Killing Them Softly: Andrew Dominik, the master of exquisite homicide, returns with this adaptation of George V. Higgins’ Cogan’s Trade. The film and novel follow aged hitman Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) after he is hired to find two idiots who have robbed a mob poker game. A Dominik film should have watch on sight status for anyone who saw his amazing 2007 film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. The film is a poetic beautifully meditation on obsession, friendship and how things fall apart and was easily one of the best film produced in that decade. It was also the first Brad Pitt really worked as a guy past his prime.
This brutal looking gangster film would be imminently watchable for its cast alone. In addition to a grizzled looking Pitt, you also get Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta and Sam Shepard. And while I’m not familiar with Scoot McNairy – who does that great whimper when talking to Pitt’s character in the trailer – but on the basis of that one perfectly realized sound, I wanted to watch him in this movie. By its pedigree, scheduling and promotional material, the film is definitely intended to garner some awards attention which is normally I big warring sign but here I really don’t care. This movie isn’t The Reader or Crash, it’s a movie about violent men doing violent things to each other filmed by a man who knows how to film such things. This is kind of movie that only comes around once every couple of years but are always worth the wait. Also starring Ben Mendelsohn, Vincent Curatola and Max Casella.
Fun fact: The original cut of the film was two and half hours.
The Collection: A sequel to 2009’s abysmal The Collector, which followed the titular boobie trap laying serial killer. This film sees the father of one of the Collector’s victims hiring a group of mercenaries to rescues his daughter from a murder trap filled hotel with the assistance of the only man (Josh Stewart) known to have escaped from the killer. In all of the hundreds of films I’ve seen of the years, The Collector is one of only two film’s I’ve ever seriously considered walking out of. The only reason I didn’t was I was with my family who were watching a different movie that wouldn’t let out until after mine ended. So instead of wasting a bunch of money playing Hydro Thunder and having a half way decent night, I sat there and watched this boring, poorly lit Saw rip off for the longest 90 minutes I’ve spent in a theater. I can’t stress enough how horrifying it is to me that that waste of digital memory got a sequel. Go stare at a ceiling for 82 minutes before you watch this movie. Also starring Christopher McDonald, Lee Tergesen and Emma Fitzpatrick.
Fun fact: The other movie was Blue Streak.
Mario McKellop has written about film on Examiner for the last three years and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org