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J-Skell Takes A Shot At SHOOT ‘EM UP!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I’ll have my own review for this one up sometime in the next day or so, along with my review of THE NINES, but for now, check out J-Skell’s reaction to the film that’s already hotly dividing audiences:

Hey Drew, Caught a screening for SHOOT EM UP last night. I was totally surprised just how much i like it cause I heard a lot of hype and kind of wasn't feeling it. Consider me proved wrong. Here's my review and hope you're taking it easy man. Thanks! SHOOT EM UP This movie is bananas. It's wicked violent, it's bad ass, it's kind of funny, it's out of control, it's not another snatch/lock stock rip-off, and it's a hard R, so basically it's everything that's been missing from action movies lately. I tip my hat to writer/director Michael Davis for putting together something that works far better than it really should. Going into it I was expecting something a bit more along the lines of Stephen Chow's KUNG FU HUSTLE, with more of an emphasis on the cartoony aspect (Note: I really liked Kung Fu Hustle). Fault the trailers or whatever on that misconception because it's surprisingly got some balls. We really get more of a straight forward action flick, that just happens to be very aware of it's loonier tendencies. SHOOT EM UP lives and dies on the success of Davis's even tone. You can tell he's playing fast and loose with this film, but in comparison to something like the complete clusterfuck of chaos that is TRANSFORMERS, he sets a very clear feel for the entire duration. It's admirable to see Davis launch full-throttle into value-eschewing (yet not amoral) territory and revel in his subject matter of gun porn, shotgun wounds, and fetishism while some how never making it feel too smarmy. I recommend seeing this one with a good crowd who will be up for this kind of thing, cause there are several stand up and cheering moments. Obviously, a big part of SHOOT EM UP's success is due to Clive Owen. He plays it straight and the man is the consummate professional who has probably garnered more goodwill from me with one persona than any other actor I can think of. He does the guant male lead better than anyone today and with a more human sensibility (ssssssorry Christian Bale). In regards to Paul Giamatti, I was probably expecting too much but he's hardly a weak link or anything. Surprisingly, Monica Bellucci does more than play Monica Bellucci's breasts. While heavily featured, I bet many will overlook how her emotional seriousness lends the film a necessary weight. Usually I don't mention director Q+A's in reviews cause it's something that you can't get in the movie so why bother? But the director directly accounted for my biggest complaint in the film. That complaint being that SHOOT EM UP features there are so many bad one liners that just aren't funny (it especially hurts Giamatti). I was really wondering why it couldn't have been done any better. Turns out, the director originally had very few of them in the picture, but it really messed up the tone. He said it came across much too serious, so he kept them in to maintain that crucial sense of levity. He said you could literally see the audience respond to it, no matter how stupid. So I give it a pass cause he was sacrificing for the sake of something I really loved about the film. Kudos I guess. Also, there's a killer title card in this one. I love when that kind of thing is done well. Enjoy! J-Skell
Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 29, 2007, 5:49 a.m. CST


    by Chumkid

    oh well

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Cant wait

    by shrike11

    This movie looks like it will be a lot of fun, I cant wait to see it.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 6:45 a.m. CST

    blam blam blam

    by CuervoJones

    if the action sequences are well shot, i´m there. I´m sick of shaky-cams, close-ups and epileptic editing.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 7:42 a.m. CST


    by Freefinger

    For they are preaky and resemble a high moon, it just makes you stop and ponder how beautiful life is.<P>Belluci is a better actress with them!<P>SHOW THEM' SHOW THE PURE GLORY OF THE BELLUCI BREASTS!!! For they are the ones that makes you say "hummm..."<P>Leave them breast alone I say!

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 8 a.m. CST

    Harvey Pekar as an Assasin? I'm in!!

    by Jugdish

    Finally a film that seems like it doesn't give a shit..

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 8:18 a.m. CST

    can't wait

    by Trooperof3

    so far almost all the summer movies were full of FAIL so hopefully this will live up to my expectations. (i already have a Shoot 'Em Up poster on my wall!!

