Hell or High Water

edited February 10 in Movies
I loved this movie - so glad to see it commissioned. I enjoy movies that have strong Western influences, and I thought this movie was really well written. If you're on the fence about watching it, I highly recommend it.
DaveyMac

Comments

  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited February 10
    For the rest of my days, anytime I'm in a car with someone and want some music I'm going to say "turn on some of that giddy-up music."
    A_Ron_HubbardTheEconomist
    I just want to be famous enough that a porn parody gets made about me.
  • Thank you for mentioning the casino cash withdrawals and structuring issues. Casinos and banks are supposed to look for lots of transactions by the same people designed to fall below the IRS reporting threshold.  I'm also not that confident that the Texas Rangers would fail in their request to look at Chris Pine's character's financial records when his brother was clearly involved in the murders.   
  • TheEconomistTheEconomist Chattanooga, TN
    I loved this film. I thought it was a brilliant meditation and commentary on the plight of rural America. If more people watched it like I did before the election you could understand the desperation rural people have and why many voted for a guy like Trump.

    @Doctor_Nick I don't understand the casino and bank issue. They only went to a casino twice if I recall correctly. That's not that strange. What's strange is how they don't really gamble that much which I'm sure is caught on camera. Even then it makes sense to go in with a big stack of chips in poker you never intended to bet just to bully the table with your stack.

    And I don't think they legally interact with a bank until the very end after a trust is set up so what's to report to the IRS? They were stealing just the drawer money to avoid dye packs and just little enough to stay under FBI radar.

    Even the bank dropping the whole desire to investigate the robberies for management fee of this land trust makes sense. That robbery money will be reimbursed by the FDIC so that administration fee is additional free money for the bank. You have to presume the bank was somehow able to piece all these things together that we know but they don't at the time these transactions take place.

    darwinfeeshy
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited February 13
    Not to mention that the IRS reporting is just that: reporting. Doesn't mean anything is going to come from it. From what I understand, stuff like that done once or twice in a lifetime in and of itself doesn't cause you trouble, it's just more evidence (and possibly further charges) for the prosecution to use in your trial involving the shit you did to get the money.

    The reason most criminals go through so much trouble to launder their money and avoid scrutiny is because they intend on continuing their racket(s) for the foreseeable future. A couple of casino trips for less than 50 grand in one lifetime isn't shit; same goes for the guy who smuggles just one load of drugs and buys a couple of cars. Where it falls flat in a movie like this is the murders of innocent people involved. Even still, in the grand scheme of things HoHW is barely asking me to suspend my disbelief compared to most crime movies. Ben Foster's character managing to go a whole year living the way he does without going back to prison is more far fetched. Ha ha.
    darwinfeeshy
    I just want to be famous enough that a porn parody gets made about me.
  • It's all about law enforcement and the IRS being able to raise questions about the source of the money, particularly since it will be a large part of the character's income for the year.  The casinos should be reporting the transactions that are close to $10,000, particularly if the same people are making multiple transactions close to the same time.  Chris Pine's character will also be completely lacking the receipts and diaries that the IRS requires you keep for gambling winnings.  
  • It's all about law enforcement and the IRS being able to raise questions about the source of the money, particularly since it will be a large part of the character's income for the year.  The casinos should be reporting the transactions that are close to $10,000, particularly if the same people are making multiple transactions close to the same time.  Chris Pine's character will also be completely lacking the receipts and diaries that the IRS requires you keep for gambling winnings.  

    This is true, but as far as Federal crime investigation goes, these two country boys are little fish. I think it's believable that their money laundering scheme would go undetected. It's not like they're laundering millions of dollars.
  • ThomasThomas North Carolina
    I thought it was very overrated.  A simple and predictable plot.  Yes, the acting was good good in some parts, but for the most part it was extremely mediocre.  Compared to film like The Town or Heat this movie is terrible.
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited February 14
    They killed a bunch of law enforcement. I would not have been surprised if Pine's character would be forever hounded and harassed by various law enforcement officials who would enjoy their time running him in for every tail light violation and 5 mph over the speed limit violation they can.

    It's all about law enforcement and the IRS being able to raise questions about the source of the money, particularly since it will be a large part of the character's income for the year.  The casinos should be reporting the transactions that are close to $10,000, particularly if the same people are making multiple transactions close to the same time.  Chris Pine's character will also be completely lacking the receipts and diaries that the IRS requires you keep for gambling winnings.  

    This is true, but as far as Federal crime investigation goes, these two country boys are little fish. I think it's believable that their money laundering scheme would go undetected. It's not like they're laundering millions of dollars.
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited February 14
    I tried to poke holes in this and couldn't. its pretty solid in terms of Pine getting off. 

