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The Death and Life of Bobby Z
Year:
2007
Country:
USA, Germany
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Action
IMDB rating:
5.7
Director:
John Herzfeld
Paul Walker as Tim Kearney
Laurence Fishburne as Tad Gruzsa
Olivia Wilde as Elizabeth
Jason Flemyng as Brian
Keith Carradine as Johnson
Joaquim de Almeida as Don Huertero
Jason Lewis as Bobby Z
Jacob Vargas as Jorge Escobar
M.C. Gainey as Boom Boom
Josh Stewart as Monk
Raymond J. Barry as Stanley
Julio Oscar Mechoso as Mexican Detective
Joaquim de Almeida as Don Huertero
Storyline: A DEA agent provides former Marine Tim Kearney with a way out of his prison sentence: impersonate Bobby Z, a recently deceased drug dealer, in a hostage switch with a crime lord. When the negotiations go awry, Kearney flees, with Z's son in tow.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
HQ DVD-rip 852x352 px 1160 Mb h.264 1500 Kbps flv Download
iPhone 480x198 px 521 Mb xvid 600 Kbps mov Download
Reviews
not surprising
This film is designed to appeal to a particular audience, the nature of which can be deduced from the standard of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation in most of the previous reports. (Those little tadpole like things are commas by the way.) The fact that many of them don't find it convincing despite their limited film viewing experience should be taken as a warning by the more discerning film critics amongst you. Comparing Paul Walker to Jean Claude Van Damme may seem a tad harsh at this stage in his career but if he wants to avoid the same level of career it might be an idea to employ someone else to pick film roles for him. Maybe he could "go halves" with Fishbourne who seems to be having a "blip" at the moment. I've no idea what he's doing in this. I like a good action movie as much as anyone and I've certainly nothing against excessively pretty people escaping from tough situations with never a facial blemish. But I wasn't quite convinced the cast and crew of this weren't taking it more seriously than perhaps, given subsequent reviews, they'd like us to think.
2008-05-09
Herzfeld tries another Tarantino style movie
The plot: Kearny, a loser convict,is pushed into impersonating Bobby Z, a larger-than-life drug dealer, in a hostage trade, only to find both his own and Bobby Z's enemies trying to kill him.

Herzfeld previously directed 2 Days in the Valley, a Tarantino ripoff if ever there was one. However, unlike most people, I actually kind of liked it. This movie is another attempt to clone Tarantino's style, heavy on flashbacks, stylized violence, and witty anti-heroes. Unfortunately, it's not all that great, but it did manage to keep my interest for the runtime.

Bobby Z is built up as a small-time celebrity in the local surfer scene, as well as a rising star in drug distribution. Kearney, on the other hand, is a three time loser with a price on his head. The movie compares and contrasts their personalities many times, with Bobby Z being revealed as a manipulative, egocentric jerk, while Kearney shows many admirable qualities despite his impulsive violence.

After a somewhat grim opening, the movie becomes quite lighthearted. In fact, I'm really at a loss as to why they even opened the movie with such a dark and disturbing bit of character development if they were just going to completely ignore it for the rest of the film. Oh well. Much of the movie is like this, however. Whenever anything shocking and dramatic happens, it's instantly forgotten by the next scene, where everyone pretends that it never happened. Even being shot seems to be glossed over rather quickly with some cursory first aid. It reminded me of a video game, where picking up a first aid kit heals your character of all wounds.

The acting was passable. It was certainly better than many direct-to-video movies, but nobody really stood out. I guess the script didn't really allow anyone to shine, though I was probably most disappointed that Laurence Fishburne was given such a bland role. Still, it's always fun to see him, even if it's in such a small and clichéd role.

If you're looking for an action movie, this will probably satisfy you, but I'd be surprised if you remembered it later or recommended it to your friends.
2013-03-08
left out the relationships the book
i loved the novel by don winslow, and i was disappointed in the movie.

first the positives: i liked paul walker. i delighted in the difference between the personas he plays as the decent but easily angered tim kearney and as the asshole bobby z. olivia wilde is indeed beautiful

now the negatives: perhaps i should judge the film on its own merits - in which case it's an OK made-for TV film. but i can't help but notice the best parts of the book are missing: the caring, heartfelt relationships.

foreground in the novel is the relationship between a bright, worldly, witty, athletic 6 year old and a decent man who knows nothing about kids. there is a tremendous spark between them - and a wealth of snappy repartee - that delights the reader. the movie substitutes a dull, whiny, out-of-shape, monosyllabic, uneducated 12 year old. what were they thinking? in the book, the crazy wisdom of the beach bum "one-way" saves the day. this bit of magic adds a whimsy that makes the novel different from other shoot-em-outs. all gone from the film. in the book, elizabeth is lovely and decent throughout. in the film, she is lovely to look at, but evil and predatory. she becomes a good guy at the last minute, spurred by kearney's kindness to the young kit. i didn't trust the sudden change of heart, and did not enjoy seeing a predatory elizabeth.

