#1  
Old 04-08-2013, 01:27 PM
Killing Them Softly (yay or nay)

Personally I loved it. It ranked #3 on my 2012 Top Ten List (right behind 1. Looper and 2. The Master)

I know a lot of schmoes & film critics alike didn't care for it but I thought it was excellent. Was it in the same league as The Assassination of Jesse James? Fuck no. Not even close but I would still give it a solid 9/10

This is Brad Pitt's most badass character since Tyler Durden imo. And I plan on buying it this week.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2013, 02:04 PM
It's really hard to judge a lesser work by a hyper-talented director. On the one hand it's kinda disappointing, on the other hand it's still better than most of the movies you will encounter in your viewing experience. It is a great one-time viewing experience, but I would rather use future film watching to discover new movies than to return to it. Once was enough.

So I guess in terms of "normal" cinema a yay, and in terms of "great" cinema a nay.

Not sure if I have expressed myself well at all though.

Last edited by Gordon; 04-08-2013 at 02:07 PM..
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2013, 02:44 PM
I say NAY... it was very very mundane and nothing I would ever watch again, as a 1 time watch it was ok, but it would not be a movie I would recommend to any one I know.
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  #4  
Old 04-08-2013, 03:02 PM
I felt very "Meh" about the entire movie but I was very sleepy when trying to watch it....overall quite let down after loving Assassination a couple years back...I would definitely be open to watching it again sometime though.
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2013, 04:02 PM
Nay. Pretty much nothing happens in the movie. There's no real tension. Nothing goes wrong. And the whole movie feels like it's just an excuse for Pitt's monologue at the end. And not one character is interesting and I hated all of the characters. Didn't care about any of them.

One of 2012's most disappointing efforts especially since I liked Jesse James a lot.
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2013, 04:13 PM
Big time yay and even better on a re-watch. It was in my top 10 of 2012. It's no Jesse James, sure, but as Dominik said, Jesse James was a ballad, and Killing Them Softly was more of a pop song. It works both as a political parable and an examination of the id, ego and superego. The performances are all terrific (not a single weak link in the cast). It also has some of the best cinematography of 2012. With the re-watch, it also became more apparent how darkly funny the movie is.

Also, the sense of desperation that Dominik creates through the writing, performances and cinematography is pretty incredible. It's easy to tell that he was influenced by the great documentary, Salesman.

Last edited by Bourne101; 04-08-2013 at 04:17 PM..
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2013, 04:24 PM
Big yay, but I can understand people's nays.
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  #8  
Old 04-08-2013, 05:01 PM
YAY!
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  #9  
Old 04-08-2013, 06:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemovies View Post
Nay. Pretty much nothing happens in the movie.
Wow, I'd love to see you watch an Antonioni film.

But, yeah, this is VERY cynical film that won't sit well with those who live by the rose-tinted "people are basically good" and "America is #1 all the way" sentiments.
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2013, 06:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
It works both as a political parable
This was a PROBLEM for me... what made this movie political other than having some out of place background speeches from Bush and Obama? What did any of that have to do with the story? Did I miss something major?!
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  #11  
Old 04-08-2013, 06:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyNet View Post
This was a PROBLEM for me... what made this movie political other than having some out of place background speeches from Bush and Obama? What did any of that have to do with the story? Did I miss something major?!
The whole thing pretty much matched the financial crisis step for step. To take perhaps the most rudimentary though most obvious example the purpose of Keynesian spending is to reinstate confidence in the economy by changing people's perception. They mirror this logic when they want to murder someone for the stick-up to reinstate confidence in the economy, regardless of whether he has any culpability.
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  #12  
Old 04-08-2013, 06:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemovies View Post
Nothing goes wrong. .
Huh?
Spoiler:
There's plenty of stuff that "goes wrong" in this film. Ray Liotta is beaten to a pulp. The card game robbery. Frankie(Scoot MCNairy's character getting killed etc etc. Plenty of stuff unfolds in this film
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2013, 07:28 AM
Big yay! One of my favorite films of the year. I think people were expecting this to be a spiritual cousin or something to The Assassination of Jesse James, which is still the superior film. I really appreciate that Dominick did not try replicate his success from Jesse James and that he gave us a different experience. I also love that Pitt did not play the same character. I wrote in my review for this film that it's some hybrid between a Tarantino and Coen Brothers film with a little bit of Elmore Leonard thrown good measure. I found this film darkly hilarious. When I went to see this I think I was the only person laughing.
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  #14  
Old 04-09-2013, 10:19 AM
My favorite of 2012. Everything I look for in a piece of fiction, personally, this movie offers up in spades.
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2013, 08:44 PM
I really like it and gave it an 8/10 but it's one of those movies that's hard to recommend unless you fit a very specific audience
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  #16  
Old 04-09-2013, 09:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
The whole thing pretty much matched the financial crisis step for step. To take perhaps the most rudimentary though most obvious example the purpose of Keynesian spending is to reinstate confidence in the economy by changing people's perception. They mirror this logic when they want to murder someone for the stick-up to reinstate confidence in the economy, regardless of whether he has any culpability.
Yep.

