Saturday, November 5, 2011

365 Movies Day #194 "The Big Bang"

This one kind of sneaked out of nowhere and clubbed me over the back of the head. The box art looked promising, but being that it was an Antonio Banderas film I had heard almost NOTHING about, I was skeptical. What I got was a film that combined some of the best elements of several genres and films that I love into a whacky ride that is filled with a cool way.

Antonio Banderas plays a film noir detective, with a gift for witticism and barbed comments only outmatched by his knowledge of the obscure. The film is a cast of crazy characters played by some of my favorite actors in the industry that continue to compound the insanity. The film is wrapped up nicely despite all the chaos and left me hoping for more.

So what other films/sources does this remind me of. Well, it's everything I hoped "Give Em Hell Malone" might deliver, but didn't. In fact, I could have easily seen Thomas Jane in the Banderas role in this. It's also very reminiscent of Warren Ellis' insanely crude, psychotic and enjoyable noir detective novel about a PI who is a magnet for all things demented. While his book, "Crooked Little Vein" is a whole lot more disturbing, "The Big Bang" definitely captures some of it's feel. Ellis is more well known for his work on adult oriented comics like "Transmetropolitan" and "Hellblazer". Finally, the film ties in elements from another Thomas Jane flick and one we've talked about before in the form of "DARK COUNTRY". The visual effects and cinematography are incredibly similar and it definitely has that "Twilight Zone" feel to it, though "Dark Country" is definitely more on the serious/surreal side of the house.

As far as cast, Sam Elliot gives one of his most original performances as, basically a mad scientist hippie. Sienna Guillory plays the incredibly alluring portion of Banderas' quest for answers. She was last mentioned on here for her role as the female lead in "KISS, KISS, BANG, BANG". Autumn Reeser is hotter than a firecracker in this one with an incredibly steamy and intellectual love seen with Banderas. You may remember her as Lizzy Grant from "Entourage", Taylor Townsend from "The O.C." or Kaitlyn Tremor from "Smoking Aces 2".

The film opens with Banderas at the mercy of three rather formidable cops. All of which you should recognize. William Fitchner has been on the blog before with "FIRST SNOW", and "EQUILIBRIUM". He also deserves a mention for stuff like "Drive Angry" where he was the one redeeming part of the film, his roles on "Entourage" and "Prison Break" and "Invasion". This won't be the last time you hear about Fitchner. The ringleader of Fitchner's group is played by Thomas Kretschmann (Cross from action epic "Wanted" and also known for "Blade II", "Transsiberian" and "Valkyrie") while Delroy Lindo ("Domino", "Ransom", Ciderhouese Rules") rounds out the team. As for Banderas's "complications", he meets some crazy characters along the way. "Dawson's Creek"'s James Van Der Beek has a VERY memorable cameo. Veritable giant Robert Maillet ("Sherlock Holmes", "300", WWE's Kurrgan) acts as the catalyst for the whole story. Snoop Dogg is a porn director. Bill Duke ("Predator", "Battlestar Galactica", "Payback") provides some leads in typical badass Bill Duke fashion. Finally, Jimmi Simpson gives a brief but fantastic performance as Sam Elliot's brilliant, yet troubled assistant.

While director Tony Krantz is better known for his work as producer, of his 3 directorial efforts, this is his SECOND to appear on the blog. We first talked about Mr. Krantz for his film "SUBLIME" back on day 32.


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