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SHOOT ‘EM UP Tests In Pasadena, And A Buttload Of AICN Spies Were There!!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I’m not remotely surprised by the reviews we’re getting in our mailbox for this one. I spent a few days on the set of this film earlier this year, and I spent a good chunk of time talking to writer/director Michael Davis about the film he’s making. I’ve read the script. I’ve seen the story reel that got the film made in the first place. I’ve listened to producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford talk about their boundless enthusiasm for it. I’ve heard New Line’s Jeff Katz rant and rave about what he hopes the film will be. And several people I know have told me that they’ve seen it and they are knocked out by it. But don’t take my word for it. Check out this review:

Hey, I just got out of a sick movie, I mean sick good. As Paul Giammati who stars as the comb over villain says “this is twisted” The action is out of control, seriously, Clive Owen saves a baby who’s being born by shooting the Mother’s umbilical chord- holy shit! Then he and Monica Belluci have sex during a shoot out. Clive shoots out the window of a BMW and propels himself through the window of a truck killing every bad guy inside then says “That’s what you get for wearing your seat belt”. There’s a supercool setction where Clive strings together a bunch of guns and puppets them through a surveillance camera – the body count is beyond anything you’ve seen. I loved the film I really did- it was short and sweet and to the point and the point as to shoot a lot of shit. The music melted my brain-- POD and Ace of Spades!!! Have you ever seen the craziest fucking shoot em up set to Motorhead? “Shoot Em Up”, you heard it here. BABAR THE MIGHTY

Or this one:

Hey guys, BC here. I just got back from SHOOT EM UP, which I know had a review here a couple months back, but if I recall, it was by a wannabe screenwriter who had some problems with it. I can only assume the film has been fixed, as I would consider this by far the best of the recent crop of hyper-action movies. That, or the guy's just jealous nothing he wrote was ever as entertaining, I dunno. Spoilers ahead. By now most know the story, which is basically Clive Owen finds a baby that everyone, including Paul Giamatti, wants to kill, so he protects it, Monica Bellucci, and himself while shooting lots and lots of bad guys. Going in, I thought that was basically it, I figured there would be some half assed motive thrown in just to give the film some reason to exist other than showing off some great gunplay. No, that film is called CRANK (which this film will definitely draw comparison to), which I enjoyed, but had problems with it. SHOOT EM UP does what Crank did, only far more successfully, as far as I am concerned. I had three major problems with Crank that kept me from loving it: 1. We only cared about Jason Statham because he was Jason Statham. 2. The plot was paperthin, its only been 2 months and I've already forgotten why they wanted him dead. 3. When the film had no shootouts, it just gave us mostly a bunch of "weird for the sake of weird" scenes to keep the energy going - like the cab ride where he tries to pump himself up with techno and then takes some other drugs while the driver goes on about some demon or whatever. Lets go one by one about how Shoot Em Up corrects those problems: 1. We care about Clive Owen not only because he's Clive Owen, but also because he's sympathetic. We know early on that he is homeless, but we eventually find out why, and it's pretty depressing. Also, most enjoyable for me: HE HATES JERKS. YES! Drivers who don't use their signal, guys who use handicapped spots, guys who chew with their mouth open, parents who make scenes in public yelling at their kids, etc, are all on the receiving end of Owen's asskickery. So basically, when he's not shooting the hell out of everything in sight, he's being a one man PSA against not being a scumbag. I could watch an entire film of Owen just walking around teaching jerks a lesson. 2. Surprisingly, the plot was pretty good. Not exactly mind-boggingly complex, but I would say its above average for an action movie, and dished out at an excellent pace. Much has been said about the film starting off in a shootout. Normally I dislike an action film that starts off in the middle of an action sequence, as we have no context or even character names, but they pull it off nicely here, giving us a bit of information quickly and then more and more as the film goes on, but never in a James Bond style "Let me explain everything" way (which the previous reviewer complained about - but it was apparently fixed, Giamatti explains everything quite quickly and it doesn't slow the movie down at all). 3. I'd say half the film (which clocked in at a just right 90 minutes or so) is just balls out action (mostly shootouts, but there's a car chase in there too), but the other half is almost as entertaining. I've already pointed out Clive's hatred of jerks, but he's also a sort of the Rube Goldberg of action movie heroes, setting up little traps and using a rat to unlock a door... stuff like that. So we also see that he's pretty smart as well, giving the non-action scenes just that little extra bit of interest - he's just as interesting a character when he's "relaxing" as he is when he's shooting folks. OK I've said shoot or shootout about 23 times so far, and haven't really described any of the action. As previously said, some of it is beyond reality, but never as bad as something like Ultraviolet. And who cares if it is or not??? No one's going for an Oscar here, they want to entertain, and entertain they do. We get a shootout during sex. A shootout inside a van. Even a bona fide SKYDIVING shootout. My only complaint, and its a minor one, is that the car chase is far too short - after seeing so many inventive shooting scenes, I was excited to see what they could do with a car chase, but its fairly standard and over in about 2 minutes. There are no explosions, and no hand to hand combat... I like a bit of a mix (then again, the title sort of explains what we are in for). Owen and Giamatti are great - I can't recall the last action flick that bothered to give good comedic lines to both the hero AND the villain. There's a moment early on, a terrific little sight gag, that sets the tone nicely for both characters' way of carrying out their business. After killing a few guys on a rooftop, Owen shoots out parts of a big lettered sign reading FAULK TRUCK AND TOOL to leave only FUK U... which gets a laugh. Then Giamatti responds in kind, matter of factly, with an even better sight gag and a bigger laugh. Stuff like that is what makes this movie so damn fun. Not every joke is a classic, but enough of them work to make it worthwhile. Bellucci is hot, but she's looked hotter in other films. And yes, she's nude for a bit. Nothing new to report here. Apart from a couple of establishing shots that were seemingly taped off a VHS, and unfinished compositing during the airborne shootout, the film looked pretty done to me, save for the temp score (which had the Bond theme at one point, which I hope was an ironic joke - and anyone who watches this film and still doubts Owen would be the best Bond since Connery is a moron). Speaking of the temp score, the Con Air theme also made a brief appearance, which just reminded me how depressing it is that Bruckheimer no longer makes R rated films. I mean, Deja Vu is PG13??? A TONY SCOTT MOVIE RATED PG13??? (yes, I know Days of Thunder and Top Gun are PG, but still, come on). However, I'm glad that after such a long drought of straight up shoot em up/blow em up movies that they are finally making a comeback. Crank, The Marine, and now this...Call me a plant all you want, but I will go on record as saying this one is the one to beat. It's not the best action movie ever made, but it's one you'll wish most other movies were like. BC

