Ray Liotta (CopLand) Anthony La Paglia (The Client) and Anjelica Huston (The Crossing Guard) star in this adrenaline-drenched scorcher that pulses with searing suspense and blistering action. These days it seems like ever... more »ybody s addicted to something and for Detective Harry Collins (Liotta) gambling is his "drug." He ll bet on anything no matter the odds just for the rush. But this time he s in over his head. Caught between a brutal bookie a lethal loan shark and a murderous heist gone wrong Harry has a daring paln to settle his debts once and for all. Daniel Baldwin Jeremy Piven and Kari Wuhrer co-star in this crime thriller where passions erupt tempers flare and greed burns out everything in its path.System Requirements:Starring: Ray Liotta Anthony Lapaglia Anjelica Huston Daniel Baldwin Jeremy Piven Tom Noonan and Giancarlo Esposito. Directed By: Danny Cannon. Running Time: 107 Min. Color. This film is presented in "Widescreen" format. Copyright 2000 Trimark.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: R UPC: 031398690139 Manufacturer No: VM6901D« less
Mario S. from MONTGOMRY VLG, MD Reviewed on 12/11/2009...
Not quite Pulp Fiction, but entertraining.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Where's RAY LIOTTA's Oscar for this one!
Carol Ann Weisinger (cweisinger@hot | 10/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"RAY LIOTTA is an incredible and intense actor and this movie showcases his talent better that any movie I've seen. And that's saying a lot. I have to say that RAY is one of the most underated actors to have ever graced the Silver Screen. Everyone should see this amazing movie. RAY was cast as the lead character in this film and rightly so. (He was also co-producer.) His 'Harry Collins' as a cop with a gambling problem lets us see a person losing his self-respect but still living by a code of ethics that won't let him welsh on a bet. Right there you know this guy is setting himself up for big trouble, which finds him, in spades (so to speak). Damn, this man can act!! As we watch him resort to ever desperate measures to get out of the mess he's in, you hope against hope that his bad luck will turn. Not helping matters are his cop buddies who even offer to whack his bookie, Chicago, for him! He declines the offer. He's got a better plan. Why not rob Louie, the loan shark instead? Yeah, why not? How do you think it's going to turn out? (For more information on this movie, check out the AllLiotta.com website. Not only is there a review but lots of pictures as well.)"
More than just would-be Tarantino
Alexander Berry | 07/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the most original films to come down the pike in quite some time. While initial scenes would appear to borrow from "Reservoir Dogs," "Phoenix" quickly establishes its own tone. The dialogue is great (the King Kong speech itself is worth the price of admission), and the actors have the skill to bring it all off. Liotta is one of the most powerful, charismatic actors working today, and here he finally gets the kind of material that actually gives him a few challenges. "Phoenix" is more than just a well done entry in the noir genre; it's a spectacular, witty film with a great cast and many, many great moments. Liotta forever!"
Worthwhile Tale of Small Town Corruption
Alexander Berry | Boynton Beach, Florida | 07/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Borrowing heavily from the film noir genre, Danny Cannon adroitly lifts the thematic feel, if not the look, of the best "whodunit" films of the 40's and beyond. Updated with the gritty 90's realism of foul language, "Phoenix" is an exercise in the cruel lesson that morality, or the lack thereof, is measured in small degrees. Our flawed and tragic anti-hero, played by Liotta in what may very well be his best role since his character "Ray" in Jonathan Demme's "Something Wild" (1986), systematically exorcises his "loser" demons and his sole vice, gambling, by obliterating every connection to it in his world by the end of the film. Though ultimately doomed, we find ourselves pathetically rooting for him, because he is a LIKEABLE corrupt cop. Quite an acting an directing accomplishment for all involved. The strong supporting cast includes standout Jeremy Piven, who demonstrates his range by playing the pathetic wimp of the police gang, whose wife effectively ruins his life. Prior to this role, he was in danger of being typecast as the slightly balding, wise-cracking high school buddy. A refreshingly strong storyline against a stark and barren desert background is complimented by equally strong and passionate acting all around. Great entertainment for 2 hours, compared to the drivel Hollywood usually tries to stick us with. A must-see if you appreciate film noir, but don't go see it if you're trying to quit smoking- almost everyone in the film is a hardcore chain smoker."
Bangup job of a neo-noir
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 08/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's no denying that this film is at least semi-formulaic, but the thing is that the writers and the director know how to USE the formula to the advantage of the viewer. That's the difference. Sure you got your obvious good guys and bad guys, but the acting is solid, the pacing is flawless, the characters are juicy, the plotting is strong, and the camerawork is spot on. So what's not to like?
Ray Liotta reins in his often cynically smirky-nasty persona thing to project the character of Harry Collins, a gambling-addicted cop who actually has feelings. Anthony LaPaglia is the bad cop, Mike Henshaw, and, formulaically, all bad--but very very good at being all bad. The babes are not just one-dimensionally hot, but instead, thanks to the presence of Angelica Huston, have substance and character as well as a tough veneer that hides some tenderness underneath. And yes, that's kinda formulaic too, but she's a world class actress who knows how to do this better than a whole lot of others out there.
Harry's gambiling and Mike's debt to Louie--played to smarmy perfection by Giancarlo Esposito (one of the best character actors acround)--results in the gang of four cops (Liotta, LaPaglia, Jeremy Piven and Daniel Baldwin) engaging in some illegal activity to net a lot of fast cash. But since the illegal activity is commited against a guy who himself does a lot of illegal stuff, it's OK, right?
Well, sort of. The main neo-noir plot convention--that things never turn out the way they're supposed to--is followed but again, it's fun to see how they play out in this punchy little flick.
I liked this a lot. This one you watch. Liotta's other neo-noir, Inferno, starts off great and then totally collapses. So that one you don't. But Phoenix works. Yeah."