Tag Archives: Hoodlum

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
Hoodlum
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
Ronin
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.