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Give ‘Em Hell Malone

tn_giveemhellmaloneThomas Jane plays Malone, a fedora-wearing, ’52 Buick driving, ten thousand bullet firing, fake film noir style opening scene narrating, badass private eye motherfucker in a mostly empty city portrayed by Spokane, Washington. The movie takes place in the modern day (email is mentioned once) but obviously takes most of its cues from the cliches of detective stories/film noir, including the femme fatale client, the fast, back-and-forth quipping and, you know, his hat. He’s old fashioned enough that he keeps calling women “sister.” Also, alot of the score is that cheesy type of saxophone they always use in modern movies and TV as a code for “it’s like an old private eye movie.”

mp_giveemhellmaloneThe filmatic technique is not old school though, at least not that old school. There’s a bunch of gratuitous freeze frames that seem more Guy Ritchie/opening-of-TRAINSPOTTING than, say, badass BLACKBELT JONES opening credits. I’m not sure what the difference is, but there is one. There’s also some bright red CGI blood and a slo-mo CGI bullet going through a CGI nose. But mostly just in the opening bloodbath. It’s not a constant barrage. I didn’t mind, but alot of people seem to be allergic to that stuff so you’ve been warned.

I was pretty excited for this movie, but the fedora and shit should’ve tipped me off that it’s a little too cute for its own good. I would prefer a movie called GIVE ‘EM HELL MALONE that doesn’t realize that title is goofy. Still, I enjoyed it overall. There are some groaners there but most of it is a fun time not at the movies (because it’s DTV).

In the opening Malone shoots a whole bunch of dudes and steals a case from them. Afterwards he opens the case – we don’t really understand what’s inside, but he describes it to his employer as “the meaning of love.” (Oh, I get it, the mysterious briefcase gag. The mcmuffin.) Having opened it gets him involved in a whole mess where he has to try to save the client’s brother from a Japanese school girl assassin at an amusement park, and his old partner Ving Rhames tries to kill him, and also there’s a disfigured pyromaniac named Matchstick. That character almost looks like a reject from DICK TRACY, but the performance by Doug Hutchison is weird and creepy and darkly funny. (And a total ripoff of Heather Ledger’s Joker, they say on the internet. But I thought he was good.)

There are alot of funny lines and ideas in this one. Although the opening has a few annoying stylistic devices it also has a pretty great bad-guy escape – he jumps out a window and crushes himself on another level of roof. Then he flops himself painfully to the street because a wino is about to steal the case. Then he steals the nearest vehicle but it’s a bright pink flower delivery van so he mutters, “Pink. Fucking pink.”

Malone’s backstory is told like a legend, and it’s like an even more over-the-top version of the wonderful family reunion massacre in Jane’s version of THE PUNISHER. They kill his extended family, “his entire gene pool,” so he tracks the killers down, rips out their hearts with his bare hands and eats them. The lead villain scoffs at this story because of the difficulty of breaking one’s hands through a sternum.

Another hole in his story: his mom is still alive. He goes to her nursing home all the time so she can take the bullets out of him. She’s an alcoholic so she has alot of booze to pour on his wounds. He usually has on a bloody bandage. An interesting note: even his mom calls him Malone, so I guess it’s his first name. So he’s not the same Malone that Burt Reynolds played in MALONE. “You got a first name?” “Yeah.”

By the way, his mom is the one who utters the titular words of encouragement.

The best thing the movie has going for it is Thomas Jane. This guy is very dedicated to some nerdy things, he’ll talk up comic books or detective novels just like anybody my colleagues at the Ain’t It Cool News would idolize. But unlike the rest of them he’s authentically manly. At this time I would like to call your attention to his interview on the DVD extras. He’s in an alley somewhere in Spokane wearing a tank top under a big coat with a fur collar, and he’s really annoyed with a beeping sound going on nearby. He incorrectly believes they’ll cut that stuff out, so every time it starts beeping again he stops what he’s saying and stares off to the side bitterly, also taking the opportunity to puff on his cigar. I don’t know why, but I found it very compelling. Somehow the combination of absurdity and cool in that interview explains why Thomas Jane makes this movie work. I went back and forth on the goofy tone of the movie, but he never did. He knew exactly how to play it seriously.

