We gave it a C-
In the opening moments of this Get Shorty follow-up, a ruffled Chili Palmer (John Travolta) threatens to quit the movie business after he gets suckered into producing a crappy sequel. His frustration provides one of the few real laughs of the movie, but the joke is definitely on Travolta & Co., in a sad example of art imitating life. With the script shamefully repackaging the best scenes from Shorty in a music industry setting — often resurrecting the very same lines — Be Cool lacks the freshness of the original, which benefited from Chili’s (and writer Elmore Leonard’s) genuine fascination with all movies, good and bad. EXTRAS Director F. Gary Gray set out to throw the party of the year with this movie, and there are stars aplenty in a making-of and five ”Close Up” featurettes. In one, Travolta and Thurman work on steps for their dance-floor reunion. In another, The Rock himself sings in a deliberately gawd-awful music video, and Gray delights in its tackiness: ”It set the tone for the whole movie.” Indeed.