Jerry & Tom

Photo Courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival

"Caught In The Web" Inter(net)views, RealVideo:
Rick Cleveland as 28k RealVideo, 56k RealVideo, or 100k RealVideo.
Joe Mantegna as 28k RealVideo, 56k RealVideo, or 100k RealVideo.

"Caught In The Web" Inter(net)views, QuickTime:
"Need Tech Support" with Rick Cleveland (1.0mb)
"Choice of Locale" with Rick Cleveland (0.9mb)
"Casting" with Rick Cleveland (2.2mb)
"On the Set" with Rick Cleveland (1.2mb)
"Double Duty" with Joe Mantegna (0.6mb)
"All-Star Cast" with Joe Mantegna (1.3mb)
"Producing" with Joe Mantegna (0.7mb)
"Start With a Script" with Joe Mantegna (0.8mb)
"On Sam Rockwell" with Joe Mantegna (1.1mb)
"Upcoming Projects" with Joe Mantegna (1.0mb)

Like its cartoon namesake, Jerry and Tom plays with the aesthetics of violence. This very impressive feature debut by Saul Rubinek is so fresh and appealing, sparkling with irony and wit, that one can't help but laugh. Indeed this black comedy is loaded with farce, calculated zaniness, and deadpan wisecracks that transform it from simple genre into one of the most fun yet substantive features we've seen this year.

For Tom (Joe Mantegna) and his young associate Jerry (Sam Rockwell), being used car salesmen is only part time. They are actually mob hit men. When Tom teaches Jerry the ways of the profession: "First time is happenstance. You just happened to be there. Second time is coincidence. Third time is your choice..."as well as personal lessons -- "Never point a muzzle at a loved one" -- we realize that this isn't your normal gangster flick. For old pro Vic (Charles Durning), whose past can be hinted at with two words, "grassy knoll," teaching young hit men the professional code is as important as technique. But life isn't predictable, and Tom worries when Jerry begins to find it a little too easy to practice his craft.

Marvelously restrained and with a superlative script, Jerry and Tom is bursting with a spirit of exuberance and self-conscious parody. With great cameos (William Macy, Ted Danson, and Peter Riegert) and terrific lines ("Four words, 'Hunka, hunka, burning love...'"), this is a memorable first feature from a filmmaker with a great future.

- Geoffrey Gilmore

Directed by: Saul Rubinek
Written by: Rick Cleveland
Starring: Joe Mantegna, Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Charles Durning, Maury Chaykin, Ted Danson, Peter Riegert
Produced by: Vivienne Leebosh, Elinor Reid
Original Music by: David Buchbinder

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