Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Bandits

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Strong language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and situations, including adultery and teen sex
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking and smoking
Violence/Scariness:Shoot-outs, characters in peril
Diversity Issues:All lead characters are white
Movie Release Date:2001

In the grand tradition of Butch and Sundance and Hope and Crosby, we have Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) and Joe (Bruce Willis), two charming rascals in love with the same woman. They don’t want to hurt anyone; they just want to rob enough banks to let them retire to paradise (a resort in Mexico) and live lives of “tuxedos and margaritas.”

The story is told in flashback, starting with a stakeout at a bank robbery that appears to have gone very wrong, and then going back in time to the duo’s impulsive jailbreak and the start of their career as the “sleepover bandits.” Instead of charging into a bank with guns blazing, they spend the night before the robbery with the bank manager, and walk into the bank before opening time the next morning. As happens only in movies, they become loveable folk heroes, and people actually enjoy being robbed by them.

A would-be stuntman mesmerized by a beautiful hitchhiker (Troy Garrity) and an unhappy runaway wife (Cate Blanchett, sensational in auburn hair and teal high-fashion attire) join the gang. Then there are some more robberies and some getaways and some funny disguises (my favorite is the Neal Young sideburns) and something about a romantic triangle. But the movie is really about the conversations and throwaway repartee, deftly directed by Barry Levinson (“Diner”) and impeccably delivered by the cast. Thornton is terrific as the guy who always thinks he is the smartest person in the room (and usually is), but who has “issues” with everything from germs to antique furniture to the hair of former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Blanchett is magnificent, especially dancing in the kitchen as she whips up a gourmet meal. Azura Skye has a nice small part as a teenager who told her parents she would be staying with a friend when they were out of town.

This is really a movie for grown-ups, not because the language or violence or sexuality is any more intense than any other PG-13, but because it is just not something most kids will appreciate. Parents should know that it does have some strong language (including a crude reference to a gynecological problem), some violence, and sexual references and situations, including teen sex and adultery.

Families who see this movie should talk about whether it is true that no one is hurt when money is stolen from a bank and whether robbers become folk heroes in real life and what the film-makers do to get audiences to root for the “bad guys.” Why is it so easy for us to be on the side of characters in movies that we would want arrested in real life? At one point, Terry says to Kate (Blanchett’s character), “I don’t think you’re crazy. I think you’re bored.” Later Kate says, “I think it’s better to feel too much than to feel too little.” How did she get into a situation where she felt too little, and how did that change?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kidand Bull Durham (Special Edition)(mature material) and a made-for-cable movie based on an Alice Tyler book, Earthly Possessions, starring Susan Sarandon.



Previous Posts

Horrible Bosses 2
Maybe it's just the proximity to the horrible "Dumb and Dumber To," but the cheerily offensive "Horrible Bosses 2" made me laugh. Full warning -- it begins with an elaborate sight gag as our hapless he

posted 5:58:28pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Penguins of Madagascar
The most adorable characters from the first three animated "Madagascar" movies were the penguins, the seldom right but never in doubt leader Skipper (Tom McGrath), the often right but never listened to

posted 5:17:32pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Coming Soon: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, the Miniseries
Susanna Clarke's novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is one of those delicious stories that transports the reader to another world, so enthralling that it is difficult to leave. The setting is historical, England in 1806, as the Napoleonic Wars are being fought on land and at sea. Most peopl

posted 3:58:53pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Jurassic World with Christ Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RFinNxS5KN4?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 3:53:04pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Listen In as Betty Jo Tucker, A.J. Hakari and I Discuss the December Movie Releases
Thanks to Betty Jo Tucker for inviting me back on her show -- this afternoon we will be discussing the big holiday season releases, including "Unbroken," "Inherent Vice," and "Into the Woods."

posted 6:38:57am Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.