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We'll miss you, Dennis Farina

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Mark Suszko
We'll miss you, Dennis Farina
on Jul 23, 2013 at 6:19:06 pm

My favorite thing he was in was "Crime Story".


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Tim Wilson
Re: We'll miss you, Dennis Farina
on Jul 23, 2013 at 9:37:09 pm

My favorite was Get Shorty, which he absolutely stole, but there are some notable others. Midnight Run is one of my favorite movies anyway, but he has a great small role.

Another nice turn in another fantastic, underrated movie, Soderbergh's Out of Sight. (Even SS agrees that it's his masterpiece. If you haven't seen it lately, you'll be shocked by how good it is.)

Similar to his roles in Get Shorty, and, especially Midnight Run (because of its lesser screen time) is Big Trouble. Not a great movie, but a funny one that I sit through whenever I stumble across it. Despite a cast with Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, Patrick Warburton (forever both Puddy or The Tick to me), Andy Richter, Ben Foster (I love this guy), Zooey Deschanel, Jason Lee, Sophia Vergara (her American debut, when she was still a blonde), Tom Sizemore, Janeane Garafolo (when she was still known primarily for comedy), DJ Qualls, Omar Epps, the late Heavy D, and a bunch of "oh yeah, THAT guy" types, it's actually pretty gentle, and kind of sweet. The fact is that it's always a pleasure to see Dennis, and he elevated whatever he was in.

The real surprise in his filmography is That Old Feeling. It's not a great movie, but it has some great bits, not the least of which is Dennis in a genuinely romantic role. It's a raucous comedy, verging on farce (in the classic, French sense of the word), with the titular old feeling being between him and Bette Midler at her hysterical best.

So yeah, even though it's not a great movie, this is a great chance to see him genuinely excel at something you probably had no idea he could do at all. Bette also kills in this one, and their chemistry is magic, maybe the best romantic comedy chemistry between middle-aged actors ever - a sadly small pool to pull from, but still.

One reason why Get Shorty is the gem of the lot is because of Elmore Leonard's dialogue. Out of Sight is also adapted from Leonard at his peak, the primary difference being that Farina has a much juicier role in the former. So, so many great scenes with him.

He also has one of the great lines in the history of cinema in that one: "F*ck you, f*uckball," LOL, which actually has meaningful context in the plot of the movie in several scenes later in the film. In that sense, the exact OPPOSITE of gratuitous. It was key.

The fact is that Farina was the master of the F bomb. I can't imagine that we will ever see anything like it again. He could use it to paint every color of the rainbow, every degree of emotional nuance. It amused him to win jobs primarily for his facility with the F word -- and trust me, this was very much the case -- because he didn't actually use the word in real life.

Here's a montage of some of his best. Needless to say, if you don't find this kind of thing hilarious, best to skip it...but you guess where I land on the thing.



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Scott Roberts
Re: We'll miss you, Dennis Farina
on Jul 24, 2013 at 2:03:32 pm

That F'n video is awesome.

I first got introduced to him through Snatch, which was one of my go-to movies of 2000, and was actually the first DVD I ever purchased.







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Jeff Breuer
Re: We'll miss you, Dennis Farina
on Jul 24, 2013 at 4:07:34 pm

Tim, I second your sentiment towards Farina in Get Shorty and Big Trouble. Big Trouble wasn't an amazing movie, but it had moments, and he certainly made his stuff good. It is really hard to picture anyone else bringing those roles to life.

On a side note, and not to hijack any respect to Mr. Farina, Patrick Waburton made The Tick, and Puddy (along with Joe Swanson and Jeff), but I think to me he will always be Kronk and Johnny Johnson in Newsradio.


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Mark Suszko
Re: We'll miss you, Dennis Farina
on Jul 24, 2013 at 6:00:51 pm

Tick, maybe. But to me, he's also Brock Samson:





































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