Friday, December 29, 2006

Episode 2

CONfidence - Edward Burns, Paul Giamatti, and Brian Van Holt play con men who unknowingly con someone out of a large amount of money belonging to a nut-job criminal played by Dustin Hoffman. Rather than run for their lives, but also not willing to return the money, the three of them decide to run a con for Hoffman's character to repay him. To do so they enlist the help of Rachel Weisz, who plays a pickpocket with nothing to lose. Donal Logue and Luis Guzman are a couple of dirty cops who lend a hand to Burns and his crew on occasion for a cut of their earnings, and Andy Garcia is a federal agent with a grudge who uses Guzman and Logue to get to the con men. I had no knowledge of this movie's existence before it was referred to me by a friend. Going in, it honestly didn't interest me much as you see tons of movies like this one come and go with barely a ripple in the buzz pool. The thing that really made me seek it out was Edward Burns who I've liked since I saw Saving Private Ryan and 15 Minutes. As it turns out, CONfidence proved to be quite worth the rental. First, does anyone out there think that Dustin Hoffman is scary? Of course not. But that's because you haven't seen CONfidence. His character is so crazy that he actually manages to come off as threatening. Sure he's played nutty characters before (i.e. Meet The Fockers), but never anything like this. Then, there's the direction and editing. CONfidence feels fresh and manages to use a lot of cool editing tricks that haven't been played out yet. Particularly of interest was a scene in which Burns and company lay out their plan for the big con at the climax of the movie. As they do so, the viewer sees the actions they're describing taking place as though the job goes off without a hitch. When the scenes they're discussing actually occur later on in the movie, it's very interesting to see how their plans change as the events actually take place in comparison to the preliminary run-through they made previously. When you get right down to it, though, the cast is what really holds the movie together. Burns, Giamatti, and Hoffman, specifically, are the ones who really sell the movie. As I said, worth a rental.

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