DVD Reviews | Apr 25th, 2007
Starring Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Andy Garcia, Common, Alicia Keys, Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta, Jason Bateman
Written By: Joe Carnahan
Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Buy on Amazon.com link
Smokin’ Aces seemed like a fun and cool movie to see. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see it in the theaters because i’m a cheap bastard. With an all-star cast, a cool plot, lots of violence, and Alicia Keys in skimpy clothing..this all makes for one entertaining popcorn flick!
Smokin’ Aces is about high stature Las Vegas illusionist Buddy “Aces” Israel who hasn’t been playing nice. He’s been giving away mob secrets and is going to testify against them. A million dollars is being issued to the man or group that kills Aces. So now every hitman, assassin, bounty hunter, murderer and complete psychos want this guy dead. Meanwhile, the FBI have been listening to all of this stuff that’s gonna go down so they try to head off all the crazy killers. Buddy decides to party in Lake Tahoe with a bunch of drugs, hookers and anything else you can think of before he heads off for protective custody. But that’s where all the assassins decide to get him and where the FBI try to rescue Aces from almost certain death.
I didn’t really know anything about Smokin’ Aces except it looked cool and it had a lot of people in the movie. After seeing the movie, I thought the storyline was a little confusing at times. There’s so many damn people in this, it’s hard to keep track of who everyone is. Plus, when you first see each character, the director’s decides to have some flashy cool special effect for them. If you blink, you might miss who they are and have to put the pieces together later on in the film. I thought the acting was great, and some had some funny lines. I was amused by the neo-Nazi psycho rednecks and enjoyed when they were on the screen. I hate Alicia Keys but she was nice to look at in this film and I don’t really find her that attractive. I guess that’s the beauty of film huh? Jeremy Piven was okay in the film, but he really didn’t do a whole lot except look really freakin’ wasted on screen. I liked Ryan Reynolds’ character because I’m glad to see he’s getting out of that Van Wilder phase. Maybe it’s the beard that’s helping him pick more maturer roles?
The bonus features on the DVD include some featurettes, deleted scenes, funny outtakes, an alternate ending and more. I first watched the deleted scenes and there was a few scenes that were interesting but in the end, I can see why they were cut. I think I liked the outtakes the most. Ryan Reynolds and Ray Liotta had a lot of funny outtakes together and were improvising after the director yelled cut. There’s a funny sequence of cuts of Ben Affleck trying to sink a ball in the corner pocket. I actually liked the alternate ending better than the original because it was the more bad-ass version. The theatrical version, you kind of sense it’s gonna happen and is slowed down a lot more. I like the simple & fast approach better. There’s a few other extras on the DVD but I didn’t get a chance to see them.
I think if the movie was more focused and not all over the place, it could have been a great film in the same vein as Pulp Fiction (which people were comparing it to). There’s just too many flaws in the film for it be declared a classic or anything. I still think the movie is pure entertainment and I’m sure the majority of you will like this film in some form. While I was confused with the plot and who some of the characters were; I still ended up enjoying this movie.
Alternate Ending and 18 Minutes of Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
Shoot ‘Em Up: Stunts & Effects
Uncover the secrets behind some of the film’s most action-packed scenes!
And Much More!
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Favorite Scenes: The weird lake scene when Affleck became a puppet, Alicia Keys adjusting herself, and I just liked seeing everyone meeting up at the same time to get Aces
Running Time: 109 minutes