Oh, this is a good film. Fun curious dialogue
rolls across the tongues of rich likable characters
to create a strong thumping pace that never lulls.
While the editor and director top that off nicely
with sweet technical touches in the wipes and cuts
between sequences, it's really the rhythm of the
script, repartee between actors, and a creatively
assembled timeline (not action) that keep this crime
caper hoppin' along.
The talented ensemble attracted me to this film in
the first place. Lesser knowns, but hard working and
always clutch -- Ed Burns, Luis Guzman, and Paul
Giamatti; I've enjoyed their work in the past, so
together, I was psyched. Hoffman and Garcia were just
icing on that cake.
I screened this film at UCLA's Wadsworth Theater,
apparently it was part of a film class. The
instructor was fun, intelligent, well-prepared and
had arranged for the director and writer to speak
after the presentation. This was all well and good,
unfortunately the film ran out of focus from
beginning to end.
Director Foley, an interesting character in his
own right, admits Hoffman mocked him in the picture
via his character's (King's) idiosyncrasies. Foley
emphasizes 'feel over think' and fought to build the
ensemble with actors that could act -- as opposed to
"Bankable" actors that may not fit the parts.
Surprisingly, Ed Burns, is not yet bankable.
When asked if he was inspired by other films of
the genre, Foley half-joked, "I don't see too many
con films ... maybe that's because I'm too dumb to
figure it out, unless Doug (the writer) explains it
There's a moment in the film that hit me
particularly sweetly. Jake (Burns) lists three
dangerous redheads as a means of explaining why they
are bad luck. The first two make comedic sense, but
the third is critically personal. That moment struck
me, so I found it especially satisfying when the
director spoke to it directly, "It's a zap of emotion
while the script's barreling along."
Fun, clever, light, entertaining. I'll be looking
forward to more of Foley's and Jung's work as