on 3 December 2007
Be Cool has a similar feel to Get Shorty, but the plot is not quite so clever. None the less it makes for enjoyable viewing and I didn't feel I had wasted my time by renting it. John Travolta is right at home in his role - oozing confidence through out the film. There are lots of other top actors and singers in here as well and they all look as if they are really enjoying themselves. I would recommend this even if if is not quite as good as Get Shorty.
I new this movie was made for TV but I figured that with so many well know actors that it would rival real movies. I was wrong. It was quite formula and many of the actors just walked through their parts.
Chili Palmer (John Travolta "Grease" (1978)) ex-shylock goes from movie producer to record producer with the discovery of a suppressed singer Linda Moon (Christina Milian.) Naturally she is under contract to a bad guy. Well so it does not look too simple or like some second rate musical, we through in a black want-to-be, a black gangster singing group, and even the Russian mafia.
One of the main catalysts and the reason to watch this is Uma Thurman who played Irene Cassini in "GATTACA" (1997), and has done the impossible by just keeps looking cuter with age.
Danny DeVito must think he is Alfred Hitchcock as he makes his cameo in the movie.
All in all it is watchable. Buy Blu-ray when yu can but do not expect the acting to get any better.
on 30 July 2012
I could not believe how lame this sequel was. We seem to spend hours watching the girl sing - first in the nightclub, then in the studio, and then with Aerosmith - which was all very nice for those who have acquired an appreciation for this young girl's style of singing.
The narrative was limp. At no time during the story was Chili Palmer in any type of real peril. And there you go. There is the deficiency. If you have the main protagonist encountering no major setback, then what kind of narrative is being related? Chili Palmer got out of bed, did some stuff, had his dinner, then went back to bed. Well, yeah, that's the story.
on 4 July 2007
Before I saw this sequel, I had heard and read that it was a terrible film. However, Be Cool is still an enjoyable comedy even if it's not as good as the original. It's full of so much self-deprecating humor that you can't help but cut it a break. I laughed quite a few times, and there are a lot of fun moments.
However, the film is a bit uneven. The movie tries hard to find the humor in hit men and quirky characters, but it often seems to be trying a bit too hard. John Travolta reprises his role as Chili Palmer, Hollywood gangster, who now turns his eye to the music business. Using his "negotiation skills," he tries to run an independent record label with the wife of a murdered friend, played by Uma Thurman, and try to get his young singer (Christina Milian) a hit record.
An impressive cast is what saves the movie from sinking. The best performance is given by The Rock and it's nice to see him in a different type of role. Vince Vaughn also gives a funny performance though he started to get annoying before the end. Surprisingly, Uma Thurman gives an average performance and I was expecting more from her. John Travolta done an average job in his role but his performance was kind of dull. Christina Milian gives a horrible performance and she's also not that good of a singer. Cedric the Entertainer gives a good performance though he isn't in the film for very long. Andre 3000 had some funny moments and done a decent job as well. There are also a bunch of cameos including Steven Tyler and James Wood.
F. Gary Gray directs and he does a poor job. He just doesn't handle the film very well and the movie is kind of a mess. There was also a ton of product placement and it got annoying after awhile. Also at 118 minutes, the film is too long and there are a lot of slow spots. The film needed to be edited badly and it clearly wasn't. Fortunately for the film, the actors are able to rise above the weak direction and script and they deliver some funny scenes. Sometimes, the film tried too hard while other times it was actually pretty funny. Compared to the original, the sequel doesn't measure up well. However, Be Cool is a fairly harmless and forgettable comedy. In the end, Be Cool is worth a rental and that's it.
on 31 December 2014
Get Shorty was great, but this movie is just terrible – it’s like they have tried to cash in on the success of Get Shorty by replicating the storyline and just changing a few things, replacing ‘the movie business’ with ‘the music business’, taking funny and interesting characters and replacing them with dull and boring characters (the gangsters), AND replacing a clever and sharp storyline with an utterly boring and predictable one. All very contrived and done badly to boot! I normally like John Travolta’s cool, but this made me cringe!
on 17 September 2005
It's a real shame. What could have been an amazing follow up to an outstanding adaptation of Elmore Leonard's work falls flat. Painfully so. The script feels like a rerun of Get Shorty but lacks the charm or humour. Perhaps the lengthy wait between this and the original is part of the problem. You get the sense that the actors are merely going through the motions. The jokes which were funny in the first instalment of Chili Palmer's life are now reused to ill effect. The plot revolves around Chili entering the music business following the death of his friend, former gangster Tommy Athens. In theory, it could have had the same satirical bite at the music industry as Get Shorty had for the movie business. Instead it goes for cheap, obvious laughs. The characters encountered come across as caricatures and despite the best efforts of Vince Vaughn, The Rock and Cedric the entertainer it is at times painful to watch. My personal favourite is the appalling cameo scene with Steven Tyler. The dialogue is so bad the embarrassment is almost tangible. Its noticeble that the successful adapters of Elmore Leonard's material, namely Scott Frank and Quentin Tarantino stayed as far away from the script as possible. The script lacks most of the razor sharp dialogue Elmore Leonard is famous for; instead, it relies on making repeated references Get Shorty as though this will, in part make the viewer remember why they liked Chili Palmer in the first place. Sadly, it isn't enough to carry the film. It is probably best for all concerned to forget Be Cool and instead revisit Get Shorty.
