Righteous Kill Preview

Rich and Poe have gone undercover in a high-stakes middle school D&D game to uncover a conspiracy involving the latest designer drug DeezNuts. Sitting across from their prime suspect Helmut Gruber, they don their characters of Sorsaron the Barbarian and the powerful Mage, Brawln. “Shall we begin?” Gruber says, smirking and lightly touching the scar beneath his eye. “Your merry band of adventurers are aiming to recover the Crown of Blizarion from a horde of goblin thieves, what do you do?” Rich looks over at Poe and they nod. “I shoot the wooden tire of their wagon with an arrow, it splinters apart, and the resulting explosion kills half of the horde.” Gruber’s eye twitches. Rich and Poe pound fists “and I summon my sea demon, whose tentacled arms consume the other half of the horde”. Gruber smiles “Fools! Do you even know what kind of roll that would require?!” Rich and Poe’s eyes glaze over, small black orbs of unseeing bloodlust, and they roll twenty twenty-sided dice. “I believe that is a natural 400, Gruber,” they say in profoundly creepy unison. “And now Rich and Poe draw their police issue Glock .22s and place you under arrest, Gruber. Would you like to roll to Disarm? Be warned, any Attack of Opportunity will be met by deadly force”. Gruber screams, “But my rules, how did you know all of the rules?!” Rich handcuffs Gruber and smugly says “Because everyone knows, rulez=coolz, dirtbag”. Back at the station, Rich and Poe enter to a muted crowd. The commissioner comes out of his office and says, “Rich and Poe … Gruber’s dead. And we know you are the Limerick Killers. You’ve been killing criminals across this city for years.” Poe laughs, “Accused of murder again, Rich. And to think, I was only ten days from retirement.” That’s right! We’re watching Righteous Kill, which reunited Al Pacino and Robert De Niro for the first time since Heat. It was produced by Randall Emmett who also produced the Al Pacino vehicle 88 Minutes. Crazily both films were directed by Jon Avnet and produced so close together that Al Pacino got a Razzie nomination for worst actor for both Righteous Kill and 88 Minutes! Let’s go!

Righteous Kill (2008) – BMeTric: 33.0

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(That is actually a surprisingly high rating. And for several years it was above 6.0 as well. Six … seems right. You are going to get those De Niro and Pacino-heads all over this artificially bumping up the score I think.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Overly busy whodunit storyline follows manhunt to identify a serial killer who only murders sleazy types “who deserve it,” and whose m.o. suggests that he may be a cop. Pairing of De Niro and Pacino as longtime partners on the NYPD gives this film its raison d’ȇtre; their commanding presence and effortless teamwork makes this movie watchable.

(Huh. Honestly surprised. This film had “Pacino and De Niro sleepwalk through this borefest” written all over it. Instead it basically just says it check the boxes needed to make this film exist and nothing more … which I can live with I think. I’m an Order guy more than a Law guy for the most part, but I don’t mind cop movies.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpd18t9UfYQ

(One, that is an incredibly long trailer. Two, they drop not one, but two f-bombs in the trailer! An R-rated trailer! Three, the music is bonkers, specifically just rolling into the strangely misplaced Sympathy for the Devil near the end. This is somehow just as big of a mess as the movie itself.)

Directors – Jon Avnet – (Known For: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe; Future BMT: Up Close & Personal; Red Corner; The War; BMT: 88 Minutes; Righteous Kill; Notes: He’s kind of broken into the experimental content and distribution area in the past decade. He ran a pseudo network specializing in very specialized tv shows starring very famous actors (and basically no one else). Wild stuff. Made 88 Minutes (BMT Hall of Fame) the same year)

Writers – Russell Gewirtz (written by) – (Known For: Inside Man; BMT: Righteous Kill; Notes: Somewhat odd career, broke out with Inside Man, did this, and then is in the news all the way up to 2015 whenever someone gets him for a job, but he has no credits. I assume he specializes in first drafts of optioned property, but there is little information.)

Actors – Robert De Niro – (Known For: Goodfellas; Heat; Taxi Driver; The Godfather: Part II; Casino; A Bronx Tale; American Hustle; Stardust; The Intern; The Deer Hunter; Sleepers; Once Upon a Time in America; Silver Linings Playbook; Cape Fear; Limitless; Jackie Brown; Meet the Parents; Raging Bull; The Untouchables; Brazil; Future BMT: Little Fockers; Killing Season; Showtime; The Carrier; The Fan; Hide and Seek; Analyze That; Shark Tale; Arthur et les Minimoys; The Bridge of San Luis Rey; 15 Minutes; Heist; Red Lights; Meet the Fockers; The Family; The Comedian; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; Bloody Mama; Killer Elite; Stanley & Iris; Great Expectations; BMT: Godsend; The Big Wedding; New Year’s Eve; Dirty Grandpa; Righteous Kill; Grudge Match; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Dirty Grandpa in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for Showtime; Notes: Recently proclaimed “Fuck Trump” at the Tonys … which turns out is a fairly divisive comment on several fronts.)

