Watching the film again, I re-discovered the greatness of it. There's some great acting, great dialogue, great characterization, and a refreshingly downbeat and honest look at American life near the bottom of the food chain. Andrew Dominik's best film (not counting the Nick Cave doc, which I have not seen) is still The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, but there is some utterly really powerful stuff in Killing Them Softly. I stand by everything I criticized about it, previously - there is also stuff that is too on-the-nose and unsubtle; but I enjoyed it more the second time, and will probably enjoy it more yet the third time. So that's nice to note.
Monday, October 28, 2019
Killing Them Softly redux
So I've been doing this book challenge thing on Facebook, posting seven books and tagging seven friends and yadda-yadda, which is only partially interesting: I see a lot of books in my thrift store scrounging and it doesn't mean a lot to me to know that some of the books I see out there I have not read, have in fact been read by my friends! However, I have learned about a few books I do not know about, been tempted to revisit a book - Roszak's Flicker - that I actually read, once, when it first came out; and it was really cool to discover one person is a big George V. Higgins fan. I totally admired Higgins' novel The Friends of Eddie Coyle - which I was surprised to discover is even better than the movie, including a detail that resolves the story in a way that never happens in the film. It moved me to suggest to Erika (who was game) we watch Killing Them Softly, last night. I saw it theatrically, I think - or maybe just as soon as it came out on DVD - and wanted to see if it had improved with time and distance. I haven't looked at it since my initial review of the film, which was positive, in fact, but kind of emphasized the negative, in such a way that it turned out that the negative was all I could remember...