Get Shorty

Tagline : Attitude plays a part.

Runtime : 105 mins

Genre : Comedy Thriller Crime

Vote Rating : 6.5/10

Budget : 30.3 million $ USD

Revenue : 115.1 million $ USD

Plot : Chili Palmer is a Miami mobster who gets sent by his boss, the psychopathic "Bones" Barboni, to collect a bad debt from Harry Zimm, a Hollywood producer who specializes in cheesy horror films. When Chili meets Harry's leading lady, the romantic sparks fly. After pitching his own life story as a movie idea, Chili learns that being a mobster and being a Hollywood producer really aren't all that different.

Cast Members

Reviews

I know that no movie is perfect but for my money Get Shorty is on my short list of films that come close. As good as the book is, I believe the movie improved upon it. I have watched it a few times, it being one of those movies we might invite a friend over to watch who hasn’t seen it. Plus it has surfaced a few times when I surf streaming channels and I usually stop to watch for a while, no matter where in the film I am. The ensemble cast (which includes a few lower echelon stars) is excellent and mostly look like they are having fun with it. There is violence, but not with buckets of blood. It almost seems like cartoonish violence. And of course wit and humor run through it, with a bit of satire on Hollywood thrown in. I just found out today that a sequel was made called Be Cool and a British tv series based on the book, but I like this one so much I won't even risk disappointment by watching those other entries.

You know what, I really love Elmore Leonard, and a part of me feels that nearly any movie made from his works is going to come out as fresh, original, and worth watching. This is the rare exception. Here they took a classic Elmore Leonard plot and made it too Hollywood for its own good. And then they tried a bit hard to make it too much like a Pulp Fiction film, but with less bleak comedy and more slapstick comedy. You still have Leonard's unique originality...but the story has been raped and what's left is trash.

Mobster "Chilli Palmer" (John Travolta) finds himself a bit exposed when his benefactor boss has an heart attack on his sixty-fifth birthday. Luckily for him, his new nemesis "Bones" still has an use for him - go to Hollywood and collect some gambling debts from "Harry" (Gene Hackman). This fellow produces the kind of horror films that would have made Roger Corman blush, but he's a bit smarter than the average bear so is soon trying to manoeuvre his new friend into a career in the movies. Not acting in them, but producing them - and suddenly "Chilli" realises that he already has quite a few of the skills necessary to coax, cajole and plain old extort from just about everyone to fund a vehicle for "Karen" (Rene Russo). They use established star "Weir" (Danny DeVito) as a consultant and try to con the dapper drug-peddling "Catlett" (Delroy Lindo) out of half a million dollars to pay the bills - well someone's bills. Travolta is on good form here with a tongue in cheek, less-is-more, style of delivery but it's really Hackman who steals the show. His sharp and opportunistic character pokes fun at the film industry from funding to casting to filming in quite an entertaining fashion, and Russo complements well as the high maintenance woman who used to date "Weir". Who hasn't dated who in this town? The joke does wear a bit thin after a while, but for the most part it's a charismatic affair with a cast gelling well to deliver this amiable adaptation of the Elmore Leonard send up of the mob and the movies. It's dated a bit, but still worth a watch.

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