Archive for November 27th, 2009

Eva Mendes and Nicolas Cage in Warner Herzog’s ‘Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans’

    by Sam Juliano

     Although Werner Herzog’s new feature Bad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans is neither a sequel nor a remake of Abel Ferrara’s 1992 cult film, there’s an undeniable kinship in the immorality of the lead characters.  Like the earlier film , the central character becomes addicted to what he is cracking down on vocationally, and is caught up in gambling, prostitution and mob involvement.   But Herzog veers this film in a different direction, making his corrupt cop a kind of Hunter S. Thompson.  Hunching over as a result of a back injury, and laughing at the oddest moments, homicide detective Terrence McDonagh make claim to seeing iguanas, which are not visible to anyone else.  McDonough was hurt while rescuing someone from the rising floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, and he quickly becomes addicted to Vicodin.  In no time he begins to swipe cocaine and heroin from the evidence room, and he shakes down people for drugs (which he then uses or sells) theatening arrest if they don’t cooperate.  He even gets high with some and forces the guys to watch him have sex with their women. (more…)

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(UK 1999 182m) DVD1/2

The Gadarene Club

p  John Chapman  d/w  Stephen Poliakoff  ph  Bruno de Keyser, Ernie Vincze  ed  Paul Tothill  m  Adrian Johnston  art  John-Paul Kelly  cos  Susannah Buxton

Lindsay Duncan (Marilyn Truman), Timothy Spall (Oswald Bates), Liam Cunningham (Christopher Anderson), Emilia Fox (Spig), Billie Whitelaw (Veronica), Arj Barker (Garnett), Blake Ritson (Nick), Andy Serkis (Styeman), Sheila Dunn, Jean Channon,

It’s time for a personal favourite here, one of the great achievements of either screen in the last two decades, but also typical of the way television is overlooked for its bigger brother.  And yet look at films such as Dekalog, Berlin Alexanderplatz, Heimat, Das Boot and Fanny and Alexander.  All are works that are listed in film guides and yet were originally made for the small screen.  Of writers at their peak around the time of the millennium, surely the best would have to be Stephen Poliakoff, whose delights have ranged from the enigmatic Friends and Crododiles to the affecting Gideon’s Daughter, from the intricate Perfect Strangers and the less successful but still memorable The Lost Prince.  All of which leads one to beg the question, why go for this? (more…)

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