Quiet Killshot Arrival

With all the hullaballoo over the last several months about John Madden‘s Killshot being delayed, regionally released (barely) and generally being shown little love by the Weinstein Co., you’d think there’d be a bit more reaction to this adaptation of an Elmore Leonard thriller coming out four days ago on DVD. Apparently it’s a bit underwhelming, but are there any HE reader reactions?

Killshot hasn’t enjoyed the easiest road to a suitable release,” wrote DVD Talk‘s Brian Ondorf. “Filmed nearly four years ago, the picture suffered through endless rounds of editorial indecision, reshooting, and the embarrassment of a pathetic five-screen theatrical release earlier this year. While the feature’s unpleasant personal history shouldn’t be at play during a viewing, it’s hard not to spot the sloppy stitch marks on the motion picture. While certainly endowed with a few startling moments of tension, Killshot is messy and unfocused, taking the stinger out of this Elmore Leonard adaptation.”

This is going to be a super-busy catch-up weekend watching this one plus Drag Me To Hell and Pontypool in theatres.

  • CitizenKanedforChewingGum

    Strange how this got dumped…pretty good pedigree with casting, director, etc.

    Haven’t seen it, but I remember reading the book back in the day when I was on a big Leonard kick. Good stuff.

  • CarloDennis

    I’ve seen it, and actually found Rourke and Lane to be the weak links. Both have their moments, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Thomas Jane and Rosario Dawson fared far better — Gordon-Levitt, especially.

  • Ju-osh

    It makes the same mistake that every other failed Leonard adaptation makes:

    It concentrates on the plot instead of the characters* and replaces the humor with cliched tough-guy talk.

    *Leonard has said that the crimes in his books are there to justify him getting to craft characters he wants to hang out with. Seems someone forgot to tell this to Madden.

  • http://lipranzer.blogspot.com lipranzer

    I liked Rourke and Lane (though I didn’t like Rourke’s attempt at a Native American accent – it felt forced), but Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whom I normally liked, over-acted to a ridiculous degree.

    Also, I don’t think changing them from a happy couple (as depicted in the original trailer) to a somewhat estranged couple really added anything to the story, especially since, as Ju-osh indicated, the characters weren’t as well developed as in the novel.

  • rr3333

    movie title had ‘direct to video’ written all over it. 4 years of sitting on the shelf didnt help either.

  • berkguru

    I thought it was garbage.

    Gordon-Levitt was horribly over-acting and there was no real tension. The plot was stupid.

    Only good scene for me was when [Edit: Movie-ending spoiler removed. This was a dick move, berkguru -Moises aka Arthouse Cowboy]

  • CitizenKanedforChewingGum

    “*Leonard has said that the crimes in his books are there to justify him getting to craft characters he wants to hang out with. Seems someone forgot to tell this to Madden.”

    I saw a very recent Charlie Rose interview where he says into this. Not sure if that’s where you heard him say it (I’m sure he’s said it multiple times), but it’s worth checking out http://www.charlierose.com and streaming the interview if you’re a Leonard — or even a crime fiction — fan.

    He does actually make three exceptions that are good adaptations — Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown — precisely because of the character development. I agree with the last two. Haven’t seen Shorty in awhile, but it did seem to get hung up a bit too much on its plot contrivances for my tastes.

  • actionman

    Thanks for spoiling the movie, Berkguru.

    In other straight to DVD news, I watched Powder Blue last night. Awful, awful movie. Biel does get topless, but the movie is so overwrought yet underdeveloped that I couldn’t help but laugh at it all throughout.

  • berkguru

    Actioman – i saved you 95 minutes of your life, trust me. Just forward to about minute 70 or so.

  • televisiontears

    berkguru – Regardless of whether it was any good or not, that’s still a dick move. You know that

  • lazarus

    The mention of Joseph Gordon-Levitt probably left Jeff with one less film to squeeze in this weekend.

  • Moises Chiullan

    I wrote about it and Fanboys here.

    Condensed version: really not bad overall, but still a waste. A fun watch with some hammy acting. Levitt’s lousy southern accent didn’t light me on fire…bugged the shit out of me really. The movie is much better than most disposable action thriller crap that we see one or two of in wide release twice a month. Still not redeemable. Worth a curiosity rental, but not a purchase. No extras, not even a trailer.

  • Chicago48

    I liked the trailer. I would rent it.

  • Deathtongue_Groupie

    Perhaps will finally get another good Leonard film, plus as a bonus the first decent Leonard sequel: his current is a sequel to OUT OF SIGHT. Foley, but no Sisko.

    Shame, because might the only thing that could revive Lopez’s career.

    And berkguru – yeah, you messed up. Own up to it bro.

  • Moises Chiullan

    I’ve sanitized Berkguru’s jackass spoiler comment. Sorry I didn’t catch it sooner everyone.

  • Mike Ock

    This movie was pure shit. Definitely straight to DVD material. The plot was an incoherent mess. Performances were Razzie worthy across the board.

  • berkguru

    Sorry guys – I didnt know talking about the plot of such a crappy movie (that is already out on DVD) was a big deal. Mike Ock is dead on with this one.

  • Rothchild

    Was Johnny Knoxville in the final cut? He played a major role originally, a non comedic FBI agent.

  • Moises Chiullan

    Berkguru- Let people see the fucking thing first. Not everyone runs out to the store and buys everything every Tuesday.