    Pine is shot and bleeding but his brother blows the truck up probably not leaving any evidence
    They (conveniently) say no one is pressing charges or trying to actively bring Pine in
    the amount of money they steal is pretty small. 43K
    going into a casino twice to launder 43K is nothing. Those casinos regularly would have people coming in with 100K+
    Pine even says something like sorry for the cash, just sold my car. I doubt the teller would think twice of having like 10-15K in cash. They would have to fill out the IRS form for over 10K but there is no way to link the money to the robberies since it was all loose unmarked bills. IRS comes knocking he could just say it was his savings. He didn't win any money so they cant tax him. I guess the worst that would happen is that Pine would possibly get an IRS fine. but he would get the farm. so he still wins. 
    Freddy
    No Half Measures....
  • The biggest gripe I had with this was since it was only 43K. surely Pine could have gone to another bank or even an VC or individual investor and said hey there is oil here. help me pay off the 43K and ill give you 100K in a year. who says no? especially if they have proof of the oil? I really think the whole movie shouldnt have happened if Pine just went to a few investors. 
    No Half Measures....
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    You have to question whether or not Pine would have trusted other banker types not to fuck his family over though.  It would have been nice if there was a scene where maybe he tries to talk to his brother about it, like "hey, we're not in too deep, maybe if we talk to that investor in Dallas" and his crazy brother just shuts it down.  But that's how I rationalized it.
    Hatorian
  • I don't know that Pine's character was sophisticated enough to tap the VC market, and the timeline to pay off the outstanding mortgage/tax debt was less than a week.

    Also an investor isn't just going to take $100k to save a rich oil property; they're going to want an ongoing piece of the action.
  • edited February 24
    Oh, heck yeah.  I'm only five minutes into this thing and I've got another compelling Ben Foster potential-psycho character AND a great Townes Van Zandt song?  I think I'm going to like this movie.  Thanks for commissioning/doing the podcast on it.

    EDIT: Now that I've watched it through, I gotta say I definitely enjoyed the whole thing, in particular the sort-of moral ambiguity that's drawn between those sticking it to the banks and those defending them.  Listening to the podcast again, I would argue that Bridges' ribbing of his partner, while definitely uncomfortable, helps to keep him from being seen throughout as a strictly heroic character.  There are probably some plot holes, as pointed out, with the law's inability to seize assets or more thoroughly investigate Pine's role.  It's also kind of a true that Ben Foster is a little typecast in this type of role, but he's a good actor and I'd like to see some of his other movies.  Besides this, 3:10 and Alpha Dog are the only ones that I think I've watched.
    Freddy
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    Gotta love Townes Van Zandt. The official theme song writer of self righteous gun owners everywhere.
    I just want to be famous enough that a porn parody gets made about me.
  • Freddy said:

    Gotta love Townes Van Zandt. The official theme song writer of self righteous gun owners everywhere.

    Really?  I'm a big fan and I haven't heard the song where he extols the virtues of toting guns.  Which one is that?

    For the record, he's always struck me as the patron saint of self-loathing but sensitive alcoholics, god rest him.
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited February 24
    Wait, I somehow missed this.  The Town?  A movie with two of the most unlikely bank jobs ever, one following the other?  I mean seriously, the Charlestown police can't close off the narrow, hemmed in one lane roads that these geniuses decide to drive through after ripping off the bank?  Can't radio ahead to cut off these goombahs shooting up the whole town?  Once they make it over that bridge, they're somehow home free?  Boston PD somehow doesn't have a helicopter to pursue a bunch of guys with automatic weapons? No surveillance cameras, even?  Give me a freaking break.  Then they follow that winner with the Fenway job, because they're just going to drive right out of that one after the ringing success that that Charlestown job was.  
    I thought it was very overrated.  A simple and predictable plot.  Yes, the acting was good good in some parts, but for the most part it was extremely mediocre.  Compared to film like The Town or Heat this movie is terrible.

  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited February 24
    BTW I was listening to the podcast There Goes The Neighborhood today and there was an episode on reverse mortgages and scams targeted at elderly homeowners.  This old woman in Brooklyn signed on for a reverse mortgage that must have had some sort of accelerated interest compounding scheme because her debt reportedly went from around $100k to $400+K in 1 year, on a home worth about 1 million dollars.  They then get in touch with the family and offer small amounts of walk away money (ie don't worry about the debt, take this and walk away).  Apparently this demented old lady had many children, and one of them was less than ethical and sold the place for $50k with the agreement that the woman could stay there until she died.  So whoever was behind the mortgage scheme was getting a million dollar brownstone for a few hundred thousand dollars.  
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