WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Five con artists (Ed Burns, Rachel Weisz, Paul Giamatti, Brian Van Holt & Franky G) try to pull off a monster con to help pay off The King (Dustin Hoffman), a major gangster they owe. Their caper gets compromised when a federal agent (Andy Garcia) gets wise and everybody starts wanting a piece of the pie.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
When it comes to movies involving elaborate con games, I’m hardly ever disappointed. The last two decades have given us great ones like THE SPANISH PRISONER, GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (also directed by Foley), THE GRIFTERS and HOUSE OF GAMES. CONFIDENCE is far from the level of those mentioned, but it does have enough tricks and teases up its sleeve to pull you in enough to keep you guessing and guessing wrong. I suppose I’m just used to such elaborate and intricate cons in movies that I felt like this one didn’t challenge me enough. It was all right, but nothing that bowled me over; and with a mindfuck movie genre like this, I want to be bowled, rolled, fooled and thrown for the complete loop.
I had no real complaints with the acting. Garcia goes “character actor” in this one, Weisz sizzles as always, Giamatti & Van Holt make charming con men, Hoffman goes a touch over the top but not to the point of being ridiculous and Luis Guzman and Donal Logue play corrupt cops to the tee. Oh yes, and Ed Burns plays Ed Burns to perfection…and that’s a compliment! Foley also throws in enough camera trickery and style to keep the movie flowing at a quick and exciting pace. At 97 minutes, it’s a fast watch that’ll get your brain working a little, but not enough for you to do a complete double take.
There are three audio commentaries on this disc. One with director Foley, another with the actors (Hoffman, Burns, Weisz and Garcia) and a final one with writer Doug Jung. The actors’ commentary is the most interesting one to listen to, although they didn’t all record them together, in fact, Burns and Weisz are the only ones actually speaking at the same time. In any case, I appreciate any film that goes to the lengths to record as many commentaries as this for fans of the movie.
Another feature, Sundance Channel Presents Anatomy of a Scene is something that can be very insightful to filmmaking students; be it as an editor, director, screenwriter or actor. This 27-minute feature has the filmmakers breaking down a crucial scene in the film for the audience, and pointing out the specific methods they used to make a scene “work”. This is a very in-depth and informative way of showing the importance of all the elements clicking together to make a scene come through and to be as powerful and effective as possible. This will likely bore others not as keen on discovering such filmmaking tidbits.
There are really only three different deleted scenes in the extras. Two that are worth checking out solely for their sexual content!!! Two music videos by Zero 7 and FC Kahuna are also included on the DVD.
Personally, I don’t think this movie has any re-watch value, so I’d suggest you rent it one night if you’re in the mood for some pretty decent acting and a cool story. The extras are perfect (commentaries and anatomy of a scene) for filmmaking buffs, but I cannot with full confidence (groan) prescribe this DVD for purchase.