‘Killing Them Softly’ is A Different Type of Mob Movie

July 28th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

Godfather I and II, ‘Good Fellas’, and ‘The Sopranos’  HBO series definitely rank way up high on my favorite all – time list of mob stuff. However, the truth of the matter is, I was “burnt – out” on the La Cosa Nostra and all the other organized crime orbradandtonyganization films/shows, etc. after I saw Good Fellas (I loved that movie & watched it over and over) back in 1990. Though I certainly had my fill with the mafia in 1999, I nevertheless got hooked on ‘The Sopranos’, who didn’t? We all knew that after viewing  the very first episode or pilot, this was a gem and a masterpiece in every respect i.e. writing, acting, production, etc. and it was so different which is a good segue for this blog.

‘Killing Me Softly’ is a different, sort of slow – moving film & be forewarned, that if you’re looking for the hardcore mobster action flick, though there are some nasty intensely violent scenes, this movie is definitely not for you. However, if the concept of the banality of evil (Hannah Arendt) resonates with you, then I think you may appreciate this film. I also believe that if you think that some people are dealt a lousy hand of cards in life, forced into ugly situations and therefore have no other choice but to commit the most heinous acts imaginable, then I also think this movie maybe cathartic and something you should certainly Netflix. Oh & yes the movie is brimming with political and corrupt corporate America allegory so you might need a thinking cap.

The reason I personally finally watched this movie was because it was James Gandolfini’s last film he made before he died. I loved James Gandolfini and I thought he was a tremendous talent, the likes of whom we will never see again. I am also a huge fan of the great character actor,  Richard Jenkins who happens to be part of the cast. Here’s the story in a nutshell: 3 pathetic lowlifes rob a mob poker card hangout/Of course they’re found out/the 3 losers and “Markie” – the guy running the card gig (Played by Ray Liotta) must go.  Gandolfini’s character, Mickey, is a washed up – alcoholic – incompetent whore – mongering assassin, which incidentally he plays brilliantly, and just can’t pull it off. Because of Mickey’s ineptitude, Brad Pitt’s character, Jackie Cogan is forced to make all the hits himself. The dark humor here is that Jackie Cogan is as sociopathic as it gets but sometimes you might think he’s a nice guy because he doesn’t like to see people suffer unnecessarily (hence the title of the film) which is why Mickey is called in to begin with. The question is whether Jackie has genuine empathy for his victims or is it just the fact that it’s an inconvenience to have the guy you’re about to kill – cry, piss his pants, pray to Jesus, etc. right before he dies.

  This movie has classic and I mean classic dialogue and here’s just a taste from Jackie at the end of the movie regarding the myth of Thomas Jefferson and our so – called “noble” founding “bull – shit artists” fathers:  “My friend, Jefferson is an American saint because he wrote the words All men are created equal – words he clearly didn’t believe, since he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He was a rich wine SNOB who was sick of paying taxes to the Brits. ..yea, so he wrote some lovely words and aroused the rabble & they went out and died for those words, while he sat back & drank his wine and fucked his slave – girl …this guy (Jackie points at a bar TV screen with Obama spewing another one of his BS speeches about equality) wants to tell me we’re living in a community, don’t make me laugh ! I’m living in America & in America you’re on your own …America is not a country, it’s just a business – NOW FUCKEN PAY ME !!! ”  Check this out

So WhaDaYaThink ? What Do you think ? I read the comments on Netflix (about a 100 or so) and people either absolutely love the movie or despise it. The problems with the film are 1. The one actor is Australian (I think) and hard to understand 2. The street lingo is off the charts & 3. It’s a thinking man’s film, so you have to fill in some gaps. I watched the movie twice before I blogged just to make sure I got it. Not to give away too much, but check out how bad – ass Brad Pitt is here


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