Notice how enthusiastic these people are?

Blah blah blah, love the site. 11/01/06 - A Test Screening Review for the Erection Enducing Shoot Em' Up It's been less than ten minutes since I left the screening of Shoot Em' Up in Pasadena. I'll skip all the psycho babel about the lead up to the night as well as whether I like long walks on the beachs or not. The movie is what "R" rated films have forgotten to be. It knows what it is and it takes no prisoners. More or less it's what all of the readers of this site wants in a film. Something capable of meeting up to your expectations. Explanation of the film I believe is unnecessary. You know the synopsis if you don't look it up. Clive Owen is the "Angriest Man in the World." Monica Belluci is "DQ" named after the lovely soft serve joint that has horrible chilli. Paul Giammatti (sp?) is I forget who but all you need to know is that he loves to give long stem roses to his wife. And that he also has an affection for gropping a dead mother's exposed...mind you "Cold" nipple. Now I won't spoil anything. But for all who have seen the animatics and the teaser. You know most of the action scenes if not all. But what you do not know is how the film plays. I hope the studio heads didn't have earplugs during the audience screening. Cause I'm sure the director was smiling because he was at the end of the show. It's been a long time since I've heard clapping in a film let alone an action film. There was thunderous applause throughout. And more suprising than anything even the hip oppinionated city crowd loved it. And when you consider the many un-PC situations littered throughout you'd be proud that at least in this small theater in this part of the world everyone finally "GOT IT." We were all on the same level. And when you see Clive Owen use a scalpel gouged in his hand to dispatch a few minions to than pull it out and spray his own blood into someone's face...you will love this film too. Shoot Em' Up takes over the top to an art form. Transporter 2 caused laughter. Kurt Whimmer tried desperately with Ultra Violet. Torque was a sledge hammer of insanity that was fun but gave me a headache. Shoot Em' Up uses the unreal and puts you in awe. When you try to find a balance in comic book action you either hit the ground running, sprint until you faint, or hit the finish with a bang. This film is one of the few that got it right. And I hope for all of us it won't be the last. The only thing that I hated from tonight was that I called all my friends about it but they really couldn't understand what I was talking about. Me: "Jesus Christ, the freakin' prostitue nun...ah the dog with the flea on her pussy...the goddamn bond tune in the full fledged Hire chase in the middle of the film... fuck so much... ahh the wierd fatherly monoluge -- THE SEX SCENE, that had women cheering -- THE GUY IN THE FUCKING PONYTAIL!!!” I've seen the best action film in years and the world hasn't. Shane Black would be proud, John Woo would forget about MI3 & Windtalkers and remember Hard Boiled and Once a Thief (comic glee compared to this film), Robert Rodriguez with his "Thing with Two Heads" double Quentin have a new elitist, and...for FUCK SAKES I will stop this rant. Trust me this movie is much too long away from you all. [mar-EO] - Disregard the grammer errors I may love to write but it doesn't mean I paid attention in English.

