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DVD Review: Smokin’ Aces

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Written by Fumo Verde 

So if it took El Bicho a whole Zip of the Red Diesel to remove this movie from his head, then why would I, Fumo Verde, attempt to watch it on DVD? Well, unlike my compadre El Bicho, I have a higher tolerance for great weed and bad movies– and yes, Smokin' Aces put it to the test. I must admit at times I do love the ultra-violent, bad guy shoot'em-up where everybody gets whacked and the blood pours out of the TV, but these movies should and usually do contain the humor element to lighten or comment on the violence, such as was done in Pulp Fiction.

Unfortunately Smokin' Aces didn't have any funny stuff like that, although I did chuckle when Ben Affleck got shot. Jeremy Piven, who always gets typecast as "the prick," plays a pretty good one here, but my favorite character was Jason Bateman as a wacko lawyer. The best acting came from Alicia Keys, Taraji Henson, and the .50 cal. Damn, I love big guns, and watching a room full of F.B.I. guys get cleared did give this anarchist a Cheshire cat grin, for a moment.

What mystifies me is the thought that the Italian Mafia would outsource for a "hit" so crucial. Don Corleone would be rolling over in his grave if Michael had given the contract to anyone other than Luca Brasi – may he sleep with the fishes. And what’s with the psycho neo-Nazi Road Warriors? Clownshoe mercs like that walk through booby-trapped doors, gets their balls blown off, and then go crying back home to mommy? Here's what gets me, if Aces is on the run, then why hide out in Tahoe? As if the Mob doesn't know where the world’s eighth deepest lake is, come on. Plus, if the Mob were going to do the hit, why not pay off his bodyguard, have that guy take him fishing, and say, "Hi," to Lou for us– know what I mean?

As for plot twists and layers of secrets, babies, I've had a harder time finding Waldo. You could see the end coming before your ass got the seat warm. Would this be a waste of your time? Only if you were wasted and had better things to do. If you are stuck in jury duty and it’s on one of those big TVs in the back, it would give you something to bitch about to the other jurors beside the fact that you're in jury duty.

The extras on this DVD are your usual suspects: interviews, camera work, and assorted crap like that. They also have an alternative ending, but even that doesn’t change how fucked up the movie itself was. If you have to pay more than a dollar to rent it, I say forget about it.

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at