Due to a very late screening time, I didn't have as much space in this week's paper to write about Killing Them Softly as I would have liked. I only had enough space to talk about how it's an action drama about a fixer (Brad Pitt) called in after a card game heist upsets Boston's criminal community. And I talked about how the men in the movie like to talk a whole lot. But I didn't write about how the movie is set during the 2008 financial collapse, which gives all the old-school bureaucratic mob chatter a whole new level of depth. I wasn't able to get into all that; I only had a couple hundred words to get across the fact that I really liked the movie.
There were other things that I didn't get to write about: The fact that the only female speaking part I remember in the movie is a hooker whose most memorable line is "fuck you" seems important. The filmmakers could almost have gotten away with making this movie entirely without female cast members at all, which would have been controversial, but it certainly would have underscored the theme that this is a movie about men and the terrible ruts they get stuck in. I didn't mention how the movie ties in neatly with director Andrew Dominik's previous movie, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, turning the two into bookends about violence, and the way people talk about violence. I didn't get to drool all over some of Dominik's stylistic choices—the opening scene, especially, which cynically juxtaposes a speech by then-candidate Obama with urban despair, is brilliant—and praise the acting as much as it deserved. James Gandolfini, as a washed-up hitman, would've earned the majority of my praise, even though Pitt is excellent, too.
But you know? In the end, I'm okay with that. When you're putting out a weekly paper, you have to fit the word count, and sometimes less is more. The original review should stand as it's written.