Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

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Tag Archives: Seth Green

The Italian Job (2003)

If you’re going to pull-off a cool heist, your whole gang’s gotta be cool, too. It’s a known fact.

After a super, duper tricky heist in Venice, Steve (Edward Norton) turns on his partners in crime, and ends up killing skilled and legendary safecracker John Bridger (Donald Sutherland). Why? Well, Steve got greed and just wanted to keep all the gold for himself, and not try to cut in anyone else. The rest of the team that Steve ripped-off included leader Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg), driver Handsome Rob (Jason Statham), explosives man Left Ear (Mos Def), and tech geek Lyle (Seth Green), or, as he likes to be called “Napster”, now all vow revenge. But in order to totally get back at Steve and ensure that their heist goes down without a hitch, they enlist the help of Bridger’s daughter, Stella (Charlize Theron), so that they can get an inside-view into Steve, his life, and just where exactly he’s hiding all of that damn gold. But it’s known that Steve’s a tricky dude to mess with, and it’s why the gang’s really going to have to get their act together, in order for them to not just pull this all off and get the gold, but ensure that everyone’s alive by the end of it.

“Ayo Marky Mark, check this out. I’ll say hello to my motha for me, too.”

The Italian Job is a typical remake that’s modern, which means that it’s “hip”, “cool”, and totally unnecessary. But still, it’s also a bit of fun and when it comes to remakes of old-school classics, having a bit of fun means a lot, because most of the time, they’re just soulless, annoying and nauseating cash-ins. The Italian Job is different in that it doesn’t seem a whole lot of it was made solely for the money, but that it’s still got the same kind of look, tone and feel of all the other “gang-heists” movies.

Basically, think of it a more adult, somewhat smarter version of the Fast and Furious movies.

Which isn’t to say that the Italian Job is all that dumb of a movie, it’s just silly. But in that silliness, there’s a great deal of enjoyment to be had, mostly because F. Gary Gray knows that the best way to keep this material interesting, even when it’s silly, is to always be moving, never stopping and never focusing too hard on one aspect of element too much. We have a heist, we have a cast of characters, we have a baddie, we have a conflict, we have a plan, and that’s really all we need; Gray doesn’t get too bogged down in too many senseless subplots to where it feels like extra padding for a movie that does come a tad close to two hours.

But it’s a solid two hours that keeps up its energy throughout, so much so that you also realize that some of the key issues with the movie, like character-development, are left by the waist-side. Now, there’s a part of me that’s fine with the fact that each character sort of has their one characteristic/personality-trait and there’s not much else to them, but for some reason, it’s hard not to expect something a little more, especially from this well put-together cast. For instance, Statham’s Handsome Rob is pure Statham – silent, but scary, and that’s about all there is to him. Same goes for Seth Green’s “Napster”, who is just the goofy tech-y and yep, that’s it. Mos Def is also sort of like the comedic-support with Left Ear, but he’s got such stiff-competition from Green in that department, that often times, it feels like a lot of his stuff was cut.

And then, there’s the core trio of Wahlberg, Theron, and Norton who all, in any other movie, probably would have put on acting-class beyond our beliefs. But sadly, they’re stuck in a silly actioner that doesn’t quite care about how good of actors they are. As long as they are hot enough and can read lines, than it’s all that matters, right?

Honestly, public-transportation has been worse.

Well, yeah, I guess.

In 2003, it’s hard to believe that Wahlberg was still finding his inner-leading man, which is why his performance as Charlie Croker, while not bad, isn’t necessarily the strongest, either. Same goes for Theron’s Stella, who is basically there to be the hot romantic love-interest for Charlie to eventually learn feelings from. Theron was also in a weird spot in Hollywood where they knew she could act, but she was too busy getting these roles where she was just window-dressing because of her absolutely gorgeous-looks. Not that I’m complaining, but it’s obvious she was made for much, much more.

And of course, the same is clearly said for Norton who, even as the villain here, doesn’t get a whole lot to do. Still, Norton tries in what is, essentially, a paycheck gig that allow for him to take more risks with the smaller indie-flicks that he had always became so known and adored for. Even in the moments where we’re supposed to feel like this guy is a total and complete asshole, Norton’s not fully there and it’s weird, because it’s like we almost don’t care and just remember how effective he was in another good heist film, the Score.

