Tag Archives: ellen Barkin

Operation: Endgame

When a government assassin known as The Fool (Joe Anderson) arrives at a classified underground facility for his first day of work, he discovers the boss has been killed. Now, he must uncover the murderer before they all lose their jobs — or their lives. Stars making appearances in this action-packed comedy include Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Dinner for Scmucks) Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction), Ellen Barkin (Brooklyn’s Finest), Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine), Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show), Jeffrey Tambor and Maggie Q.

Rating: 4 out of 10

I saw Zach Galifianakis on the cover of the DVD, so I grabbed it. But there are a bunch of other actors that make me laugh, like Corddry, Odenkirk and I really like Rhames and Barkin. I figured I couldn’t lose.

The movie started off fine. They set up an action/comedy with a solid enough story where a group of spies and assassins will be killed if they can’t escape their underground office, which is below ground and sealed away from above. We get some great laughs by some ridiculous characters. Galifinakis and Corddry were great — the former a sharp shooter who lost his rights to be an assassin from gaining too much weight, Corddry a foul-mouthed alcoholic who spews insane insults. Ultimately, though, this film is amateurish. First-time director Fouad Mikati had a lot of talent at his disposal and failed to make it work. There were some moments that definitely made me laugh, but the humor was also squashed at times by being too crass. I feel the same way about swearing as I do about violence, they both have to be done right to work.

Ultimately, the movie turned into a dramatic action film, got less funny, but was harder to watch. You could do worse if you’re in the mood for a comedic action flick, but you could do a lot better, too. I would suggest “The Other Guys.”

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Brooklyn’s Finest

Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun) directs this tense drama about three New York cops whose paths collide in a Brooklyn housing project where each must make a decision that will change the course of their lives forever. Cynical, washed-up Eddie (Richard Gere) no longer cares about the job or the rules; cash-strapped Sal (Ethan Hawke) sees a shortcut to solvency; and Tango (Don Cheadle) is torn between conflicting loyalties. Ellen Barkin and Wesley Snipes co-star.

Rating: 8 out of 10

This is one of those movies I rave about to people only to have them turn around and say, “That was awful! It was so dark.”

It’s true, I have a liking for dark cinema, and this is no exception. Antoine Fuqua brings us a sharp film about the more realistic side of being a cop, and it’s a multi-faceted one. There is no one type of anything, let alone police officers. Fuqua does a great job at looking at the world they live in, the crime they see, and the internal and external conflicts they endure. The performances are excellent.

We follow the lives of an undercover officer dealing with drugs and organized crime, a lazy cop seven days from retirement, and a family man who can’t afford to support his family who tries to steal from drug dealers. It’s not an uplifting story by any stretch, but it’s a good one, and it’s ending is unexpected and intense.

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