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Okay, I got the screener at the video store I work at & thought the
cast was interesting enough to give it a try. I've seen enough of these
promos (especially from Lionsgate) to not expect much of a film, or
more than a minute of each 'name' from the cover, so after reading some
reviews here on IMDb I went in with low expectations.
Overall, I'd have to say I pleasantly surprised. Lots of nice little plot twists, several double-crosses, a few scenes of genuine suspense.
The movie centers around and features (newcomer?) Mick Rossi in almost every scene, and his performance only suffers in comparison to the more seasoned actors showing their stuff. He does a decent job as an unlucky little fish caught in a sea of meaner, bigger fish.
And the long list of 'guests' do a stand-out job of fleshing out their characters & keeping the story compelling. Val Kilmer is great as a dopey 'cleaner'; Vinnie Jones is nicely menacing as a crooked cop; Gabriel Byrne, in the few minutes of screen time he has, is perfect as an understated dark angel; Joanne Whalley is strangely enticing as a long-suffering but supportive ex-love interest. Anthony LaPaglia & (the great) Bruno Kirby, unfortunately, add little as tough LA detectives, but arguably they didn't have much to work with.
My only real problem would be the ending. One of those films that just kind of stops, and after so many little twists it would have been nice for something tighter to finish on.
If you're at all interested, and can find it cheap, don't be afraid to give it a try.
Beware,this is a real pretender.You see Vinnie Jones and Gabriel Byrne on the poster and you see Val Kilmer is in it too,so it looks all good but then the film starts,shows the actors in alphabetic order and at the end it says:Introducing Mick Rossi.So that's what you get to see,about 88 minutes with Mick Rossi and about 1 minute Gabriel Byrnes and about 2 minutes Val Kilmer,only one who's featured a bit more is Vinnie Jones.So if you want to see a true Mick Rossi film (probably the only one he ever will have a leading part in),check it out,otherwise beware.The story is average too.Mick plays a small time gangster who got a job from the big boys which gets him into lots of trouble.
This is definitely scraping the barrel. The filming is more than substandard. Don't get me wrong, I am not into real pretty Hollywood cinematography and special effects for the sake of a good storyline. However the storyline is awfully weak and seems like so many of the films that were to come after "Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels". Just this one fails and fails miserably. The inclusion of some relatively well known actors must have been a coup for the Director and the film investors, as I am sure that most people would have been suckered into thinking that it must have some credibility. In the words of Dillon (Val Kilmer): Someone should have "Taco'd" this movie before release.
As others have said, do not be mislead by the name cast. nearly all the
major name actors have very little screen time.
It is the first major role for Mick Rossi (he also did the screenplay)
This film had a small budget & it shows.
The production values are nil.
The acting is only so-so.
The script is chock full of the F word & variations of same plus other choice vulgarisms.
I cant say I hated this film, Its just not good just mediocre.
Ratings ** (out of 4) 52 points (out of 100) IMDb 4 (out of 10_
"Played" (2006) is a neo-noir, not on Grant's list. Most reviews of
this movie do not rate it as even average, unlike me. I liked it. Some
reviews are negative because they thought they would see Val Kilmer and
Gabriel Byrne in substantial parts. I didn't, so that wasn't a negative
for me. Some bemoaned the low production values. That didn't bother me
either. It's the impact that counts with me. The lead actor (Mick
Rossi) grew on me as the film went on. He was not easily riled, and he
went about his business in a cool and calm manner. He didn't talk too
much or get himself in trouble by idle chatter. The heavies looked
fierce next to the lead.
The fact that this is a neo-noir boosts the appeal to me. The hero is a thief. The main cop is dirty. The thief goes to jail for 8 years (skipped in the film) after an initial botched job in which an incompetent helper of his messes the job up by falling to his death from a height. Rossi gets out of jail and before you know it has agreed to do a contract job in Los Angeles for $100,000. The story is a wee bit like "Get Carter" (1970) in how he gets tangled up. The title gives some indication of the darker forces in which he is immersed and as we go along we can sense that he's perhaps being played, even if he doesn't, or is hoping to get by and get a big amount of money.
