DVD Shopping Bag: Killing Them Softly Blu-ray (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Source: Mania.com

The great things about DVDs and Blu-rays is getting that opportunity to see a film that just up and disappeared at the cinemas. I’ll be honest with you, I saw the trailer for Killing Them Softy and had no interest in the film. It looked as if someone called in a favor and had Brad Pitt play a part in their gangster film. Populate it with a few other well known gangsters, James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta, and there is our movie. It wasn’t until I saw some general praise for the film that my interest finally peaked. A trailer is supposed to sell me on the movie, this one didn’t do it. The Blu-ray and DVD arrived today and I took a chance on the film. 


Killing them Softly could be earmarked as a Quentin Tarantino story from the get-go. Here we have two losers brought in on a sure thing score. Frankie (Scott McNairy) and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) are, in no way, two reliable guys. This score is so perfect that the Squirrel (Vincent Curatola) hires them anyway to carry out his plan. The Squirrel wants them to knock over Marki Trattman’s (Ray Liotta) gangster poker game. The reason why this is a sure thing is, Markie knocked over the game himself a while back and then admitted to doing it. All the heavies got a big laugh about it and all was forgiven. The Squirrel believes that if it happens again, everyone there will blame Markie regardless of what he says. 


The plan goes off with out a hitch and all the fingers point to Markie. The problem now lies in the fact that Russell is also working out his own score, stealing pure bread dogs, and blabs to another mob boss’ handy man about the job he just pulled. That is when Jackie (Brad Pitt) enters the story. 


Writer/ director Andrew Dominik takes his time with the set up. He takes 23 minutes to establish Russell and Frankie allowing us to see all their sides. Anyone with a half a brain would see why hiring Russell was shit idea. Dominik, who also worked with PItt on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), then proceeds to take us on a quiet ride through how the mob handles justice. Should Markie get whacked? How can Jackie take down Markie since they know each other? What complicates things even further is that Jackie’s contact, Driver (Richard Jenkins), is more of businessman than a mob enforcer. He has to keep asking for permission and informs Jackie that everything is done by committee, now. 


Killing Them Softly really is a character driven piece and doesn’t flow like a movie general audiences are going to appreciate or understand. Each scene really could have been played out on a stage or be an audition piece. There are numerous intricacies to these characters, but their journey is one that most of us have been on before. More often than not, I found myself so invested in the characters that I found their situations either frustrating or uncomfortable. Jackie is just trying to do his job, but when Mickey (James Gandolfini) would rather drink and hire prostitutes than work, we have to ask, where does loyalty start and stop?


This film isn’t going to be for everyone. I am glad that Pitt produced this film and hired himself to play the character of Jackie. Killing Them Softly made me take notice of writer/ director Andrew Dominik and think that maybe he is someone we should pay closer attention to. In a world where all the big Hollywood movies dominate the box office, those “indies” deserve better word of mouth. If anything, they deserve a better trailer. 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Phantasm II (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
2. Monsieur Verdoux (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
3. The Sandlot: 20th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
4. Killing Them Softly [Blu-ray]
5. Lincoln (Four Disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy)

 

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Alley Cat (remastered widescreen) Starring Karin Mani, Robert Torti and Katarina Leigh Waters

Angels Brigade (aka Seven from Heaven) Starring Jack Palance, Peter Lawford, Katarina Leigh Waters

Bangkok Revenge [Blu-ray] Starring Jon Foo, Michael Cohen and Caroline Ducey

Bangkok Revenge Starring Jon Foo, Michael Cohen and Caroline Ducey

China Gate Starring Gene Barry, Angie Dickinson, Nat King Cole

China Gate [Blu-ray] Starring Gene Barry, Angie Dickinson, Nat King Cole

Dead in France Starring Brian Levine, Celia Muir, Darren Bransford and Lee Cheney

Desperadoes Of The West Starring Judy Clark, Roy Barcroft and I. Stanford Jolley Tom Keene

Easy Money (2013)

Homesteaders Of Paradise Valley Starring Allen Lane and Robert Blake

Killing Them Softly [Blu-ray] Starring Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins and Scoot McNairy

Killing Them Softly Starring Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins and Scoot McNairy

Panic in the Streets [Blu-ray] (2013)

Stand Off BD/Combo [Blu-ray] Starring Brendan Fraser, Colm Meaney, David O'Hara and Yaya DaCosta

Wyoming Outlaw [Blu-ray] Starring John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Raymond Hutton and Don Red Barry

ANIME

Amagami SS+: Complete Collection (2013)

Corpse Princess: The Complete Series S.A.V.E. Starring Aaron Dismuke, Luci Christian and J. Michael Tatum

Digimon Adventure: Volume 2 Starring Michael Reisz, Steve Blum and Laura Summer

Inuyasha: The Movie the Complete Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Richard Ian Cox, Moneca Stori, Kirby Morrow

The Official Digimon Adventure Set: The Complete Second Season Starring Motoko Kumai, Hiroki Takahashi and Yasuhiro Takato

Phi-Brain Season 1: Collection 1 [Blu-ray]

