Back in 1995, Barry Sonnenfeld directed a movie that ended up on many critics best of lists by the time the year's recaps were being printed in entertainment publications. The movie was Get Shorty and it gave lead star John Travolta his second big hit in as many years after Pulp Fiction put him back in front of the paparazzi's lenses. Based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, the film focused on wise guy Chili Palmer (Travolta) and his attempts to break into the movie business. I, for one, was completely captured by the diverse characters and crisp dialogue of the original. So much so, that when I heard there was going to be a sequel, I seemed to forgo my usual shivering that occurs when a studio tries to rehash what was a good idea over ten years later. The sequel, also based on a novel by Leonard, is this time directed by F. Gary Gray who's Italian Job in 2003 was one of the years highest grossing films. Couple that with the cast now expanding to include Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Cedric the Entertainer, The Rock, Vince Vaughn and James Woods and you have all the makings of a great continuance in the exploits of one of the more interesting characters of the 1990's. This time round we pick up as Chili (Travolta) is leaving the movie business after being disappointed in both himself and the industry for participating in the making of a sequel to his successful first film. Thanks in small part to his friend, Tommy Athens (Woods) and the misfortune of his death, Chili decides to look into the lucrative and dangerous music industry. This first leads to the famous Viper club where Chili meets singing sensation Linda Moon (Christina Milian) who as lead of an upstart trio, can belt out tunes like Whitney Houston (that is, the Whitney before Bobby Brown started bringing home the small packages of sugar). Linda is under contract with Raji (Vaughn) who, with his overly apparent gay bodyguard Elliot Wilhelm (The Rock), plan to ensure Linda fulfills the final five years of her contract even if that means putting Chili on ice. So with Linda's future in the balance, Chili weaves an interesting web which will include a record producer (Thurman), a gangsta sound mixer (Cedric), the Russian mob, the police, Aerosmith's lead singer Steven Tyler and a whole lot of angry gun pointing. Woo-Wheee! That sounds exciting. So why wasn't it? Be Cool tries too hard to, well, be cool. But the result is a film that unlike the original, has no heart and no soul. Be Cool feels instead like it was directed by a Saturday Night Live producer as there are individual scenes or skits that don't string together over a whole movie. Take for example the scene where Travolta and Thurman dance together for the first time since Pulp Fiction, as Black Eyed Peas performs live in the background. The scene is forced and should have ended up on the cutting room floor. Instead, it is coupled between two other needless chapters that do nothing to push the story forwards with any real thrust. The Aerosmith concert, and The Rock's trip to a boot shop are also prime examples of individual moments that don't amount to much of a movie when put together. But those aren't the only issues with the sequel - which could probably be renamed Product Placement with the amount of 2-Ways and Diet Pepsi's that seem to stare at you more intensely than Chili's serious look. The story contains just about every stereotype imaginable and each one has just enough screen time to become slightly offensive or embarrassing. Whether it is the gangsta entourage or the gay muscle guy that has a movie poster of Sylvester Stallone's Rhinestone on the wall, no characters is above offering us anything we haven't seen many times before and in much better films. With the magic all but gone from the first film, we end up with an inferior product that is the second film in the past six months (Ocean's 13 being the other) that cram a bunch of stars onto a marquee only to end up as a movie that no actor would bring to an open audition. Be Cool was a major disappointment. I so wanted it to be the Get Shorty of the new millennium and I ended up with a film where the outtakes must have been a gas, but experience left me with a stinker.
Action / Comedy / Crime / Music
Action / Comedy / Crime / Music
Streetwise mobster-turned-movie producer Chili Palmer is back, but this time Chili has abandoned the fickle movie industry and veered into the music business, tangling with Russian mobsters and gangsta rappers and taking a talented, feisty young singer named Linda Moon under his wing. From the recording studio to an Aerosmith concert to the MTV Music Awards, he manipulates events to watch them play out the Chili way, using his signature blend of wiseguy skills and negotiation tactics. It's a dangerous business, and everyone's looking for their next big hit.
Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 70,429 times
August 03, 2013 at 10:25 PM