    Mike Ock- I wouldn’t say the generic “incoherent mess” complaint is entirely valid. Lazy, generic, and unexciting, yes. Straight-to-video quality? Yes, but no more so than many movies cut from the same cloth that make it to a wide release.

    Rothchild- Knoxville was cut completely out. The scenes aren’t even on the disc. No trace to be found

    At the least, it’s worth seeing so you can tell other people it’s a piece of shit on a comment board somewhere. Looking at the trailer there are some bits (including Knoxville) that look like they’d have made the movie feel less Harvey-scissored.

  • Reelist

    It’s crap.

    And the worst cast film since TOUCH OF EVIL.

  • MilkMan

    Couldn’t be worse than Stick.

  • Emmanuel_Goldstein

    Hey actionman, are Biel’s nude scenes alone enough of a reason to rent it? Or are they pretty disappointing? And yes, I know it’s sad for me to ask but tell me anyways…

  • tfresca

    I know it’s an understatement to say that it’s hard to get a movie made but damn why does anybody make movies for Harvey anymore. I mean how many stories of movies getting made then recut or shelved do we have to read. It seems to border on compulsion. Can anyone explain this to me? Is Kevin Smith the only guy he leaves alone.

  • Pelham123

    Just finished watching it and Ju-Osh hit it right on the head. A real (disappointing, though not surprising) waste of time.

  • berkguru

    Moises your movie reviews suck balls

  • ASmithee

    The cover art looks like it is from 1986 or one of those made-for-cinemax films.

  • eoguy

    The film actually surprised me. It isn’t good, but it’s OK, and that’s more than I was expecting. Everyone is fine in their roles, and JG-L definitely overperforms (he has much better to his name, and has had better character material to work with). Still, it’s worth a look to see how they managed to chop out 30 minutes of a film. including Knoxville, and still make an understandable film. There are some plotholes, but not as many as some like to believe. It’s a renter, but it’s worth the $4 (or the Netflix slot).

  • DeafEars

    Besides OUT OF SIGHT, GET SHORTY, and JACKIE BROWN, I thought MR. MAJESTYK was a pretty good Leonard adaptation with a screenplay by the man himself. Had a lot of that Elmore Leonard feeling. I saw it at the New Beverly recently and it was interesting to see the reaction of the youts – the lack of CGI and incoherent editing in the action sequences really seemed to shake them up.

  • vansmith

    This was the first leonard book that i bought and one of the best. it was bright yellow with black lettering, blackbird was a great character, i mean great. had insight and humor but very deadly, this and City Primeavil are two of his more dangerous serious books..saw the movie tonight, it was good for what it was which is a 1980’s or 90’s type film, they dont release films like this in the theaters anymore, its a shame. the kid levitt was over the top for sure but good, rourke was good, they were all good, they could have used a bit more dialogue from the book…

  • http://www.landoftheuseless.com AtticusRex

    I have read every single Leonard book (except his latest) and always glad when they become movies. That said it’s true that almost all of the adaptations have failed when compared to the novels. For me the exceptions are:

    Hombre, Valdez is Coming, 3:10 To Yuma (The one from the ’50’s), 52 Pick-Up, Get Shorty, Out Of Sight and Jackie Brown.

    All the others as some posters have already said, didn’t understand what makes Leonard’s stories work. It’s the Dialog and characters not the plot. His Westerns are every bit as good as his crime novels. Leonard knows him some dialog.

    There are very few authors alive who can turn ‘em out like Elmore Leonard with no real stinkers in the bunch. Michael Connelly a much newer writer comes to mind as well as Robert Crais and George Pelecanos but I digress.

  • actionman

    Emmanuel — if you think Biel is smoking hot (like I do), it’s worth renting Powder Blue and just skipping ahead to her stipping scenes. The nudity isn’t done in medium close-up (which is what I was looking for) but it’s hot nonetheless. The movie itself is a complete waste of time, but if you are curious about Jessica’s Biel’s, then check it out.

  • Pelham123

    I recently saw “The Tall T” (dir. Budd Boetticher & starring Randolph Scott). It’s based on an Elmore Leonard short story. The commentary mentions that Leonard didn’t like the adaptation but it feels like vintage Elmore Leonard. Richard Boone as the bad guy is everything Mickey Rourke should have been in “Killshot”, not to mention that Henry Silva as the psycho sidekick is everything Joe Gordon-Levitt should have been, too.

  • lawnorder

    Again, Harvey Scissorhands butchered this film. The original cut was much stronger. Wasn’t ever going to be a masterpiece, but it was a better film at one point. The sooner this guy is forced out of the business the better.

  • Gordon27

    Am I the only one who thinks Jeff is being a wee bit hypocritical to get mad at somebody for spoiling the end of something that he hasn’t seen yet? I thought that was part of his mission statement, as far as this site goes.

  • Floyd Thursby

    “I didn’t like Rourke’s attempt at a Native American accent – it felt forced.”

    His name is Armond Degas, and he’s identified several times as half-Indian. That’s a Cajun accent, cher.

  • http://lipranzer.blogspot.com lipranzer

    Whatever the accent he was attempting, it felt forced, and I am not your “dear.”

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    Gordon-Levitt was horribly over-acting and there was no real tension. The plot was stupid.

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