Saturday, November 3, 2012
365 Movies Day #225 "You Kill Me"
I love hit man movies. There is something about someone who makes a living killing people for a living that is so taboo yet so romanticized as to be fascinating. One of my favorite films of all time which I will probably mention in the blog at a later date is "Grosse Pointe Blank". It's a near flawless execution of a sweet 80s love story combined with an action packed mob thriller with interesting dialog, interesting casting choices and a great story. "You Kill Me" comes damn close to being as good as "Grosse Pointe Blank" in my opinion. The only point where it falls behind is action (and an amazing soundtrack), but it more than makes up for that with story. Ben Kingsley ("Sexy Beast", "Schindler's List", "Iron Man 3") plays Frank Falenczyk, a hired gun for the Polish mob in New York. When his drinking problem gets in the way of his assassination of an Irish boss played by Dennis Farina ("Snatch", "Out of Sight", "Saving Private Ryan"), his mob family stages an intervention, sending him to San Francisco to recover with the help of AA. Veteran character actor Philip Baker Hall ("Bruce Almighty", "The Insider") plays Kingsley's boss and uncle. The hitman's cousin and best friend is adeptly played by Marcus Thomas who reminds me somewhat of Mads Mikkelsen. He was also in "KILL THE IRISHMAN" Once in San Francisco, not excited about his forced recovery, Frank runs into his handler/babysitter, featuring a very quirky performance by Bill Pullman. While best known for roles in "ID4" and "Lost Highway", Bill is no stranger to the blog with "ZERO EFFECT" and who can forget him from "Spaceballs" or "Serpent in the Rainbow". This is a different role for him and one I really dug him in. As he works to clean up his act, Frank runs into an advertising agent who doesn't take no for an answer in the form of Tea Leoni. I have always found Mrs. Duchovney striking and this role is no exception. Breaking a lot of conventions of Hollywood storytelling, Leoni seems so desperate for an honest man and so lost in her own alienation that Frank's dark profession barely phases her. My favorite Leoni films are "Deep Impact" and "The Family Man". In addition, Luke Wilson plays a typical Luke Wilson character in the form of highly effective AA sponsor, Tom. Luke has been on the blog before with "SOUL SURVIVORS" and "IDIOCRACY". The film basically follows these quirky characters with their exceptionally funny dialog through Frank's treatment and ultimate return to doing what he loves best, killing with precision. It's a great film and a wonderful story from director John Dahl ("Californication", "Dexter", "Rounders"). YOU KILL ME ON IMDB