Jane’s best roles have been in mid-range type movies – not big studio pictures, but with some funding, not super low budget. STANDER, THE MIST, even THE PUNISHER fits that category. I wish he’d get more roles like that – doesn’t have to become a superstar, but just find some good-sized projects that interest him. But if those aren’t available right now I think it’s great that he’s finding unusual DTV movies to work on like this one and DARK COUNTRY, which he directed and which is a great showcase of his acting. It’s a much better route than just taking whatever mainstream movies will hire you.

The second best thing in this movie: the pacing. It keeps the energy up. Plot constantly in motion, lots of confrontations, lots of action, doesn’t dilly dally.

Worst thing about it: definitely the music. When you’re trying to do a retro kind of thing the music has to spot-on or the whole movie seems phony. Actually, Jane did well with that in DARK COUNTRY. This one is trying hard to imitate different styles but without any authenticity or the proper instrumentation. When a keyboard tries to sound like a horn nobody wins. It just sounds cheesy.

Also, fucking French Stewart is in this movie. The guy who took over as INSPECTOR GADGET for the DTV sequel. Not in it that much though, I was relieved.

Another complaint: the title is sorely lacking an exclamation point.

The director is Russell Mulcahy. He’s not exhibiting the chops of the guy who did RAZORBACK, HIGHLANDER and RICOCHET, but he’s getting it back. Definitely more exciting than the blandly directed SCORPION KING 2: RISE OF A WARRIOR OR WHATEVER.

At the end it says, “To be continued…,” and I thought, “I’d watch that.” So it’s not too shabby. Just the right amount of shabby, I guess. I kind of liked it.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 1:00 am and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

38 Responses to “Give ‘Em Hell Malone”

  1. “The director is Russell Mulcahy.”

    That made me laugh. Whether because I wasn’t expecting him to direct something like this, or because I thought it funny how far his career has fallen so far. Wasn’t his last job or two ago that stupid RESIDENT EVIL 3: I’M PAUL W.S. ANDERSON & I GET TO FUCK THE STAR NIGHTLY! ?

    BTW Vern, what you thought of his THE SHADOW and dang gommit HIGHLANDER?

  2. I was with this almost all the way through until the head badguy revealed his “master plan” – and it was so
    ridiculously convoluted I kind of went “wha?”.

    I hated the pyromaniac guy because I felt he was imitating Heath ledger a bit too much (his monologues about
    hi childhood in particular), but I think that is partly a knee-jerk reaction. Considering the tone of the movie,
    comparisons to DIck Tracy villains make better sense.

    The school-girl assassin is Donnie Yen’s younger sister – I’d have prefered to have seen more of her “Lollypop69”
    character than Matchstick.

    I loved the opening scene as the camera follows the reinforcements entering the hotel, and coming across
    dead bodies and wounded, like an extreme house of horror!

  3. speaking of THE MIST I re-watched it recently and it was not as good as I remembered seeing it in theaters, it has too much of a low budget “made for tv” feel despite being directed by Darabont, too bad the studios wouldn’t give him more money because of the ending

    it’s still better than most horror orientated Stephen King movies though, I’d like to see Darabont tackle a King horror story again, but who knows when that’ll happen

  4. I love Thomas Jane in Hung. I liked his work in The Punisher and The Mist but that show really sold me on him as an actor and not just another action movie musclehead.

    Hopefully all the DTV work he’s been doing won’t hold the studios back from giving him the leading roles in big budget vehicles he should be getting.

  5. It was his work in HOMELESS DAD that sold me.

    “I just want my kids back.”

  6. How is the action in this movie?

    Also, I think Doug Hutchinson is one of the best character actors working today. Whenever he shows up as a villian I get really excited. Like when he showed up on 24 this season or how awesome he is in The Punisher: War Zone.

  7. Jareth,

    I’m a much bigger fan of JUNK. They shoot heroin, don’t they?

  8. I saw the roughcut of this movie at a screening at comicon. I didn’t like the movie all that much, but I was glad I went. While we were waiting for the screening to start, the screenwriter showed up and was shaking everyone’s hands and was really thankful that so many had showed up. He was talking about how it was his first movie, and he seemed very gracious. Then we heard a loud noise at the end of the hallway and I was shocked to see that Thomas Jane was at the screening as well, though at that moment he shouted, “I’m glad all you guys could show tonight, because this movie is not very good and we need some help fixing it.” After the screening there was an impromptu Q&A and the cast and crew sat behind a table onstage, while Thomas Jane was sitting crosslegged on the table, smoking a cigar and screaming into the mic. He seemed to be pretty drunk. Still, I don’t get to see something like that very often and it was a pretty entertaining experience.