But still, all of this talk about performances and characters, guess what? It doesn’t matter. The Italian Job gets the job done it set out to do, right. It doesn’t slow itself down and it sure as hell doesn’t try to appear as anything more than it already is – it’s just a fun, sometimes way too silly flick, with hot, talented people, being hot and cool.

And in that sense, yeah, it’s fine.

I just like to complain.

Consensus: Though it’s disappointing to see such a waste of a good ensemble, the Italian Job still delivers the right amount of fun, thrills and humor to have anyone happy.

7 / 10

As usual, the bro’s don’t know what to do when a tall, beautiful and smart woman comes around. Except Marky. He knows everything.

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Knockaround Guys (2002)

It’s like ‘My Cousin Vinny’, except everybody is trying really hard to sound Italian.

The film follows Matty Demaret (Barry Pepper, Johnny Marbles (Seth Green), Taylor Reese (Vin Diesel) and Chris Scarpa (Andrew Davoli), four sons of major Brooklyn mobsters who team up to retrieve a bag of cash in a small Montana town ruled by a corrupt Sheriff. Specifically, the plot gets started when Matty goes on a job to deliver the money for his mob father, Benny “Chains” Demaret (Dennis Hopper), on the advice of his uncle Teddy Deserve (John Malkovich). Things don’t go as planned though…

I honestly have no idea why I wanted to watch this other than the fact that it has a pretty cool cast and I like gangster flicks. That’s pretty much it and maybe next time I’ll be a lot more cautious.

Where co-writers/directors Brian Koppelman and David Levien dropped the ball on this flick was that it’s essentially a plot that should be pretty goofy, but takes itself a bit too serious. That’s a shame because even though the whole “mobsters in country land” plot device has all been done before, I think that this film would of had a little bit of fun with it.

That’s also another problem with this flick as everything is just about as cliché as you can get with a gangster/crime movie. There’s a boy who wants to prove to his daddy that he can make it in his work of being a gangster after being traumatized as a little guy, a crooked sheriff in country town, a Mexican stand-off, a two-timing gangster, two dope kids who end up with a big bag of money, a brawl in a Southern bar, and the list just goes on and on and on. Yeah, it’s nothing new and basically everything you get here is something we have all seen done before, but for some reason I still found myself entertained.

I don’t know what it was with this flick but even though everything here was too serious and too cliché, I still enjoyed myself watching it. The plot does take its time to get moving but somehow I found a lot of fun with that and it gave me a chance to actually get to know these characters and also be able to feel the tension building up in this story. I think that there are a couple of plot twists here and there that work in order to keep the flick going, and it’s just strange that the script had nothing new to do or say but I still found myself watching and interested in just what was going to happen next.

A lot of my enjoyment with this flick probably also had to do a lot with the cool cast they have assembled here. Barry Pepper is good in a very rare leading role here as Matty Demaret, which is a shame because this guy really does deserve bigger roles; Vin Diesel does his usual “stand there and look intimidating” act here as Taylor Reese, but don’t get me wrong it still works none the less; Seth Green seems a little too phony with his Italian accent as Johnny Marbles, but he still tries his hardest with what he’s given; Dennis Hopper shows up for a little bit and just plays the hard-ass daddy role as Benny “Chains” Demaret; Tom Noonan is probably the best out of the cast with his once again sinister performance as the crooked sheriff, Sheriff Decker; and John Malkovich seems like he’s pushing his Italian accent a little too far as well, but he’s still pretty good to watch. It’s a cast that are all pretty good at what they usually do and even though they aren’t in top-form here, they still are watchable and what I think made this film a lot less cringe-inducing than so many people have said about it.

Consensus: The plot features just about every cliché in the book, takes itself a bit way too seriously, and obviously could have done a lot more with what it had, but Knockaround Guys has a pretty good cast and some good moments that make this film at least entertaining enough to be a fun, if flawed guilty pleasure. Hate me all you want people, but I enjoyed myself.


Enemy of the State (1998)

Would this actually be happening in real life? Just putting it out there.

Hotshot Washington lawyer Robert Dean (Will Smith) becomes a victim of high-tech identity theft when a hacker slips an incriminating video into his pocket. Soon, a rogue National Security agent (Jon Voight) sets out to recover the tape — and destroy Dean.

