Showing posts with label Victor Argo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Victor Argo. Show all posts

Monday, 23 July 2012

King of New York

"You guys got fat while everybody starved on the street. Now it's my turn"

A New York drug lord Frank White (Christopher Walken) is being driven in his limousine back into the city following his release from prison. His crew are busy taking out a rival Columbian gang who have been encroaching on White’s business while he’s been away. Once he’s back White wastes no time in taking out more of New York’s crime lords and cements himself as the King of New York. Disgruntled that they are never able to get charges to stick, a few wild Police Officers decide that the only way to stop White and his gang is to take them out.

Featuring an impressive cast which alongside Walken includes gangsters Laurence Fishburne, Steve Buscemi, Giancarlo Esposito and Theresa Randle with Cops Wesley Snipes, Victor Argo and David Caruso the film is a tale of good vs evil, but as you’d expect the lines between the two are blurred. Although not in the same league as the likes of Scarface, Carlito’s Way or Serpico all of which share themes with this, it is a decent gangster picture.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Mean Streets


Generally regarded as Martin Scorsese’s first great film and the third in my Scorsese in Sequence feature, Mean Streets is perhaps Scorsese’s most personal film to date. Centred in Manhattan’s Little Italy neighbourhood that Scorsese grew up, in the film charts the day to day lives of a group of young Italian American men. Charlie (Harvey Keitel) is a semi connected guy who works for his uncle, a local mafia boss but dreams of running a restaurant. He feels responsible for his no good friend Johnny Boy (Robert DeNiro) who owes everyone in the neighbourhood money and has no intention of paying it back. Michael (Richard Romanus) is a loan shark who Johnny Boy owes a huge debt to. Johnny Boy tries to avoid the people he owes but this becomes difficult as both he and Michael frequent Tony’s (David Proval) bar.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Boxcar Bertha

Martin Scorsese’s second picture and the second in my Scorsese in Sequence feature is Boxcar Bertha. Bertha Thompson (Barbara Hershey) is a young woman whose father dies in an aircraft accident. With no money and no home she travels around the Depression hit South aboard railway boxcars. Along the way she meets ‘Big’ Bill Shelly (David Carradine), a Union Man and suspected Communist. The two of them begin a relationship and along with Yankee, Rake Brown (Barry Primus) and ‘negro’, Von Morton (Bernie Casey) take to robbing trains as a means of surviving.

This is unlike most other Scorsese films. It is the only one to feature a woman in the central role and one of only a handful set outside of the East Coast. As a result it feels amongst the least Scorsese-esque of his films. The direction is fairly straightforward. There are no trademark long tracking shots, very little popular music and cutting is slow and traditional. One area in which Scorsese does stick to type is with Bertha’s moral ambiguity. At the beginning she is a sweet young girl but towards the end she is a woman who will do anything it takes to survive and appears to enjoy the wilder side of life. The film also contains Scorsese’s trademark violence, especially in an unexpectedly brutal final scene.