Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- Rolling Thunder
|12.26.13||Borrowed||It was pretty late but time for one more movie. I suggested The Outfit thinking it was tough guys and action sequences. I kind of forgot that there are no action sequences in the movie. Subsequently, my dad thought it was pretty boring (especially after the explosion-fest that is Fast & Furious 6). I still liked little touches but he was right... this was not the right movie for that moment. We should've watched Freebie & The Bean instead.|
|04.27.06||Alamo Downtown||This Screening is part of event: Best of QT Fest|
Hump day for the best of QT fest! This week has gone by so insanely fast... It already makes me sad that I only have three days left although each day holds at least one movie that i'm dying to see. I'm quickly realizing that this "best of" concept works really really well for me since I've never seen the majority of these. Last night yeilded three absolutely fantastic films and tonight... well, two out of three ain't bad.
But first, Tim gets up and publicly apologizes for calling Brotherhood of Death a piece of shit. Everyone cheers, QT's satisfied.
The we start with The Outfit, a tough-as-nails crime film starring Robert Duvall, Joe Don Baker, and Karen Black (and Robert Ryan). As explained by QT in his great intro, this movie is adapted from a Donal Westlake-cum-Richard Stark Parker book, and that Westlake has no problems optioning the rights to this incredibly popular series of books, but has a protective clause in the contract prohibiting moviemakers from calling the character Parker. That way, if the movie sucks, it doesn't taint the book. According to Quentin, Point Blank (and therefore Payback), Slayground, The Split, and even Godard's Made in USA are all adapted from these books, with a wide array of badasses filling the role of Parker (under different names). He also goes on to insist that unofficially but still just as much, the role of Mr. White in Reservoir Dogs is Parker and DeNiro's character in Heat is also Parker. Furthermore, the events that take place in The Outfit directly follow events that take place in Point Blank, so you can even see connections where Lee Marvin becomes Robert Duvall and Angie Dickinson becomes Karen Black. It made for a really interesting context in which to put the film...
So what's it about? Well, Duvall gets out of prison and finds himself a wanted man. Apparently the titular outfit wants some payback for either a bank job where he accidentally stole the wrong money (if you believe The Outfit) or for raising bloody hell in a cooly-executed revenge spree (if you saw Point Blank). It's funny actually, Micah noted that the background given in this movie is actually very similar to a Don Siegel movie called Charlie Varrick starring Walter Matthau and Joe Don Baker. Quentin himself had mentioned Varrick in his intro as Baker's other best performance along with his turn as Duvall's buddy in this. Connections like this is what being a film geek is all about.
So Duvall confronts the outfit (headed by an aging but still steel-trap Robert Ryan) and picks an arbitrary amount that he figures he's owed: 250 grand. Until they pay up, he tells them, he'll be robbing them blind. All that stuff he considers "extra." He then proceeds to figuritively spit in the Outfit's face over and over again until finally he has to kill Ryan in his home. Duvall's performance is incredibly awesome, tipping the badass scale until it breaks. I'd say he's truly a worthy successor over Marvin, which says a hell of a lot. Joe Don Baker's also great in this though.. a very understated performance considering what he's known for, but rock solid nonetheless. He has a great scene where a couple goons come into his Diner and try to intimidate him. man... i don't even want to explain it because i know it wont sound as cool if i type it out. just trust me when I tell you that it's a great scene and well worth watching. Actually pretty much every scene is jaw-droppingly great. At the tail end of his intro, QT spoke to himself "hmmm what else is there to say about this movie, uuuhhhHHhhhHHHhhHHH" he went on as he fanned the mic in front of his mouth for a second, then exploded with "OH FUCKING DIALOGUE!" He's right. Each word is either a straight razor or a sledge hammer.. each line cuts or bruises. As far as badasses in films go, this one's up there.
Even Karen Black, who I usually don't really like (I'm surprised I'm so not alone on this) is pretty minimal in this and really only has one scene where she says more than one or two lines at a time. I squinted my eyes and imagined Angie Dickinson anyway.
So yeah, man. This was truly out of the blue for me and it kicked my ass with its awesomality. Great great flick.
A random note or two: at one point Baker knocks a goon down the stairs and actually shoots him as he's falling/rolling. Such a great bit! I mean, what better time to shoot him is there? Duvall also has a line I thought to write down... he's asking a bartender to get his boss and the bartender says "anything you gotta say to him you say to me" and Duvall sits down and says "I don't talk to a guy wearing an apron, get your boss."