|Get Shorty (1995)
Starring: John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Dennis Farina, Renee, Russo, Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo, James Gandolfini
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
John Travolta plays Chili Palmer, a New Jersey loan shark who travels to Vegas and then LA to collect a debt. Chili is a movie buff, and soon he decides to take advantage of a movie producer's financial problems to get into the business. Along the way, he has to deal with a variety of oddball characters, including the cheesy movie producer, the thugs who lent him money, his own boss back in Miami and a flaky movie star that Chili is trying to cast in his new picture.
Often in Hollywood all these characters and storylines would add up to a complete mess, but this film is based on a novel by the great Elmore Leonard, so the characters are hilarious and the dialogue is smart and funny. The storylines all compliment each other, as screenwriter Scott Frank and director Barry Sonnenfeld do an excellent job adapting Leonard's novel. The film also draws parallels between the cutthroat movie business and the mob business. From the start, Chili feels right at home in his new career as a movie producer.
Travolta is excellent as the cool and confident Chili, and he's surrounded by a great cast, with terrific performances by Gene Hackman, Dennis Farina, Renee Russo and Danny DeVito. Farina in particular stands out as Ray "Bones" Barboni, the obnoxious Miami mobster who delivers some of the funniest lines of the film.
"Get Shorty" delivers a fun ride that you can enjoy with a date or your friends. With the release of the Special Edition DVD, you'll want to add it to your collection.