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So BeCool came out yesterday. I myself only saw it just a few hours ago. Let me say I loved Get Shorty. John Travolta as Chili Palmer should go down as one of the coolest characters in movie history. I never read the novel for Get Shorty (though I'm looking to pick it up soon, and I was told the conversion from book to film wasn't too too bad), but I did read BeCool only a few days ago. Good Book, the movie on the otherhand turned out to be a huge letdown (which is even more dissapointed due to the enourmous advertising it got).

First let's start with how it butchered the book. Characters where changed (Some in personality and age, some in skin colour, others not even in the movie at all). In some cases this just really pissed me off, maybe because I had already falled so much in love with the other characters, or because the changes made the characters useless and mundane, only there for comedic value which, in the cases of these characters, often failed. Don't get me wrong, the movie was incrediably funny, especially Vince Vaughn. I didn't really mind him as Raji so much simply because his performance was just so amazing.

Then there were the scenes. The book wasn't based on BeCool the novel so it loosely took the concept of the book and tried to turn it into a carbin copy of Get Shorty. The script honestly just took characters and bits of conversations and placed them into scenes lifted directly from Get Shorty. It's like they where trying to create the exact same movie. "Hey, the formula worked last time, let's do it again!". Entire scenes and situations where added just because there was something similar in Get Shorty. Unfortunately the execution is all wrong and the scenes really have no weight.

Many of the actors themselves, though putting on ok performances, had little to no chemistry on the screen. Chili Palmer's ultimate line, his schtick that makes him so cool, is "Look at me". Saying that to the character shows how powerful Chili Palmer is and how confident in himself. In Get Shorty he would say this two or three times to a character, and everyone knew how to react. They didn't want to at first, but them gave in, and there was just an excellent chemistry between the actors because everyone knew what the line meant. In BeCool, I honestly doubt anyone who hasn't seen Get Shorty or read the books will have any idea why he says that. Chili says look at me, but the characters are already looking at him. There's no action-reaction. The actors know they're blocking and simply carry it out, in conversations as well. Nobody really listens to each other, they just jump from line to line. In the first scene, Tommy Athens (I can't remember the name of the actor) says something to the affect of,
"I have an idea for a movie."
Chili: "What?"
Tommy: "Me!"
Chili: "I couldn't get your mother to watch that movie."

Tommy Athen's character then reads his next line. Chili Palmer just told him it was a horrible idea, and the actor acts like he never said anything. Now the character could just be ignoring the comment, but you gotta at least show you heard the guy say something to you. But we get no reaction. Nothing. And this happens many many more times.

Uma Thermon and John Travolta had a great chemistry in Pulp Fiction. They really worked well toghether. BeCool, there's nothing. Really, just nothing. It seems as if Uma Thermon was just kind put into the movie, and John Travolta is simply reprising his role the character simply not to dissapoint his fans.

Christina Millian isn't anything special, but that may not be entirely her fault. The character in the book had a lot of backstory for her and a lot of growth and change throughout. It seems in the movie they wanted all information about her out of the way in the first few minutes of her introduction, and from there she's a pretty static character. There's really nothing to go on, and you really don't give a damn about her at the end.

Steven Tyler's appearence should have been nothing more that a special appearence, as he really can't act (even though he was portraying himself), and it seems the scenes he's in where written specifically because they actually got him. The scenes with him where given way to much attention, because they were really unecessary and boring, really subtracting from the main plot of the movie.

In fact, the movie seems to be riding on it's celebrity cast. There are a lot (a lot) of special appearences in the movie. While a bit fun on it's own, the amount of attention they are given really detracts from the experience.

The blatant advertising throughout the movie really put me off. It was everywhere. The director really didn't know how to work the camera as well as he could have all the time, and he couldn't quite get down what he needed the actors to do in order to get a good picture, but one thing he did very well was get the product placement in there. Honestly, it's annoying. There is never a time you forget it's just a movie. Just fluff.

The actual mainstay's of the movie do a somewhat good job. Uma Thermon and John Travolta were alright, nothing exceptional, but still a cut above average as usual. Andre 3000 and Cedric the Entertainer where (not surprisingly)very funny, and everyone did a fairly good job in general. Vince Vaughn and The Rock really stole the show however. Both worked toghether amazingly well, and knew their parts. Incrediably funny, they knew exactly what they were doing.

As for actually being cool, the movie really does try. Infact it tries so hard I think it might have broke something in the process. Also, there's so many really akwardly placed musical scenes that really don't fit in with anything. It's like the flick was thinking of becoming a musical, but couldn't quite make up it's mind.

If just for the comediac elements of the movie (many of which included Vince Vaughn and The Rock, though Andre 3000 and Cedric had their share of Gut Busters), you should really check this movie out. If you're expecting a good sequel to Get Shorty, or anything remotely cool, I reccomend you look elsewhere. In short, the movie's entertaining (Vince Vaughn and The Rock are easily worth the admission price), and if not comparing it to the book, a margin above mediocre, but you really shouldn't be in a rush to check it out. Unless you want a few good laughs, wait until rental.

But that may be just me, so if anyone agree's with me, speak up, and if you disagree, speak louder.
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