Snappy dialogue. That's one thing I relish. Whether in books (High Fidelity, Slam) or movies (numerous film noirs, comedies from the 1940's), I just love it.
Elmore Leonard is one of the more prolific authors whose works have attitude. (Why else would Tarantino have wanted to adapt Rum Punch into Jackie Brown?) Thanks to Scott Frank's script, Leonard's mood is abundant in Get Shorty, which is just as good as Leonard's book itself.
Just a little bit more on Leonard, then I'll move on. His writing style rubbed off on me. It's easy flowing, which can somewhat describe my writing here. That's probably why I liked the book so much. My writing and Leonard's writing are practically one in the same.
The movie itself is a lot of fun. You just can't resist John Travolta's ice cool attitude. Think of his Chili Palmer as a more laid back Vincent Vega. Gene Hackman (who was mentioned in the book) is just a joy to watch. (He played the part straight as recommended by director Barry Sonnenfield.) Danny DeVito is just downright funny as semi-Method actor Martin Weir. (Leonard based Martin off Dustin Hoffman.) Bonus are a pre-The Sopranos James Gandolfini as a supposedly bumbling hood and Harvey Keitel in an awesome cameo.
It's hard for me to say which version I like more since they're practically identical. They each have their own perks, so it makes harder for me to pick favorites. So I won't.
What's worth checking out?: I'd go with both.