|Title:||Jerry and Tom|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)
|07.26.07||Netflix|| I caught part of this on cable late one night and it didn't come on again so I netflixed it to see the whole thing. It feels like a late-night cable movie in that you can see why it doesn't quite work to become an all-the-way success but there's still interesting stuff going on and good actors... it's kind of engineered specifically for you to catch on tv and end up watching the whole thing.|
Joe Mantegna plays a teacher to Sam Rockwell who wants to become a hitman, working out of a used car dealership owned by Maury Chaykin and Charles Durning. The movie unfolds through a series of anecdotes showing Rockwell's progress from kid working the phones first getting exposed to hitman-ing to newbie in training to seasoned pro (which again hurts the film's overall punch but makes for good watching), the two guys talking while waiting for various marks (filled out by people like Ted Danson, Bill Macy and Peter Riegert). Furthermore, the director does a lot of transitions in-camera with clever uses of sets; things like going from summer to winter by craning up over a fence to reveal snow on the street beyond or entering a 1st-person flashback by panning to the right and tilting the camera. The abundance of these little tricks covers up the sheer talkiness of the movie (based on a play). Overall it's pretty surprising that the movie is not only competant but interesting and showing up at 2am on cable.
It was then no surprise whatsoever to me when the movie ended and I found out it was directed by Saul Rubinek. I don't know what it is about actor-directed movies (Saul's maybe most known (to me anyway) for his role as the film producer in True Romance) but a lot of them share similarities. They all fill out minor roles with recognizable faces, many never quite come together as a whole, and almost all of them share a dramatic stressing of how directory they can be. I'm strongly reminded of Adam Goldberg's movie I Love Your Work. So it's interesting that this fits so well into that mold.
Not a bad movie at all by the way. I liked it.