  9. Dan Prestwich: You know what I love about that hilarious tagline to JUNK? The viewer really had to pay attention to see it. It’s nice when a show doesn’t feel the need to foreground all their jokes, then write them in bold letters and
    underline them.

  10. I don’t get why these DTV movies have to rip off (in a bad way) other better movies. I would hope that the DTV arena would be a place to try new approaches, original story elements. The irony here is that movies like PULP FICTION were not successful because of mysterious briefcases but because of sharp characters, original writing and creative film making. These DTV guys are ripping off the wrong things. They are putting their writers and directors in handcuffs by insisting they include all these silly cliches in their stories.
    I understand the budget constraints. The lack of marketing muscle. The need for derivative DVD covers to catch the eye of consumers. But once the customer has committed to renting you’re movie, why not give them something different. Something they haven’t seen before. Or, at least, something they haven’t seen in a long while.
    The DTV market could be so much more than a cliche mill but if they feel they have to recycle elements from other movies to be successful why not go back a little further in film history than the 90s and early 2000s? Why not go back to the 70s for story ideas. Films like The FRENCH CONNECTION, BULLIT, SILENT PARTNER, CHINATOWN, WHITE LIGHTNING, DAY OF THE JACKAL, ANYTHING WITH CHARLES BRONSON IN IT etc., etc., etc.
    MY point is that many of these films contain the genesis for a lot of the story elements we see in modern movies. So why not go back to the source? Study the masters. What did they do right? There is a reason they are held in such high regard. If you DTV guys can mine just a nugget of that gold you’ll be on to something big. DTV could be a market where basic, classic, workable film making and story telling techniques make a grassroots resurgence. Where stories are once again stripped down to their basic bones. To what works. To what effects an audience on a gut level. There is a market for films like this.

  11. Jareth,

    It’s because of that level of texture/detail why AD is more successful on DVD than it was on TV. It’s a show that’s meant to be rewatched.

  12. R0BTRAIN – Wow. Wish I’d been there.

  13. Lawrence – there’s some decent action. I like the car chase at the beginning and there’s some other stuff. Not really memorable though since I can’t remember what it was.

    Darryll – to be fair, this movie is not trying to rip off PULP FICTION. The Thomas Jane movie that did that was called THURSDAY, and this is much more tolerable than that. The reason there are cliches in it is that it’s trying to pay homage to film noir, so the briefcase thing is more KISS ME DEADLY than PULP FICTION I imagine. The problem is that paying homage to film noir is in itself a cliche so some of this stuff is old hat. In the world of DTV this is definitely on the quirky/unique side. But you’re right, not terribly original.

    What you say is true though, and fortunately I think there has been a huge stepping up of the game in DTV within the last year. Last year’s BLOOD AND BONE and today’s UNIVERSAL SOLDIER REGENERATION (seriously, it just came out today) are two of my all time favorite DTV movies already, and both (especially the latter) strip things down to the basics and get back to good storytelling.

  14. Darryll — I think we’ve all wondered the same thing. The dissapointing thing is that DTV seems so often to just want to be a lower-budget version of the same crap which is in theaters — and it’s never going to really be able to compete with that stuff in terms of spectacle. But they could definitely compete in the arena of smaller, less complicated stories. Most of those 70s films you mentioned were shot on a shoestring, on location, often in a pretty short amount of time. DTVs have the ability to be far more effective if they actually shoot for things within their means. Look at the difference between URBAN JUSTICE and SUBMERGED. One has much grander ambitions, but the other actually gets the job done well. And that kind of small-scale genre film seldom gets much attention in theaters, so it seems like their should be lots of room in the market place (I mean, it not like they couldn’t have made something like THE BANK JOB or even EDGE OR DARKNESS on a DTV budget, and given the medicore response to most things of that nature at the box office, DTV might actually be a better market).

  15. Yeah Vern, I got that vibe in your review of US:R. I’ll be sure to give it a spin. I also get that GIVE EM HELL, MALONE is trying to appear to be a Film Noir homage but as soon as you mention things like schoolgirl assassins, disfigured pyros, and mysterious briefcases I can’t help thinking of PULP FICTION, SIN CITY, or even KICK ASS. When I think of Noir homage I’d much rather think of TOUCH OF EVIL, BLOOD SIMPLE, CHINATOWN or even RED ROCK WEST and the other films of John Dahl. I dig those.