Al Pacino – (Known For: The Godfather; Heat; Scarface; The Godfather: Part II; Ocean’s Thirteen; The Godfather: Part III; Insomnia; The Devil’s Advocate; Scent of a Woman; Donnie Brasco; Carlito’s Way; The Pirates of Somalia; Dog Day Afternoon; Serpico; Dick Tracy; Glengarry Glen Ross; The Insider; Any Given Sunday; Danny Collins; The Recruit; Future BMT: The Son of No One; Misconduct; Hangman; Revolution; Two for the Money; Stand Up Guys; Bobby Deerfield; BMT: Jack and Jill; Gigli; 88 Minutes; Righteous Kill; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Jack and Jill in 2012; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1986 for Revolution; and in 2009 for 88 Minutes, and Righteous Kill; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Gigli in 2004; Notes: Recently played Joe Paterno in a made for television movie to somewhat great acclaim. Has a bird’s nest for a wig. One of those statements was false.)

Carla Gugino – (Known For: Watchmen; San Andreas; Man of Steel; Gerald’s Game; Sin City; American Gangster; Night at the Museum; This Boy’s Life; Spy Kids; Race to Witch Mountain; Faster; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco; Snake Eyes; The Lookout; Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael; Miami Rhapsody; Bling; Future BMT: The Unborn; Rise; Michael; Elektra Luxx; The One; Son in Law; Troop Beverly Hills; The Singing Detective; Women in Trouble; Every Day; I Melt with You; The Centre of the World; Even Money; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Hotel Noir; BMT: New Year’s Eve; Righteous Kill; Sucker Punch; The Space Between Us; Notes: Her aunt Carol Merrill was a model for Let’s Make a Deal during its original run and encouraged her into show business.)

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $40,081,410 (Worldwide: $78,460,699)

(Fairly bad return there. I’m sure they expected more, but $60 million for a buddy cop film? Too much. The financing seems messed up from the start.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (27/144): Al Pacino and Robert De Niro do their best to elevate this dowdy genre exercise, but even these two greats can’t resuscitate the film’s hackneyed script.

(Matches Maltin’s review to a tee actually. So I guess that is encouraging. Reviewer Highlight: What a waste. – Mark Rahner, Seattle Times)

Poster – Righteous Sklog (F)

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(That can’t be right… [checks IMDb]… my God. That is simply atrocious.)

Tagline(s) – Most people respect the badge. Everybody respects the gun. (B-)

(Hmmmm, I like the sentiment here. A little forced with the “most” at the front. And it’s a bit long. But good juxtaposition and hint at the plot. Not bad.)

Keyword(s) – nypd; Top Ten by BMeTric: 68.0 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 58.7 Ghostbusters (2016); 54.8 Crossfire (2012); 51.9 The Son of No One (2011); 46.6 Serving Sara (2002); 35.1 Anamorph (2007); 33.0 Righteous Kill (2008); 32.8 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016); 29.6 Stonewall (2015); 27.9 Spider-Man 3 (2007);

(Ghostbusters is kind of fake news considering it doesn’t qualify for a long shot. Serving Sara will be fun though. I’ve seen quite a few of these already, like Spider-Man 3, which also doesn’t qualify.)

Movie Stub – Righteous Kill – C-class – Nothing much to say, this is a very good wiki page with very little that needs adding. Funny note here from a decade ago though: “Shouldn’t the video game based on the movie be mentioned? I think it came out even before the film did. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 16:27, 2 October 2008 (UTC)” … No one has done that, but I certainly think that should be included in the release section personally. I’ll be looking into that soon enough.

Notes – Carla Gugino played the sex partner of Robert De Niro in this movie. She played his daughter in This Boy’s Life (1993). (Wow, that’s pretty gross)

This is the first movie where Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have extended interaction. They never shared a scene in The Godfather: Part II (1974) and in Heat (1995) they only had two scenes.

The initial cut of this movie ran for two hours, but after a rather negative test screening, Nu Image hastily re-cut the film down to its slender one hour and forty-one minutes to make it more fast-paced and action-orientated. Snippets of some of the deleted scenes can be seen in the trailer. (I want to see that extended cut bro)

Overture Films paid a little over twelve million dollars for the American distribution rights, beating out Warner Brothers Pictures and Universal Pictures, who also put in bids of over ten million dollars. (Terrible choice obviously)

Robert De Niro and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson appeared in Freelancers (2012) and Last Vegas (2013).

When Al Pacino is asked by the psychiatrist what he would do if he retired, Rooster answers “I don’t know, buy a boat.” In the movie, Donnie Brasco, Al Pacino plays Lefty, who has an affinity for boats, and wants one he cannot afford. Near the end of the movie, Donny Brasco asks Pacino if he had his boat would he sail away & leave organized crime. (I’ll leave this weird note as it sounds the most plausibly like an actual call back than many of the others in these fake IMDb notes).

Awards

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Al Pacino)

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