on 22 January 2011
Not as good and smart as "get shorty", slightly worn out, however this does help kill time, also for the fast-paced dialogue. There is not much of a story, despite it is based on a novel, and sometimes it really slows down (e.g. the stage shows by the singer could easily be removed). The number of side roles that actually provide a good performance should be noted. Finally, it is remarkable how Travolta manages to get to the end without being shot or punched.
on 30 January 2006
It's amazing how, when we are channel-surfing and not finding anything on, just catching a movie right at the beginning is enough to make us stop and watch. I had that experience with Be Cool the other night, and discovered that the movie wasn't quite as bad as I'd been led to believe. Yes, I would have felt like I had wasted my money to watch it. But for free? It was actually pretty entertaining.
This sequel to Get Shorty (which I've never seen) has its ups and downs and is actually pretty ridiculous. Writers Elmore Leonard (novel) and Peter Steinfeld (screenplay) add a bunch of silly concepts to enhance the comic factor. Some of these are quite funny, others not so much. Linda's current producer is Raji (Vince Vaughn), a white guy who's trying desperately to be black to enhance his street cred. Vaughn's probably the funniest thing in the film as every word he utters makes him out to be a whiteboy trying to be a homeboy. He's also a coward at heart, though he's not above a little violence if he thinks it's necessary. He doesn't like the tables turned on him, though, and the confrontation in Nick Carr's (Harvey Keitel) office between all the various factions is hilarious partially because of Vaughn.
Be Cool coasts along on the charm of its leads, and Travolta tries very hard to deliver. Unfortunately, often Travolta seems more detached than sure of himself. It's obvious that Chili knows exactly what he's doing (sometimes being a bit too perfect), but Travolta goes that extra step as if he's a bit above the entire thing instead of immersed in it. Then he gives that twisted smirk and everything's all right for the moment. Uma Thurman is gorgeous and flighty, but every time Edie defers to Chili, she puts the lie to her statement at the beginning of the movie that she doesn't need any help. I wish she would have been a bit stronger herself rather than relying on Chili all the time.
Other acting caveats have to go to Cedric the Entertainer and The Rock. Cedric was fun to watch, and his reactions to Dabu were hilarious, as Dabu continuously does stupid and silly things. Evidently, Dabu is his wife's cousin, and he promised her that he'd take care of him, so he has to put up with it. When Dabu drinks tea at Edie's house, Cedric's reaction is great. As for The Rock, he is perfectly against type and I thought he did a magnificent job with what he was given. As Elliot Wilhelm, Raji's bodyguard and henchman, he is a remarkable discovery for those who have only seen him in action films. And to think of a pro wrestler playing a gay actor trying to make it big with audition monologues from Bring It On is almost unimaginable without actually seeing it.
Unfortunately, there are some things that keep the movie from being a standout. The musical sequences go on way too long and don't move the plot forward at all. This is a comic caper flick, not a musical, people! Three whole songs with not much happening in the background (other than reaction shots) just drag the film to a halt. Surely they could have just played snippets? And yes, it was kind of cool to see Aerosmith in concert, but if I really wanted to do that, I could rent one of their DVDs. (As an aside, I thought Steven Tyler was great in this movie, proving his self-referential statement in the movie that he doesn't just do movies in order to do them. He's actually pretty substantial.)
What's even worse is the Black-Eyed Peas song. No, the song is great, but the sequence in the movie stinks. Rather than being a true homage to Pulp Fiction, Thurman and Travolta dancing in this sequence just screams "Look at us! We got Travolta and Thurman to dance again!! Fans of Pulp Fiction will love us!" No, not really. It's pointless and again wastes time. This movie was almost two hours long, and it didn't need to be. Be Cool has long sequences where nothing much happens and nothing funny is going on. The dance and the songs are the main culprits here, but there are other small scenes as well that don't move anything forward.
My final criticism is one exceptionally unrealistic turn of events. Yes, the movie is over the top anyway so believability isn't paramount, but the fate of Nick Carr just screamed "plot contrivance!" This is especially true because he tried to pull the same stunt on Chili earlier in the movie. I sincerely doubt that he's going to fall for it himself at the end. But he does, and he's taken care of. Ho hum.
Be Cool is certainly worth taking in at least once. It's has many funny moments and I was entertained. Don't expect anything breathtaking, and it may be right up your alley. Whether my enjoyment of it is heightened because I didn't have Get Shorty to compare it to, I don't know. But if you catch it on the movie channel, it's worth a watch.
on 3 June 2015
Ok, so this is an old film and on the web, gets mixed reviews and we cannot understand why, we find this one of the funniest movies and watch it at least half a dozen times a year, this really is hilarious, something light, slapstick and entertaining, I can't help but be biased as Mr Travolta is just wonderful.