If you're looking for specific scenes that really highlight this, SkyNet, watch the ones with Jackie and Driver where they are discussing how to deal with certain characters.
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  #17  
Old 04-09-2013, 10:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
The whole thing pretty much matched the financial crisis step for step. To take perhaps the most rudimentary though most obvious example the purpose of Keynesian spending is to reinstate confidence in the economy by changing people's perception. They mirror this logic when they want to murder someone for the stick-up to reinstate confidence in the economy, regardless of whether he has any culpability.
I thought that was also particularly well executed between Pitt and Scoot at the end (they should make a film or a cartoon titled that or vice versa)
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  #18  
Old 04-09-2013, 11:20 PM
That would be a big yay for me. Didn't reach my top 10 only because the year was so good but it was in my honorables and I'm definitely looking forward to watching it again. The film is one huge allegory, a story that uses criminals to demonstrate what's going on with the economy and business ethics in the United States. Gordon said it best.

Superb dialogue and acting from everyone across the board, especially Gandolfini who ripped his scenes up, great use of music, expertly paced, the film is sick. I still haven't gotten around to watching Jesse James again to see if I like it more the second time but Killing Them Softly was one of the many, many great films from last year.
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  #19  
Old 04-13-2013, 03:21 AM
Big time fan of this. Seen it twice already. Wouldn't say in my top 10 of last year, but definitely in my top 20.

I was immensely entertained from the moment it started until the moment it ended. Brad Pitt was good, as was the closing monologue (which is unfortunately the only thing anyone seems to care to want to talk about), but really neither was made the movie for me.

I might be biased though, because Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn have become two of my favorite upcoming actors working, and watching them play off each other to Dominik's beautiful shots was a pleasure to watch. Gandolfini gives a great performance, Liotta was good, and Jenkins was awesome as always. The music is good throughout, the politics/message were there but not to the point where they beat you over the head with it, and the ending works.

Honestly not even sure what the gripes are about it, unless it's just unfairly being held only to the standard of Jesse James. It's something of a slight film, kind of a neatly packaged little crime story, but it's perfectly executed for what it sets out to do IMO.

Been mostly surprised at how lukewarm most people have been to this one, but I'd definitely recommend this one.
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  #20  
Old 04-13-2013, 11:44 PM
I really enjoyed this film but I can understand why it got a bad reception. The whole political aspect was laid on way to heavy, the background radio, TV etc was all too much.

If they had cut out of all the overt Obama speeches, it would have worked much better. People would still understand the political allegory through the dialogue and the story and being more subtle would have definitely been better.

The robbery scene was one of the most tense scenes I saw last year. And I also recently discovered through rewatching that Ray Liotta's character is a parallel to Saddam Hussein
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  #21  
Old 04-14-2013, 01:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pride View Post
And I also recently discovered through rewatching that Ray Liotta's character is a parallel to Saddam Hussein
Completely! good insight!
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  #22  
Old 04-14-2013, 05:27 AM

Bought this the other day and then rewatched it last night. So damn good. It really holds up well and how cool was Brad Pitt's entrance? With Johnny Cash playing, such a fuckin boss.
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  #23  
Old 04-14-2013, 11:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pride View Post
I really enjoyed this film but I can understand why it got a bad reception. The whole political aspect was laid on way to heavy, the background radio, TV etc was all too much.

If they had cut out of all the overt Obama speeches, it would have worked much better. People would still understand the political allegory through the dialogue and the story and being more subtle would have definitely been better.

The robbery scene was one of the most tense scenes I saw last year. And I also recently discovered through rewatching that Ray Liotta's character is a parallel to Saddam Hussein
Mind going into a little more detail about your last point? I want something to really focus on for my next viewing.
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  #24  
Old 04-14-2013, 12:05 PM
Yeah Pride, if you could go into a little more detail on the whole parrell with Ray Liotta and Saddam, that would be much appreciated.
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  #25  
Old 04-14-2013, 11:36 PM
Big "nay" for me.
I found the opening scene already too heavy-handed and obvious with the news reports. I felt it was a smash against the audience assuming we'd be too stupid to "catch on" to the obvious every time the radio or a TV was on through the rest of the movie, pounding home a point that was already well established.
Plus, I think it was a silly and profoundly pretentious theme. Just... no. No, no, no, no.

Also, I found it quite boring and uninteresting. Didn't like the attempts at style (such as the slo-mo shootout) for this movie, it just didn't fit with the tone.

The performances were alright, I just found the writing - and most of the directing - wasn't.

Last edited by KcMsterpce; 04-14-2013 at 11:39 PM..
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  #26  
Old 04-15-2013, 12:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KcMsterpce View Post
Big "nay" for me.
I found the opening scene already too heavy-handed and obvious with the news reports. I felt it was a smash against the audience assuming we'd be too stupid to "catch on" to the obvious every time the radio or a TV was on through the rest of the movie, pounding home a point that was already well established.
Plus, I think it was a silly and profoundly pretentious theme. Just... no. No, no, no, no.
What's so pretentious about the theme though? Also, I took the way the whole thing is handled to be a form of brainwash no different than what happens in the media to the common man.
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  #27  
Old 04-15-2013, 01:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemovies View Post
And not one character is interesting and I hated all of the characters. Didn't care about any of them.
I thought Pitt's character Jackie was interesting. He was the only character in the movie with a functioning brain it seemed like. The Australian junkie, The train wreck Mickey and that dumbass kid didn't much keep my attention.

everyone telling on themselves was pathetic.

