071 // Chris Elena ❤️ Smokin' Aces // Thumb Wrestling

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Why this movie? By no stretch of the imagination is Smokin' Aces the Citizen Kane of its time. It is just an increasingly weird assortment of killers converging on a Vegas hotel to put a bullet into a piece of human trash. Bright colours, loud sounds and an overpopulated bunch of storylines converging on a farcical climax. And inbetween it suddenly gets existential on our asses. Someone gave Joe Carnahan carte blanche, and he gave it all he had.

But you know what? No matter how many criticisms you throw at Smokin' Aces, it only adds to the delight of Australian filmmaker Chris Elena. It's the movie that opened his eyes to how movies are made, especially blocking, editing and color grading. And he just revels in the strangeness that is this action extravaganza.

But there's more to talk about! For instance, how this movie affected Chris's run in film school, his encounter with actor Joel Edgerton in Sydney and the deeper meaning of the head of a bunny costume.

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