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 8:35 a.m. CST


    by Fridge

    Crank with better acting...

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 8:40 a.m. CST

    No way

    by Unlabled

    This is gonna be much much better than Crank... The ending ofits going to take you 90 seconds to fall 1000 feet?. In that 90 seconds your going to leave a voicemail? Ughhhhh...

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 8:55 a.m. CST


    by Stuntcock Mike


  • Aug. 29, 2007, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Plant? Fook I hope not!

    by redfist

    Beaming review...normally means some ad geek in a cube thinking of ways to impression on the fanboys that this movie is "COOL AS BALLS". But I hope that I am wrong on this and he is for real, cause I really want this to work out. PS....Monica Bellucci's tits are not "COOL AS BALLS"...the are the tits. Tits as in very nice, because everyone likes tits...even women.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 9:48 a.m. CST

    One liners suck, the early 1990s are over

    by Spandau Belly

    Seriously, watch the director's cut of Payback and you'll see how much an action/crime movie improves for having "humour" cut out. C'mon guys, Tango & Cash was fun when I was ten but leave this humourizing for the PG13 crowd and make a propre serious R actionner.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 9:55 a.m. CST

    is late summer

    by Bloo

    the new early summer? In that stuidios are going to be releasing the little pictures that they think noone wants to see but end up being very succesful? I don't know, but I know I'm going to be seeing this, looks great.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Paul Giamatti as the bad guy? I'm in!

    by Boris Baddenov

    Just so he doesn't again do that southern-accent "Pig Vomit" line from Howard Stern's Private Parts: "AY-ENN-BEE-CEE!" .

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 10:08 a.m. CST

    and yeah, late summer kicks real summer's ass

    by Spandau Belly

    The entertainment pictures released in August are actually helmed by writers and directors, not by computer animator guys and marketting psychos.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 10:19 a.m. CST

    DARK KNIGHT teaser!!!

    by The Biomind No mention on this site???

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Clive Owen is a god among men

    by Kusoyaro

    Any man who won't admit a man-crush on him is obviously gay.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 10:26 a.m. CST

    that's old Biomind

    by just pillow talk

    Monica's breats at the very least make this a rental.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 10:27 a.m. CST

    if this is anything like Smokin' Aces...

    by BadMrWonka

    then I pass...that movie stunk up the theater so badly, people were checking their shoes on the way out...

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Any Death Sentence reviews?

    by Neo Zeed

    This movie is coming out on Friday and I haven't heard much about it.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 10:36 a.m. CST

    can't argue over that BadMrWonka

    by just pillow talk

    I am certainly glad I did not see that in the theater. I think if they had monkeys with machine guns it would have been better.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Smokin Aces let me down,this looks alot better

    by liljuniorbrown

    Clive Owen is the man. Fro mwhat i've seen this is just going to be a sick action movie with all kinds of crazy shooting and killing and dare I say it.........TITTIES!!! I'm in all the way. Smokin Aces let me down in alot of way because it just could have worked soo much better. What was the deal with the retarted kid in the karate outfit with the eye patch beating his meat and talking liek a gangsta rapper? That alone ruined it for me.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 11:29 a.m. CST

    I actually enjoyed the one-liners

    by Freakemovie

    What I didn't enjoy was the plot. In an action movie where the point is obviously just to have crazy extravagant action scenes, the occasional "okay there's this conspiracy and these guys are here because..." was really boring. If you're not going to spend time to come up with an interesting plot, then do away with it as much as you can. Still, that's my one gripe in an otherwise really entertaining film.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 11:33 a.m. CST

    I will be seeing this

    by turketron

    The previews look awesome, looks like an insanely fun movie. Over the top shoot outs and action sequences for the win.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 11:40 a.m. CST

    "Wicked Violent"

    by BitterMan23

    We got ourselves a new englander!!!

