seems fake-cool... I'm-too-old-to-be-cool-since-Get_shorty-came -out-10-years-ago-cool.... wow, 10 years? You'd think the same writer could come up with a better story in that time.

Cedric the Entertainer is great. He has a nice, multi-millon dollar home in the suburbs, waves a "top of the morning to you!" to his old white neighbors, cooks pancakes for his daughters every morning, and takes them to get ice cream after picking them up from their private school... only to have a group of thugs at his side when out making music deals and taking money from producers that "owe" him. One of his side kicks enjoys killing people. The movie tries to pass this on as comic relief, I actually found it boring. However, this side kick was Barney Fife-esque and had horrible aim, or shot accidently when not asked to...

Vince Vaughn I thought for sure would leave me in stiches, along the side of "the rock". Vaughns style of comedy couldn't really come out in this movie, so I was disappointed. But his attempts to talk and act black were very entertaining. The Rock actually played a black gay man very well, considering he is a straight white man. As horrible as an actor as he is, I dare say he was the most refreshing part of the movie.

And one of the biggest let downs of the whole film was the fact that Danny Devito was left out to only play a cameo. He comes out of a club and sees Chili drive up in a Honda Insight (the hybrid car). Devito says "what about your Cadilac Chili?" (Which got shot up in the start of the movie), to which Chili responds "It's the Cadilac of hybrids." A kickback to Get Shorty. Was used in the previews for good reasons... it made me laugh in the preview...

All in all, the story was very hard to follow, of course Get Shorty was too, but somehow I understood Get Shorty easier. This one tried to be like Get Shorty, as far as plot twists go, but they seemed to be fake and not genuine plot twists... kind of like the writers were syaing "Hey, we need more plot twists, have someone sit in the living room with the lights off and the TV on and let them point a gun at Chili when he walks in on them and..." it got tiresome fast.

Oh, and one last complaint. The entire movie seemed a good excuse to make a soundtrack... too much singing for too long. It was almost a musical... but that was sort of the theme. Get Shorty was funnier and more entertaining.

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