Elizabeth’s mom was in town this past week and watched a couple of movies with us. Here’s what she had to say:
Sandy (aka Elizabeth’s mom)
I’ve always liked this movie! Kevin Costner and Andy Garcia look so darn young! Sean Connery was in his Last Crusader-prime. Patricia Clarkson was as beautiful as ever (I used to bake cakes for her Mom in New Orleans!). There are several iconic lines and scenes (Kevin Costner & Andy Garcia in the train station for one) and I enjoyed sharing them with Elizabeth and Chris. I had forgotten how violent some of the scenes are. I had to look away when Robert De Niro picked up a bat and walked around the dinner table….that’s never a good sign. My only complaint was that the soundtrack didn’t seem to go with the movie and was WAY too loud. Or maybe I’m getting older.
I think this was my third time watching this movie and I think I enjoyed it the most upon this viewing. For some reason this is a movie I knew so many people loved but I never really got it. What I remember the most about the first time I watched this was that there wasn’t enough Robert De Niro. I remember him only being in one scene but now I see that he’s in it a little bit more.
Although I did enjoy the movie more this time what really sticks out to me as not good about this movie is the soundtrack. It’s funny cause I love Ennio Morricone from all the great western movies but the music in this film is just kind of awful. IT’S SO FUCKING CHEESY! The scene where they are all riding together and the music swells up telling us “these are the best days of their lives” makes you kind of feel like the movie’s almost over.
So, The Untouchables is just one of those movies that I had never seen before and, after seeing it, I’m really not sure how I managed to not see it before. It’s really good; the story is good, the direction is good, the acting is good, and everyone looks good (especially Kevin Costner . . . damn). The music was surprisingly not very good, considering it was done by Ennio Morricone, but I guess he gets a pass because of all the other amazing stuff he’s done.
I guess the two scenes that stick out the most to me would be, first off, when Eliot (Kevin Costner) and Stone (Andy Garcia) go to Malone (Sean Connery)’s house, only to find him shot up and dying. They see the trail of blood where Malone dragged himself across the house, and Eliot assumes the dying Malone needs comfort. Malone reaches his hand toward a chain he always keeps with him that has a saint on it and Eliot puts it in his hand, assuming he wants to die holding it. Up to this point, Malone has been a pretty take-no-shit, use-violence-when-necessary, get-the-bad-guy-at-whatever-cost kind of guy. So, it’s not a surprise when Malone tosses the chain aside and keeps reaching, and Eliot realizes he’s reaching for a paper. He gives the paper to Malone, when Malone tells Eliot that it’s the train schedule that will lead them to Al Capone’s bookkeeper, the last piece of the puzzle that will allow them to arrest Capone, whom they were after and was responsible for the death of their other partner, Wallace (Charles Martin Smith) and is about to be responsible for Malone’s death. Malone dies, and Eliot and Stone are pissed and upset. I knew Sean Connery died in The Untouchables but I didn’t know he died in quite such a bloody way, but considering his character up to that point, it was a pretty badass and funny (at least when he tossed the chain aside) way for him to go.
The other memorable scene for me is the shootout in the train station. For being a shootout, it’s really incredibly elegant. It’s also appropriately tense, with Eliot eying a woman struggling to get her baby carriage up the stairs while keeping an eye on the doors as he waits for the bookkeeper. While the woman and her baby don’t end up ruining anything, I thought that this scene had a potential for going in our Kids Ruin Everything movie bank, but I guess they didn’t (this time) . I was also really struck by how awesome/crazy Andy Garcia was; he stops the baby carriage at the foot of the stairs while armed and aimed at one of the Capone guards. He shoots the guard in the head without missing a beat, and I know I’m not a gun person, but the way he was able to hold his arm up in the position he was in without flinching seemed pretty impressive.
When ensemble pieces are good, they are so good, and The Untouchables really is just so good.