Phi-Brain Season 1: Collection 1

Shakugan No Shana: Season 3, Part 1 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Cherami Leigh and Josh Grelle

Shakugan No Shana: Season 3, Part 1 (Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Cherami Leigh and Josh Grelle

Shakugan No Shana: Season 3, Part 2 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Josh Grelle and Cherami Leigh

CARTOONS

Star Wars Lego: The Empire Strikes Out

CLASSICS

The Devil and Miss Jones Starring Jean Arthur, Robert Cummings, Charles Coburn

The Devil and Miss Jones [Blu-ray] Starring Jean Arthur, Robert Cummings, Charles Coburn

Hell's Half Acre Starring Wendell Corey, Marie Windsor, Elsa Lanchester

The Lawless Nineties [Blu-ray] Starring John Wayne, Ann Rutherford, George Gabby Hayes

The Lawless Nineties Starring John Wayne, Ann Rutherford, George Gabby Hayes

McLintock! [Blu-ray] Starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Stefanie Powers

Mclintock Starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Stefanie Powers

Westward Ho [Blu-ray] Starring John Wayne, Sheila Bromley, Frank McGlynn Jr.

Westward Ho Starring John Wayne, Sheila Bromley, Frank McGlynn Jr.

Yakima Canutt Double Feature-Outlaw Breaker (1926 Silent) / Iron Rider (1926 Silent) Starring Yakima Canutt

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

Hollywood Homicide / Hudson Hawk (Double Feature) [Blu-ray] Starring Harrison Ford, Josh Harnett, Bruce Willis and Lena Olin

The Sandlot: 20th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]

Criterion Collection

A Man Escaped (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Francois Leterrier

A Man Escaped (Criterion Collection) Starring Francois Leterrier

Monsieur Verdoux (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Charlie Chaplin

Monsieur Verdoux (Criterion Collection) Starring Charlie Chaplin

HORROR

Animus Starring John Bernath and Megan Davis

Bad Meat Starring Dave Franco, Elizabeth Harnois, Jessica Parker-Kennedy

Bled White Starring Bruce Spielbauer and Robert A. Young Colleen Boag

Bloodline: Vengeance From Beyond Starring Francesca Faiella and Benevento

The Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick and Christopher McDonald

The Collection Starring Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick and Christopher McDonald

Darkest Corner Of Paradise Starring Kato Buss and John Schmor Patrick O'Driscoll

Deadly Karma Starring Jordon Hodges, Kirstie Monuz, Joel Paul Reisig

Dead Sushi [Blu-ray] Starring Rina Takeda, Shigeru Matsuzaki and Takamasa Suga

Death Wheelers, The Starring Mary Larkin, Ann Michelle and Roy Holder Nicky Henson

The Frankenstein Theory Starring Kris Lemche, Joe Egender, Timothy V. Murphy

From Beyond (Collector's Edition) [BluRay/DVD Combo] [Blu-ray] Starring Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton and Ted Sorel

Immortality [Blu-ray]

Jezebeth BluRay Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Bree Michaels, Wolf McKinney and Drake Mefestta

Mad Cowgirl 3D [Gourmet Edition] (3D & 2D versions) Starring Sarah Lassez, James Duval, Walter Koenig and Devon Odessa

Phantasm II (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring James LeGros, Reggie Bannister and Angus Scrimm

Possession in Japan

When a Stranger Calls / Happy Birthday to Me (Double Feature) [Blu-ray] Starring Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Colleen Dewhurst

MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY

Lincoln (Two Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack) Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn

Lincoln (Four Disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

The Dinosaur Project Starring Natasha Loring, Matt Kane and Richard Dillane

Futureworld [Blu-ray] Starring Peter Fonda and Blythe Danner

Hollow Man & Hollow Man 2 - Blu-ray Double Feature Starring Elisabeth Shue, Kevin Bacon, Josh Brolin

Jurassic Park (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum

Virtual Weapon Starring Marvelous Marvin Hagler Terence Hill

TV LAND

The Borgias: The Second Season

Carol Burnett Show: This Time Together (Collector's Edition)

Continuum: Season One [Blu-ray] Starring Rachel Nichols, Victor Webster, Erik Knudsen

Continuum: Season One Starring Rachel Nichols, Victor Webster, Erik Knudsen

Kingdom Complete Series Starring Stephen Fry

Lois & Clark: The Complete First Season

Lois & Clark: The Complete Second Season Starring Dean Cain, Teri Hatcher, Lane Smith and Justin Whalin

Lois & Clark: The Complete Third Season Starring Dean Cain, Teri Hatcher, Lane Smith and Justin Whalin

Lois & Clark: The Complete Fourth Season Starring Dean Cain, Teri Hatcher, Lane Smith and Justin Whalin

MADtv: Season Two Starring Nicole Sullivan, Phil LaMarr and Artie Lange

Star Trek: Enterprise - Season One [Blu-ray]

Veep: The Complete First Season

Veep: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale

BOX SETS

Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXVI Starring Joel Hodgson and Michael J. Nelson

Terminator Anthology (The Terminator / Terminator 2: Judgment Day / Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines / Terminator...

 

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