Itâ€™s slick, it moves and itâ€™s fun without being a great movie. In 1999, John Travolta played Chilli Palmer in hit novelist Elmore Leornardâ€™s â€˜Get Shortyâ€™. â€˜Be Coolâ€™ is the sequel and has Chilli Palmer growing bored of the movie business which he broke into in â€˜Get Shortyâ€™ and switching to the music world. He has a few problems to overcome like the Russian Mafia, an African American band that part times as vicious gangsters, a white man who wants to be black and the missing contract of a Beyonce-like singer who is worth taking on all obstacles for. John Travoltaâ€™s Chilli is helped and helps a recently widowed music executive played by Uma Thurman. Beautifully paced and full of colour and style â€˜Be Coolâ€™ has choppy camerawork
that takes us from one scene to another in a timelessness that takes us a little getting used to. Says John Travolta, â€œChilli never really worries about anything. Heâ€™s a created character that is based on confidence, and even if heâ€™s not you would never know if.â€
â€˜Be Coolâ€™ is the second time that Thurman and Travolta have danced sexily together â€” the first being in â€˜Pulp Fictionâ€™ which was etched on everyoneâ€™s memory. Says Thurman, â€œThe initial hook was to team up with John again. We had such a good time, it was 10 years ago, and when I perused the dance scene I was like, you know, Iâ€™ve been here before.â€ Expect only to be entertained with glitz, glamour and gorgeous singing in â€˜Be Coolâ€™ and be as hypnotised as everyone by Travoltaâ€™s ultracool performance. â€˜Criminalâ€™ is a movie that traces a day in the life of two confidence tricksters who are conning each other and waiters, grandmothers, even friends. Richard played by John C Reilly meets Rodrigo portrayed by Diego Luna and mentors him into the world of conning or so it seems. Based on the film Nine Queens from Argentina, â€˜Criminalâ€™ has more twists than Wai Wai noodles. Reilly and Luna hit the big time when they come across an antique treasury document that a collector is willing to pay any price for.
And then the mind games begin. Diego Luna says, â€œItâ€™s refreshing to see a movie where people donâ€™t use guns, and thereâ€™s no killing. Its just all about the brain, you know, and its all about lying and all about, I donâ€™t know, yeah. Itâ€™s all about the brain.â€ Everyoneâ€™s brain is scrambled including the audienceâ€™s. Some people would consider â€˜Criminalâ€™ an immoral look at the world of conmen. But Reilly says, â€œWhen you see the cons from their perspective, that doesnâ€™t make it any more sympathetic.â€ My advice is that you watch the movie really carefully because nothing is what is it seems. Director Gregory Jacobs, who has made a solid little film that is entertaining and, in its own way, both suspenseful and puzzling, says, â€œI tried to layer in, you know, whether it be looks, or props, or certain things that I felt like were hints, maybe,
at sort of what was going on and whoâ€™s doing what to whom.â€ You arenâ€™t going to discover films that make you want to rush about saying â€œEureka,â€ but yourâ€™e going to have a good time and thatâ€™s more than you can say about most movies.