so the novel is an action adventure deepened by kearney's relationship with the wonderful kit, the lovely elizabeth, and the magical one-way. none of that depth makes it into the movie
2009-09-10
Escape artists never die
Although I've never really been a fan of action films, "The Death and Life of Bobby Z" is a film that I saw when I was much younger, and it's one of the few of the genre that I can still remember of. Last night I watched it again, and I may now understand why it's so good: it has a very cool plot. This story's writers have invented a lot of messy situations in which corrupt people and criminals try to fool each other, and the one who gets away with it is, obviously, our nostalgic actor Paul Walker. He plays a convicted that needs to pretend being the famous Bobby Z, in order to escape from his certain next conviction. It feels right, for me, to state that Walker does his job perfectly, despite the fact that he looks more like a model than like a bandit. His character in here is similar to Van Damme's in 1999's "Inferno". Directing is also very well done, delivering plenty of enjoyable scenes, which end up bringing irony and fun, instead of suspense-- which is more often in action films. So, long story short, "The Death and Life of Bobby Z" is another project that proves to be GREAT, and I really want to know why it's still so unknown in mainstream.
2015-02-28
Silly story and bad acting
Feeling, and looking, like an extended episode of CSI, "The Death and Life of Bobby Z" is uninspiring and boring. The story is silly and convoluted, involving a usually lack-lustre Paul Walker impersonating a legendary Drug Dealer, played by the deliciously floppy haired Jason Lewis. Laurence Fishburne plods along with a by-the-numbers bad guy role and Olivia Wilde as the love-interest, female lead is dull and mediocre. Paul walker is one of the worst actors in Hollywood today. How does he keep on getting work? Not very inspired but less than discerning viewers may enjoy all the running and shooting and explosions. Snooze!
2008-09-08
Paul's very good actor!
I think he is a very good actor! In the film running scared,he's cool , man! I like his performance!He's so talented and better than ever before.But I also think he need to jump out the same kind of movie.I also believe that he can deduce other kinds of personality well.'Cause I still believe.HAHA,did all u guys find that In the ending of this film he brought up the kid just like the film running scared'ending.So I think he always wants to be a good papa! HOHO.This is a very good film though,it's very simple,but it can help me to pass the time by not letting me sleepy.But y all u gays gave this film a so low score. I'm just confused.
2007-12-21
Poorly acted eye-candy
Fishburne's role fits him about as well as one of his namesake fish lying on an Omaha sidewalk. Walker overall is a rather poor actor, and his straight-man face and actions pull his role off only with generous intimations on the part of the viewer. The plot is relatively cliché and, at points, nonsensical. I'd point out specific moments, but if you've seen Walker in the Fast and the Furious movies, I have a feeling you didn't pick this one for the plot.

The redeeming features, if there are any, are that there's a fair amount of eye-candy (no outright nudity, though, if that's what you're looking for), and you can sit and cheer as a sadistic woman-beater gets chained up and drug behind an SUV.
2007-09-06
The double life of Bobby Z
The mere idea of having a man serving time to impersonate a notorious drug dealer who is in Thailand running away from justice is preposterous, to put it mildly! How do the creators of "The Death and Life and Bobby Z" ever thought, for reality sake, to be able to even think that by sending the former marine, now a con man, into the lion's den without at one point being discovered as a fake? The whole thing is the idea of a corrupt law enforcement officer who thinks he will use the former marine to get at the kingpin of the drug empire who supplied the original Bobby Z with his merchandise.

The movie is not totally horrible, as action films go. The main problem is the many plot holes in the narrative that the creators probably didn't count on, or thought their viewers wouldn't figure out how the whole mess was going to turn out. John Herzfeld directed the screen play by Bob Krakower and Allan Lawrence. The credibility gap is huge when the people involved asks us to accept things that don't make too much sense.

If you can buy the fact that Elizabeth would not know who the impostor was right away, then there is no problem enjoying this film that from all indication went straight to video.

Paul Walker is the action hero. The problem with his acting that he doesn't show any credible emotion. An uncredited Bruce Dern is the narrator that gives us an account of Bobby Z's accomplishments in that la-la land of Southern California. Joaquim de Almeida plays another one of his bad guys. Laurence Fishburne has nothing to play with. Gorgeous Olivia Wilde appears as Elizabeth, Bobby Z's former girlfriend. Keith Carradine has a small part.
2008-06-06
Injustice to be That Low-Rated
That's another movie I couldn't make out why it is such low-rated. I think it should at least 6.3 or something. Its rating, which is now 5.9, is too low for itself. This might be misguiding for the people who haven't seen it yet. Watch it, you won't regret. Maybe, it may not be a 10/10 movie. But it's worth being seen. My view on it is clear. I had planned to rate it 8. But, towards the end of the movie, my view changed and the cases led me to rate 9. Furthermore, I don't remember that I have laughed that much since I watched Rush Hour franchise. Paul Walker's face of comedy was great. especially in a case at the last scenes of the movie. Its cast also consists of talented performers.
2015-09-11
Soon to be in the 99cent sent bit!
Soon to be in the 99 cent bin in a video store near you! Paul Walker is a great actor who gets bad roles. I love Paul's stage presents, mannerism, and humor which creates great acting ability. The directing and acting is excellent. However, the story is grade b junk food for the mind. Turn your brain off for this movie! A unbelievable and stupid story, balance by Paul's character who is a likable looser, which finally catches a break. A lot of eye candy for both sexes in Bobby Z, along with explosions etc. Bobby Z tries to be like Pulp Fiction, and one could call Bobby Z mini Pulp Fiction. 4 out of 10. Worth watching while drinking beers with pizza.
2007-10-24
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