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Monday, November 17, 2008


****½ Bandits. Comedy.

Directed by: Barry Levinson.
Starring: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett

We rented this from the Shoppette. I'm not sure why we didn't see this when it came out back in 2001. Oh. That's when I first got CFS and it was really bad--some days I could barely make it out of bed. So there were about nine months when we didn't go see a lot of movies. Glad I figured that out.

Anyway, I absolutely love caper movies. And I love Bruce Willis. Even though his hair was horrible in this movie. I always wonder about that--is it the stars themselves who are responsible for it, or is it the director or make-up person or whatever? So many older male movie stars have horrible hair. Though I guess it did fit the character.

Joe Blake (Bruce Willis) and Terry Collins (Billy Bob Thornton) are mismatched bank robbers. Joe's the charming tough guy and Terry is the smart hypochondriac. Because they kidnap the bank managers the night before the robbery, they've become known as the "sleepover bandits," and the subject of an America's Most Wanted-type show. Cate Blanchett is Kate, a frustrated housewife who falls in love with them both. Joining their crew is Harvey (Troy Garrity), an aspiring stuntman who drives the getaway car... when he's not distracted by the girl in pink boots (January Jones), that is.

Willis and Thornton were fabulously funny together. They needled each other, but underneath, their friendship was rock-solid. Even falling in love with the same woman couldn't split them apart. After all, as Kate said, the two of them together make one perfect man.

Bruce Willis was pretty much Bruce Willis. Billy Bob Thornton's Terry was, on the other hand, not your usual character. He's a hypochondriac, but he's also highly intelligent, and he's not a wimp. And unlike a lot of fiction, he's realistically intelligent--he knows he's neurotic, he just accepts that about himself. Granted, a lot of it was over-the-top, particularly when he'd convinced himself he had a brain tumor, but he just made it so much fun, and the humor never degenerated into silliness.

Cate Blanchett was a surprise to me. I don't believe I'd seen her in a comedy before, and she proved to be an excellent comedienne. Comedy takes more--or at least a different kind of--acting ability than drama, so sometimes it doesn't work. But she held her own. I was also surprised that I could find a married woman running off with two men sympathetic, but once we'd seen her husband, it wasn't a big stretch to root for her.

Bandits is full of great lines. Check out the quotes on the IMDB--it's a good way to tell if you'll enjoy the humor in Bandits. The soundtrack was great, too.

We all loved the movie and will probably buy a copy for our library. Camden even put it on his Christmas list (and complained because I only gave it 4.5 stars).

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I always love watching movies with Bruce Willis! So I probably Netflix it. *chuckle* about Camden complain on your rating of the movies. Does any of your kids and husand read yoiur movie reviews at your blog?
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