Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Kiss Kiss Bang Bang |
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen, Dash Mihok
Director: Shane Black
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
In Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, a breezy take on writer-director Shane Black's trademark buddy action/comedy oeuvre, a petty thief (Robert Downey Jr.) is brought to Los Angeles for an unlikely audition and finds himself in the mi... more »
Mysteries Within Mysteries
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 11/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Harry's a burglar in New York who, to escape arrest, winds up auditioning for a part in a Joel Silver like film that's destined for Colin Farrell. He's whisked away to the phony world of LA, where every girl named "Jill" spells it "Jylle." At a fabulous cocktail party he meets Harlan Dexter, once a B-movie actor and now a very rich enterpreneur whose daughter has only recently returned from a long sojourn to Paris. Harry also meets his high school sweetheart, a girl who never gave him a toss back then, but now she's seeing him with new eyes. The two of them share an appreciation for the pulp novels of the 1950s and 1960s featuring a Mike Hammer type PI called "Jonny Gossamer."
KISS KISS BANG BANG is a lot of fun. Walking into the theater you don't expect such a rambunctious, talky, endlessly yakking movie. You have to be on your toes, narratologically speaking, the entire time, and don't try leaing your seat to use the restroom, you'll have missed probably the entire point of the movie. Does even Shane Black know the story he's written, and why the three women who meet their maker got so confused that neither the police, the detectives, nor the gang that killed them seem to be able to piece them apart, like the old shell game.
The movie is stunning to look at besides. The credits are impeccable; we've seen numerous movie credits designed to resemble the old time look of the Bond films, but this one, in rusty shades of orange and black, is stylish and exciting. In general the designers of the movie deserve awards. The use of the hotel Standard is brilliant
Downey Jr and Kilmer are both pretty entertaining, but the excitement here is the performance of Michelle Monaghan as Harmony Faith Lane (a name that, oddly enough, strings together the names of two of Buffy's betes noires).
As Harmony Miss Monaghan, a Denise Richards lookalike, shows a talent that can stand right up next to the fast talking dames of the thirties like Rosalind Russell or Carole Lombard, and plus she has a genuine American beauty tht makes it believable she could come from somewhere central, like Indiana. You root for her to succeed, even when she shows the more disagreeable sides to her personality.
I can imagine some people disliking the movie and its constant air of being in love with itself, and yet when the dust is cleared we are always searching for an American cinema with wit and flair, and here it is in this giant, heaping portion, and you would be a fool to turn away such bounty on account of its presumption. I hope it does well enough to merit numerous sequels, as THE THIN MAN did. It's on that level if you ask my opinion.
PS, what happened to Shannyn Sossamon? Seems like just yesterday she was Hollywood's it girl, enjoying leading lady parts in such films as A KNIGHT'S TALE or THE RULES OF ATTRACTION. Here she plays, get this, "Pink Hair Girl"? Are they trying to punish her for being beautiful and talented, or what?"
Kiss Me Quick!
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 11/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" is so full of energy and forward propulsion that it often trips over its own frenzied notions and plot machinations. This is screenwriter ("Lethal Weapon") Shane Black's first film as director and he is very keen on making the most of this opportunity: the 3rd wall is smashed and cleared away, the story is told both in flash backs and in flash forwards and Robert Downey Jr. as Harry Lockhart narrates in deadpan fashion that manages to be extremely witty and droll on the one hand and banal and silly at others.
"KKBB" opens with an explosion of activity in which Harry a petty thief, while in the process of a robbery and running from the police, accidentally bursts into a room in which actors are being auditioned for a movie dealing with private eyes. He is thrust into service as an auditionee and is asked to screen test...moving closer to actually nabbing the movie role. And so it goes: one incredible and often hilarious plot twist after another.
Downey, always a charming performer and who may be a bit too old for this part, in that he is supposed to be the same age as the smart, funny and adorable Michelle Monaghan who plays his childhood friend, Harmony Faith Lane...a great name, by-the-way. But be that as it may, the interplay between Monaghan and Downey as well as that with Val Kilmer as Gay Perry, a gay P.I. (I kid you not) is priceless: all are operating on the very highest level of their performing careers.
Not every thing works in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" but at least Black, by way of his throw in everything but the kitchen-sink style of directing, exhibits the cojones to play with the conventions of the detective story/thriller movie and make it work...most of the time: you must often risk the ridiculous in order to achieve the sublime is a lesson that Black has seemed to have learned very well.
Andrew Todd | Santa Cruz, California United States | 11/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Downey Jr. has not been as quick-witted and riotously funny since he played in Chaplin. He and Val Kilmer turn out to be a comedy team as good as those in Mel Brooks' early movies. There are scenes that cause uproarious laughter in the theater. Like when Downey sticks his severed finger into the ice bucket and the dog eats it. Or when Kilmer's cell phone plays "I will survive" when it rings. Michelle Monaghan plays Downey's old childhood friend, Harmony. They meet again in L.A. and team up with Kilmer to solve a murder. The trio charm the audience and keeps the laughter at a high volume. And finally, Downey's asides to the audience in his role as Narator are hilarious. From stopping the film to explain something, to changing the typical noir ending by bringing back all the dead characters plus Elvis and Abe Lincoln. It was two hours of razor-sharp dialogue and brilliant comedy. Don't miss this one."
Post-Modern Film Noir
D. C. Ober | Boston, MA | 02/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once you realize this movie isn't a porno, it's actually pretty good. Yeah, I was disappointed at first, but instead of hunting down the red light district I actually decided to stay. Besides, porn is accessible 24/7, but a movie this funny only comes around once in a while.
The plot revolves around Harry Lockhart played by Robert Downey Jr., a petty thief turned aspiring actor who soon finds himself in the midst of an old fashioned film noir plot. Val Kilmer plays Gay Perry, a private detective who is hired to show Harry the ropes for his potential new role. When someone from Harry's past shows...actually, the plot is really just a MacGuffin for the two actors to spout off clever lines at one another, and the movie itself seems keenly aware of this. In fact, Robert Downey's character narrates the film complete with fourth wall shattering comments (such as referencing the audiences in Times Square). His narration could have come off as annoying, but thanks to the strong script and funny delivery it works perfectly.
The entire film is really just an excuse for these two actors to play off of each other, and they do a fantastic job. Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. can be two of the most frustrating actors. Sometimes they can seem so self-conscious that it's painful, and other times they can turn in a role that singlehandedly makes the movie (Val Kilmer in Tombstone for example). Here they're at the top of their game. They play off of each other perfectly. If you like smart sardonic humour, then you'll like this movie.
It's so difficult these days to find a good comedy that this movie felt refreshing. It feels like it has been over a decade since I've actually laughed out loud in a movie theatre. Most comedies are run by the Will Ferrell rule of comedy: if you yell it's automatically funnier. It's nice to know that someone out there thinks that a clever script can be funny too. (This is not a complete knock to Will Ferrell--he can be funny in the right role).
The qualities of this film don't stop at the humor. There's also some great send-up of film noir. For a noir fan like myself, this was merely icing on the cake. Not only does the film pay tribute to old fashion noir, but takes an opportunity to subvert it whenever it gets the chance. Film noir cliches are raised so they can be turned on their head.
Hopefully this film will get the audience it deserves when it comes out on DVD. It's easily one of the years funniest movies, and it's not even a straight up comedy."