Ded's "Movies That Need More Love" Part 4
The article that inspired it.
I was wrong, the grand total will be twenty-five, not thirty, here's the last four!
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Written and directed by Joe and Anthony Russo (all you fans of Arrested Development take note, these two guys directed some of the first season's best episodes!!), and produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, this is the story of five men trying to open a safe. It may not sound like much, and is probably familiar to anyone who's seen the recent Ladykillers by the Coens or Woody Allen's much older Small Time Crooks. While it's no Ladykillers, it's tons better than Small Time Crooks (Allen loses the film about halfway through by swithcing its focus, Hitchcock he is not). Watching these five guys, played brilliantly by William H. Macy, Isaih Washington, Sam Rockwell, Michael Jeter (one of his last films sadly) and Lois Guzman, bumble their way through what should be a relatively simple crime is a complete joy. And Clooney's vrief appearence as Jerzy is hysterical. The Russo brothers polished their skills here and there are traces of what they would bring to Arrested to be found. It's well worth a rent, or a buy, if you can find it. "Well he had a tough life... his mother was a whore."
This has the distinction of being the very first movie I saw Thomas Jane in. The fact that he carries it so well both proves his skill as an actor and Skip Woods abilities as both a writer and a director (he also wrote the atrocious Swordfish, but nothing since). Jane plays reformed criminal Casey (no one in this film has a last name), who's now married and living in the suburbs of Houston when his old life begins to catch up to him. His former best friend Nick shows up on his doorsted and inadvertantly brings nothing but trouble with him. Casey must make his way through Jamaican drug-smuggling pizza delivery men, a woman that ties him up, a man that wants to cut him apart, a precinct full of crooked cops, a man from the adoption agency, and the wrath of his wife, if he wants to see Friday. It's a beautifully violent film that surely got Jane the part of Frank Castle, but this movie is leaps and bounds over his Punisher film. It's a shame that Woods seems to have fallen off the radar, maybe then we could get this on DVD for a good price (it's out of print and the DVD will run you anywhere from $100-$200, it can be found on VHS a lot cheaper however) "There's a .45 in the fridge, and you grab a FUCKING frying pan!"
Dancer, Texas Pop. 81
Tim McCanlies has worked on Smallville and The Iron Giant, but Dancer, Texas was his first film as a director(he also wrote it as well). He's gone on since to write and direct the very underrated Secondhand Lions. This is the story of four friends graduating from high school with plans to fulfill their childhood pact and move to L.A., taking the town's population down to 77. As the entire town tries to convince the boys to stay, each one is torn between their family, their dreams and their promise. It's an emotional journey, complete with enough comedy to break up the melodrama. Good, good film, and should be a must watch for anyone that grew up in a small town.
Sue Ann: I don't know how the two of you live in this trailer at an angle like this.
Squirrel: He was drunk when he parked it. Never got around to leveling it.
Sue Ann: Well, I guess y'all haven't been here long.
Squirrel: Twelve years.
Sue Ann: Oh.
Written and directed by Jake Kasdan (Freaks & Geeks, Undeclared, Orange County), this film stars Bill Pullman as an eccentric detective (this film paved the way for Monk, if you like that show, you will LOVE this movie) who is hired by a man that's being blackmailed to find out the truth behind the scheme. The story is okay, but what really drives the movie are Bill Pullman's perfect performance as the nuerotic Daryl Zero and Ben Stiller's turn as straightman to Pullman as Steve Arlo, Zero's only real connection to the world outside his apartment. Kasdan wrote a pilot for a TV adaption with Alan Cumming, but it never made it on the air, but Monk is a very close resemblence to this film. I've loved all of Kasdan's work, but he hasn't come around since Orange County, here's hoping he drops back into Hollywood very soon. This film is a great example of what the man is capable of delivering, sort of an off the wall Sherlock & Watson. "Now, a few words on looking for things. When you go looking for something specific, your chances of finding it are very bad. Because of all the things in the world, you're only looking for one of them. When you go looking for anything at all, your chances of finding it are very good. Because of all the things in the world, you're sure to find some of them."
So, there you have it, 25 films I think need more love. If anyone else out there has a list of movie like this, I'd love to see it, I'm always up for discovering new movies! And if you track any of these down based on my recommendation, I'd love to know what you thought about them!