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Get Shorty: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Review

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“Get Shorty” still works 23 years later.

In 1995’s “Get Shorty,” a loan shark named Chili ventures to Las Vegas to find a dry cleaner in debt named Leo. While in Vegas, he gets another job to collect from a Roger Corman esque movie producer Harry Zimm and it is here that Chili finds a new calling. Chili pitches a movie idea inspired by true events to Zimm and hopes to produce it as well. Alas, there are numerous complications involved for just about everyone including double crosses, the DEA, Zimm’s investors and debt, Chili’s boss Barboni, and Leo’s recently collected money from a set of strange circumstances. There’s also key subplots involving an actress named Karen that Chili falls for and Karen’s ex Martin (a star actor).

Based on Elmore Leonard’s novel of the same name, “Get Shorty” is just a flat out cool movie. Barry Sonnenfeld’s direction is stylish, the acting is superb across the board (I’ll get to that shortly), screenwriter Scott Frank’s dialogue is snappy and sharp, the dark comedy works like a charm, and the multi-genre story mixing gangsters with Hollywood just meshes well together. Granted, the movie lacks the depth of other Leonard film adaptions like “Jackie Brown” and “Out Of Sight,” but it’s still a smooth movie that juggles moving pieces and multiple character arcs that ultimately converge in the end in a satisfying (and very Leonard like) fashion.

Going back to the cast, everyone is on their A game here. John Travolta gives one of his best performances, Gene Hackman is great as per usual, the always underrated Rene Russo shines, and supporting players like Danny DeVito, James Gandolfini, Delroy Lindo, and even Bette Midler make an impression. The real star of the movie, however, is the late Dennis Farina. He steals every scene he is in and the dialogue seems almost tailor made for his acting talent.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.8:1 1080p. How does it look? The new transfer is a beauty.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The dialogue is too soft for my liking, but everything else (particularly the music) sounds nice and crisp.

Extras: * “Get Shorty” trailer * “Page-To-Screen Of Get Shorty”- An episode of the half-hour series (hosted by Peter Gallagher) about the story behind the “Get Shorty” novel, script, and film. * ‘The Graveyard Scene”- Barry Sonnenfeld talks about a scene that was cut. The scene is also shown as well as behind-the-scenes footage. * “Get Shorty Party Reel”- A collection of set footage. * “Going Again!”- A look at the directing process, cuts, and the creation of scenes with Barry Sonnenfeld talking about it. * “Look At Me”- Elmore Leonard and others talk about the cinematic qualities of the material as well as the story and characters of “Get Shorty.” * “Wiseguys And Dolls”- Character profiles and interviews with the cast. * 2 vignettes titled “Silent Schmuck” and “Cappuccino” with Barry Sonnenfeld talking about directing and 2 other vignettes titled “Radio Show” and “I Bought It” which have DeVito telling a story about Elmore Leonard and talking about getting the movie made. * A solo commentary by Barry Sonnenfeld. Expect lots of stories, insight into the script, etc.

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November 12, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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