Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 01 February 2013 01:00

'Stand Up Guys' Falls Flat

'Stand Up Guys' Falls Flat www.standupguysfilm.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

  • Director: Fisher Stevens
  • Dates: Opens February 1, 2013

Val, don't call him by his given name Valentine, gets out of prison after 28 years' incarceration. Best friend and colleague Doc greets Val upon his release with a job to do--Doc must kill Val. No dummy, Val knows and thus begins a long night of nostalgia and philosophizing, regrets and resignation.

With Al Pacino as Val and Christopher Walken as Doc, the somewhat clichéd situation should unfold with sparks flying and tension palpable. Would that this were true. Unfortunately, the content struggles to rise to sophomoric levels and occasionally sinks to totally embarrassing. It's so dispiriting to watch these two master actors exchange inane dialogue about juvenile situations. They'd thrive on banter they could sink their teeth into, on grappling with mature issues that would ignite exciting synergy. And they certainly could handle any challenge.

Instead in his first feature, writer Noah Haidle takes Doc and Val multiple times to a local whorehouse, a boring bar, clothes shopping, a deserted diner, and a hospital emergency room because Val took a handful of Viagra and suffers the consequences. In another pointless interlude, Doc and Val face down ludicrously stupid thugs, and in yet another they spring veteran getaway driver Hirsh (Alan Arkin) from a retirement home for a joy ride in a stolen car. The scene belongs in a teen comedy with Arkin's talent insensitively wasted. So too is wonderful Julianna Margulies as nurse Nina and Mark Margolis as Claphands, the mob boss who's put out the hit because Val accidentally killed his son.

Where have the good screenwriters gone? Is this really the most imaginative scenario that could be greenlighted? Haidle has no sense of rhythm, especially given that Pacino and Walken are like oil and water, Pacino full of nervous, coiled energy and Walken a study in subdued restraint. Playing with this dichotomy ought to be fun; it isn't, though like the pros they are, each actor delivers a fine performance.

In his premiere narrative feature, director Fisher Stevens nicely avoids overdoing atmospheric music, but his merely serviceable compositions fail to deliver any captivating nuances. Of course, the actors must be front and center, but in that regard Pacino, Walken and Arkin deserve so much better than "Stand Up Guys."

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr
KDHX Blog

Local Artist Spotlight


Tok Releases Gold Dollar Hen House Volume 3

Tue April 8
Tok is a Festus based rock band who has been rocking St. Louis for 20 years. They are due to release their third installment of their Gold Dollar Hen House collection on February 28, 2014 at Schlafly's…

KDHX Recommends

April
Saturday
19

Get Down To Business: Getting Booked Locally and Beyond

Ever wondered how to get that talent buyer to open your emails?  KDHX is here to help.   Join St. Louis promoters Steve Pohlman of Off Broadway, Brian McCormac of The Old Rock House, and Mike Cracciolo of The...


April
Tuesday
22

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions: Worm-A-Rama

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions presents Earth Day Worm-A-Rama with Jean Ponzi on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30pm at The Stage. This visual-musical celebration of living on earth will feature musical guest, Augusta Bottoms Consort, tuneful...


April
Wednesday
23

Jimbo Mathus

KDHX welcomes Jimbo Mathus to Off Broadway on April 23th.   For more info, offbroadwaystl.com.


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

5 users and 8285 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook