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|Index||22 reviews in total|
Wow. Another crime/robbery movie, but this one with a great twist....a must see and all that. I usually don't like this genre, but this movie is good for anyone. Has moments for all kinds of people. It is strikingly profound and this surprised me, that it was much different from the normal shooting/blood splattering movie type. A 10 from me.
I just saw this film for the first time (Feb 07). I bought it for a
buck on VHS. I'd never heard of it and realized the cast was a definite
B-level cast at best, but I thought, what the heck? Just a buck.
I was pleasantly surprised. It's definitely no great film, but I actually enjoyed it. Sure, it's cheesy here and there, and it would've benefited from better direction. But I'd call it a hidden gem for any crime film fan to find.
An original, if bizarre, premise leads to some left-field drama and several genuinely funny moments. It's simply one of those late-night pleasures.
On the outside "The Immortals" just looks like another in a long line of
standard heist thrillers, with the only difference being that this one's
probably much more violent. But as the story starts developing we find out
that all these characters aren't your stereotypical 'I want money' robbers,
they're all doing it out of necessity. Thats the very unexpected and unusual
twist in this very violent movie.
The plot isn't extremely complicated. It's about a nightclub owner, Jack(Eric Roberts who shows why all his movies lately have been direct-to-video) who picks 8 people(Tia Carrere, Chris Rock, Joe Pantoliano, Clarence Williams III, William Forsythe, Keiran Mulroney, writer Kevin Bernhardt and Brian Finney), all with terminal illnesses to rob a crimelord(Tony Curtis). But when they get betrayed it turns into an all-out battle for survival...and a very entertaining one at that.
After the movie gets into its second act it turns into 'Predator' style game of who's next to die. But one thing that raises "The Immortals" above the average heist thriller is that the characters aren't stereotypes but real people. I actually cared for the characters when they died.
While "The Immortals" won't win any Oscars, and won't make any critics top ten list, it's still an entertaining rental. 7/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For some reason my friends did not think that much of this movie. They
liked it but said that they could not watch it again because they knew
all of the twists. When I mentioned the deep dialogue that permeated
parts of the movie, their reply was that they did not think that the
dialogue was that deep. I beg to differ, especially how they have only
seen it once and if they watched it again they might change their mind.
Still, there are movies that I liked, but doubt that I could watch
again. I usually do not have them in my collection.
Anyway, this movie is about death, and life leading up to death. Jack, a nightclub owner, works for the mafia, but has decided to rip them off, so he hires a number of people with past criminal records to get these cases. What is unusual is that these people have records ranging from petty fraud to armed robbery, and all that is required is to walk into some place, place a gun in people's faces and take the money. Something not that difficult. Even more strange is that he has paired people up with people whom they do not like.
The ploy becomes apparent when one of them returns and learns that his partner also has aids, though he got it from sharing a needle. A quick questioning of people reveals that they are all dying of incurable diseases. A couple we learn nothing about, and one of them is retarded. Jack does this because he knows that it is a very dangerous job and that by taking people who are going to die anyway, they will have nothing to loose.
The idea raised in this movie is that we are all going to die sometimes. There are times when there is the idea of giving up all hope of doing anything, and another time there is the idea of life itself being relative, all life is precious to somebody who is going to die. We see the first idea with the Harvard graduate. At first we think that he may be lying but when he is running from the police, he gives an accurate description of the crimes that he has committed and the maximum penalties for each. So we wonder what a Harvard graduate is doing committing crimes when he could be earning a very good salary. Either he doesn't want to work hard, or he wants easy money. It is neither because he tells us that he has a brain tumor. He we see somebody working very hard, only to learn that all of this work has been in vain because he is never going to be able to reap the rewards.
This is a common biblical theme. In the book of Ecclesiastes we read how everything is meaningless, including toiling under the sun (which is work). What is the point of working hard for a lot of money, when you are going to die and leave it to somebody who is simply going to waste it. On the other hand Jesus speaks of the man who plans on retiring on a huge lump sum only to die the day before he retires. Working for a reward in the end is meaningless because we may never get to spend it. What point is there of working for something that we are never going to use? It is true that if we do not work, we do not eat, but beyond that what point is there to life if all of our toil is going to end in nothing? The other theme is that life is precious to one who is going to die. This is seen clearly when the guy who is dying of aids points out that it does not matter whether you have two months to live, you have two weeks to live, you are still going to die. This is what we should remember. These people have something that we don't have, they know when they are going to die. Unfortunately we don't want to think about that, and because of that we simply procrastinate. We should remember that we will all die, it is something that we cannot escape, and because of it we should live our lives as if it were the last day on earth.
The culmination of all of this pain and suffering was when Jack and George (the retarded guy) stood in a tunnel and a light appeared at the end. Standing in the light was a long haired man. George looks at this man and says, "I have read about you, you are God." Of coarse it was not God, but this is the culmination of all of this death. Here we are facing God, and what do we do. We might all try to predict what God is like and what he is going to do when we meet him, but we can never work anything out unless we are told. What is the point of saying that God will do this when nobody has told us that. It is like saying that Fred down the road will give me $50, even though I have never met Fred and have been told nothing about him. How can we say that, yet we think we can. The only way we can know what God wants is to listen to what he has to say, and that is seen in the bible.
The Immortals is a very good and very deep movie. My friends probably feel uncomfortable with it because it delves very deep into the idea of death and how we all have to die. This isn't a simple shoot them up, this is people who are dying of forces beyond their control. Death is really close here because any of us could be in this position.
A surprisingly well-known and talented cast help to make this an unexpectedly enjoyable film. In particular, Roberts and Pantoliano are solid as usual, and Chris Rock has some funny moments, as you would probably expect. Things do slow down midway through the movie, but a wonderful plot twist breathes new life into the film towards the end. The ending scenes are all too typical, but by the final minutes, there had already been enough clever writing and creativity to keep me happy. Despite some slow spots and a routine finish, this is still a movie that is definitely worth a look.