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Wonka man I couldn't agree more

    by Bloo

    after all the hype and everything that went into Smokin Aces on this site, I bought it (previously viewed so it's was only like 6 bucks but still) and was throughly disappointed in it. yeah it was violent blah blah blah but I couldn't get into any of the charathers because frankly they ALL deserved to die

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 11:57 a.m. CST

    good that it isn't like the trailer. the trailer sucked

    by BMacSmith

    but i think i'll like this one. does belucci get it in the ass again in this one?

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 12:25 p.m. CST


    by deadshot07

    You're a genius.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 12:28 p.m. CST


    by Deak the Geek

    was the best film of the bollocks...can't believe they killed jazz...jazz lives!!!!

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Christian Bale doesn't have that bad of a lisp

    by robzass

    I'ts barely noticeable at all.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 12:34 p.m. CST

    I don't see how is this gonna be good

    by Andy Warhol Jr

    Another overhyped geek flick

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 3:04 p.m. CST

    So I'm a plant cause I do all caps?

    by J Skell

    How bout I do all caps because that's what I've done for every film paper I've ever written. Referencing movies with quotes looks awful and that is only saved for television shows. It's called proper grammar. But nice one Rubicks.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 3:06 p.m. CST

    also, this review features my worst grammar

    by J Skell

    lo siento. I didn't edit much.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Nothing wrong with ALL CAPS

    by LoneGun

    I use them all the time for film titles. There's no ulterior motive. It's a way to distinguish the titles from the rest of the text.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 4:55 p.m. CST


    by J Skell

    not like full-FULL exposure, but they're uncovered and it's mind boggling how much you don't see nip when she's got them out and she's flipping around all over the place during a naked romp w/ clive.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Friends, we have reached the age of Digital Boobies.

    by C.K. Lamoo

    So don't believe anything you see anymore. You could have Alysson Janney up and the screen and she would have double D's.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 4:57 p.m. CST


    by J Skell

    there's nothing wrong with it, but it's just my perferred method of doing it. I think quotes around movie titles just kind of look ugly on the page. And usually the accepted practice in film essay writing is to use the caps... That is all.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Smokin Aces was

    by skimn

    a Ritchie wannabe. And a waste of a decent cast. This looks to be the real deal. And c'mon, a gunfight in freefall? Looks fun.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Biomind, July just called....

    by GrandMuffTarkin wants its news item back.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 8:38 p.m. CST


    by rhcp2sweet

    that hasn't been said on these boards in a while

  • Aug. 30, 2007, 9:36 a.m. CST


    by skimn

    Wasn't referring to Narc, just Smokin Aces. In fact style-wise the two films couldn't be farther apart. Whereas Narc was a gritty character study, the violence erupted from the characters past. Smokin Aces was over extended gunplay with "colorful" characters. And after checking Rotten Tomatoes I noticed that almost all critics referenced Ritchie and especially Tarantino in their negative reviews. Lets just say we agree to disagree. I am curious to see what Carnahan follows this up with, though.

  • Aug. 30, 2007, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Smokin' Aces is not an action film

    by TequilaMocking

    There is five minutes of action in the entire movie. There's no arguing that.

  • Aug. 30, 2007, 6:02 p.m. CST

    MoM are you Carnahan?

    by Bloo

    I don't know if you're reading this or not dude, but yes I can look PAST (not pass, but it's an easy grammitical error and one I really shouldn't be picking on because my grammer and spelling sucks, but I digress). A lot of my favorite char. in movies are scumbags, but there is a level to them that makes me want to root for them. Maybe it's not "sympathy" per se, but I didn't want anyone to live in that movie, I couldn't care less about anyone, not the 2 FBI agents, not Buddy Isreal, not any of the assisans. And don't tell me they were all deserved to die blah blah blah, Carnahan tried to make you feel for Alicia Keys lesbian char. and oh she's not so bad, she's just with a bad person, she's found true love now. I didn't care. I didn't care with ryan rynolds went all crazy at the end, didn't care, didn't want to care. I'm not saying it was a badly made film or that Carnahan doesn't have talent, I'm just saying I personally couldn't see what was so special about Smoking Aces. Maybe I need to go back and rewatch it away from the hype.