This week Brad Pitt newie Killing Them Softly took on The Sweeney for the Film Club title and came out victorious, but what did our discerning Clubbers think of it?
Spoiler alerts apply!
‘I enjoy seeing Liotta and Gandolfini in gangster flicks. They make it authentic, if that makes any sense.’
‘Brad Pitt was decent enough, but having him in a film does not drive me to watch it. The only film I really thought Brad Pitt was truly superb in was Kalifornia.’
‘It’s a decent enough film, but it’s by no means an award winning flick. A one watch wonder.’
ROSANNA ‘I’m not sure if it quite lived up to the hype and I’m not usually a fan of films that are arguably ‘style over substance’. However, I think it is certainly one of the superior efforts from the often over-saturated American gangster genre over the last few years.’
‘I must add that I’m relieved I enjoyed it too – as a long-time Pitt fan (well, who isn’t?) I have to admit to not rating Moneyball or The Tree Of Life. In fact I disliked both films intensely.’
‘Though not the 5* film that it’s being touted as, I do think this a return to form for Pitt.’
‘I don’t think their characters were a stretch for Gandolfini or Liotta, but we definitely saw more vulnerable sides to them. I particularly found Gandolfini’s character Mickey quite tragic.’
‘The look and feel of the film was brilliant with the use of some great visuals for the ‘drug taking scene’ as well as poor old Ray Liotta’s super slow mo assassination. It had a little bit of a French Connection / Pulp fiction vibe to it which I loved.’
‘Really stand out performances from Brad Pitt and especially James Gandolfini who really stole every scene he was in, despite being a fairly minor character.’
‘By the end of the film I was fed up with Obama droning on and on continuously. I got the point that the director was making with the contact it was set against but it did get annoying.’
‘Don’t get me wrong, this is a really cool film and overall I did enjoy it – I just felt that despite its fantastic look and great cast, I was a little bit disappointed at the end.’
LYNN ‘I had no idea that Killing Them Softly would be quite so political as I went into it cold, but I found it to be very enjoyable.’
‘Brad Pitt does nothing for me – Liotta on the other hand is hot! I love him in everything. I felt so sorry for him in this film, having his handsome face battered to bits.’
‘That said, Pitt played the part very well and I believed in his character. I liked that he had his own set of morals.’
‘I go to see movies that Pitt appears in but I wouldn’t queue up all night to watch a film of his. He isn’t a draw for me but hut he is a very good actor, I’ll give him that.’
‘The plot was fairly straight forward which was fine, as it was more about the characters for me.’
‘What was up with the audio at the start and over the credits? The person I was with waited until the end thinking there would be a plan A from the opening, not realising that Plan B wasn’t part of story. (Plan B is the name of Brad Pitt’s production company.)
‘I think it just went over my head the, money that’s been spent on making that could have made a better film! I just didn’t see the point of it.’
‘I didn’t get much comedy. There were a few sniggers from the audience but nothing to make you think this was a comedy movie!’
JEFF ‘I think the film is more about economics than politics. It illustrates the dark side of capitalism, which isn’t exclusive to the US by any means.’
So apparently Andrew Dominik reckons this is a comedy. Rigghhhhhht.
Adapted from 1974 novel Cogan’s Trade (transplanted into 2008), Killing Them Softly is actually one of the most political films we’ve seen recently – if not ever.
Set as the recession bites and even gangsters struggle, the heavy presence of Barack Obama and ‘hit you over the head with a club’ message about the dangers of capitalism, we genuinely couldn’t find a moment where we even raised a chuckle. Maybe Ray Liotta getting battered to the point of unrecognisable was meant to be a joke.
That said, it is GLORIOUS to look at. Proper mean-and-moody style, and all the performances are top-drawer. We often forget just how good an actor Brad Pitt is, but he proves it all over again here. And James Gandolfini may only be in a few scenes, but he certainly makes the most of them.
The ending is a little abrupt for our liking, and the final line definitely the wrong side of clunky. But overall, we’d call this a perfectly decent gangster flick. Still not a comedy though.
But just what is this Film Club malarkey all about? It’s simples, really. Each week we send a pair of cinema tix (ODEON or Cineworld, whichever is best) to 10 of our most active Facebook/Twitter followers. We put the film we’re going to see to the vote, and the winning film is the one we all go to see. Then we all sit around on Facebook on the Sunday night (6.30) and chat about it. Magic. Sound like something you want to get involved with? Drop us a line at twitter.com/f_t_r_c or on Facebook at on.fb.me/d4dMv8
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