If you love Tony Scott films that are just break-neck thrillers with no actual story, then this is a keeper. But if your like many others that think their mindless then this is not for you.

The one great thing about this film that actually helps it out is its crazy action. The scenes are filmed in such a rowdy but controlled way that everything that’s going on is fun and hectic but your actually understanding what is happening, which makes it more exciting.

I liked many of the high-tech stuff that was actually involved with its story and how it all seems believable. The atmosphere is created because he can’t escape the government and while watching it, you have a feeling you can’t either. Having a lot of these sateleitte dishes and cameras used made all the action, and the story a lot more interesting in how it all panned out.

The problem with the film is that its script is not very top-notch. There were plenty of times where the film could have really struck a nice cord with its talk, but doesn’t quite hit the mark with its scenes. Also, many of parts in this film were basically lifted scenes from The Conversation, also with Gene Hackman. I have only seen a little bit of that film I could already tell that the film had some big similarities to Enemy of the State.

The one saving grace as you would expect, is Will Smith. At times, he is so funny and cocky that its so easy to root for him, and to hope he comes out on top. The supporters who play the government do real well at what they do mostly comedians like Seth Green, Jack Black, and Jamie Kennedy, who all seem a bit miscast, but actually have some pretty good lines, even though we should hate them.

Consensus: Enemy of the State lacks in originality and a good script, but features a lot fun and exciting action, mostly lead by a charismatic performance from Smith.


Sex Drive (2008)

Watched this movie with 3 of my pals, and let me just say that is what I call a good time!!!

Determined to lose his virginity, 18-year-old Ian (Josh Zuckerman) grabs two pals (Clark Duke and Amanda Crew) and drives from Chicago to Knoxville, Tenn., to meet Danielle (Katrina Bowden), the girl of his dreams … or at least that’s what she seems like on Facebook. Sweetening the deal is the fact that she’s offered to go “all the way,” as long as he can make it all the way to see her, of course. Seth Green and James Marsden co-star.

This is one of the overly-sexed up raunchy teen comedies like Harold & Kumar, and Superbad. And I think it’s safe to say to put this one in that same category as those two greats as well.

The one thing I didn’t like about the film was that it didn’t have the heart like those other two did. The characterization of our main character isn’t that well put out, and you sort of just walk into this character as a horny, geeky, 18 year-old. Also, his pal Lenny bones chicks left and right and it takes about the 100th one to know that’s not how you act, especially with chicks most of the time.

I can see why so many people thought it was so bad, but really I wasn’t expecting anything else other than a raunchy, sexed up, teen road trip comedy. I watched the trailer right before and I knew what I was getting myself into, so I accepted it for what it was, and I actually enjoyed a lot more cause of my acceptance.

There are a lot of things that happen in this movie that are hilarious, although some are better than others but really who cares. The gags were funny and a lot of the things that these characters said were perverted, but really funny and I will probably catch myself in the near-future using one their catchy lines.

The first three acts are very very cliched and predictable. And basically the film can be very predictable but it is really funny when the moments actually happen. As me and my buddies were watching this we were always guessing what came next and I’m not going to lie 90% of the time we were right, but we still had a lot of fun laughing and predicting.

Probably the best thing about this film is that it actually does feature a good cast. This new kid, Josh Zuckerman plays the geeky and nerdy Micheal Cera that we all know and love, but he doesn’t over-do the awkwardness and actually seems a bit believable. The best are the little side characters such. James Marsden plays this very uncharacteristic jock who is such an ass, but is so funny at the same time, and after watching this I can almost forget that he was ever in Enchanted. Seth Green probably has the greatest cameo of all in this movie as the free-spirited Amish man, who is so cool and funny that I wanted more of him, but really just didn’t get enough. And another problem I had with this film was that it didn’t feature enough cameos to keep the story fresh and exciting, cause I always wanted to see someone new but never got that.

Really this film is meant for a bunch of dudes to watch. There are boobs flying everywhere, and really if any dude that hasn’t enough a good firm laugh in a long time for about a week, this will probably cure you have that problem.

Consensus: Though a bit predictable and less heart-felt as other films of this nature, Sex Drive is a hilarious, and fun take on the raunchy teen-comedy genre, and actually does feature some great stuff but some are just better than others.