"Time doesn't matter when you're talking about eternity." At one point in the film: One of the eight one-time convicts (who were hired to steal suitcased loot in pairs) says this to a fellow thug (who, in turn, points a gun on the declarist's forehead). Every character in this flick has a reason to be on-edge, and we discover those reasons at the end of the film, which is blessed with a magnificent cast. Eric Roberts leads the pack with style, Chris Rock plays a goon who boasts, and Kevin Bernhardt is a tough guy that delivers extremely-timely lines. The hostage "Cleopatra" adds plenty of sex appeal, sporting some fine threads and some fine cleavage, almost distracting the viewer. There's a certain '95 film that may seem cousin-bound, but to compare this film to "The Usual Suspects" is blasphemous. 'Suspects' doesn't have the action, humor, or the Cleopatra that this film has. TUS simply has an unusually inferior cast and script to this action-comedy. This crowd-pleaser also stars Bill Forsythe, known for his villainous role in 'Out for Justice'. In this one, he seems to play a homophobe who bickers at Kerry, and early in the film they visit a titty bar. In this one, however, he doesn't battle Steven Seagal at the end. But gay or straight, they all slowly but surely realize they have more in common than they initially thought. And whether you're an Eric Roberts fan or not, this has to be considered (along with 'Nature of the Beast') a 1995 timeless masterpiece.
"The Immortals", how did I come to watch this? I read the IMDb reviews,
user and critics. I saw the 5.8 rating by voters. The cast was very
good. I like Eric Roberts' acting. William Forsythe is reliably good.
Clarence Williams III always adds a twist. Joe Pantoliano brings
freshness to his parts. How then did this movie go wrong? It's actually
a terrible movie, and that's in the script and the whole telling of the
story. The tone of the movie ends up being comic, or tries to be, and
this says absolutely nothing as against the violence and copious blood.
The project attempts to be Tarentino-like, I'm sorry to say. Chris Rock
hurts the movie. He's a buffoon here, not at all funny. He's made to
look like a fool clown; but he also does nothing to give any different
impression. Tia Carrere is directed and edited very badly. Tony Curtis
looks like a nitwit chewing gum and coming after his dough in such an
open fashion. Everyone curses when confronted with the least
difficulty. All emotion is reduced to a four letter word that begins
with f. Terrible. Through a good deal of the movie, we have no idea
what's going on or who these partnership duos are or why they go for a
deal arranged by Roberts.
The director of this junk went into TV work after this movie. The writer thereafter continued to provide screenplays with such IMDb ratings as 5.2, 3.7, 3.9, 4.3, 3.3, and I stopped there.
This movie is never going to end up anyone's top ten list, but it's
still pretty entertaining. I like the twist quite a lot, but, beyond
that, it's pretty much a standard heist movie. The ensemble cast is
better than most of this type, with some pretty big names at the time.
I remember watching it mostly because I was a big Chris Rock fan, and I
was desperate to watch anything with him in it. I ended up enjoying
this movie more than I thought I would. If I had to recommend an
ensemble heist movie to someone, this probably wouldn't be my first
pick, but I'd still mention it.
Interestingly, it was co-written by one of the leads in Hellraiser 3. Can't say I saw that coming.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The main problem is it's not over the top in the needed direction. It's
a movie made of several, disparate attempts.
I'll put it this way:if The Immortals (1995) is unsatisfying, it is nevertheless interesting and,in an odd way, ambitious. It seems to set itself up for something. The things get rather phony sometimes in this moviebecause it is badly written and it looks like they didn't receive the whole script, but only parts of it. The premise is also unacceptableRoberts didn't need sick ,terminally ill people for his planit's not like it was all that motivating. In a word, The Immortals (1995) is an action drama badly written, but ambitious and unconventional. With the exception of Roberts himself, the cast is made of thirdhand actors. (No offense of course to old Curtis, but his role is strictly ornamental.)
This film is sometimes a grim comedy, and sometimes an action drama. The idea was good, the literary means were poor. The movie needed a script and a style. Even the gore and violence are badly managed.
With a totally uninspired and useless director, The Immortals is still interesting and thrilling. The pace is good.Making an action drama with many characters (at least ten, in this case: Roberts, the eight lowlifes and Curtis) is a good thing. Then you have, of course, to be somehow able to manage these many characters.
The Immortals (1995) deserved a better and more skilled writer. As it is, it's very heterogeneous in a way that seems sloppy and clumsy. It also needed a Cimino as a directorto give the movie a form. On the other hand,if this film could of been better, it's anyway good that it was made. It suffers from a complete lack of style; but it is interesting for Roberts _completists or simply for anyone who would like to have an unconventional, above the average film.
Enter Eric Roberts (American Strays, Purgatory, The Grave) a manager of a mobster owned (Curtis) high-rise hotel and eloquent casino. He arranges eight individuals, all unknown to each other to rob the other four casinos that also belonging to Curtis. Pairing them off, he sends them out with similar masks at the precise time of casino collections. Thus begins ninety minutes bloody shoot outs, humor and an interesting plot that catches the viewer off guard at the end. Chris Rock and Tia Carrere make an interesting team. Forsythe is superb as he lies shot and bleeding profusely and decides, `This is as good as time as any to take that last hit of acid I was saving.' As the plot thickens, they all realize they have more in common than just being robbers. To say anymore would give it away as that movie dude did with `The Crying Game.' And we don't want that, do we? On a scale of One to Five, I would give it three and half stars purely on the fact I think Roberts and Forsythe are great actors. But as the critic I'm not (laugh Barb) I'd probably give it four.
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