Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies About Assassins

Once again, it's that wonderful day of the week that most of you only like slightly more than Wednesday because it's one step closer to Friday. Around here, Thursday has recently gotten a sprucing up thanks to Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves and her Thursday Movie Picks Meme.

Yes, this is the part where I urge you to swing by her place, check out the blog and join the Thursday fun.

Do it.


Just make sure you come back here, at some point.


This week's theme is "Movies About Assassins." No shortage of those, so I didn't have too much trouble picking this week. In fact, I had way too many to choose from. I had to narrow it down some way. Therefore, I settled on three that don't take themselves serious, at all. Not even a little bit. These are three movies filled with blood soaked action, profane profanity, and situations so far over the top ridiculous doesn't even begin to describe them. All three are underappreciated, so I've no choice but to call them hidden gems.

Shoot 'em Up
Clive Owen does not play an assassin. However, he is trying to protect an infant from one. Just how insane is this movie? It starts with the delivery of said baby by Owen amidst a shootout that includes the death of the mother. Owen engages in another shootout literally while having sex with Monica Bellucci. The assassin who is always hot on our hero's trail is played with mustache twirling brilliance by Paul Giamatti. It's all a bit much to take in, but it's totally worth it when you do. Don't believe me? Take it from the late great Roger Ebert. About this movie he wrote "I may disapprove of a movie for going too far, and yet have a sneaky regard for a movie that goes much, much farther than merely too far." And he gave it 3 1/2 stars out of four.

Smokin' Aces 
This one features a cast of thousands (not quite). Most of them are hitmen trying to kill a magician/gangster played with sleaze dripping from every pore by Jeremy Piven to keep him from testifying against a Las Vegas mob boss. The roster of killers includes Chris Pine, Kevin Durand, Peter Berg, Taraji P. Henson, Common, and even Alicia Keys. Don't worry Piven's got some help from the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia, Common, and Jason Bateman giving what I consider his finest (and most disturbing) performance. "The Critics' Consensus" on for this film is that it's "a violent mess of a movie." And like that's somehow a bad thing, it only earned a 28% rating. Ladies and gentlemen, I am the 28%.

It doesn't get any more ridiculous than this. Jason Statham plays an assassin who makes a hit that has some unforeseen consequences. He finds himself poisoned with a drug that inhibits the flow of adrenaline and will eventually slow his heart down enough to kill him. Well, it will kill him if he can't keep his heart rate up. To do so, he does everything you could possibly think of, and then some. Take methamphetamines? Check. Get into fights with both gangsters and the police? Check. Have sex in the middle of the street? Check. Of course, he does all this while trying to get the guys who did this to him. Does it always make sense? No. Is it often downright sadistic? Yup. Do you need to "turn your brain off" to enjoy this? It wouldn't hurt. What? I don't see the problem.

Bonus pick!

Crank: High Voltage
Just because I couldn't let you escape without mentioning the sequel. I'll keep this one short and simple. Suffice it to say when I wrote 'it doesn't get any more ridiculous than this' about the original, I lied.

Bonus Bonus Pick!!

The Big Hit
I won't say too much about this one since I used it as a Thursday Movie Pick a few weeks back. Click here.


  1. You can count me in that 28% too! Great choices :)
    - Allie

  2. I haven't seen any of these, but that first one does sound interesting.

    1. Smokin' Aces is nothing, if not interesting.

  3. I liked Smoking Aces. It was insane and so messy but I found myself having a good time. It was a pretty good film.

    1. Insane and messy are apt descriptions. Still, I have a blast watching it.

  4. Great topic! I haven't actually seen any of these.

  5. I loved Shoot 'Em Up, for the exact reason Ebert is talking about. It's a movie that completely owns what it is, and I respect that. Same can be said for those Crank flicks as well, which are a lot of fun. Nice post here.

    1. Thanks. Not sure if you've seen Smokin' Aces, but it certainly falls into that same category.

  6. Hah...u must love The big hit. :)
    I feel like I've seen the first two least Smokin Aces for sure. It's the movie where Chris Pine is pretty unrecognizable right?

    1. Love is a strong word. I'll say really like. And it just happens to fit the theme, so why not plug it again. Yes, Chris Pine is one of the many in Smokin' Aces.