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Get Shorty

A movie directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

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Elmore gets what's coming to him

  • Mar 3, 2009
Elmore Leonard knows Hollywood, but his insider's view of the movie business is the least of the appeal of this movie. John Travolta is Chili Palmer, a loan shark who comes to LA to collect a debt. The large gag is that Chili's utterly amoral, but brilliantly crafted amorality is a perfect pre-adaption to life in movieland. He moves almost seamelessly from the world of small-time hoodlery to big-time movie producing.
The plot makes its way through this metaphor with lots of action, sly double-crossing and grotesque thugs to spare.
But the large gag is one that you enjoy on reflection, after the movie is over. The little gags revolve around Leonard's wit (imagine: a movie with witty dialog!)and some imaginative casting. Danny deVito as Tinseltown's most sought-after leading man, Rene Russo as the delicious B-movie actress, Gene Hackman as the nervous, marginal producer. Travolta seems born for the role, he is by turns, hot, bland and violent and holds us in suspense as we wait to see who Chili will be next.

Lynn Hoffman, author of The Short Course in Beer

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More Get Shorty reviews
review by . September 06, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
John Travolta is Chili Palmer, an enforcer for a loan sharking racket residing on the east coast of the United States. When one of his "customers" is behind on his payments, he must travel to Hollywood in an attempt to collect. However, before he goes, he punches a rival in the loan shark business in order to get his coat back.    When he arrives, he encounters Gene Hackman as Harry Zimm, a producer of B movies who has fallen on hard times. Rather than rough him up, Palmer pitches an idea …
review by . October 16, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
Undoubtedly a super movie. Filled with many Comedic Moments and Action packed scenes, this movie really kept my interest. John Travolta and Dennis Farina really fed very well off each other. I love the way Travolta handles himself so Matter Of Factly especially when retrieving his leather jacket in the opening moments of the movie. Also Travolta displays his cool when he makes a surpise visit to Gene Hackman and when confronting(Bear) James Galdolphini and (Bo) Delroy Lindo at the restaurant. The …
About the reviewer
Lynn Hoffman ()
Ranked #289
I cook therefore I. .therefore I eat. No, maybe that's thereby I eat'.   Anyway, I love food, beer and wine: I like to write about them too,(The New Short Course in Wine is adapted from … more
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About this movie


John Travolta is the standout in this somewhat cartoonish adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel about a smalltime Miami enforcer (Travolta) who decides to get into the movie business in L.A. The cast sparkles--Gene Hackman as a failing cut-rate-movie producer, Rene Russo as a failed actress, Danny DeVito as a vain thespian, Delroy Lindo as a mobster who wants a cut of Travolta's film action--and the script is clever. But not clever enough: this isn't Robert Altman'sThe Player, as far as satires about Hollywood go. But director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black) keeps it cute and brisk and that makes for an enjoyable experience. Travolta is great as a vaguely dangerous, supremely self-confident man whose love of movies makes him almost cuddly. The DVD release includes optional widescreen or standard formats, optional French and Spanish soundtracks, original theatrical trailer, and Dolby digital sound.--Tom Keogh
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