Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead (1995) Review

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Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead (1995)

Directed by Gary Fleder

Starring: Andy García, Christopher Lloyd, William Forsythe, Bill Nunn, Treat Williams, Jack Warden, Steve Buscemi, Fairuza Balk, Gabrielle Anwar, Christopher Walken, Michael Nicolosi, Bill Cobbs, Marshall Bell, Glenn Plummer

Running time: 115 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Five different criminals face imminent death after botching a job quite badly.

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My Opinion:

Okay…. I think it was almost a year ago that I watched this movie so I guess I’ve put off reviewing it for long enough. It’s a favorite of a fellow blogger who shall remain nameless (ERIC!) and he and another blogger who shall remain nameless (MARK!) were always shouting (well, typing) “Boat Drinks!” at each other and I was like “What the hell is that all about?”. I was never in a big hurry to watch the “movie where they shoot people up the butt” but it was on TV one day so I thought “Screw it – let’s see what this Boat Drinks thing is all about”.

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Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead was better than I was expecting based on what it’s most famous for (the butt thing. sorry – I normally avoid spoilers on this blog but, seriously, it’s such a well known fact about this film & probably why I avoided it for so long). I have to say it’s actually a pretty solid crime drama with some really great characters and some very memorable lines & scenes. It seems to get compared to (or accused of ripping off) the previous year’s Pulp Fiction a lot but, in some ways, I think it’s actually a better film (I find Pulp Fiction overrated). I think it’s closer to, although not as good as, Reservoir Dogs. It has the same sort of interesting characters, amusingly witty banter, shady characters, violence, and the always entertaining Steve Buscemi. I suppose it just didn’t have the “style” the Tarantino films have so it didn’t get the same level of attention. Which is sort of a shame because, if you haven’t seen this, you’re missing a fantastic performance from Christopher Lloyd. He was the best thing about the movie for me and the “boat drinks” scene between him & Andy Garcia is the definite highlight of the film. It’s a wonderful scene! I’m happy I saw the movie just for Christopher Lloyd and that one scene.

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There are other good things about the movie, though. Lloyd was my favorite but each character in this group of misfits is entertaining and they all have very different personalities, meaning that everyone who watches this will have a different favorite character. I have to say that Treat Williams as a violent lunatic was a real treat for a change (ha!) and I always enjoy seeing Steve Buscemi in a movie even if he’s playing a similar sort of role as he has in a lot of other films. The two female characters (Fairuza Balk & Gabrielle Anwar) are of course pretty unimportant in this “guy movie” (typical) but I don’t really have too much of a complaint there – they get a bit more screen time than other female characters in similar “movies for dudes”. My only real disappointment, unfortunately, was with Christopher Walken. I like Walken most of the time but, in this, he’s a little too “Christopher Walken”. If you love him, you’ll like him in this as he’s being his usual, crazy sort of character but it almost felt like he was bored in this one. I don’t know… I think it’s one way in which Pulp Fiction has this movie beat – Walken was more interesting with a watch up his ass.

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Summary:

I think that Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead, although not my usual sort of movie, is a very good film within its violent crime genre. I think it actually deserves more praise & recognition than it seems to have gotten. This is probably down to it coming out after both Reservoir Dogs & Pulp Fiction and being accused of being a Tarantino rip-off. It’s not as good as a Tarantino movie but it’s also much better than a lot of the other films that could be accused of ripping him off. I suppose it could be argued that there would be no Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead if there was no Reservoir Dogs but I don’t think that matters – plenty of films are similar and it’s still a good movie in its own right. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of this genre. I’ll also make a bold statement here & say that I actually enjoyed this movie more than another similar film that also came out in 1995 – The Usual Suspects. The ending of that one is of course great but, overall, I liked this one more.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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**Speaking of one of those bloggers who likes this movie, I participated in Eric’s popular Shitfest celebration of horribly bad movies over at Isaacs Picture Conclusions. You can view my entry, a review of the annoying Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus, HERE. 🙂

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40 thoughts on “Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead (1995) Review

    • Hi Smash! 🙂 Garcia was never my type but I can see why girls would like him. Is he not looking so good these days? Don’t think I’ve seen him in years! The one I thought was hot who really went to shit is Mickey Rourke…

      • Yes, you’re absolutely right. Rourke really screwed up when he started messing around with his face. He’s a total trainwreck. Garcia just got really pudgy. I noticed it when he was on those Ocean’s 11 etc. movies. You should google how he looks now.

      • Yeah, you’re right he’s not that bad off. But he definitely could not maintain my crush on him throughout the years. It’s a sad day. One of my crushes got gross and old so I’ve given up on it.

    • Thank you! 🙂 You’ll have to let me know if you like it. It indeed has a very impressive cast! I honestly don’t know why it seems to be a fairly forgotten film…

  1. You actually watched this, you Wanker???? Good! Now you understand the term Fecal Freak and spongy.

    Boat Drinks!

    #YouWanker

  2. It’s been too long but I thought I’d have a little peak through my emails and see what folks are up to on the old blog and I come across this. Nice! Nice! Nice!

    Glad to hear you getting around this one. Very underrated little crime flick.

    You can now officially use “boat drinks” 🙂

    • Mark! Hi! Been a long time – didn’t expect you to see this. 🙂 Yeah… I watched it ages ago but I’ve been trying to catch up on the things I’ve not reviewed. This wasn’t bad at all! Glad I decided to watch it (even though I knew Eric liked it). 😉 Boat Drinks! 🙂

      • Disco Girl… I’ve taken a long hiatus but I do miss all you guys. I’m seriously considering a return but it’s also strangely liberating not having to read, write and comment. It’s a lot of work and I’m struggling for time as it is. I will be back. I’m just enjoying watching rather that critiquing if you know what I mean?

      • That’s okay – I totally know what you mean! 🙂 Sometimes I have to get away from the blogging thing for a while. It’s great sometimes but waaaaay too time consuming as well. Drives me a little mad at times!

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  4. Ha! Excellent review!

    I also watched this recently because of the whole “Boat Drinks” thing between the beloved Mark and Eric. I enjoyed it, I did, and Andy Garcia’s Jimmy was just yummy. He had that something going for him and he was ridiculously charming.

    HOWEVER this movie will never, in any which way, outrank Pulp Fiction for me hahahahahaha. And you are right, Walken is so tame in here.

    • Ah! Glad you watched this too to see what their damn “boat drinks” thing was all about. 😉 Wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did! Really did love Lloyd in this one. Not sure why this one isn’t as recognized as similar films from that same time…

      • At least we are all on the same page now. I actually really liked this for so many reasons, and I agree, I don’t really get why this isn’t more popular, it was very good!

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