Killing Them Softly (2011) vs. True Romance (1993)

November 29, 2012 Eric Volkman

The players in our two battling movies this review are gun-toting rogues, so we’ll have to let them shoot it out across the room while we duck under the tables. Armed and lethal in the challenger’s corner is Killing Them Softly, a dark, moody crime drama featuring Brad Pitt as a hit man tasked with eliminating the crew that robbed an illicit card game. That film points its barrel at the breezily violent cult hit, True Romance, with Christian Slater as a comic book store clerk whose involvement with a hooker leads him to murder and a high-risk drug deal.

Both films rely on humanizing their criminals with generous amounts of tangential dialogue, and both also lean heavily on music and artsy cinematography to set a pop, breezy tone in counterpoint to some pretty brutal action by their principals. […]

Savages (2012) -vs- Scarface (1983)

July 6, 2012 Ben Silverio

Drugs are a dangerous game, and it seems like Oliver Stone knows this fairly well. In the 1983 cult classic Scarface, which he wrote for Brian De Palma, and his new release Savages, which he co-wrote with Shane Salerno and novelist Don Winslow, as well as directed, he shares stories of young guys who start small in the drug game and climb to a whole new level they’re not prepared for.

Iconic gangster Tony Montana and the duo of modern-day marijuana moguls Ben and Chon hold their own (to a point) when the big boys come to play in their respective movies, but how will they fare when they go up against each other? […]