  16. Mr. Subtlety – Or better yet, look at John Milius’s directorial debut DILLINGER. One of those 1970s AIP B-quickies to cash in on BONNIE & CLYDE, yet Milius gets to flex his directing muscles and we have some kickass (still potent) gun action. Plus in spite of its drive-in origins, DILLINGER still has a terrific top-notch cast in Ben Johnson, Warren Oates, a young Richard Dreyfuss.

    That’s what was wonderful about those Roger Corman/AIP movies. They had shit money, reused the same props, actors, sets, even footage and yes they alot of crummy movies…Yet they gave raw people chances to do something effectively with nothing. Fulfill the drive-in quota sure, but that micro budget…sure why not, do your thing.

    Now with DTV, producers and studios get antsy and pissy when a director tries to assert that sort of creativity and experimentation with the junk. It’s like they’re afraid of being associated with a good movie.

    Of course DTV exceptions occur, like URBAN JUSTICE. I mean lets admit it, Eddie Griffin as a serious gangster? That’s silly on paper…yet those guys behind URBAN figured why not and got him, and it worked.

  17. Mr. Subtlety – Yes. I agree with you. I think there is a basic flaw in the DTV industry’s market research. They are going on the assumption that Hollywood pleases all of the people, all of the time. That all DTV has to do is ape Hollywood’s business model to reap the same benefits. DTV doesn’t seem to realize there is a significant portion of the moviegoing public that wants something different; That would appreciate a movie company that follows a different model of story telling. That leaves the post modern razzle dazzle at the door and harkens back to when story, character, and attitude were far more important than CG blood, bullet time, and rapid editing.

  18. You know what just occured to me, I wonder if the proliferation of Independent Film in the last decade or so has drained a lot of potential talent from DTV films. Back in the heyday of B-movies, they were kinda the only game in town for aspiring young talent. It was much, much more difficult for guys with talent and vision to just pick up out of the blue, find financing, make a movie, and eventually get picked up by the majors, the way the modern-day Indie Film system works. So perhaps the comparison fo DTV an Drive-in era movies is somewhat flawed, because the talented guys have more opportunity to make their dream movies and eventually get them some distrubution outside the Hollywood system.

    This means that the kind of talent that gets into DTV probably tends to be folks who don’t really have much vision or passion for it, and tend to be more interested in the bottom line. Hence, DTV films just LOOK cheap – badly edited, badly lit, etc. The guys who care enough to do it well are moving to the Indie market. At least in America — in Asia and other places, directors with some level of commitment have embraced the democracy of the DTV market. But maybe that’s the big problem, here, and the reason it seems like DTV flicks have a much lower overall average quality than the Drive-ins used to.

  19. Mr. Subtlety – Your theory has merit but it suggests there is a shortage of talented filmmakers out there and I just can’t buy that. There are loads of talented, creative kids coming out of film schools all the time. I think it may be closer to the truth to say that DTV producers hold a very tight leash on the kinds of movies they will invest their money in. Creativity is not generally welcome in a market where formula and familiarity equals profit. The kinds of filmmakers that survive in that market are the ones that do as they are told and make the movies the producers believe will make them money as fast as possible. They do this not because they lack vision or passion but because they want desperately to be in the moviemaking business and are willing to do anything to be there.

    The ones who won’t or can’t sell out their original vision in that fashion gravitate toward the independent market where they may or may not get funding to make that dream picture that may or may not get shown on the festival circuit and may or may not get recognition by the industry. Kind of an all or nothing path to success.

    The DTV filmmaker says, “I may not be making my dream picture but at least I’m working and making movies that actually see distribution,” while the independent filmmaker says, “I may not make another picture after this one, but at least I got to make this one on my terms, for good or ill.”

  20. this one kept me entertained till the end. definitely some cliches upon cliches, but for DTV you could do much worse. i’d watch the sequel.

