The Ladykillers

DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005

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Starring Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall, Marlon Wayans, J.K. Simmons, Tzi Ma, Ryan Hurst, Diane Delano, George Wallace, John McConnell, Stephen Root
Written By: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Directed By: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Studio: Touchstone Pictures
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The Ladykillers is a remake of the 1955 comedy, and it’s about a southern professor named Professor G.H. Dorr (Tom Hanks) arriving on this old lady’s (Irma P. Hall) doorstep. She’s an elderly church woman who has been mourning the death of her husband, and frequently losing her cat, “pickles.” You don’t know what the professor is up to until he’s behind closed doors with his unusual band of thieves. They plan on robbing the local casino by tunneling from the old lady’s basement, where they practice their “renaissance church music.” The group consist of 5 people. The Professor, and then there’s the loud foul mouth black guy played by Marlon Wayans, the intimating asian guy who’s just known as the “The General” (Tzi Ma). There’s the IBS explosives mountaineer type of guy played by JK Simmons (Oz, Spiderman, Hidalgo). Who I think steals another movie. Then there’s the dumb strong brute played by Ryan Hurst (Remember the Titans, We Were Soldiers). The old lady eventually catches on to their little scheme and tells them to return the money or go to jail. They decide that she needs to be silenced but they run into some trouble.

I Thought the cast was great, and played off each other well. Obviously I’ll see any Tom Hanks movie, though I didn’t see the Terminal. But he’s one of my favorite actors and I enjoy a lot of his movies. He really gets into his character and it makes me laugh when he laughs because of the way he does it. It’s like one of those gasping for air type of laughs. I think it’s been awhile since Tom Hanks has been in a comedy, though this is more of a dark comedy. But still, it’s a change of pace for him and I like that. Irma P. Hall was excellent for her role and I really had a love/hate feeling towards her character. One minute, you liked her and the next you want them to kill her. JK Simmons was really funny and has been in every role since OZ. Who knew the guy had so much comedy in him when he was playing a nazi prisoner? I didn’t even recognize Ryan Hurst playing Lump. He either bulked up for the role a lot or just looked different. Marlon Wayans always plays the loud obnoxious characters and he pulls it off nicely once again. I like how the General hid his cigarette every time the old lady was coming down to the cellar. That’s some skill. The little things made the movie funny. there really wasn’t like laugh out loud moments to the movie. As the film progressed, it got darker and while it’s funny the way things turn out, I’m not necessarily happy with the way it turned out. These were bad guys, true, but they were likable bad guys. I think the dark comedy turned me off towards the movie but I generally thought it was a decent movie.

The extras on here were kind of blah. I think it was lacking something, but what they did have on here weren’t bad. The best feature is the minute plus outtake reel of Marlon Wayans getting SLAPPED over and over and over again. Man that was great to watch. That guy took a fucking beating from Irma P. Hall. Other extras include The Ladykillers scriptscanner feature where you follow the script with the movie. There’s a music featurette with 2 songs from the music church group, and actually those songs aren’t bad! I guess if I was going to be religious, I’d go to one of those churches. There’s a cool 10 minute documentary on the maker of all the musical instruments that were featured in the movie, Danny Ferrington. He’s a guitar maker from Louisiana and has made guitars for Pete Townsend, Kurt Cobain, George Harrison and Johnny Cash. That’s a pretty good resume right there. The extras were all right but there could have been more features on the actual filmmaking.

Overall, The Ladykillers is a satisfying movie that serves as a good dark comedy but if you are turned off by that type of humor, than maybe you should stay away. Tom Hanks fans will enjoy this film though!

– “The Slap Reel” Outtakes
– “Gospel Of The Ladykillers” Deleted Music Scenes
– Danny Ferrington: The Man Behind The Band
– The Ladykillers Script Scanner (Enhanced Computer Feature-DVD Rom)

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)


Favorite Scenes: Pickles and the finger, the fighting between Marlon Wayans and JK Simmons, the slapping of Marlon.
Rating: Rated R
Running Time: 104 minutes
Extras Rating:
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