Friday, June 27, 2014

American Buffalo (1996)

This would have been perfect for my salute to Loveable Losers…. Well, except these characters are assholes. 

Synopsis: It’s basically 88 minutes of two - sometimes three -  lowlifes arguing over how to commit a robbery...that never takes place!! 

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: "Two-time Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman (RAINMAN, KRAMER VS. KRAMER) and two-time Emmy Award winner Dennis Franz (NYPD BLUE) deliver a tour-de-force performance as volatile small-tiem hustlers in this edgy, electrifying story of trust, betrayal and loyalty gone dangerously awry."

What Did I Learn?: 1) "We live like cavemen." 2) "The world is lies. There is no friendship." 3) It's a good idea to know all the facts before you smack somebody in the head with a telephone.


Really?: Oh wow – take a drink every time Don (Dennis Franz) or Teach (Dustin Hoffman) make a point by adding: “Am I right?” This rhetorical device gets old, fast. 

Rating: I wanted to like American Buffalo more than I did. While Hoffman and Franz share some nice chemistry (the third actor, Sean Nelson, is also quite good), and I generally enjoy David Mamet’s work, this film left me a bit cold. For starters, the robbery never happens; heck, nothing really happens! I like character-driven movies, so this wouldn’t be a problem if these guys were interesting, or even remotely likeable, but they aren’t – Teach is especially annoying, and you have to wonder why Don puts up with him. 6/10 stars.

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