Can I just say that I’m glad Clive Owen isn’t James Bond? Owen has a huge career ahead of him, and once you sign that Bond contract, that’s who you are for a decade or more, especially if the films you’re in are a hit. I love that he’s doing stuff like this, and not being Bond frees him up to continue picking oddball projects. Besides, I love that he gets to tweak the very notion of playing that character now. Anyway... here’s one more reaction:

FROM- Mr. Evidence TO- AICN READERS The Time- 730 Nov 1 The Place- a generic mall near Old Town Pasadena The Instance- A test screening of a new Clive Owen Film of course. Man this guy should have been Bond. Two thirds of the way through the film there is a car chase and the soundtrack uses this great James Bond like tune and I was so there man, the whole audience cheered. But I am messing up my thoughts. A great action film will do that to you. Lights go down, New Line Logo comes on, some lame violins accompany the logo and then BANG FUCKING BANG the logo gets shot out- reminded me of the mountain in the Paramount logo in RAIDERS. They had me right then and there. But no, this song called Bang comes on and the screen goes to black and then the black gets shot out and then, fuck, there’s this hot blonde screaming and we see Owen, he looks like a homeless guy with a gun because, well, he is. Chick screams again, camera whips around and we see she’s delivering a fucking baby/. So much for introductions, it is all “HERE WE ARE come with us!” Well hot mama gets her top ripped open so the newborn can drink some milk and then Giamatti shows up and shoots her in the head and Clive shoots out a sign which ends up spelling Fuk U Too. The whole opening is the wildest, craziest shit you’ve ever seen unless you went to Disneyland on acid with your friends like I did once. I am not sure what more you need to know. There is like 57 shootouts in the movie and then an occasional expository scene. The shootouts rule and no one cares about the exposition shit. The movie’s an R if it is lucky. Lots of shooting, some great Bellucci nudity and blood everywhere. But back to where we came in- Clive Owen proves in this movie that he is not Bond- because Bond has sucked for 15 years and Owen is so amazing you just want to shake his fucking hand and say THANK YOU for being so cool and fun to watch. There is no comparison- even if Daniel Craig doesn’t suck, who cares about the character in a post 911 world? SHOOT ‘EM UP was great fun. It was better than my Halloween. The movie keeps hitting your heart with a hammer and makes you beg for more. Conclusion- A Damn good action film

Thanks, guys. Can’t wait to see it next year. For now, I’m just looking forward to the first real trailer that New Line releases.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 3, 2006, 6:11 a.m. CST

    First baby!

    by Igouptoeleven

    Yeah

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 6:16 a.m. CST

    Oh and also

    by Igouptoeleven

    Better 'Hyper action film' than Crank? if it is i'll eat my hat....and enjoy it too.(the film).

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Wow!

    by CellarDoor

    Sounds like the sort of stupid shit that kicks in your lizard brain and does nothing else. No thanks!

