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"Be Cool" - {Bluray}
Reviewed by: Kim Anehall
Genre: Comedy
Video: Widescreen Anamorphic 1080p
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Languages English, French
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Cantonese
Length 120 min
Rating PG-13
Release Date June 7, 2005
Studio MGM/Fox
Commentary: None
Documentaries: ““Be Cool, Very Cool” Making of Documentary”
Featurettes: “Close-Up Featurette: Dance Partners”, “Close-Up Featurette: The Rock”, “Close-Up Featurette: André 3000”, “Close-Up Featurette: Cedric the Entertainer”, ”Close-Up Featurette: Christina Milian”
Filmography/Biography: None
Interviews: None
Trailers/TV Spots: “Theatrical Trailer”
Alternate/Deleted Scenes: “14 Deleted Scenes”
Music Video: “The Rock as Elliot Wilhelm, "You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man"”
Other: “Gag Reel”, “Other Great MGM Releases”
Cast and Crew: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Vince Vaughn, Cedric the Entertainer, André 3000, Steven Tyler, Robert Pastorelli, Christina Milian, Paul Adelstein, Debi Mazar, Gregory Alan Williams, Harvey Keitel, The Rock, Danny DeVito, James Woods
Written By: Elmore Leonard (novel), Peter Steinfeld (screenplay)
Produced By: Danny DeVito, David Nicksay, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher
Directed By: F. Gary Gray
Music: John Powell
The Review:

Be Cool opens with ex-mobster Chili Palmer (John Travolta) scorning sequels, as he says “But sometimes you have to do it the studio way.” The irony in this scene reflects on the notion that this is the sequel to Get Shorty (1995) where Chili travels to Hollywood in order to collect money and to his amazement discovers that the film industry has close resemblance with the workings of the underworld. This time the audience quickly learns that Chili has grown tired of the movie industry and wants to revamp his career. Through an incident where his friend Tommy Athens (James Woods) is shot in broad daylight by the ruthless Russian mafia and an altercation at a nightclub he decides to enter the music industry. This is a business that unfortunately has claimed several artists’ lives such as Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG, but in this version the audience will experience a highly amusing gangster tale in the music world. ***

Chili is the epitome of coolness as he always says and does the right things at the right time. He never fails for a second, as he continues to stay two steps ahead of those who move in on his turf. Calmness surrounds his persona that never budges to pressure or threats, as he pursues his new career as a producer in the music industry. Several characters comment on Chili’s aspirations as a new up and coming music producer, and they all say his ideas are too lofty and will never work. Yet, Chili gains peoples trust and interest through his cool existence, which always remains polite and helpful even at gunpoint. ***

Through careful management of people, Chili quickly climbs the ranks as a music producer, as he signs his first talent Linda Moon (Christina Milian) who he simply frees from another record company. This however draws bad blood between him and those who wants to keep Linda under contract. In particular, there is a minor co-producer with an inferiority complex called Raji (Vince Vaughn) who pulls his self-denying gay bodyguard Elliot Wilhelm (The Rock) into a messy situation where he attempts to find a way to get Chili out of his way through any means possible. To further complicate things Chili also finds himself inheriting Tommy’s debt of $300,000 to Sin LaSalle (Cedric the Entertainer), a money hungry music mogul, and the Russian mafia wants nothing else than removing Chili from the face of the planet. ***

In this intriguing jumble of comical side plots, music, and guns it will bring the audience through a guilty pleasure of laughter and amusement that keeps the wink in the eye. Ultimately, Chili ties it all together with his cool presence, as he continues as if it was business as usual. Much of the enjoyment rests with in F. Gary Gray’s direction that makes another funny and intriguing tale. Another element that elevates the film’s quality is the wide range of music in the film as it uses country, rap, rock, and much more. The film also offers several interesting cameos that will elevate the film’s cool feeling that film tries to induce. Be Cool might not measure up with his debut film Friday (1995), or The Italian Job (2003) when it comes to action, but he will definitely offer something to laugh about while leave the audience entertained. ***

Image and Sound:

Be Cool received top-notch Blu-ray transfer.This comes with a Video resolution: 1080p that is delivered with the aspect ratio 2.40:1. Slight edge enhancement can be noticed if one looks for it, but this is only minute and it does not influence the visual experience. The colors on the other hand are extremely solid, especially the black levels which feel very genuine. Overall the image is clear and very good, as is expected with newer films. ***

The sound on the Blu-ray is good, which comes in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 The sound brings an authentic experience to the viewer while it utilizes the speakers efficiently with dialogues, actions sounds, and the music in the film. The subwoofer gets a little exercise through some of the music and the actions sounds, which elevates the visual experience. *** ---

The Extras:

The Blu-ray comes with a number of extras including deleted scenes, an amusing music video, and several close-ups with artists in the film. In addition, there is a documentary from the making of the film and gag reel, which adds a little extra for those who want to see more of the scenes behind the scenes. ***

“Be Cool, Very Cool” Making of Documentary – offers some for those who desire to see more of what happened behind the camera. This documentary is about 20 minutes in running time and it shows some excerpts from the film. The filmmakers and the cast present most of the information, which focuses on John Travolta’s character and it talks a little about how he and Uma Thurman reunited in the film, as they brought back some of the magic from Pulp Fiction. ***

Deleted Scenes – here one can find 14 deleted or altered scenes, and some of these scenes are actually pretty good. However, they do not convey any additional information that would be needed to enhance the story. One of the better scenes is the after the game scene with Phil Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith. ***

Gag Reel – a seven minute journey through some of the bloopers from the set. Unfortunately, this gag reel does not provide an even level of good quality of the bloopers, as portions are rather dull. ***

The Rock as Elliot Wilhelm, "You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man – is presented by F. Gary Gray, as he mentions that this is a very “wrong” music video. However, he also says that it is a comical video that should be seen, and yes he is absolutely right about this. ***

Close-Ups – there are five close-ups that provide interesting views on how it was to work with the different actors and musicians in the film. It actually turns into a feast of complements from the F. Gary Gray, but it also displays his professionalism and appreciation for the cast members. The actors that are being commented on in these five close-ups are Uma Thurman, John Travolta, The Rock, André 3000, Cedric the Entertainer and Christina Milian. ***

Trailers – the DVD also has a theatrical trailer of the film, and some other trailers from films such as Get Shorty and Barbershop 2. There are also some images from other releases from MGM and a promo of the Be Cool soundtrack. *** ---

Commentary: None
Final Words: This Blu-ray versio of Be Cool is by no means a great film, but it is funny, entertaining, and smooth. Some would term it a guilty pleasure, and others a funny comedy. Nonetheless, it is definitely worth watching on a rainy day and maybe a purchase if one likes any of the actors in the film. Ultimately, Be Cool is predictable, yet entertaining and will amuse while causing solid resonant laughter. ***


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