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Be Cool (2005)
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Review Date: March 03, 2005
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Peter Steinfeld
Producers: Danny DeVito, Stacey Sher, Michael Shamberg
Actors:
Travolta as Chili Palmer
Uma Thurman as Edie
Vince Vaughn as Raji
Plot:
A sequel to 1995’s GET SHORTY, this film features ex-shylock Chili Palmer in Hollywood, sick of the movie business and about to make his entry into the business of music. Along the way, Chili rubs elbows with Vanilla Ice types, gangsta rappers, hottie ingénues, Russian mobsters, gay bodyguards and Uma Thurman. He does, however, remain cool…throughout.
Critique:
I’m a huge fan of GET SHORTY, so the thought of a half-assed sequel which seemed to be relying its entire friggin’ marketing campaign around the reunion of Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace from Quentin Tarantino’s PULP FICTION (an entirely different movie with entirely different characters), scared the shit out of me. Add that to the fact that the first film was based around the movie industry—an industry which I quite enjoy myself—and featured stylish director Barry Sonnenfeld, versus the hip-hop music industry—an industry which I don’t quite enjoy myself—and director F. Gary Gray, well…let’s just say that when I sat down in my theater seat, I was ready to roll my eyes the whole way through this one. But it wasn’t so bad. In fact, I laughed here and there, Travolta looked great and his Chili Palmer character was right back where he left off in the previous flick. Many of the secondary characters were also over-the-top stereotypical enough to elicit a few chuckles and the Rock…well, the Rock goddamn stole the show here, with an amazingly comical performance as a gay, Samoan, actor-wannabe bodyguard, that only helped strengthen my belief that this man has major potential to become an all-out movie star. Wow! The scene in which he and Travolta go back and forth in his home, and the Rock breaks out into a monologue from a movie that I won’t ruin for you here, was pure hilarity. Seriously…let’s give it up for Dwayne Johnson!!

Vince Vaughn’s “white guy trying to act black” character is one that I personally have seen way too many of -- in both real life and in the movies-- but Vinnie still managed to bring some humor to the part, as did Andre 3000, in his one-dimensional doofus “gangsta” character, once more, eliciting a greater majority of the laughs, from his end of the tale. All that said, the biggest problem with this movie was that there were just too many characters (they could have cut Steven Tyler, Pastorelli, Hy, the cops, etc…), too many back-and-forths between them all, too many similarities between it and the first movie, too many waste-of-time musical numbers and ultimately, too much runtime and not enough real meat to fill it all up. Oh, and don’t get me going about the horrible inclusion of a scene in which Uma Thurman and Travolta decide to get up and dance for absolutely no reason connected to the story whatsoever, and waste both our time and patience, by doing so. In fact, the two leads’ chemistry was one of the weakest parts of the film, with Thurman, in particular, sleepwalking through her role. Compared to the heat generated between Russo and Travolta in the original, this was a particular letdown.

Granted, I still enjoyed the entire setting in L.A. and around the movie/music business, appreciated the handful of very clever lines (Tyler’s line about Thurman’s legs and Travolta’s response to the Rock’s query about when he was going to call him, were two very funny keepers), liked the cameos, especially the one by Jimmy Woods and was never really bored (save for the music scenes). But overall, the film went too long, had too many characters, wasn’t as original or stylized as the first flick, and definitely didn’t have its memorable score either. I know I seem to be comparing the two movies a little too much here (I don’t like doing that, since all films should be able to stand on their own, without having to be compared), but I guess the two movies had too many similarities to avoid. All in all, this film will likely be appreciated more by the younger audiences, the urban crowd or anyone who rents it on DVD, but it’s certainly not as bad as I had anticipated and should also be able to entertain most folks who check it out in theaters as well. Just don’t expect it to be as good as GET SHORTY and you should be okay. Oh, and if you’re a fan of the Rock…strap yourselves on for a fun time with the man…great man!
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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11:12AM on 01/06/2006
This movie is so much worse than Get Shorty. Get Shorty was cool, suave, funny, had interesting characters, and basically was an all-around good time. Be Cool was just annoying - which is a shame because you'd think with that cast, you'd have something good to remember. Nope.

The story was lame, the "singing" was obviously lip-synched, the characters were either annoying, cliched, or forgettable, and every time the movie seemed like it was going to end - it went on for another 15-20
This movie is so much worse than Get Shorty. Get Shorty was cool, suave, funny, had interesting characters, and basically was an all-around good time. Be Cool was just annoying - which is a shame because you'd think with that cast, you'd have something good to remember. Nope.

The story was lame, the "singing" was obviously lip-synched, the characters were either annoying, cliched, or forgettable, and every time the movie seemed like it was going to end - it went on for another 15-20 minutes.

The movie basically tries to follow its predecessor's story where Chili goes from one career to another - this time he leaves the movie business to go the music industry and manage a talented R&B singer. Then you've got all the baddies who're trying to stop them. Not too different from the first, only the first was more fun with more interesting and funny characters.

I guess the movie wasn't all bad - I did like seeing Chili Palmer again and his coolness and style. There were a few times where I did chuckle (the "Mongolian food" bit was where I laughed the loudest) and I always enjoy ogling Uma Thurman in her hotness.

But all of the memorable and fun characters from Get Shorty did not come back - Gene Hackman, Delroy Lindo, and Dennis Farina. Instead they're replaced with cliched characters which I found annoying: Vince Vaughn, Cedric the Entertainer, and Andre 3000. The Rock as a gay bouncer/actor and Harvey Keitel as a . . . I don't what he was . . . were forgettable.

Kinda makes me wish Chili Palmer woulda stayed in Get Shorty.
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9:05AM on 07/25/2005

damn shame

A stacked cast cannot automatically make a movie watchable (e.g. Oceans 12). I can not over state how utterly boring this movie was, absolutely brutaly mind numbingly boring. I'm a fan of Get Shorty, but this sequel retains none of the value of the original, none none none. The movie bugged me with how full of itself it was too, maybe thats not the right term but what i mean is you get a lot of this: "lets go to the Viper Room", "i know Steven Tyler", shit like blackberry two ways (practically
A stacked cast cannot automatically make a movie watchable (e.g. Oceans 12). I can not over state how utterly boring this movie was, absolutely brutaly mind numbingly boring. I'm a fan of Get Shorty, but this sequel retains none of the value of the original, none none none. The movie bugged me with how full of itself it was too, maybe thats not the right term but what i mean is you get a lot of this: "lets go to the Viper Room", "i know Steven Tyler", shit like blackberry two ways (practically had a supporting role) and other blatant product placement that was so forced it was insulting and stomach turning. There were very few redeeming things in this movie, Rocks performance, a few of Vaughn's lines, Uma looking good, and...i guess thats it. I swear on all thats sacred that given such a cast there is zero chance i could make a worse movie.
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