Q & A
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Assistant D.A. Al Reilly (Timothy Hutton) gets assigned his first investigation when a small time crook gets shot in cold blood. Now heís got to deal with A) a superior whoís got plans of his own, B) an out-of-control, plays-by-his-own-rules detective (Nolte), C) a gangster whoís dating his ex-girlfriend and if that werenít enough...D) his own moral ethics, racial beliefs and new information about his late father. Oh yeah and itís an election year!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Sidney Lumet (DOG DAY AFTERNOON, THE VERDICT) directs this intelligent, gritty drama with ease and basically lets his actors do their thing while the backdrop of the city of New York does its thing. Okay, so weíve all been through the "corrupt cop versus the young greenhorn lawyer" routine one too many times, but this time around there are different elements in play that make it worth the watch. The acting is particularly engaging that the time just flies by as you watch Armand Assante, Tim Hutton and the great Nick Nolte go at each other like rabid dogs. All right, letís go. Nick Nolte plays a jerk againÖto perfection! If that werenít enough this time around, big Nick puts some mustard on it. Heís very scary, intimidating as hell, intelligent, loud, corrupt, charming in a sick way and even funny on occasion. His bad boy character Walter Brennan makes Harvey Keitelís BAD LIEUTENANT look like MARY POPPINS. Okay, thatís too much, but you get my drift, heís a mean baddass with a capital B and an emphasize on ASS.
The movie is worth watching for his performance alone; heís great. I loved it. In fact, I still stay awake some nights wondering how big Nolte didnít walk away with an Oscar statuette for his role in this flick. Next up we got Timothy Hutton. Now I believe in being 100% honest in all my reviews so here it is: Iím easily the biggest Tim Hutton fan on the planet (there had to be one, right?). I didnít let that influence my review though, the truth is that Hutton gives a powerful performance and despite acting alongside two heavyweights...he pulls it off. I ended up cheering out loud for the guy. And last but certainly not least, you get the underrated Armand Assante stealing every scene that heís in. Assanteís got brass balls in this one and in the process, never lets go of yours! His goatee carries him through the first half of the picture, but itís all Assante after that and trust me when I say...he comes through gangbusters! You canít go wrong with these three guys, folks.
There is a grand total of "0" extras on this DVD, so sit back and enjoy. Actually, itís too bad because I was dying to find out whether or not that was a fat suit that Nolte was wearing or if the man actually put on those extra lbs! (one visit to the IMDB told me that he gained 50 pounds for the role...wow)
Okay, Iím not gonna blow smoke up your ass. This isnít CITIZEN KANE...heck it ainít even SERPICO; but what you do get is three legit actors pouring their blood, sweat and tears into a film with great atmosphere and a pretty decent script. One thing is for sure you could do worse on a rainy Sunday night. So skip the Red Lobster tonight, grab those car keys or bus pass and rent this bastard before your neighbor gets to it first.