Archives for posts with tag: Steve Buscemi

Normally, I struggle to empathize with trashy characters flailing their way through life. Normally, when a film clocks in at two-plus hours, I struggle to understand why it wasn’t 30 minutes shorter. “The King of Staten Island” (2020) is not normal. Pete Davidson’s self-deprecating vanity project benefits greatly from Judd Apatow’s direction and co-writing. You can see his handiwork all over the witty, working-class NYC repartee. And the last half hour feels more like a welcome reward instead of a trudge to the finish, as our twentysomething hero gamely wrestles with the inertia that comes from a lifetime of mourning.

The “Scary Movie” franchise does such an effective job of mocking horror movie conventions, it’s hard to watch “The Dead Don’t Die” (2019) and feel like you haven’t heard these jokes before, because in some cases, you have. Adam Driver and Bill Murray are small-town cops confronted with a slow-motion zombie apocalypse. That’s because zombies walk slow (which is the kind of gag you might see in this movie) but also because the story kind of drags, like a corpse’s partially severed limb. It’s very close to being hilarious (especially Tilda Swinton’s scenes), but ends up too clever by half.

I imagine someone took a Western short story, adapted it for the 1970s as a one-act play called “Shootout at the IRA Corral,” and mailed it to Martin Scorsese with a note saying, “Betcha can’t make a movie like Tarantino!” That’s how I imagine Scorsese ended up executive producing “Free Fire,” which made the 2016 international festival circuit and then bombed at the 2017 U.S. box office. I don’t care. It’s funny. It’s got Irish guys, a cute girl, a bunch of Buscemi-like weasels running around and a dude that looks like he just stepped off the set of “Argo.”