Tag Archives: Christopher Walken

Can’t Wait: ‘Stand Up Guys’


While my other movie series, I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Film School, looks back, I figured I should place at least one foot in the here and now of giddy anticipation.  Therefore, Can’t Wait focuses on upcoming movies I, well, can’t wait to see, along with a few reasons why.

Elmore Leonard’s influence, be it direct or otherwise, is always something I value in a movie.  Fast talking lowlifes, quippy small time crooks, and lounge bars are the cornerstones of Leonard’s work, and things that never fail to interest me.  And when Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, and Alan Arkin are playing elderly versions of those lowlifes, as they do in the upcoming Stand Up Guys, you can count at least one ticket punched.

Will Stand Up Guys be any good?  Who knows?  It’s slated for a January release, which is never a good sign for a film’s quality prospects.  However, that cast, including the aforementioned legends, also features Julianna Margulies and Mark Margolis (Tio!), which is exciting.  Pacino in particular looks like he’s stretching some of those early-career restraint muscles which have gone dormant for decades.  All three of Pacino, Walken, and Arkin have a jaded, beaten, and good-humored take on those Leonard scuzzy criminals, which is alone worth $10 to get out of the January cold.

 

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Can’t Wait: Martin McDonagh’s ‘Seven Psychopaths’


While my other movie series, I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Film School, looks back, I figured I should place at least one foot in the here and now of giddy anticipation.  Therefore, Can’t Wait focuses on upcoming movies I, well, can’t wait to see, along with a few reasons why.

Colin Farrell has been unfairly regarded in recent years as a Hollywood failure.  His public persona — drunken, foul-mouthed Irish dock worker — and stream of big budget flops (this summer’s Total Recall, which I haven’t seen yet, is the latest) only serve to enhance that perception.  But that understanding is a shallow view of talent; essentially it equates box office dollars to a filmmaker or actor’s artistic capabilities.  In reality, though, Farrell is a very good, and sometimes great, actor.  When paired with solid material and, in the case of 2004’s The New World, world-class filmmakers like Terrence Malick, Farrell can knock a role out of the park.  His finest, and also his most entertaining, role was in 2008’s In Bruges, a comedic thriller written and directed by Englishman Martin McDonagh.  The two are reteaming for the upcoming Seven Psychopaths, an irreverent caper involving dognapping.

Farrell’s not the only actor of note in Psychopaths, either.  It’s overflowing with talented, captivating actors like Sam Rockwell (Moon, Galaxy Quest), Christopher Walken (The Deer HunterCatch Me If You Can), Woody Harrelson (No Country For Old Men, Zombieland), and a rare acting appearance by musician Tom Waits (Short Cuts, Down By Law).  Everything about the trailer suggests a grimier Ocean’s 11 tone; these are lower rent criminals — note Harrelson’s neck tattoo — but the lighthearted, jokey bent remains.  The film makes its North American debut at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival, and will hopefully earn a wide release in the months following.

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