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 7:24 a.m. CST

    Will this be PG-13?

    by theBigE

    Because I want to take my 6 year old nephew with me. He'll understand it's just make believe.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 7:31 a.m. CST

    Clive Owen, star of....

    by Spazwankle

    Privateer 2: The Darkening. With Christopher Walken, David Warner, Brian Blessed and John Hurt. It should be said more often dammit! Cracking game :)

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Have you ever seen the craziest fucking shoot em up set

    by Darth Kong

    ...to Motorhead? Yeah, it was called the SMOKIN ACES trailer.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Re: Wow!

    by Sit and Watch

    There are a lot serious looking dramas coming in the near future that really want to see. But I also need some ocassional Shoot Em Up "sort of stupid shit that kicks" my "lizard brain and does nothing else". Especially if it is well done. I'm really looking forward to this.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 7:52 a.m. CST

    A bit SOAPy..

    by TELF

    There just seems to be a bit of Snakes On a Plane desperation to this one. I would love Clive to make a good asction film. I'd love anyone to make a good action film at this point because the genre is on its arse. But this has that Ecks vs Sever, never mind pace, character or story-telling, just-look-at-all-the-gun-fights vibe to it. The gunfights in The Departed were the most exciting I've seen for a while because they felt dangerous and real.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a video game

    by godzillasushi

    which probably isnt a bad thing since I have the attention span of a 7 year old at a funeral home.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 9:07 a.m. CST

    looks totally lame. Sorry but I think this is crap

    by jackinitraw

    Unless it has the worlds worst trailer then all these "reviews" are crap. The writer/director doesn't exactly have the best track record either. <P> I'll wait for Smokin Aces or Avary's Driver movie thanks. <P> Or I'll just watch Dobermann again. The best hyper action movie.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 9:37 a.m. CST

    There's a difference between "mindless" and "fun"...

    by CellarDoor

    Smokin' aces looks like fun. Character driven, violent fun. This looks like empty drek, so caught up in an effort to be flippant that it ends up being something you laugh at, not with. Or maybe I just can't stand Clive Owen...either way...

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Maybe its awesome but wow this sounds stupid

    by Lovecraftfan

    Sounds like lots of style and no substance. This will be forgotten in a week much like Crank.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 10:28 a.m. CST

    sounds almost as great as the original Die Hard &

    by future help

    Hard Boiled....IM THERE!

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 11:05 a.m. CST

    "Sick?" "P.O.D.?"

    by s00p3rm4n

    Go back to the Super Wal-Mart, flyover man. I'm sure Pasadena loves you.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 11:42 a.m. CST

    "sounds like Hard Boiled"

    by Sit and Watch

    Yeah, isn't it supposed to be a homage to HonG Kong shoot 'em up movies? Hence, Peter Pau as the cinematographer. I think the baby thing is a direct link to Hard Boiled. Also, have you heard of the upcoming game John Woo's Stranglehold? You play as Chow Yun Fat as Tequila!

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 12:11 p.m. CST

    I hope POD is part of the temp score

    by BitterMan23

    Christ, why not "Bodies" from Drowning Pool while they're at it? Or maybe CLICK, CLICK BOOM! (Saliva??)

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Badassery of the year?

    by Christopher3

    Can't wait, such a huge fan.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Also, Smoking Aces is mainly a drama

    by BitterMan23

    Theres a shootout at the end, and the occasional burst of violence, but its NOT an "action movie", unless you consider reservoir dogs an action movie.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Tb'ers beware

    by S-Mart shopper

    mention Hard Boiled too much and some asshole producer/director will try and remake it. Crank was cool, how many times have you felt like bending some hot blonde over in public and nail the crap outta her while yelling "I'M ALIVE!"

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 11:06 p.m. CST

    awesome flick, definitely R rated

    by reckni

    bellucci's boobs are breast milk beautfiul, plus non-stop blood and gore . . i'm stoked to hear they added motorhead to the soundtrack.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 11:40 p.m. CST

    It all depends on the action

    by Neo Zeed

    If it's like John Woo, McTiernan, or Verhoven it will rock. If they didn't study the action masters (thinking that we'll just like anything that blows up regardless of style)....it'll be Ecks vs Sever.

  • Nov. 4, 2006, 12:14 a.m. CST

    pffft..

    by fannypacoderus

    still wanna see this... this guys flicks are totally a guilty pleasure of mine..

  • Nov. 5, 2006, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Ecks vs Sever

    by DirkD13"

    Right up there in my list of all-time shit movies, with the Rollerball remake and Father of The Bride 2. This will obviously rock, those reviews were too good. 2007 is going to be awesome for film fans.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 12:13 p.m. CST

    "who cares about the character in a post-9/11 world?"

    by TheRealRatigan

    The third reviewer throws that out as an aside, but am I the only one that's scratching my head?