Tag Archive: Sam Rockwell

What fun! Seven Psychopaths is a topsy-turvy ride through a hysterical—and often bloody—funhouse where nothing seems quite right.  If you love Tatantino-esque dark humor as much as I do, you’ll enjoy this film.

The absolutely best part of this movie is its cast, here presented in the order of how brilliant each is in his role: Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Tom Waits, Colin Farrell, and Woody Harrelson. As I commented elsewhere, I could watch Walken and Rockwell read the phone book—they are absolutely inimitable—and writer/director Martin McDonagh does a magnificent job of sitting back and letting them run with it.

McDonagh, who made his major film debut with the fascinatingly fresh In Bruges, comes off as a lovechild of Guy Ritchie, Todd Phillips, and Wes Anderson. He’s definitely a filmmaker to watch.

The second-best part of this movie is the dialogue (and I wonder how much was ad-libbed, as it seems so spontaneous). Here’s an example of the twisted logic of the characters:

Hans: As Gandhi said…”An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” I believe that whole heartedly.

Bill: No it doesn’t. There’ll be one guy left with one eye. How’s the last blind guy going to take out the eye of the last guy left whose still got one eye left? All that guy has to do is run away and hide behind a bush. Ghandi was wrong. It’s just that nobody’s got the balls to come out and say it.

Final reason to watch: Colin Farrell’s hair is hilarious.

Piccadilly Jim (2005) is the third filmed adaptation of the P. G. Wodehouse novel of the same name (1917). I’ve read some scathing reviews, berating everything from the scattered costuming (though I found some of the outfits hysterical and the hairstyles even more so, approaching those in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil) to the change in the main character’s motivation and contrition.  I can understand all of that.  Yet I still found this movie extremely entertaining.

The reason I wanted to see this film is because it stars one of my favorite quirky actors, Sam Rockwell. But the movie is very hard to find. I finally caught it on cable on demand. Since I was mainly watching it for the cast, which is a wonderful mix of excellent British and American stars, I was not as critical as some reviewers of the faithfulness of adaptation. But I can understand the chagrin of Wodehouse fans; it’s terrible as far as story adaptation (should basically be labeled “loosely based on”) and pretty muddled as far as the historical period in which it supposedly takes place. That being said, it’s a silly and fun farce, like The Importance of Being Earnest meets Bullets over Broadway, with odd characters, ridiculous situations, and melodramatic scenes.

In addition to Rockwell’s endearing expressions and splendid physical comedy, the rest of the cast is captivating to watch. Tom Wilkinson and Allison Janney shine as Jim’s mismatched father and stepmother, as does Brenda Blethyn as his disapproving aunt.  Rupert Simonian is supremely devilish as the spoiled Ogden. and Hugh Bonneville is dastardly as the German spy.  I found Frances O’Connor a bit tepid as the adventure-seeking, Jim-hating ingenue, but that may be more the due to how confused the character is than to O’Connor’s portrayal. In any case, it was a hoot watching them all interact.

Though it’s far from being a masterpiece, I found this movie distracting entertainment for a lazy weekend.  I’m glad I finally had the chance to see it.



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