Tag Archives: Gorky Park

A Week In Film #329: First week

Gorky Park title screen
Gorky Park
Not unenjoyable policier about a cop investigating three brutal murders in pre-perestroika Moscow. Michael Apted directs adaptation of Martin Cruz Smith’s potboiler novel; William Hurt, Joanna Pacuła, Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy, Ian McDiarmid and Ian Bannen round out the cast.

Cop Land title screen
Cop Land
Sly Stallone as Freddy Heflin, a New Jersey sheriff in Garrison, a New Jersey suburban town dominated by NYPD city cops whose ranks he cannot join due to a hearing impairment. When a corruption scandal rears up in Garrison, Freddy must decide where he stands. Chunky cast includes Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Janeane Garofalo, Annabella Sciorra, Michael Rapaport, Robert Patrick and Peter Berg; all-rounder James Mangold writes/directs.

Donnie Brasco title screen
Donnie Brasco
Mike Newell’s somewhat overwrought screen version of a real-life relationship between a low-level wiseguy (Al Pacino) and and undercover FBI agent (Johnny Depp). Still enjoyable, but feels like a bunch of actors doing gangster tropes.

Hoodlum title screen
Bill Duke’s zesty period gangster flick, with Laurence Fishburne as Bumpy Johnson, Tim Roth as Dutch Schultz and Andy Garcia as Lucky Luciano.

Ronin title screen
Actioner that sets itself up as slightly more cerebral than it really is, but enjoyable nonetheless. Robert De Niro is a retired special ops guy brought into a piece of private enterprise involving a MacGuffin in a briefcase and a multinational crew of ne’erdowells (Sean Bean, Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Reno and Skipp Sudduth) brought together by Natascha McEhlhone and Jonathan Pryce. John Frankenheime directs some fine set pieces, and the script (fine-tuned from J D Zeik’s first time effort by David Mamet) keeps things interesting.

A Week In Film #006: Wet wintry nights

Gorky Park title screen
Gorky Park
Boring, slow adaptation of the Martin Cruz Smith potboiler, with William Hurt as Moscow cop Arkady Renko. A shame, seeing as it’s written by Dennis Potter and directed by Michael Apted (usually bankers), with Lee Marvin, Michael Elphick and others adding oomph to the screen.

Crimewave title screen
Awesome, comic book-style shenanigans with Sam Raimi directing from a Coen Bros script. The LLF thought it was boring, but I found it as entertaining as I remembered it being on first seeing it nearly 20 years ago. Bruce Campbell, Bryon James and Paul L Smith are all superb.

The Quick And The Dead title screen
The Quick And The Dead
More Sam Raimi, more comic book-style photography and framing, this time laid over Western tropes, with Sharon Stone a woman-with-no-name entering a shoot-out contest in a frontier town.

The Sound Of Music title screen
The Sound Of Music
The hills are alive with the sound of music, etc. One for the LLF. Nice tunes, nasty Nazis.

In Cold Blood title screen
In Cold Blood
Excellent late 60s treatment of the Truman Capote proto-new journalism book, as recommended by the LLF. Two bottom-feeding hoodlums commit incompetent, heinous crime, and are caught. Robert Blake (the short chap from Electra Glide In Blue) is good. Writer-director Richard Brooks approaches the material with imagination and creativity.