  21. Yeah. I don’t mean to disparage the hard-working people of DTV cinema. I guess I’m just trying to say that it’s a different world now than it was in the B-movie Drive-in hey day. Actually, I think today’s world offers more chances for aspiring filmmakers to get a movie made, because there are a number of different routes they can take. This is great on one hand, because it means we get more movies, but I think the lure of Independent film has indeed pulled a lot of dedicated auteurs away from the b-movie market (also, the rise and proliferation of high-quality cable now takes its toll). I don’t mean to be elitist, but some people are better at making movies than other people. I think there is a somewhat limited pool of talent, and that talent is spread across a variety of medium now, rather than concentrated in small studio films as it was in the past. I don’t think we can entirely blame cheapo studios for the cut-rate quality, becuase fuck, there’s just fundamental problems with a lot of aspects of filmmaking on a lot of DTV stuff. Not just directing acting and writing — things which are shot poorly, edited poorly, lit poorly, scored poorly. This is actually where I think DTV got hit hardest in terms of a talent pool. Even if the director is trying, its not going to amount to much is the film is ugly and confusing.

    And really, its hard to watch a lot of DTV and come away convinced that anyone is really trying very hard. Sometimes they are — as far as Seagal directors go, guys like Don E. Fauntleroy look like they’re trying more than guys like Michael Keusch, and sometimes the results show it. Obviously, occasionally you get your BLOOD AND BONES, or UNIVERSAL SOLDIER III (the recent one) or something. I think it is rarer, though, than in the 70s and 80s where a lot of guys got into it as a way of moving into bigger things. So I do think a level of passion, creativity, and especially ambition is sometimes missing these days. Lots of filmmakers in the past have had low budgets and studio rejiggering and still come out with things which at least resembled real movies, in a way which ATTACK FORCE or THE MINER MASSACRE don’t even come close to. So I don’t think I’m completely wrong for sensing that the DTV industry isn’t quite the proving ground for young hungry filmmakers the way the Drive-in industry once was.

  22. btw, I don’t mean to suggest I doubt my earlier statements about the potential of DTV to fill an important and neglected niche in smaller-budget, creatively made genre fare. I think it can be, and I hope it becomes that. I’m just trying to account for its surprising failure to produce much quality so far along those or any lines.

  23. I think we’re basically thinking alike, Mr. Subtlety, as great minds tend to do. We both want to see the world of DTV realize it’s own potential, spread it’s wings and fly, within budget and without the use of those flamboyant CG feathers that are so popular with the kids nowadays.

    Dear DTV, please don’t go chasing waterfalls. Stick to the rivers of good writing and the lakes of solid framing and editing that we are used to. Thanks.

  24. Exactly. And you know, I think if more people begin to start looking closely at DTVs and following their makers (as Vern has pretty much single-handedly begun getting people to do) we’ll see the makers of DTV fare rise to the occasion, and perhaps start getting more invested in their craft. It may also help DTV become a stepping stone for talented people that it currently isn’t really. Which would be a nice little boost for people thinking about getting into it.

  25. I suspect that the future will involve a lot of amateur filmatists launching stuff on the internet, probably episodic in nature, and hopefully innovative. The best or most popular of these productions will probably end up on dvd. I don’t know if that will help or hinder DTV.

  26. Speaking of ‘not ripping off the right thing,’ as everybody was earlier on, I would like to say that just recently I found out about “Mr. Filthy,” who is a little bit like Vern-lite. I prefer hard Vern, thank you. This other guy, I kind of just want to throw a shoe at.

    http://www.bigempire.com/filthy/

  27. “Heather Ledger”? I actually had to look that up to see if there was a Batman porn called THE DICK KNIGHT and an actress by that name was playing The Jerker, or some such thing.

  28. ha ha, just announced that russell mulcahy will be directing the re-make/re-boot/re-imagining/prequel/sequel of TEEN WOLF! that’s HIGH-larious. and bizarre. maybe they can follow the bruce willis/john travolta talking baby pictures and call it LOOK WHO’S TEEN WOLF NOW.

  29. Jareth – you make an interesting point. Angel of Death, starring Zoe Bell was filmed as webisodes and later
    re-edited into a feature. BTW that movie has some of the best fight scenes. Too bad about the soundtrack.

    A remake of Teenwolf? My gut reaction was NOoooo! but then I thought of the possibilities of melding genres –
    mix in a bit of Class of ’84 and The Principle, and have tooled up teens hunting down the Teenwolf with
    silver bullets. I certainly can’t picture Russel Mulchahy making an out-and-out teen comedy, that’s for sure…

  30. The Teen Wolf thing is a series on MTV, I think he’s directing the pilot. I have more faith in BAIT, a 3-D movie about people trapped in a flooded mall full of tiger sharks. The reason why is because it is a 3–D movie about people trapped in a flooded mall full of tiger sharks. True, SNAKES ON A PLANE and other movies have proven that it is very easy to ruin what seems like an unruinable premise. But I’m an optimist, I gotta believe in something.

