A Cherry Pontiac Lemans Convertible...Two Days...Two-Hundred & Fifty Grand. When your lemon lot hits the skids you glom the gig no matter what the smell. For Bob and Sid, two slicked-back ... See full summary »
When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.
A rambuctious ride thru American culture. The nouveau-riche meet The Prince of Darkness in this outlandish fable for the politically incorrect.A family's holiday weekend is turned ... See full summary »
Sarah Scott Davis
Walter Weed is an unassuming desk jockey at the FBI when the Bureau uncovers a plot to assassinate him. A team of degenerate, psychotic assassins dispatched by mystery man Hal Leuco to win ... See full summary »
After his father is killed by a Mexican drug cartel, a man runs a successful political campaign to clean up his area, though doing so will require staying one step ahead of the people who want him gone.
Matt Anderson is a billionaire genius who's the world's greatest fighter. bent on avenging the death of his beloved parents. The twist is, they were villains and he is also a bad guy, a ... See full summary »
A Cherry Pontiac Lemans Convertible...Two Days...Two-Hundred & Fifty Grand. When your lemon lot hits the skids you glom the gig no matter what the smell. For Bob and Sid, two slicked-back burnouts, bum luck runs in spades. With a goose-egg for cash flow and a fore-closure falling fast, they take the gig. The Upside: Fat Cash...The Flipside...Every Thug, Crook, Punk and Mercenary on the planet looking to get rich. Written by
When Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi came out in 1992, everyone was so dazzled by what Rodriguez could do for $7,500. Blood Guts Bullets & Octane was released in 1999, and everyone found it to be a simple Tarantino rip-off. Well, frankly, Blood Guts Bullets & Octane is at least three times the film El Mariachi is, because not only was Joe Carnahan able to make a feature-length film with choreographed violence and creative freedom like Rodriguez did, but he also wrote a very tight, extremely smart, creative script. Rodriguez wrote a laughable little direct-to-video fluff where the dialogue is stilted in the worst way and the story hardly works. Why when someone detects even the slightest acknowledgment of Tarantino in a film do they decide to fire criticism at it when maybe it could be more than a simple clone?
I don't believe Quentin Tarantino had any influence on this film. Yes, you could say he did, because the story flashes back and the dialogue is earthy and clever. But is he the only filmmaker to have ever told a nonlinear story with earthy, clever dialogue? No. Far from it. In fact, I think it's extremely injust and unfair to protect so ardently from imitation a filmmaker like Tarantino, who admittedly steals from every other filmmaker in existence, even ones that came after him. And those who criticize this film for being a Tarantino clone may not be as well-versed in film as Tarantino or Carnahan himself to the point where you would realize that the dialogue is not at all like Tarantino's. QT writes dialogue with the intention of sounding realistic. He acts as recorder while his characters segue into natural conversations irrelevant to the plot. Carnahan's characters speak like satirizations of car dealers and people you would only find in movies. His dialogue is written to be quick, jazzy, clever, and even a little poetic, because sometimes lines will be alliterative, contain similes and metaphors, and other such things. If you would like to zero in on Carnahan's influence---and every writer, filmmaker, or any other artist has their influences---then perhaps David Mamet is a better candidate. Even so, who cares? Carnahan's script is loaded with razor-sharp wit and his own knack for the pace and rhythm of a film.
I think for a film made for $8,000 and bags of Doritos the cast is quite convincing. Whether they are professional or trained actors I don't know, but whoever they are, they have natural penchants for acting. Carnahan himself is excellent, and perhaps the best of the performances comes from Dan Leis, who plays opposite him.
The cinematography and editing get a bit gimmicky and overexerted, especially in terms of the unpatterned switching off between color and black-and-white and title cards for each scene. It seems corny and gratuitous, and considering it as a movie despite its budget and circumstances, it definitely is, but Carnahan is a smart and practical director, and he made this film to pack a shattering punch of all that he can do and more with just that much money (and Doritos).
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