Jason Whited | Las Vegas | 12/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a light-hearted comedy, so don't come into it expecting a master "oeuvre." Take it for what it is. That said, this is one of the best comedies of the past 10 years. The writing is extremely smart, and all three principal actors use their considerable talents to lend real depth to characters, which is quite unusual for comedies, especially American ones, which tend to stick to slapstick or cheap gags. Be aware that this is a Brit flick, so you Americans shouldn't be shocked by the accents, etc. (that does tend to unsettle a portion of American viewers). If you're a thinking person and need a solid belly laugh, you simply could not pick a better light-hearted comedy than Shooting Fish. Dan, Kate, and Stuart are a fantastic ensemble. Do NOT miss this comedy! This movie will most assuredly be appreciated more as time goes by."
"It's Self Self Self with some people!"
CodeMaster Talon | Orlando, FL United States | 06/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like frothy, feathery British Comedies? Don't let this little-known gem pass you by. Dan Futterman and Stuart Townsend play Dylan and Jez respectively; two con men who rob from the rich to house the orphans (and they're the orphans). Kate Beckinsdale (not nearly as annoying as usual) plays a med-school student who is unwittingly sucked into their scheme (they need a typist for one of their more inventive cons) but who promptly begins nudging them toward the straight and narrow. Well, almost. As my Dad used to say "If it's for good cause, who cares if it's illegal!", and Dylan and Jez pretty much live by that thought. However, what goes around comes around, and all things catch up with you eventually....
With a smart and funny script, good acting (especially by Futterman) and just plain sweetness , this film charms and pleases for the length of it's hour and a half. Don't hesitate to buy a copy and save it for a rainy day, or when you're just feeling blue. It's sure to cheer you up, and you might just come away with a new appreciation for Burt Bacarach. Anyone know the way to San Jose?"
Another great Kate Beckinsale performance in very funny film
fionnmaccumhal | San Diego, CA USA | 04/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I won't try to detail the plot of this movie because that might spoil it. I'll just say that it has enough surprises and turns to work. But what makes this movie shine is the characters, especially Georgie played to perfection by Kate Beckinsale. By now it's getting difficult to praise Ms. Beckinsale's performances without repeating myself because she is always so excellent in every role. Her Georgie is wonderful and she hits every note exactly. Her character is the central point of a three part comedy about con men and love. I know it may sound strange but you must see this movie. Very funny! Hilarious! This is the kind of film the English can do so well and I hope they keep sending them to us. Especially with Kate Beckinsale in them. We don't see enough of her on this side of the Atlantic. Buy this DVD and enjoy a great comedy (in widescreen!) that you can share with your friends. They'll thank you."
A Pleasant Evening's Entertainment
Reviewer | 03/02/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Take a couple of con men who see an opportunity to separate a mark from his money in just about everything, throw in an attractive young woman with an altruistic agenda, blend together for about ninety-three minutes and the result is "Shooting Fish," an amiable, entertaining comedy, directed by Stefan Schwartz. It's the story of two guys who grew up in orphanages on opposite sides of the ocean, Dylan (Dan Futterman) in America, Jez (Stuart Townsend) in England; and who, by the time they had reached the age of consent, had each been endowed with a particular talent: Dylan has the gift of gab, Jez is a technical wizard. Dylan's gift has quickly gotten him into hot water with the wrong kind of people, however, and to stay healthy (read: "Alive") he flees to England, where he meets Jez. And it's a friendship/partnership born in scam/scheme heaven. If there's a way to make a fast buck, they know it-- from selling bogus computers, to selling insulation for homes that's never installed, to entering any and every contest that comes down the pike. If there's a nickel in it, they're in. Then one day they hire a girl from the temp pool to help them out with one of their scams. Georgie (Kate Beckinsale) is beautiful, smart, and has a cause she's trying to fund, so she needs the job; but from day one she's on to what Dylan and Jez are trying to pull. She stays on board, however, when Dylan convinces her that they are something like modern day Robin Hoods-- that the money they're "raising" is going to orphans. What he doesn't tell her is that the "orphans" he's referring to is them. And Dylan is a born salesman-- not to mention the fact that he's a real charmer-- and the three of them become a real team. Schwartz delivers a film that is in no way exceptional nor particularly memorable, but it is entertaining. It's exactly what it promises to be: a diverting hour and a half or so that provides some laughs and a good time. It's pleasant fare that's inoffensive and features some engaging performances and a story that will keep you involved. There are a couple of scenes, in fact, that are downright hilarious. And Schwartz has good timing and sets a pace that keeps it all moving right along, which, when you add it all up, makes for a satisfying, enjoyable experience. Futterman has a winning personality and a resonant, mesmerizing voice that fits his character perfectly. Dylan is the salesman you hope you'll never meet, because if you do, chances are you'll walk away with the deed to the bridge. He's a likable heel, convincingly brought to life by Futterman (who is probably best known for his role of Vincent Gray in the "Judging Amy" TV series). It's a good performance, and one of the strengths of the film. As Jez, Townsend does a fine job, too, and though he's overshadowed a bit by Dylan-- intentionally the flashier of the two-- Jez is the one who secures the sympathy of the audience. After all, this is the guy who at least seems a bit remorseful as he's taking other people's money and trust. And it's interesting to compare Townsend's fairly reserved performance here with his role of the vampire Lestat in the more recent "Queen of the Damned." He's a fine young actor whose style contrasts nicely with Futterman, and along with Beckinsale they make quite the team of scam artists. The one who draws the attention, however, is the lovely and charismatic Kate Beckinsale, who is beguiling in the role of Georgie. She makes her character accessible, and plays her with a savvy, rather than naive sensibility, and it's a portrayal that works well. Most importantly, she makes Georgie real, with a winsome appeal that makes you care about her and what happens to her. She's the most grounded of the trio, and it's her character that keeps the story within the realm of credibility. This may not be the stuff Oscars are made of, but it's an enjoyable, engaging performance that will win you over, without question. The supporting cast includes Rowena Cooper (Jez's Teacher), Myles Anderson (Jez, aged 8), Jacob Macoby (Dylan, aged 8), Jane Lapotaire (Dylan's Headmistress), Tom Chadbon (Mr. Greenaway), Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Ross), Peter McNamara (Geoff), Arabella Weir (Mrs. Stratton-Luce), Nickolas Grace (Mr. Stratton-Luce) and Claire Cox (Floss). An easy-going comedy with enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes, "Shooting Fish" is a solid, feel good film that will put a smile on your face and provide a pleasant evening's entertainment. And in the final analysis, that's not such a bad deal; and it's all a part of the magic of the movies."