Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Johnny Handsome |
Actors: Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Elizabeth McGovern, Morgan Freeman, Forest Whitaker
Director: Walter Hill
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Lions Gate Home Ent. Release Date: 07/27/2010 Run time: 386 minutes Rating: R
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Walter Hill's film noir masterpiece
Christopher William Jack | Toronto, ON Canada | 07/31/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of Director Walter (48 Hrs, The Warriors, Hard Times) Hill's very best films. A moody, somber revenge films that recalls the film noirs of the 40's. Great cast led by Rourke as the disfigured ironically named "cheap crook" of the title. A crook who is wronged and uses a controversial facial surgery to seek revenge against the scumbags that killed Johnny's friend, framed him and tried to kill him twice.
I'm glad this finally came to blu-ray in a pristine condition 1080 p widescreen with some ok bonus features (the features are fine but they do not include Hill or any of the main cast). I just wanted the movie. Hopefully someday Lion's Gate or whoever puts out Walter Hill's "Extreme Prejudice" properly. Both this and that were only available in crappy cropped versions."
About bloody time
a movie fan | Orangevale, CA USA | 05/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I gave up on this film being released in the US and bought a German PAL version. The BLU ray version is 4 minutes longer (part of the difference probably from the transfer technology) and has a much higher aspect ratio. I may buy it again. This is one of Walter Hill's best films, and has superb performances from many people, especially Lance Henriksen, who tops all his other batcrap crazy roles (perhaps New Orleans brought out something special in him). Mickey Rourke's performance is what the Oscar was created to reward, and probably the best acting of his career.
Although a modern film (1989), it has a bitterly noir feel to it. Fatalism shadows everything in the film, and is perfectly embodied in Morgan Freeman's character, a wryly cynical lawman who tracks Johnny's vengeful self-destruction. It's certainly not a happy movie, but it is an extremely enjoyable one. Until someone devotes a serious study to Hill's work, it may languish underappreciated, but it really is a masterpiece. Highly recommended."
Good 80s Film-Noir
Joshua Miller | Coeur d'Alene,ID | 11/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Based on The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome by John Godey, this 1989 film stars 2008's comeback kid Mickey Rourke as a disfigured crook given a chance get revenge on the people who killed his friend.
Rourke plays John Sedley, who looks not unlike Rocky Dennis from Mask and Rourke's Sin City character Marv. Disfigured and with a speech impediment, Johnny helps his friend Mikey (Scott Wilson) with a heist. Soon, Mikey is dead and Johnny's in jail, while killers Rafe (Lance Henriksen) and Sunny (Ellen Barkin) get away with the money. Sentenced to 5 years in prison, Johnny is offered a new face and a new identity by Dr. Steven Resher (Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker). When his surgery is complete, Johnny gets a job at a shipyard and begins planning a new heist...And his revenge.
Morgan Freeman co-stars as Lieutenant Drones, a hardboiled cop waiting for Johnny to slip up.
This is a fine piece of 80s film-noir with a terrific performance courtesy of the films leading man. Rourke hits all the right notes with this character; tough, angry, troubled. He even brings some pathos to his role and plays the part with a speech impediment that never seems forced. One particular scene featuring a fine piece of acting is when Johnny tells Dr. Resher his "Halloween" story. The acting bit was surprisingly affecting.
Whitaker is also very good in his small role and Barkin plays the skanky, double-crossing Sunny very well. Freeman, so good at playing the nice guy, steps out of type to play the untrusting Lt. Drones. Freeman gives his character a pulp feel (note: may have more to do with the writing) that compliments the rest of the film nicely. Henriksen's Rafe is a Billy Idol-lookalike and really isn't anything new as far as 80s tough-guy villains go.
The biggest problem with Johnny Handsome has is the 80s feel; its sort of cheap, shoddy look. It's not a timeless movie, but the 80s look DOES give it a more noir-ish feel. Johnny Handsome is film noir, make no mistake about it. Director of photography, Matthew F. Leonetti likes smoky nightclubs and motel rooms and the score alternates between jazzy and noir-esque to (unfortunately) synthesized and 80s. It doesn't hold up next to an 80s-noir like Body Heat, but it's certainly better than recent retro-noir like The Black Dahlia.
It's worth noting to keep people from being mislead; this is not an action-packed film rather, it's a film that concentrates more on characters, dialogue, and plot. Some may find it dull in spots and I certainly did. It's a slow build-up, but one that passes the time.