Twofer Thursday: Cop Out & Brick


Twofer Thursday: offering up a new release and an oldie for you to enjoy during the weekend!

Cop Out (R) - 2010 - Action/Comedy
Runtime: 107 minutes
Starring: Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan
Director: Kevin Smith

Warning! Kevin Smith did not write this movie! Although that's a good and a bad thing. The bad: none of the trademark dirty, foul-mouthed dialogue we come to expect from Smith. Sure, the movie is R-rated, but it just doesn't feel like Smith's presence was anywhere near this script. The good: Smith can actually direct and he seemed to have let the camera's roll and let the actor's take over this movie.

The plot is straightforward enough: Willis has to sell his prized baseball card in order to pay for his crazy, selfish and spoiled bitch of a daughter's wedding. Of course, as soon as he's about to sell it at the pawn shop, the store gets robbed and they take his card. Him and his partner, played by Morgan, are off to find out where the card ended up. Of course, it involves a local gang of drug dealers who aren't to be messed with. The plot is simple, but that's not what you come to watch these movies for. It's the comedy and the buddy cop relationship that evolves with these two guys. But I found it increasingly hard to believe that the only real motivation for Willis was his daughter's wedding. It cost him $50,000! And she expected a cop from New York to pay for that. He's probably lucky to see that money in a year.

As for the characters? Tracy Morgan pretty much plays his character from 30 Rock, Tracy Jordan here. Which isn't a bad thing, but if you don't like weird, off-the-wall jokes, you might find it a bit grating and annoying. I thought there were some brilliant lines and the goofiness didn't get to me at all. Bruce Willis also plays to his strengths - the good cop with a few character flaws that make you sympathize with his plight. What I found a bit jarring, though was the excessive violence and how serious the film took it. It's like they wanted to make things realistic as far as the gangs and violence, but at times it didn't blend well with the rest of the comedy in the movie.

Not to say don't watch this, in fact, this is the main reason for the article - check it out, it's worth a rental and Sean William Scott playing the parkour petty criminal is the best thing about the movie. He absolutely stole every scene he was in and I laughed quite a bit!

Brick (R) - Drama, Suspense - 2005
Runtime: 110 minutes
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Norah Zehetner
Director: Rian Johnson

With all the buzz surrounding Inception and the rising start that is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I thought I would delve into his filmography and come up with, what I believe, to be his best movie to date. In fact, every time a customer asks me the very off-putting general question: "What's a good older movie?" This movie always comes to mind first. It's a great noir-like movie with a modern look and style.

JGL plays Brendan, a high school student who has just found out that his former girlfriend has been murdered. Of course, he becomes obsessed with finding out what exactly happened and why. He soon untangles a massive conspiracy involving drugs and his fellow classmates. First of all - I love these movies, noir detective stories are always pure delicious pulp to me and I love the snappy dialogue, the femme fatales and everything in between. So if you absolutely hate this genre, you definitely do not want to pick this one up. But for those uninitiated - this movie is great, because it pays homage to lots of older noir movies (Double Indemnity comes to mind), but offers up new ideas (it's in high school!).

JGL is in his prime here. He's a man on a mission, but has so many problems himself and so naive to what's going on around him at first. I will warn you to turn on the subtitles. There's a lot of slang and dialogue that is hard to decipher, but I don't think this detracts from the movie. In fact, it's like this whole seedy underworld in high school has been created and the culture is unique to this world. There, of course, is a nice little twist at the end, but if you're paying attention, you can see it coming. But it's rewarding, rather than a let down. A great movie all around and now that I think about it, a good complement to Cop Out!

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