I have been out of the country for several months, traveling the globe, doing missionary work. I've saved babies from burning buildings, returned beached whales to the sea, and ended world hunger. Due to all of this, my funds have been depleted. I am stuck in (insert third world country) and in dire need of returning to the United States to attend my step-grandmother's, long lost brother's, disabled cousin's triple funeral. If you would please wire every dime you have to me, I PROMISE, I will pay you back with interest promptly upon my return.
Thanks for being the wonderful human being you are,
Dell on Movies
I don't know about you, but I've gotten plenty of emails like that over the years. It amazes me that they ever work on anyone. My apologies if you are one of the ones it worked on.
I've taken a little bit of a break from Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, but now I'm back. The point of that slice of comedic genius I used to open this post was my way of playing into this week's theme: movies about con artists. Let's get to it:
(1983)Eddie Murphy plays Billy Ray Valentine, a rather low-rent con artist who happens to cross paths with some very rich folks. Unwittingly, he becomes a pawn in a bet/social experiment by the Duke brothers (Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy), owners of a highly successful brokerage firm. They fix circumstances so that Valentine literally trades places with Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Akroyd). Essentially, it's a comedy about a con artist being conned, then trying to con the people conning him.
White Men Can't Jump
(1992)Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) is a former college basketball player who still makes a living playing the game. Instead of being in the NBA or playing in some league overseas, he travels to neighborhood parks all over and trades in on the stereotype of white guys not being that good at basketball to hustle the guys on whatever court he decides to show up to that day. Soon, he finds himself in an uneasy business partnership with Sidney (Wesley Snipes) one of his victims. He also has to deal with Gloria (Rosie Perez), his girlfriend who is growing tired of the hustler's life. Hilarity ensues.
(2012)This is a documentary. I start with that sentence because my hopefully brief synopsis will be on the unbelievable side despite it being a true story. An all-American blonde haired, blue-eyed thirteen year old boy went missing from Texas in 1994. Three years later, he is said to be found in Spain. However, we know that this isn't true. The person presumed to be this missing kid is actually a dark complected, brown-eyed French man in his twenties who pulled one over on the authorities who picked him up. Astonishingly, when the missing boy's sister shows up to take him home, she accepts this dude as her brother. And so does everyone else in the family. He even becomes a local media star because of his "triumphant escape" from his "abductors." Of course, he goes along with it, and even attends high school. The question is, who is conning who? You just have to watch this. It's a big ball of WTF? (Full Review)
It is the Christmas season, so I had to include this gem. It's one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies:
(2003)This one is about a pair of conmen, Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) and Marcus (Tony Cox). Every year, they find a mall where Willie can work as Santa and Marcus as an elf. That's just a cover as the two invariably rob the place blind. This time around, Willie's drinking and other antics make it questionable whether he can complete the job. Of course, things are also complicated by a cute kid. Thornton has never been funnier and is helped along by great supporting turns from Cox, Kathy Bates, and a pair of late-greats: Bernie Mac and John Ritter.