Bullet Head (2017)
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Critic Reviews for Bullet Head
Malkovich has built a career mumbling his way through one disastrous movie after another, but this time he's got company.
Mostly, though, "Bullet Head" is about the characters and the crackling dialogue, and the first-rate actors giving just the right spin to their lines.
With too little freshness for crime-drama devotees, too many furry corpses for animal lovers and a thoroughly predictable wrap-up, Bullet Head ultimately screws the pooch
A meh title belies a gripping and resourceful crime-thriller in writer-director Paul Solet's impressive "Bullet Head."
The film's main draw is its cast, all of whom have seen more illustrious career days but nonetheless can still deliver the goods.
Audience Reviews for Bullet Head
I may have mentioned this in a prior review, for what movie I don't even remember, but the first 'What I wanna be when I grow up' career choice was to be a veterinarian. If you were to ask what I wanted to be when I was 10, that would have been my first choice. And, for the longest time, that is what I wanted to do. It, sadly, didn't pan out. I don't think I'd have the stomach to put animals, that families love, down even if it's what's best for the animal, to be put to sleep to end their pain. I love animals and always have, ever since I could remember. It's probably due to the fact that, out of the years that I've been alive (THIRTY of them, ladies and gents), I've had pets for 28 of those. I've had three dogs, two rabbits, an indoor cat and a bunch of other outdoor cats that live in the garage. The last two are the current that I'm 'dealing' with, if you could call it that. One of my dreams, though, has always been to have a farm where I can have far more animals than this for them to roam freely. All kinds of different animals too, not just cats and dogs. I had to put the last dog I had to sleep. He was in my life for FIFTEEN years, starting from when I was 10 until I hit 25. It was one of the most difficult things I've had to do in my entire life. I know people will be like 'it's just a dog' and those people are dumbfucks who have no idea the bond that you form with a dog. As cliche as it sounds, I do feel like he was my best friend and losing him was a massive blow that I'm still not over. The reason I bring this up is because, quite frankly, this was a surprising little movie. In that it uses its crime thriller set-up to explore the relationships between these characters and their dogs. Yes, really. I mean, obviously, the film is much more than that, since you get to explore the characters a bit and why they are in the situation they are at the start of the film. But the film is more concerned about the relationship between man's best friend and, well, man. The movie starts simply enough, after a heist these three fugitives find refuge in, what they think is, an abandoned factory. But, oh no, it is not just any abandoned factory. This factory was used to conduct illegal dog-fighting and one of the dogs that was meant to be...put down, executed more like it, after losing his last fight has escaped and is now roaming free. He also killed his handler, which I can't say I was sorry to see happen, even if it is a fictional setting. So the film, sort of plays like Cujo, but it really doesn't. Because the scenes where the dog is chasing after Walker, Stacy and Gage (who's always referred to as the kid by the other two) only comprise like, maybe, less than 50% of the movie. I will say that, perhaps, one of the flaws of the movie is that there's too much standing around and having the characters tell their stories of their past misdeeds or, in the case of Gage, the dog that he took care of as a little kid, keeping it a secret from his father. And I get those complaints, but I found these little sections of the film to still be enjoyable enough. As short as the movie is, I think it helps flesh out the characters a little bit. Not that I'm gonna say that the characters themselves are anything more than one-dimensional. Stacy wants to leave this life behind to join the love of his life, but he doesn't feel like he can put the past behind him. Walker's too old for this shit. And the kid, well, he's just using to feed his drug addictions, I think. So I think the guys telling stories of their past helps, if even just a little bit, give you more of an insight into who they are as people. And, really, the cast is likable and solid enough at what they do that they end up making it work regardless. Naturally, you also explore the dog's past, with some scenes taking place from his viewpoint, and you see how this asshole (Antonion Banderas) took him off the street when he was a puppy and turned him into a killing machine. Like I said, the cast is more than solid. Adrien Brody has literally done nothing of importance (other than King Kong) since winning that Academy Award. But I also appreciate the fact that, after winning his Oscar, he could have pretty much commanded any role he wanted since he would have been in demand. But he's mostly stuck to smaller, independent films. I don't know if it was by his own choice or he fucked someone he shouldn't have and got blacklisted. John Malkovich did mumble a lot here, but I like him, so he was enjoyable even if he was shooting at 60% capacity. Rory Culkin is a good actor and, while he's not in the movie for long, he still does a good job. Antonio Banderas while, again, as one-dimensional as our leads, makes for a good enough villain. The film isn't really afraid to get into the deep and dark underbelly of dog-fighting and that leads to some scenes that might be a little disturbing to people. You don't actually see dogs fighting, just the sounds and tufts of hair flying in the air, blood spurting out, etc, but I think it does get the job done at portraying how fucked up this world is. I find the idea of animals fighting to their death for the entertainment of human beings to be absolutely deplorable. And I live in a country where cock-fighting is still legal. I abhor cock-fighting, I abhor bullfights, I abhor dog-fighting and everyone that engages in these or any similar activities should be removed from society. I don't mean killed, just sent away to some facility where they can correct this unacceptable behavior. Moving on, however. Perhaps, objectively speaking, I should consider this movie average. But, subjectively, I enjoyed my time with this movie. Maybe it's just that stories like this always get to me, but I can't say that I ever disliked a single solitary second of watching this movie. I enjoyed the characters, I enjoyed the exploration of the relationships between dogs and their owners and I thought mixing it up with the crime thriller genre made for a surprisingly interesting combination that yields some unexpected results. I can't say that I would recommend this movie, since I don't think I was that objective. But, again, I did enjoy my time with this movie. I was expecting a generic crime thriller and, while it did have hints of that, I felt that it did enough that was its own for it to avoid being just another crime thriller in a sea of millions, at least how I view it.
There are worse ways to spend your time than watching Oscar level actors figuring out how to best spend their time. But there are far superior crime-caper-gone-wrong movies you can spend your own on.
There's a certain breed of dog owner that takes enjoyment from placing treats near their animal and then uttering "wait for it". The entertainment value comes by how much control the owner exerts, how long can they keep the animal waiting against its own nature. Unfortunately, here is an entire film wrapped around just that tiresome premise, and the audience is the animal. The writer/director is telling one tale, but pauses frequently to tell another unrelated ditty, a pause that serves no purpose thematically. "He just did that just to do that," I realized, and was angry for the rest of the film. And he does it more than once. A lot of talent wasted here. Don't waste your time.
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