Last edited by SL Dubbs; 04-16-2013 at 01:28 PM..
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  #28  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digifruitella View Post
What's so pretentious about the theme though? Also, I took the way the whole thing is handled to be a form of brainwash no different than what happens in the media to the common man.
This was along my thinking with regards to the politics and news always been theme-related. The story is based around the election times, this is what the media is during elections. It's everywhere and it's everything. For better or worse and there is no escaping it, even if we think we can by going to a bar or having conversations in cars...I think that's part of the point & theme. The political and economic machine has infiltrated every minute aspect of our lives.
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  #29  
Old 04-20-2013, 03:10 PM
Don't really know what to think of the film now. Since the first time I watched it I've thrown out a lot of my original criticisms. Don't really know why the film bothered me that much upon my first viewing because I can't really say I'm one of those people who see America as a country that can do no wrong. This country has plenty to be guilty about and is deserving, at times, of the cynicism that is directed towards it. As to whether I agree or disagree with the film's criticisms of America in my current mindset...I just don't know. The good that does exist in America doesn't really have its place in this film because it would be detracting from the point of the film. Looking back on the film, there are a few things I can speak on though.

Pitt's character was more of dark entity or ideal than an actual human being. He was like a dominant force that consumed all the smaller and weaker characters, all while feeling no remorse about any of his actions or decisions. Symbolic of certain forces in this country, I'm sure. There are plenty of people in this country who act like Gandolfini's character, complaining about their disposition even though they are clearly reaping what they have sowed.

All in all, the film is pretty much a potent blend of symbolism, cynicism, and a certain type of horror, (again represented by pitt's character). If you can handle that, you should be good to go with this film. I think it would help anyone's enjoyment of the film by not expecting any twists or redeeming character arcs while watching it. If you can gather what the film wants to say in its first 20 min, then you should know generally where it plans to go. Not sure whether or not that is a pro or con for the film, but I'm sure arguments could be made for both.

Bottom line about the film though; it will most likely affect you. For better or worse, it will stir something inside of you.
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  #30  
Old 04-22-2013, 06:19 PM
Definitely a NAY.

I was looking forward to this movie big time. Brad Pitt looked awesome, James Gandolfini always does a great job and the story was intriguing. I got the theater started watching it and couldn't wait for it to end after the first 30-40 minutes.

Yes, Brad Pitt's character is cool and he plays it well but it does not make up for all of the other shit in the movie that just plain sucks. The story is awful and un-relatable and the main character "bad guys" I guess I'll call them were mis-cast.

Boooooooooooo Killing Them Softly Boooooooooooooo
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  #31  
Old 04-29-2013, 07:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo_bravo View Post
Yeah Pride, if you could go into a little more detail on the whole parrell with Ray Liotta and Saddam, that would be much appreciated.
He hasn't replied but this is my theory on what he meant and it made sense to me after I thought about it.

Spoiler:
If you think of the criminal underworld in the film as "the world" then guys like Brad Pitt and co represent America. In their world, the economy collapses cause of the card game robbery initiated by Ray Liotta. He's reprimanded but is given a pass. That could represent the first Gulf War where Saddam initiated it but he wasn't fully punished and continued to rule the country.

But the second robbery, 9/11, tanks their economy and legitimately wasn't started by him. But he's used as the scapegoat so they can keep up appearances and not give people the idea that you can mess with America without consequences. So they focus on Saddam/Ray Liotta even though he didn't have anything to do with it instead of the actual robbers (though they do get it in the end). Brad Pitt just wants to end it quickly (execution) but they favor a long, drawn out beating (Saddam's lengthy kangaroo court). They eventually do decide to kill Saddam/Liotta
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  #32  
Old 04-29-2013, 07:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarface98.9 View Post
He hasn't replied but this is my theory on what he meant and it made sense to me after I thought about it.

Spoiler:
If you think of the criminal underworld in the film as "the world" then guys like Brad Pitt and co represent America. In their world, the economy collapses cause of the card game robbery initiated by Ray Liotta. He's reprimanded but is given a pass. That could represent the first Gulf War where Saddam initiated it but he wasn't fully punished and continued to rule the country.

But the second robbery, 9/11, tanks their economy and legitimately wasn't started by him. But he's used as the scapegoat so they can keep up appearances and not give people the idea that you can mess with America without consequences. So they focus on Saddam/Ray Liotta even though he didn't have anything to do with it instead of the actual robbers (though they do get it in the end). Brad Pitt just wants to end it quickly (execution) but they favor a long, drawn out beating (Saddam's lengthy kangaroo court). They eventually do decide to kill Saddam/Liotta
Makes a lot of sense.
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