Tag: Ray Liotta

MOVIE REVIEW | In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege tale (2007)

In a nutshell, Bored & dangerous says: “A great ensemble cast all acting like they’re in different movies.”

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“Wisdom… is our hammer.”

At this point, director Uwe Boll seems more like a myth and urban legend, than he does an actual film maker.  He’s the bloke who for years exploited a loop hole in the German tax system to make one shitty video game adaption after another.  He’s the dude who challenged his critics to fisticuffs, and actually faced several of them in the ring.  I’m not a big believer in movies being so bad they’re good.  There’s the odd exception, like The Room or Birdemic series.  But generally, I think a bad movie is just a bad movie.  Uwe Boll however, has made such a fascinating career out of it that I felt like I needed to see at least one of his “movies”.  Which is why I dedicated two entire hours of my life to In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.

In a fantasy world castle, a young princess (Leelee Sobieski) is being bedded by a creepy old man, Gallian (Ray Liota).  Cut to Farmer (Jason Statham) proudly tending his modest fields, teaching his son the values of good, hard work.   Old friend Norick (Ron Perlman) arrives, suggesting they join the king’s army where they’d both make a lot more money.  But Farmer rejects the idea, content to live the quiet life with his family. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Field of Dreams (1989)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Gets to the point, implies enough to spark our own imaginations and always knows when a point has been made and it’s time to move on.”

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“They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.”

Field of Dreams is a movie that I remember having a huge cultural impact at the time.  But as an eight or nine year old, it looked like boring, grown up stuff.  Field of Dreams is a movie that I’ve spent the last couple of decades assuming was cornball, cheese.  But it turns out, Field of Dreams is grown up, cornball cheese that uses those ingredients perfectly to make an undeniably great movie that has aged amazingly well.  Or maybe I’m just getting soft in my old age.

A newbie farmer, Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is working his Iowa cornfields one day when a mysterious voice whispers, “If you built, he will come”.  When his nearby wife (Amy Madigan) and daughter (Gaby Hoffman) don’t hear the voice, Ray tries to tell himself he’s just imagining things.  But in no time, he’s decided the voice is real and telling him that the “it” he needs to build is a full sized baseball diamond on his cornfields.  Not only that, he convinces his wife to go along with it.  Not the best farmer to begin with, replacing his valuable crop space with a baseball field makes locals think he’s crazy, and turns his already precarious financial position into a legit emergency.  The bank is about to foreclose, and his brother in law (Timothy Busfield) is circling like a vulture to pick up the land cheap for a property development. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Killing Them Softly (2012)


“They cry. They plead. They beg. They piss themselves. They call for their mothers. It gets embarrassing.”

Why are movies about bad guys doing bad things so appealing to audiences?  It can’t really be escapism if were watching these people who we’d never want to be, committing acts we’d never want to commit.  And with a lot of them, we know going in there’s not gonna be some idealised ending where the bad guys pay for their sins and the good guys win the day.  Buggers me what it is about these movies, but I do know that I love them.  Including the undeservedly overlooked at the time, and kind of forgotten already, Killing Them Softly.

A few years ago, Markie (Ray Liotta) organised the hold up of his own illegal card game.  He was the prime suspect, but managed to throw everyone off the scent.  Recently, he spilled the beans, but enough time had passed that he got a pass.  Which makes him an obvious patsy and fall guy if anyone else decides to rob his card game. Which is exactly what happens when Johnny (Vincent Curatola) hires low level scumbags Frankie (Scoot McNairy) and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) to do just that. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #92. Goodfellas (1990)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
“You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it’s me, I’m a little fucked up maybe, but I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?”

Bored and Dangerous is usually all about movies I’ve watched of the first time. Sometimes I’ll cheat and re-watch something I haven’t seen in years and remember nothing about.   But as I make my way through the AFI 100, it’s inevitable that I’ll run across a few things I’ve seen multiple times. Some, maybe dozens of times. Not only is this one that definitely ranks in the “dozens” category, it’s a movie that only gets better with age. I would even go as far as to say it may be, in my opinion, the greatest film ever made. Screenplay, acting, direction, music, editing… Top to bottom, I love every single detail of Goodfellas.

It’s 1950s New York, and while his father works a thankless, low playing job, young Henry Hill (Christopher Serrone) is obsessed with the local gangsters in his neighbourhood. It’s not long before he’s taken under the wing of local street boss Paul Sicero (Paul Sorvino) and notorious street soldier and killer, Jimmy “the Gent” Conway (Robert De Niro). By the time he’s a young adult played by Ray Liotta, Henry is living the wise guy dream, taking and doing whatever he wants, along with Jimmy and fellow gangster wunderkind, Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Iceman (2012)

Unfortunately, there’s no Academy Award for Best Casting.  Because if there was, The Iceman would have blitzed any competition.  If you want an almost-1950s-era-all-American-Dad, with more than a hint of menace and balls out absolute bat shittery, you want Michael Shannon.  Which is why his casting deserves more credit than the direction and screenplay for all the best parts of The Iceman.

Shannon plays Richard Kuklinski, an almost-1950s-era-all-American-Dad, with more than a hint of menace and balls out absolute bat shittery.  When the movie opens, his source of income is copying porno films for local small time gangster Roy DeMeo (Ray Liotta).  Soon, he’s dating, and not too much later married to, Wynona Ryder’s Deborah.  Sidenote re. Wynona Ryder…  You still definitely would.  When Liotta shuts down the porn dubbing operation, Shannon takes the opportunity to secure a bump in pay by becoming Liotta’s go to hit man.  You see, it turns out Richard Kuklinksi is a sociopath and feels absolutely no emotion, guilt or remorse.

After a decade or so of top notch service, Shannon is put on the reserve bench.  Liotta’s bumbling off sider, played surprisingly awesomely by David Schwimmer, has brought a little too much heat their way and they all need to lay low.  Only problem is, Shannon’s wife and two daughters have become accustomed to a certain quality of life that he feels like they deserve to keep.  So Shannon hooks up with a local ice cream / hit man played by Chris Evans.  Their partnership leads to plenty of money and their body disposal methods lead to the nickname given to Kuklinksi by the media which leads to the title of the film.

The Iceman wrings most of its drama, not from the killings and violence, but form constantly showing the juxtaposition between Kuklinski the killer and Kuklinksi the family man.  His merciless acts of murder are jarring by themselves, but when the next scene shows how completely and how easily he tricks his family into thinking he’s a good man, he becomes all the more terrifying.

The movie has a cool way of dropping bits and pieces of Kuklinki’s back story in here and there, never resorting to shoehorning in a flash back, or massive expositional monologue, or clunky confession where Kuklinksi tearfully tells his origin story.  Instead, the audience is given little fragments over the course of The Iceman that eventually give you a solid idea of who and why Richard Kuklinksi is.

>The Iceman is based on an HBO documentary called The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Hitman.  If it didn’t sound fascinating before, watching the dramatized version has made me more than just a little stoked to see the doc.

The Iceman
Directed By – Ariel Vroman
Written By – Morgan Land, Ariel Vroman