Monday, August 24, 2015

The Art of the Steal (2013)

Number Rolled: 16
Movie Name/Year: The Art of the Steal (2013)
Tagline: It takes a great artist to pull off the perfect con.
Genre: Indie
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: The Weinstein Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Entertainment One, Darius Films
Executive Producer: Jeff Sackman, Noah Segal, Mark Slone, Bob Weinstein
Director: Jonathan Sobol
Writer: Jonathan Sobol
Actors: Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon, Jay Baruchel, Kenneth Welsh, Chris Diamantopoulos, Katheryn Winnick, Jason Jones, Terence Stamp, Devon Bostick

Crunch Calhoun was betrayed by his brother, Nicky, during a heist. After spending his time in jail, he finds it difficult to get back on his feet.

Selina’s Point of View:
I do not agree with the “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes for this film.

Alright, the beginning of the movie seemed to be about nothing more than sending Francie out of the room, but it didn’t stay that way. The plot eventually picked up steam and, by the end of the movie, it felt like I’d only been watching for about 20 minutes.

Not all the actors were on point, but the ones that were… they really sold their parts.

The banter between Jason Jones (Rosewater, Pitch Perfect 2, Creative Galaxy) and Terence Stamp (Smallville, Yes Man, Get Smart) was hilarious. I believed the situation and the way they rubbed on each other’s nerves. Meanwhile, Kenneth Welsh (Survival of the Dead, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Four Brothers) and Chris Diamantopoulos (The Three Stooges, The Office, Wedding Daze) both brought flare to their accent-wielding characters in such a way that made me want to like them.

Finally, there was Jay Baruchel (Man Seeking Woman, How to Train Your Dragon, This is the End). I will keep saying it, whenever we watch a movie including him: Baruchel is an amazing actor. I’ll concede that he has a tendency to be type-cast, but that’s because of his body type, not his range. He’s naturally lanky, so unless he pulls a Devon Sawa (Devil’s Den, SLC Punk!, Slackers), he’ll pretty much always be type cast.

[What I mean by “pulls a Devon Sawa”: Sawa as Owen in Nikita (2010-2013) vs. Sawa as Anton in Idle Hands (1999) or even Andrew in Creature of Darkness (2009) is like the difference between night and day. I don’t see Devon Sawa being type-cast in the future the way he was in his teenage years]

Even if I admit that I enjoyed the movie more than I should have, The Art of the Steal is still a decent heist movie that didn’t exactly deserve many of the negative reviews.

At the very least, if you liked Leverage (2008-2012), you will most likely enjoy this film.

Cat’s Point of View:
I peeked at the cast list of this film before I watched and had no idea what to make of this movie. I hadn’t heard of it before – though, given who was involved, it promised to be entertaining at the very least.

Iconic film veteran, Kurt Russell (Sky High, Death Proof, Furious Seven), is no stranger to action or comedy. I bought what he was selling in this film. The sibling rivalry between his character and Matt Dillon’s (Crash, Herbie Fully Loaded, Old Dogs) felt authentic, and brought some good tension to the story.

I haven’t loved everything that Dillon has worked on over the years, but I do have to give him credit for playing an excellent heel. His performance to that effect in this film was spot on.

For those that have followed Jay Baruchel’s (Fanboys, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Goon) career, there is a funny moment in this movie that nods towards one of his prior film roles. I really enjoy him as an actor. He brings this phenomenal blend of awkward and cool to his characters, and this film is an excellent example of such.

Terence Stamp’s (Wanted, Valkyrie, The Adjustment Bureau) character was a great counterpoint to the Interpol agent he was coerced into assisting.  Stamp has had some kickass roles in his career – he was even the original General Zod of the 1980s Superman movies. I thoroughly enjoyed the subtlety of his performance here with his wry British humor.

While the overall plot of this film was not unique – there have been so many great heist movies over the years – it did deliver the story with style and well thought-out twists. The film built on its actors’ strengths, and the result was a clever comedic romp exploring the concept of ‘honor amongst thieves.’

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 44%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 38%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

P.S. Bloopers during the credits and a short repeated scene after.

Movie Trailer:

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