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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Gangster > Be Cool (Widescreen)

Be Cool (Widescreen)

 

Picture: B-†††† Sound: B-†††† Extras: B†††† Film: C-

 

 

Not only does F. Gary Grayís film Be Cool manage to be a total waste of time, but it also is an incredible waste of talent.The likes of this are seen every few years when an all-star cast assembles for yet another disappointing and unfunny film that spends too much money on the talent and not enough on the script.Letís just go down the lineup of people that should have never even looked at the script in the first place, let alone have a momentary lapse of reason and actually decide to show up for this film.They are: James Woods, Uma Thurman, Vince Vaughn, John Travolta, Harvey Keitel, Danny DeVito, and a few other minor players as well.

 

What happens in Be Cool is simple.We are exposed to a film that essentially pulls together lots of famous people and parades them around in a goofy plot that is suppose to be funny in a dark way, but ends up being more like a music video that keeps going on and on with little musings.Entertaining?Well, maybe next to watching algae form on the inside of a fish tank, and it was even more of a disappointment than Grayís previous film, The Italian Job remake.

 

There is no doubt that Be Cool was probably a decent story when it was a novel, written by Elmore Leonard and we have seen how convoluted stories such as Rum Punch (aka Jackie Brown) can turn into successes in the right hands, or Out of Sight for that matter.However, a director like Gray is still young and while somewhat experienced, you certainly donít get too much from a guy whose first feature was Friday (1995) followed by two better films The Negotiator and Set it Off, and then the disappointing A Man Apart.He is green lit to do The Brazilian Job (yikes) with the same players as on The Italian Job, so we shall see where that goes.

 

Back to Be Cool, or if you want to ďBe A FoolĒ, that is fine too.The first problem that the film encounters is that it mistakes dark humor with dumb humor and reminded me of the grossly overrated The Whole Nine Yards, which was just a nightmare of a film and yet another waste of talent.For those that are not aware this is the sequel to Get Shorty, which had many more laughs, but still missed the boat in some regards.This is one of those films that takes three paragraphs to really sum up all of what is going on, but I shall try to make it brief as possible in order to not run the risk of being more tiring than the film in question.

 

Chili Palmer (John Travolta) decides to try the music producing business instead of working in the movies, but he is being forced into making a sequel film.However, one of his producer friends is shot (James Woods) right after he is telling him about a young talent that he had scoped out (Christina Milian).After his friend is shot, he decides to help his widow (Uma Thurman) with the business, and tries to get Milian, but she is roped into a corner by her manager (Vince Vaughn) and his gay bodyguard (The Rock), and the Russian mob is also after them along with a suburban rap producer (Cedric the Entertainer).By the time the film is midway through we are still setup for a bizarre twist that involves making contact with the band Aerosmith and lots of other strange occurrences.

 

MGMís release of Be Cool is somewhat mixed all around.The film did rather poor business and was quickly put to DVD.The transfer is a very problematic scope 2.40 X 1 transfer that is anamorphically enhanced, yet raging with nuances.First there is a lack of detail and sharpness that appears throughout.Colors are smeared at times, the print is grainy and depth is lost in the background.Colors also seem muted and washed out and the blacks are unbalanced and a shade too bright.I viewed the film on several sources from a HD digital projector to a tube television and the same problems were noticeable on all sources.

 

The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is average at best and does not come close to some of the more recent films with big sound and better execution, especially those released with the DTS audio option as a fuller, more realistic experience.Since Get Shorty was re-released in lieu of this film to DVD, and also with DTS sound, it would have made sense to do that here, but that is not the case.You can easily count the number of films that MGM has done in DTS and that is a short list that remains rather stagnant.

 

While the extras may be large in number, they are certainly less entertaining than the film, which is a real accomplishment in my book.They include a documentary on the making of the film, which has become almost standard these days as well as a ton of featurettes on some of the films characters.There are some funny deleted scenes and the gag reel is worth a look, but overall itís just a bunch of fluff to make the DVD seem more interesting.There is even a music video from The Rock to top things off.

 

Basically I recommend everyone to be cool and donít be a fool by wasting any time on Be Cool.There are certainly better films out there to eat up your time; you may as well go with one that has some benefits.If you actually did find the film to be amusing than you will probably enjoy the extras, but that might be stretching it a bit.I know a few people that just loved this film, but they also probably gave Bandits a standing ovation too.

 

 

-†† Nate Goss


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