before the devil knows you're dead

An email interchange today between me and a coworker, Pistola Whipped. Pistola and I regularly trade recommendations on movies; we share a similar taste in movies and an affection for Ryan Gosling which I won't get into here. ;-)

From: Whipped, Pistola
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 8:12 AM
To: Anthony, Nayana
Subject: You were totally right

We went up to the Riverview and viewed Before the Devil Knows You're Dead last night.

Did not like it at all. I mistakenly thought it was supposed to be a comedy. Dead wrong. Yuck. Did every character seem miserable to you? And the music? Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. And the weird, super urban apartment with the waif-y, pusherman drug kid? It was so bizarre and hateful.

Luckily it was $3, Riverview popcorn is the bomb and I got a little snuggle time in with my main man...otherwise totally not into it.

From: Anthony, Nayana
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 9:33 AM
To: Whipped, Pistola
Subject: RE: You were totally right

Depressing. Everyone else seems to think it was the cat's pajamas. I sat there watching it, thinking "...Really?" It was awful.

From: Whipped, Pistola
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 9:49 AM
To: Anthony, Nayana
Subject: RE: You were totally right

I know it! I read several reviews (The New Yorker, City Pages, Star Tribune) and they just raved over it. Sometimes I think one reviewer sets the pace for other reviewers and they are afraid to bash something in case it goes to the Oscars and they get called out for their mistaken pan review. I would have given it a piss poor one even if I was writing for the damn Rolling Stone!

From: Anthony, Nayana
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 10:10 AM
To: Whipped, Pistola
Subject: RE: You were totally right

Yeah, that's the nice thing about the position we're in... we watch movies for FUN. So we're allowed to have any opinion we want. :-) The worst that can happen is our friends could give us a hard time... it's not really a financial risk.

So is THAT why I'm not a professional movie critic? Maybe I'll just tell myself that.

Additional Note: If any of you have a different opinion on Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, please, by all means, share it. I honestly would like to know why you liked this movie.

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12 Response to "before the devil knows you're dead"

  1. Fletch says:
    February 5, 2008 at 4:21 PM

    Hmmm...well, I have to disagree about the movie (I might give it the cat's slippers - I enjoyed it, but didn't fawn over it), but I like your presentation.

  2. Nayana Anthony says:
    February 5, 2008 at 4:44 PM

    Thanks Fletch... Can you tell me why you liked it? I couldn't find anything redeeming... I would love to hear your perspective.

  3. Fletch says:
    February 5, 2008 at 5:19 PM

    For starters, I loved the twist to the usual heist flick (disclaimer: I'm a sucker for hesit flicks as it is). I also love Hoffman, like Hawke and Finney, and was pleasantly surprised to see Tomei again (I admit, the nudity didn't hurt).

    I liked the uber-modern apartment, and liked even more the way the camera flowed through it the first time you go through there.

    I liked the powerful (if expected) ending.

    I will say this - it was the rare movie that I thought felt long while I was in the theater, but that fact didn't bother me (that's the rare part).

  4. Linda says:
    February 5, 2008 at 9:21 PM

    This film was #3 on my top 5 list this year. I loved the structure, the way we were fed each piece of the story. I thought the lighting, music and camera work built the desperation of the characters and their circumstances. I also thought the performances were top notch, I'll agree that these were not very happy characters. Not for everyone, but I really liked it.

  5. Nayana Anthony says:
    February 6, 2008 at 9:16 AM

    Maybe this is one of those movies that I could grow to admire, if not actually enjoy.

    Fletch, I do agree with you on the actors. They all have fabulous ability, and I have enjoyed them in other movies, but I guess I just couldn't get past the ickiness of the subject matter.

    Thank you, Linda, for reminding me about the structure. Now I remember thinking that was a cool way to let us in on the story, piece by piece.

    But I still have to say that the story overall was just a big fat bummer! I mean, seriously.... (it's hard to describe what I mean without being overly spoilerific)... I could not handle that ending! There was no redemption whatsoever. It still just really makes me feel icky.

  6. Shannon the Movie Moxie says:
    February 6, 2008 at 12:38 PM

    I haven't seen the film so I can't comment there but I *loved* the style of your post!

  7. Anonymous Says:
    February 6, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    Love, love, love this post!

    You have also articulated why I'd rather blog about the movies on my own than get paid for it. I always remember that line the late Gene Siskel used to say: "There's 2 hours of my life I'll never get back again!"

  8. Nayana Anthony says:
    February 6, 2008 at 1:06 PM

    Shannon, thanks! If you ever do see it (against your better judgment), you've got to let us know what you think.

    Marilyn, thank you. (Pistola thanks you too). I agree with you wholeheartedly. If I was a paid critic, they'd probably make me watch horror movies. *shudder* Though I can think of worse ways to make a living.

  9. Daniel says:
    February 6, 2008 at 1:16 PM

    Cool idea for the post. I wasn't so much impressed with the movie, per my review, but my accompanying friend totally loved it. I liked the acting and actors, liked the idea, tolerated the style, and hated the ending - sorry, Fletch.

    I thought I missed something with the critical reviews, too, but I think I stand by my opinion. Same goes for Michael Clayton, which I thought was completely awful. Sometimes you just have to disagree with critics, I guess.

  10. Nayana Anthony says:
    February 6, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    Here's to disagreeing with the critics and staying true to yourself.

  11. Anonymous Says:
    February 9, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    "So is THAT why I'm not a professional movie critic?"

    I wouldn't worry about it. It'd be kinda tough to be a professional movie critic and the cat's pajamas all at the same time anyways.

  12. Nayana Anthony says:
    February 11, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    cg... if someone was generous enough to pay me to do movie reviews, I would find some way to struggle into those kitty pajamas. :-)

    Incidentally, where did that saying ever come from? My putty tat Zoe sleeps in the nude.

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