A disenchanted loan shark (John Travolta as Chili Palmer) hits L.A. to collect on a debt, but when he crosses paths with a C-list director (Gene Hackman) on the decline, he catches the bug and pitches a film on the spot. The hook? It’s based on the current, as-yet-unfinished job, so he’s writing the script on the fly as business spirals out of control. A clever premise, for sure, and Get Shorty is definitely not lacking for entertainment value. It’s so self-consciously cool that it becomes a parody of itself after a while, but a keen wit and a few clever twists save the day. Danny DeVito, Rene Russo, Dennis Farino (playing the same character he always plays) and James Gandolfini also star.

Extras: Director commentary, three backstage features, deleted scene, outtakes, party reel, a Bravo “Page to Screen” episode, Be Cool preview and movie pass.

Grade: B+

© 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Get Shorty: Collector’s Edition is currently available.