Monday, August 6, 2012

Thin Ice

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Thin Ice - 4 out of 5

"Cool story, brah."
Greg Kinnear plays Mickey Prohaska, a sweet talking, snake-tongued insurance salesman who's looking to get out of his rut and stop living the lie of a sweet life he tell his clients, colleagues and compatriots he lives and actually start living the sweet life.  After a new hire to his office directs him to a naive old man named Gorvy looking to be covered (Alan Arkin), he finds that the man is in possession of a priceless violin that's worth mucho bucks (I guess it's not priceless because it actually has a price) and it seems it may be his ticket out of the bitter cold winters of Kenosha, Wisconsin.  However, what was suppose to be an easy snatch and replace by switching the valuable violin with a cheap look alike like Indiana Jones replacing the idol with a bag of sand quickly turns into a rolling boulder of blackmail as a locksmith (Billy Crudup) catches wind of Mickey's plot and forces the two to work together.

Uh oh...Kinnear is giving the "bitch please" face.

When this was working its way to the theaters, I stumbled upon the movie's poster which read, "Greetings from Kenosha, WI!  Where ordinary folks can make a killing."  I live not too far from Kenosha and my favorite movie theater and some family of mine reside in that city, so I was immediately intrigued.  Why would a movie set its location in Kenosha?  I watched the trailer and thought it looked interesting and patiently waited for its release on DVD.

See...this is the poster and it says what I said it said...
I wasn't lying there.  Why do you always think I'm lying?

Thin Ice proved to be worth the wait as the movie was very entertaining.  While I openly admit that part of my joy from this film is derived from a child-like idiocy that comes from it taking place in my home state of Wisconsin and even the current city I'm living in was mentioned by name I found cool but even if it took place in Minnesota, where it was filmed, I still would have enjoyed it.

Is it strange I would like to adopt Alan Arkin as my grandpa?

The story is very solid (unlike the ice that is referenced in the title--nyuck nyuck nyuck!) and it culminates in an unexpected twist that snuck up on me in this caper film.  The performances from the main three performers (Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin and Billy Crudup) are all terrific.  Each man brings much to the table.  Kinnear starts the film as a loveable scumbag who you forgive for his treacherous nature that comes out as you see how bad he has it and his transformation to a man who feels like a noose is being tightened around his juglar as it all goes wrong is wonderfully portrayed.

And this dog was also good.  So good, he would instantly make a Transformers film
9 times better and more dignified.

Alan Arkin is Alan Arkin and you already know he's going to be amazing because amazing is what Alan Arkin does.  However, Billy Crudup nearly stole the movie for me as the vindictive locksmith/alarm guy; Randy.  His combination of the fumbling criminal along with a sense of instability really makes the movie and even more so when I remember he is the voice behind the Mastercard commercials and played the God-like superbeing Dr. Manhattan in Watchman.

That better be a Mastercard in his hand...

Thin Ice is a well thought out, amazingly acted crime movie.  Ignoring my usually dormant state pride, the movie was thoroughly much so, I'll forgive that it wasn't filmed in Kenosha, WI but I'll never forgive myself for not seeing it in the theaters at a theater in Kenosha...of course, that combination had the real danger of literally blowing my mind...and that would have been a gross mess.

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