Everybody’s a critic. Gone are the days of relying on just Pauline Kael or a thumbs up/thumbs down from Siskel and Ebert. Now, everybody’s got something to say and you get all kinds of reviews for movies. You’ve got the fanboys who tear apart every detail (especially when it deviates from the source material), parent sites who comb through movies looking for what will traumatize 5 year olds all the way to the bitter folks who go on personal vendettas based on the budget of a movie or an actor’s latest scandal. Very few “critics” actually tell you if you’re going to have a good time or not when you watch a movie. How could they really? I’m here to put my 2 cents in (because it’s all I’ve got) and you can dismiss me as another grump in a sea of complainers or you can hear me out (read me out that is). I began this here blog because I wanted to let y’all know of some people you might not know about, doing things you might actually enjoy. I know you have a million options when it comes to this but sometimes you need a little nudge in the right direction (or in the wrong one for the Hell of it). I’m not just talking about underground, indie and names that are not yet household, I’m also talking about the things and people you’re already familiar with. That are right in front of you. Those that might deserve a second look or another listen.
Case in point: “Stand Up Guys”.
This little crime dramedy is a cool little bromance about two old timers who used to run these streets and are now occupied with painting, gardening and watching cable and enjoying their last few hours on earth. Here’s the official synopsis.
Val (Pacino) is released from prison after serving twenty-eight years for refusing to give up one of his close criminal associates. His best friend Doc (Walken) is there to pick him up, and the two soon reteam with another old pal, Hirsch (Arkin). Their bond is as strong as ever, and the three reflect on freedom lost and gained, loyalties ebbed and flowed, and days of glory gone by. And despite their age, their capacity for mayhem is still very much alive and well – bullets fly as they make a hilariously valiant effort to compensate for the decades of crime, drugs and sex they’ve missed.
But one of the friends is keeping a dangerous secret- he’s been put in an impossible quandary by a former mob boss, and his time to find an acceptable alternative is running out. As the sun rises on the guys’ legendary reunion, their position becomes more and more desperate and they finally confront their past once and for all.
I am a freak about movies. I’ll watch at least one almost every day and I go to the movies at least once a week. I will watch anything. Really. I almost didn’t see “Stand Up Guys”. It was a guarantee theater flick for me. How could I resist Pacino, Walken and Arkin on the big screen?
But I almost let a few reviews put me off. It’s hard not to overlook that goddamn Metacritic score, man!!! It was gonna be a rental (you know what I’m talking about). But then I saw Al Pacino on Letterman and something Dave said tipped me back over…he said (not a quote, kids – my memory ain’t what it barely was) Stand Up Guys was the kind of movie he liked seeing Al and Walken in. And that was it.
Sometimes you gotta jump in. What a great surprise this movie is. I won’t say much about this but go and see it. If you can’t wait for the video but WATCH IT! No matter what you end up thinking about the movie you won’t be able to deny that these guys had a blast acting in this and you will enjoy every second they’re on the screen. Just three of the best actors of all time playing off each other. Like I said I don’t want to say too much but GO!
As my four year old told me yesterday, “you never know if you never go”.