A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Billy Bob Thornton,
Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case.
In the middle of Alaska, travel agent Paul Barnell is near bankruptcy. Desperate to help himself and his beloved, mentally-ill wife Margaret, Paul discovers a dead body and passes it off as his missing brother Raymond, whose life is insured for up to $1,000,000. Everybody is duped, except for workaholic insurance investigator Ted Waters, who sets out to expose Paul, in hopes of being promoted out of Alaska. Meanwhile, two rookie hit men, Gary and Jimbo, discover Paul took 'their' body and kidnap Margaret, demanding the body back. Then, Raymond turns up alive, wanting in on the action... Written by
What a pleasant surprise this film was for me. I ordered it via Video on Demand through the Time Warner cable system. They listed two cast members: Woody Harrelson and Alison Lohman. I love Alison (see Matchstick Men), so I decided to take a look.
Then, the opening credits begin and I see, Robin Williams, Holly Hunter, Giovanni Ribisi, and Tim Blake Nelson, and I think, Why haven't I heard of this film before?
Usually, before I order a movie with which I am not familiar, I go to IMDbPro to read a review or two. I chose not to do that this time. After seeing and enjoying the film so much, I looked at a couple of reviews and one person tore it up because it seemed to be too derivative of the Coen Brothers' work.
Ridiculous and Cynical nonsense.
All films made now are derived from other movies, or TV shows, or books. The story and the acting pulled me in and I enjoyed myself very much. I can see what the reviewer meant about the film having a Coen brothers feel, but so what.
Bravo to all involved.
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