Split Decision: Pulling a Job

Welcome back to Split Decision! Each week, we pose a question to our staff of knowledgable and passionate film geeks and share the responses! We may never know if it is legal to park in the center of Broad Street, but we’ll answer movie questions all day long. Chime in on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments below!

This week’s question:

In honor of Ocean’s 8, you are able to choose the cast of another film to pull a ridiculous and complicated heist. Who is your team?

(They are in character from whatever film you pick. So if you choose Ghostbusters, you get Peter Venkman, not Bill Murray)

I’d like the cast of Fast Five to pull of a heist and help me buy my freedom from a powerful Brazilian drug lord. And if I can go with a TV show, I’d like to work with the cast of White Collar to pull off a con job. Gary M. Kramer

Sooooo I am going to cheat. Because when it comes to ensemble casts I want to spend time with and do crime with, TV has movies beat. Sorry. So my pick is for the cast of Parks & Rec. Leslie Knope would obviously be the mastermind, Ron Swanson would be her right-hand man and muscle (he would also probably make some ridiculous and awesome getaway car), Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would seduce the targets, April Ludgate would keep the team in line and on task, Andy Dwyer would be the bait/muscle, Gerry Gergich would take the fall, and Chris Traeger and Ben Wyatt would get Gerry off in a court of law. Ann Perkins, beautiful musk ox and nurse extraordinare, would take care of any injuries sans hospital and police interference.–

I’d love to see the cast and characters of Antichrist, fox included, pull a bank job. —

Let’s get the cast of Schindler’s List doing an Inglourious Basterds-style revenge mission on some f***ing Nazis, killing Hitler and Goebbels and burning down the rest of them in a movie theatre. Oskar Schindler could be in the Aldo Rayne role, while Itzahk Stern (Ben Kingsley) could be in the “Bear Jew” role. Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) could fill a sort of Hans Landa role too. We’ll call it Schindler’s Revenge, and there could be some great one liners. Let’s imagine the list motif is repurposed to be a list of all the Nazis they’re aiming to kill. There would be a scene where Stern is about to kill a Nazi, and he says “The list…is DEATH.”–Andy Elijah

I would 100% like to see the cast of Mon Oncle attempt a ridiculous bank robbery. The motley band of kids would be pranking all of the employees, which would turn them on each other and distract them from the heist. Meanwhile Hulot would be trying to understand the complicated mechanics of a large safe that would be super modern and have lots of weird buzzing noises and buttons that seemingly do nothing. Hulot would likely end up tapping his pipe on something other than his shoe, which would open the safe, at which point all the kids would run in and grab what they could. The kids would then run outside, Hulot would give the employees a weird little bow/wave, and the happiest French tune would kick in as they all stroll down the street (which is where the street sweeper would reveal himself as the most useless accomplice). Can someone please make this movie? —Catherine Haas

I would like to work with Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) of Dumb and Dumber to pull off a heist that funds their worm farm business.  Because they spent their life savings turning their van into a dog, and are now several months delinquent on their gas bill, Harry & Lloyd have run out of options and must resort to robbery to survive.

The planning would take place in roadside diners across the country, with blueprints of the bank being unrolled across the table and held at its corners by ketchup and mustard bottles, as well as salt and pepper shakers (the salt being spilled, of course).  Those eavesdropping on our conversations would hear us joyously planning our caper based on unsuccessful heists we saw in movies, like Dog Day Afternoon and Reservoir Dogs, where the robbers do not get away scott-free, but hey, Lloyd said the movie “was a good one!”.

Ultimately, we carry out the heist without issue, despite miscalculating the distance from the bank counter to the vault… “according to the map, we’ve only gone 4 inches”… we get away on a scooter that Lloyd traded the van in for right before the heist because he could “get 30 miles to the gallon on this hog”.  We inevitably get caught when Lloyd drives us almost a sixth of the way across the country in the wrong direction.  Samsonite… we were way off! —

For straight up laughs, I’d like to see the vampire roomies of What We Do in the Shadows orchestrate a heist. There would be so much hilarious infighting, as well as multiple situations in which members of the crew have to do some schmoozing in the day light, requiring both ridiculous protective costumes and a quick wit, the latter of which we know Vladislav, Viago, Deacon, and Nick don’t really possess. Romance will naturally blind one or all of the boys, and I could definitely see a gag where one has to make his way through a laser grid, falsely under the assumption that vampires are invisible to such a thing. Not to worry, our hacker, Stu, will handle the particulars. —Dan Scully

Initially, I thought about pitching a heist film starring the trio from Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker, but it later dawned on me that, after dodging high-level security and invisible meatgrinders, the three tormented souls would’ve likely turned back and walked away from the treasure trove upon reaching it.
Instead, might I suggest we build a heist movie around the elites populating Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game. In this case, the heist would likely be sidelined in favor of dubious social mores, extravagant masquerades, and, perhaps, more than a little bit of casual hanky-panky. In short, the ultimate hangout movie. I even envision a scene of the group triggering a stampede of rabbits and pheasants to distract those guarding the fortress. Of course, one would be forced to reconfigure the subtext of Renoir’s film and redefine those dastardly “rules of the game”, but there’s mileage to get out of that as well. What was once a morbid glimpse of high society at its most decadent and vacuous on the eve of WWII could be transfigured into an exploration of how a cadre of thieves enact the manners and lifestyle associated with gangsterism, but no longer believe in, or are even aware of, their profession’s underlying principles, let alone the vanity behind their pursuit of monetary gain. It’s all chic surfaces, empty gestures, and an excuse to have a grand time…and maybe make some money in the end. (In this case, the rich get richer.) Also: wouldn’t you kill to see Octave lowered into a vault while wearing a bear costume? A burst of Saint-Saëns on the soundtrack would be the proverbial cherry on top of this sequence.Dan Santelli

Let’s have the cast of The Thing perform a heist. You could basically do a retelling of The Thing from within a bank that’s mid-heist. Sort of a Hurricane Heist, but the hurricane is a shape-shifting alien and the heist is a heist. Sorry, this is actually a good idea, gotta go write this down.–

As much as I would love to see the cast of Prometheus reunite for a job, they’d probably find some new way to get themselves killed again. So going in the complete opposite direction, I would love to see a heist starring some of my favorite 1920s expats. That’s right, Midnight In Paris 2: The French Connection. The Fitzgeralds (Tom Hiddleston and Allison Pill). Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll). Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody). And more, all pulling a heist that probably involves time travel.  —Ryan Silberstein

The cast of The Birdcage. The whole movie, as it exists, is an identity heist film. Of course everybody will have a bit and a touching arch. There will be great opportunities for Starina meltdowns and Gene Hackman being a dick while Dianne Weist squints and smiles. Maybe they’re still trying to fool he senator and his wife with an extended family schtick to add some extra layers? There will also be a nice “maneuver around lasers” sequence involving Agador tripping over his shoes. Oh, and a Martha Graham tribute by the Cagelles. But mostly importantly, not only would they get away with it in the end with a song and a smile, but the production values would be off the charts!!—Jenna Kuerzi

Author: Ryan Silberstein

Ryan spends his days at a company named one of the best to work for in the Philadelphia area, and his nights as a mysterious caped vigilante saving his city from the disease that is crime watching movies. He lives on a diet consisting of film, comic books, experimental beer, black coffee, and those big metal historical markers around town. Follow him on Twitter and Letterboxd.

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