I found the story engaging and fun. Rossi played it just right. He co-wrote. This is a UK movie but it's not at all in the mold of the more rowdy ones with gangs and heavy amounts of heavily-accented repartee. This movie pretty much has only one character of that type.
I'm not sure what I was expecting from this movie, especially since
reviews have stated that much of the script was improvised. The film
seemed fairly tightly-scripted to me...perhaps this is a tribute to the
cast or director.
I also expected to be put-off by the limited screen time of the major names in the movie. To the contrary, I found it refreshing to have good actors in such small, but crucial, roles. This is the only way to avoid making movies into star vehicles that sacrifice story and direction for the sake of glorifying one or more of the lead characters.
On the other hand, the plot left a bit to be desired. There are quite a few loose ends that never get tied up, including the massive loose end right before the final credits roll. There's a difference between being ambiguous and simply stopping the story in the middle of an arc. This is your basic 2.5-act movie.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie and the characters. There's virtually no character development, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. This is worth watching if you enjoy "small" stories about tragedy and get a kick out of a bunch of well-know actors suppressing their desire to be the center of attention.
"Played" was a decent crime thriller despite it's budget shortcomings.
The plot: Ray (Rossi) is a small-time thief who is framed for a crime he didn't commit. When he gets out of jail, he falls back into the same life.
The budget for this movie was $338,000, so I understand why it was shot on video instead of film. I was worried about that because the usual Lionsgate (shot on video) output is usually terrible ("Green River killer", "Heebie Jeebies"). It actually looks good in most scenes.
Mick Rossi does a fine job as Ray. But the big name stars are only in this for maybe five minutes each. Kilmer does his usual professional work. His dialogue was improvised and it shows. ("You're not gonna Taco, Ray.") Jones plays a good bad guy. Byrne appears stiff and looks like he wants to be anywhere else. I also noticed that almost all the actors are on the phone. It's pretty cheap just to shoot actors talking on a phone.
Overall, "Played" was a satisfactory crime flick, that's a good second or third choice at the video store.
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Loved it. Granted you have to pay attention, but a film for those connoisseurs who love the genre and like to think a little. Only discovered it recently, do not know why it had no theatrical release. Great acting(Especially considering it was apparently improved-) ,great pace, and believable story that drew me in. Impressed how the acting across the board was at such a high level. Val Kilmers scenes in the car were brilliant, as were the scenes with Anthony LaPaglia and Bruno Kirby interrogating suspects. Also really enjoyed Patrick Bergin's quirky psychotic character. As well as Joanne Whalley and Brit mob boss Roy Doltrice. Don't know why Colin Farrell wasn't credited? But most important this film is tops for capturing gangster culture- most realistic I've seen in years. Years. It will be considered a classic in 20 yrs. I thoroughly enjoyed it. For those who didn't, surely SpongeBob is avail on DVD!
Just saw Played at a London screening. Although convoluted at times the
many twists and turns in the story climax to a rewarding pay off.
Stand out performances: Val Kilmer is superb in that zany Kilmer way. Gabriel Byrne is not featured enough in Played but when he appears on screen his intensity is gripping.
The lead role is played by Mick Rossi who does a fine job and creates a character that you have empathy for right off the bat, at times he reminded me of a young Al Pacino.
His low key performance works well in a world of pop up colourful characters. Played with it's powerhouse cast and it's street cool is something to watch out for.
Finally managed to buy a copy from Amazon as its not been released in the UK yet. Good plot with more twists and turns than the Big One roller-coaster in Blackpool. A Gangster film that shows the double dealing and lack of respect for human life that is a true mirror of the criminal world. The amazing point to make about this film is Mick Rossi managed to put together so many big names in the movie world with virtually no budget. Some facts about Played... Val Kilmer and his ex wife Joanne Whalley both appear in the film. It proved to be Bruno Kirbys last film as he passed away shortly after.... Well worth getting hold of a copy. Mr. Rossi you done Manchester proud. I give it a massive 10/10 because it shows what can be achieved if your heart is in it and not just your money.
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