Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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One of the most impressive things that Diggstown pulls off is making us sympathize with a con artist who makes a living by swindling others. This is not an easy feat, and yet it’s early on that they start laying groundwork to show that Bruce Dern’s character is a guy that deserves to be hustled. It allows us to root for the con men, and feel like insiders on the whole scam. They also did a good job of giving us a lot of the history between the characters without needing loads of exposition. With only a few lines we know why there is some animosity between James Woods and Louis Gossett Jr., and their history makes for a strong foreshadowing of events that will come later. There were a couple other places where I felt like they had setup something but they never pay off, and it stood out a lot because I kept expecting those details to be discussed again. The omission of these plot points was so blatant that it felt like a mistake, but at least the important relationship drama between our protagonists is resolved properly. There are some elements to the con that feel a bit far-fetched. The way the wager starts, and how it escalates felt quite exaggerated and unlikely. I realize people can do crazy things when they think they hold all the cards, but I’m not sure what possessed Bruce Dern’s character to think he was in control all the time. My other struggle with the story was the completely superfluous part that Heather Graham plays. It felt like they shoehorned her into the plot merely because they wanted an implied love interest, but she plays such an insignificant role that it would have been better to leave her out. Despite some of my quibbles with the plot structure, I still think Diggstown was a thoroughly enjoyable film. Even though we already suspect our heroes are three steps ahead of everyone, it’s still fun to discover what they had up their sleeve. Diggstown is the kind of movie I’d enjoy watching any time I want something light and fun, and I can see myself getting hooked into watching it again if I happen to come across it on TV.
Like many great movies, Diggstown gets better and better the more you watch it as you pick up many of the subtle nuances to the story and dialogue. All acting performances are top notch and the directorship simply outstanding. It's a super fun storyline with an ending that blows you away so unexpectedly that you can't help but literally laugh out loud!
No doubt one of my all-time favorites and without question one of the greatest little-known movies ever. So much so that I always keep a copy of the dvd in my truck in case a spontaneous viewing is needed. Lol!
First saw this almost 20 yrs ago. It's an entertaining film, and the first time i saw Heather Graham. The story is fun, and it has a great cast including Bruce Dern, Lou Gossett Jr., and Oliver Platt. Give it a watch!
So fun...people that over analyze this movie need to relax and go to movies for what they are...ENTERTAINMENT
The actors make this comedy work with heart and soul.
They call it a light-hearted sports comedy, yet one character is murdered in a manner that evokes a Deep South lynching. Though it's a major plot-point, it feels cheap in the way it is done...trivialized, so it won't spoil the lighthearted tone. A lot of talent is expended here-- for me, it is all a waste.
Bruce Dern might actually be the best sleazebag boxing manager in any movie I've ever seen. I realize that that might not be a very long list, for me, since it's not like I watch boxing movies up the ass every day of my life. And it's also not like every one of these films has a sleazebag boxing promoter/manager. But the point still stands, Bruce Dern is absolutely excellent here. What I liked about the character is that he isn't played for comedy at all. He has a couple of funny lines and everything, but he is a man that will do just about anything to get his way. And I do mean anything as the movie does go to some surprisingly dark places when Dern's character feels that someone has disobeyed his orders or just knows too much about the illegal activities he's been up to that allowed him to take over most of the town. I wouldn't call this movie hilarious, by any means, and the laughs that were there were more like chuckles instead of belly laughs. That's fine, since the movie still works thanks to its villain and it's great to see him get his comeuppance after all the shit he's pulled on the people of Diggstown. There's some really heavy-handed moments, right out of sports cliches, that kinda hold the movie back. Like when Roy is getting beat up by Hagan and, in between rounds, Gabriel is telling Roy that he's gonna throw in the towel. It's done in the most over-the-top and hammy manner, with James Woods doing his best overacting. I'm not sure if it was done as a subversive parody of boxing film cliches, but it was a little laughable to me. And the film does take a while before it truly gets going. It's about 30 or so minutes before Roy even comes into the equation, so it was a little rough at first. It does get better, trust me, as you get to know more information about this town and how Gillon has fucked the town over by forcing them into debt and then foreclosing on their houses. It's certainly a movie that has more going on under the hood than you would normally expect. Not necessarily saying this is the most thoughtful and complex movie of all time, but it certainly stretches beyond the normal genre tropes. While the film did end at its high point, seeing Gillon get what's coming to him was immensely satisfying, I can only say that this movie is good. It was almost close to very good, with the way it was going, but the rough start and some silliness kept it from reaching that next level. But at the same time the film is really perfectly paced in some strange way. It didn't need to be any longer than it was. It was just the right amount of time that was needed to tell this story in an effective manner. I definitely recommend this as I think it's a considerably better movie than the rating would imply.
Showers aren't going to be the same without ya.
it's just fun to watch. you have to suspend disbelief for quite a bit of it. The casting is great down to the bit parts. the characters aren't quite as rich as I'd like then to be. but still just a fun movie to watch.
With an unusual, forgettable title and no A-list stars, "Diggstown" came and went with little fanfare during a summer filled with high profile films. It deserves a wider audience, as it's an underrated film with a couple of terrific performances and a winning story that builds to a truly cheer-worthy finale.
It was directed by Michael Ritchie, a great comedic filmmaker who specializes in sports comedies, and because of that, the boxing scenes are quite thrilling. I've long been a sucker for con pictures, and this is one of the better ones in recent memory. Star James Woods is at his snarky best here, a good guy with none of the usual good guy trappings, and it's a great swan song for veteran Lou Gossett, Jr. in one of his last big starring roles.
But a film like this doesn't work without a great villain, and it really is Bruce Dern that makes this all work so well. With those big teeth and shark-like grin, he truly is a bad guy you love to hate. He has some truly evil moments here that make the payoff even more satisfying, but the screenplay by Steven McKay always manages to keep things light and lively. It also provides a few surprises along the way and that terrific ending that you won't see coming, but there are a few subplots it could stand to lose. Heather Graham looks great, but she serves little purpose and is simply forgotten about after a while.
"Diggstown" is a crowd pleaser looking for a crowd. Those who stick it out and likely to greatly enjoy it.