  31. yes! DEEP BLUE SEA in 3D! DBS proved how hard it is to ruin this kind of premise because that movie shouldn’t have been as goood and entertaining as it was given how hard ll cool j tried to ruin it. though it’s hard to know what we would all think of that movie if it was exactly the same except did not contain the Best Moment Ever (TM). seeing that movie in a theater with a bunch of friends was one of the best cinema-going experiences of my life. when the Best Moment Ever happened, we honestly could not stop laughing for the next ten minutes, to the point that other people in the theater were yelling at us to shut up (and i am normally very conscientious to not disturb other people’s viewing experience).

  32. I don’t know, Vern. To make that briefcase gag with Ving Rhames in the freaking movie is a very bad sign. Kinda like the Ewan McGregor Jedi bullshit in MEN WHO STARE WITH GOATS. Was it you who talked about FAMILY GUY and made the distinction between a joke and a reference?

    I think a lot of people could like an actual throwback noir movie, but none of these Hollywood guys have enough faith in themselves to play it straight. STOP FUCKING WINKING AT US. IT RUINS THE MOVIE.

  33. hey vern, how do you know the TEEN WOLF project is a series? the article i read doesn’t mention anything about being a tv show. in fairness, it doesn’t specifically say it’s a movie either, but without further info the fact that it was called a “re-make” strongly suggests that it’s a movie. it does say MTV, but they still make movies, too, right?

    here’s the article i read:

    http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=13931

  34. never mind. upon doing the tiniest amount of research i found that it is indeed a tv show like you said (but you knew that). interestingly, looking at the cast list on imdb, it seems that stiles is in the show, but everyone else has different names. the main character is still scott, but his last name is not howard. weird. so, stiles will be the only character to be in all three iterations of teen wolf. anyway, yes i am much more interested in the 3D tiger sharks in a mall movie. the teen wolf tv show seems very clearly like a twilight bandwagon cash grab. sorry if i missed any previous discussion bout this.

    also sorry to be totally off-topic. i haven’t seen GIVE ‘EM HELL MALONE. it’s certainly a great title. i am always rooting for tom jane. he is very talented and i think could be a major star if he found the right projects. the first time i was aware of him was in BOOGIE NIGHTS, in which he is great, and i’ve pretty much liked him in everything i’ve seen him in since (of course, i haven’t seen TUESDAY, but i thought it was funny when i first heard about that movie because i used to sometimes think aaron eckhart and tom jane were interchangeable earlier in their careers for some reason, not sure why, but i thought it was funny they were both in the same movie). he is great in STANDER even if i was a little underwhelmed by the movie as a whole. he totally convincingly pulls of a south african accent (as do debra kara unger and dexter fletcher), one of the hardest accents to pull off. i’m american, but i’m a bit of an accent nerd, and the south africans on the imdb message board seem to unanimously agree that they were flawless. i must admit i actually bought the dvd for STANDER mainly because i get a kick out of watching actors try difficult accents. oh and of course, tom jane was in the above-discussed DEEP BLUE SEA, which btw gives you good examples of how to act in a silly movie. playing it straight seems to be the way to go. ll cool j is the only one in the cast who plays it sort of tongue-in-cheek (though you could maybe make an argument for david rappaport), and he is by far the weakest. tom jane, saffron burrows, stellen skarsgaard, and most memorably sam jackson play it super serious.

  35. david rappaport = michael rappaport

  36. M. Casey: Based on your comment on Rhames and the glowing briefcase, I’m going to hazard a guess that you’re not much impressed with Travolta’s “royale with cheese” joke in the trailers for that new flick from the guy who did TAKEN.

  37. Jareth, I’m glad I haven’t seen those trailers because I’d definitely be turned off by it. Cheap as hell.

  38. Did you end up seeing BAIT 3D? That film was way more boring than a film about sharks trapped in a supermarket had any right to be. I liked the part where they made a “shark cage” out of supermarket trolleys or whatever. That part was pleasingly ridiculous. Also the main girl was frighteningly skinny.

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