*** Official "BANDITS" Review Thread

Patrick Sun

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Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton team up again as bank robbers in the new film by Barry Levinson called "Bandits".
I found this film to be pretty refreshing, and the amount of human comedy in this film made the time go by pretty fast. There was some serious chuckles in this film, and the audience (mainly over 25 years of age) had a good time with not only the Willis and Thornton characters, but also Cate Blanchette's character, and a wannabe stunt man who doubles as the get-away driver in the bank robberies.
The main 3 actors, Willis, Thornton, and Blanchette, all deliver very good performances, and seem to just be having a great time with their roles in this docu-comedy. Thornton does get plenty of humor from his character's quirks. If you like any of these actors, you'll enjoy their work in this film, it's just pretty zany, just not Zucker-zany.
And the best part is that a lot of the laughs are not given away in the trailer for this film. And I found the conclusion very satisfying.
Barry Levinson sprinkles this film with his deft direction, and most of it pays off throughout the film.
I rate it 3.5 stars, or a grade of A-.
 

Alex Spindler

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* A few spoilers ahead *
I must agree. This was an excellent comedy in my eyes, and a welcome entry in fairly non-telegraphed comedy at that.
All of the characters are likeable, which I wouldn't initially expect based on the cardboard charicatures they could have been. I mean, imagine a movie that could have characters defined by Hypochondriac, Anger Management, Dumb Stuntman, Neurotic Woman. But this movie always surprised me, and often several times.
Cate is wonderful, and seems a likely object of affection. Bruce looks to be having a great time and I never felt like he was relying on older characters he's played in other movies. Billy Bob was quite good, and provides an excellent physical comedy at several points in the film. The stuntman (Troy Garity) may have been a little too dumb for his own good, but they never dwelled on it.
The script was also fairly good, with breezy dialogue that rarely felt too overly scripted, which could have been a problem with Billy Bobs character. The ending was also excellent, and I certainly wasn't aware of where they it was heading until it was revealed to all of us.
The direction was only occasionally gimicky, and it wasn't distracting. The use of handhelds through some sections is well explained, and works in the documentary/flashback nature of the film.
All in all, I think my first pass at this film rates it as an A. A great entry for 2001.
 

Robert Crawford

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This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Bandits". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread. Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning! If you need to discuss those type of issues, I will designate an Official Discussion Thread once the film opens or a member starts a thread to discuss "Bandits".
Again, without warning, I will delete all posts that are not a HTF member review!
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Crawdaddy
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Peter Staddon: "I didn't say you can put 'Monkeybone' back!"
 

Brett_B

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I felt that Bandits was a very good movie with great acting.
As far as the ending is concerned:
Spoiler:I was disappointed with it for the fact that it was telegraphed early in the movie.
Overall, I would give it 3 out of 4 stars.
Brett B.
 

Chuck C

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I enjoyed Bandits, especially the beginning and end.
Spoiler:I like when BB Thorton woke up yelling "beavers and ducks, and the very end had me on the floor with the whole stunt scene!

It seemed like Barry Levinson was trying too hard with the dual love situation, and some of those scenes left me feeling uneasy. However, joe and terry were true friends thru thick and thin, which I thought was gratifying.
I felt the music worked in some scenes and failed in others.
Overall grade: B, go see it...it's bruce willis for goodness sakes!
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Chuck
http://www.hometheaterinsider.com
 

JohnS

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I felt like this movie was just average at best.
I thought that Willis, Thorton and Blanchett had brought nothing interesting on the screen.
But I did laugh at two things BB Thorton said(Beavers and Ducks!)
The movie was sort of messy and bland at times.
But I did think the ending was pretty clever.
On a technical side: A few of the camera shots were down right horrible.
RATING=C
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Allen Hirsch

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I come out more in the Patrick camp, of the reviews here so far. I give it an A-, also. Quirky without being TOO offbeat, it uses humor in more human situations that help make it work, not in gross-out "humor", or "clever just to be clever" ways, IMO.
It's refreshing to see an "adult" buddy/comedy/heist film that's PG-13, too (I took my 14-year-old son, who enjoyed it, as well).
I enjoyed this a lot. It could have been done much worse, but the acting was superb overall (extra kudos to Blanchett and Thornton), which saved the premise/plot when it could have worn thin, IMO.
I thought the ending was perfect for the kind of movie it was. The love triangle thing made me uncomfortable at times, but that was more the concept and the plot/dialog at those particular points, but it didn't derail the movie too far.
Very good/enjoyable soundtrack, lots of nice moments that brought up or paid homage to Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, It Happened One Night, and Bonnie and Clyde. I laughed out loud at more lines and premises in this than almost any movie since probably There's Something About Mary - so it sure succeeded on some level for me.
 

Jason Whyte

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