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Lucky Number Slevin
DVD disk
09.12.2006 By: Jason Coleman
Lucky Number Slevin order
Director:
Paul McGuigan

Actors:
Josh Hartnett
Morgan Freeman
Bruce Willis

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Due to a case of mistaken identity, a young man named Slevin finds himself in between two rival crime bosses, a bunch of curious cops, and a mysterious assassin. He must figure out a way to turn the tables on everyone and stay alive long enough to prove who he really is.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The best and worst thing I can say about LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN (other then the title stinks!) is that it’s very smart…too smart. The heavy handed script is a little too clever for it’s own good, especially the dialogue which often sounds too staged and overbearing – think Quentin Tarantino with none of the pinache. So in the midst of a story that isn’t bad, there are long and drawn out bits that are unnatural and aimless, almost saying “hey, look how smart I am!” Not that they had to dumb it down, but less is more needed to more then just a catchphrase for this film. A look or gesture can mean more then four minutes of Lucy Liu rambling, which is much less effective and ten times as annoying. The script’s never-ending plot twists must have been the draw for the high-profile actors in this piece (and some are great!), it’s just a shame someone didn’t take the time to make the dialogue as complex and intricate as the all important story.

The cast is quite a who’s who of talent - Hartnett playing the sexy lead, Luci Lui as his “free-spirited” girlfriend, Freeman and Ben Kinsley as rival crime bosses, Stanley Tucci as an angry (what else?!) cop and even a creepy Bruce Willis thrown in for good measure as a mechanical hitman – but again, all notable subtle work here is highly overshadowed by the abundance of flippant words and speeches that seem like someone is reading off a teleprompter. It’s funny how the various characters in the movie all talk the same way, speak the same language, it’s a tad strange, but it isn’t the film’s problem. Talking isn’t bad, talking too much is - and that’s where LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN’s luck seems to run out.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary (with Director Paul McGuigan): While McGuigan does have a rather dry and monotone delivery, this is a fairly good commentary nonetheless. Not only does he go in-depth into the process, revealing how he did certain shots and transitions, but also has enough balls to point out mistakes as well. The very honest McGuigan even goes far enough to say that “some say that Lucky Number Slevin is the worst named film ever and I’ve got to agree with them, I must say.” I must say, keep the frank talk coming Mr. McGuigan, it’s a refreshing change!

Commentary (with Actors Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu and Writer Jason Smilovic): Unfortunately, this one is 70/30, meaning 30% of this track, when Writer Smilovic cuts in (he frankly states that he is not with the two actors, but merely being spliced in later!) it’s a good listen. But the rest of the time, its 70% stinker, with Hartnett and a rather sedate Lucy Liu merely putting us to sleep with their “this shot was great” and “I liked this”. Keep the remote fast forward button handy for this one!

Deleted Scenes (with Optional Commentary by Director Paul McGuigan): It’s quite obvious that the editor on this film did a terrific job, as all of these scenes are even more talky then what’s in the film (if that’s possible!) and the result is a lesson on how to cut, cut, cut! The optional commentary isn’t bad, but why not include a track on the Extended Scene? Anyway, can be viewed as a Play All (20:53) or Individually.

Elvis and Sloe (7:16): Tons more hijinks and unfunny dialogue with the two sassy thugs, which Director McGuigan correctly points out, takes away from the film and is completely out of place.

The Bodyguards’ Story (4:27): Who really cares about the back story on the Bodyguards protecting “the Fairy”, when they’re only in like two quick scenes? Not I and thankfully, not the director.

The Rabbi And The Boss – Extended Scene (No Commentary) (8:01): This one shows exactly why a little of Freeman and Kingsley goes a long way.

Alternate Ending (0:52): Bottom Line: This ending would’ve sucked out any and all hope and love left in the film. Nice job McGuigan!

Making Lucky Number Slevin (13:20): Since there are a large number of high profile actors in this flick, I sensed I was gonna be in for a lot of ass kissing with this featurette – boy was I right. If you wanna watch this semi-decent making-of, you better get out the chapstick and pucker up!

There is also a Theatrical Trailer, as well as some forced Trailers at the disc’s opening, which will not be listed out of protest. (End all forced-to-watch Trailers NOW!)
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
A film that has a good story and some interesting plot twists, but is overshadowed by unnatural and overbearing dialogue. A slew of extras that has some refreshing tidbits, but is bombarded with an abundance of ass kissing. The writing on the wall (or DVD box!) is clear and LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN has rental written all over it.
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