Tag: danny devito

MOVIE REVIEW | ***CLOSING DOWN WEEK*** Heist (2001)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It keeps the audience on unsteady footing from the get go, only ever giving the illusion of knowing what’s going on, who’s double and triple crossing who.”

Heist 1

Recently, in my neighbourhood, I saw something that’s all too common these days.  A video shop that was closing down.  They had a big sign out the front, “4 movies for $10”.  I looked in my wallet, saw $30 and decided I wasn’t leaving that shop until I found 12 movies I thought were worth having on my DVD shelf.  Some were movies I’d seen before.  Some were movies I had a vague idea about and thought would be worth the $2.50 gamble.  Some were oddities I’d never even heard of, but they looked interesting enough.  So, thank you, Network Video Brunswick West.  I never rented anything from you or even had a membership, but I did find some cool, interesting and mysterious things on your almost empty shelves.

“Anybody can get the goods. The hard part’s getting away.”

David Mamet screenplays are all about the details, the particulars.  Not just in the way that every word is important, but in the way that every piece of punctuation is important.  You could listen to a David Mamet movie and almost get the full experience of watching one.  Con artist and heist movies are all about the details, the particulars.  Not just in the way the characters plan their jobs, but in the way the movies lay out clues for the audience.  Which is why David Mamet and con jobs make such a great pair.  And when he went so overt as to actually name one of his movies Heist and put himself out there like that, he delivered.


On what is obviously just the latest in a long run of meticulously planned, successful robberies, Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) leads his crew on a massive jewel heist. After off loading the goods to Danny DeVito’s fence Mickey Bergman, it’s time for Joe and his wife, Fran (Rebecca Pidgeon) to ride off into the sunset.  But Mickey has one last job that’s too good to resist. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Other People’s Money (1991)

“And you know the surest way to go broke? Keep getting an increasing share of a shrinking market. Down the tubes. Slow but sure.”

I’m a big fan of directors who have a strong voice. Directors whose movies you can tell are their movies. Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson… Even when I don’t love their movies, I admire that they made their movie, their way. But I’m starting to have a growing respect for the journeyman, chameleon director. The film maker who can cross genres, cross decades, cross fads, and make great movies all along the way that service the specific movie, more than the director’s quirks.


Norman Jewison made screwball comedy with The Russians Are Coming, The Russians are Coming. Norman Jewison made street level grit with The Cincinnati Kid. Norman Jewison made musical grandeur with Fiddler on the Roof. Norman Jewison made sharp social commentary with In the Heat of the Night. Norman Jewison made melodrama with Moonstruck. He did all these things in a way that means I have seen all of these movies, and never noticed that were made by the same dude. And in the early 90s, he made a quintessential early 90s movie about corporate greed, with Other People’s Money. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Ruthless People (1986)

Ruthless_People
“I had to live with that squealing, corpulent little toad all these years. God, I hate that woman.”

Danny DeVito, Bette Midler and Judge Reinhold…  Three people you don’t see on the big screen all that much these days.  The last major roles I can see them for them on IMDB are Be Cool in 2005 for DeVito, The Stepford Wives for Midler in 2004, and The Santa Clause 3 for Reinhold in 2006.  But in the 80s, these were three marquee names for comedy, three people who were signs that you were more than likely about to see something really funny.  Movies like Romancing the Stone, Outrageous Fortune and Beverly Hills Cop.  I wish we saw this trio more often in the big screen in 2015.  Because I miss movies like Ruthless People.


15 years ago, Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) thought he had found his meal ticket by marrying the daughter (Bette Midler as Barbara) of his near dead, very rich boss.  But his boss lived on and Sam was forced to make his ow fortune.  Now, the old man has finally died and Sam thinks getting his hands on his wife’s enormous inheritance is fair compensation for enduring his miserable marriage.  Along with his mistress, Carol (Anita Morris), Sam plans the perfect murder.  But on the day he plans to follow through on the killing, he’s delighted to come home and find Barbara kidnapped. (more…)