Mac Mckussic is an unlikely drug dealer who wants to go straight. His old and best friend Nick Frescia is now a cop who is assigned to investigate and bring him to justice. Mac is very ... See full summary »
Armed with a license to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007 and must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but things are not what they seem.
A veteran cop, Murtaugh, is partnered with a young suicidal cop, Riggs. Both having one thing in common; hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
All Tess Trueheart wants is to settle down to a quiet life with her boyfriend, detective Dick Tracy. But there's something pretty rotten going on in town, with someone pretty rotten behind it, and Tracy has his hands full with the likes of villain Big Boy Caprice and with the almost irresistable Breathless Mahoney. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The credits, in order of appearance, show Pruneface then Mumbles; Mumbles first appeared long before Pruneface did. See more »
Gangland enforcers broke the arms of an elderly newsdealer this afternoon when he refused to share his week's receipts with them. Stacks of newspapers were tossed in the gutter as the thugs wrecked the business and made their getaway. Lunchtime crowds were paralyzed by the suddenness of the crime. Not a hand was raised in protest.
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With his sights primarily set on Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino), Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty) tries to round up a number of gangsters. At the same time, he informally adopts a street kid (Charlie Korsmo), encounters problems with girlfriend Tess Trueheart (Glenne Headly), and flirts with Breathless Mahoney (Madonna).
If I were to rate Dick Tracy only on production design--sets, matte paintings, costumes, special make-up, color schemes, and so on--I wouldn't hesitate to give it a 10. Throughout its length, the film looks fantastic--like a surreal, day-glo, pop art film noir. Super saturated primary and secondary colors dominate, occasionally offset by rich tertiary colors. The colors are consistently combined in effective, varied and intriguing ways. The surreal "locations" are a combination of matte paintings and sets seamlessly melded in a manner that remains technically impressive. The make-up effects for Dick Tracy's bizarre characters are excellent. They manage to both capture the precise look of the comic books villains and appear realistic at the same time. If the film were just a set of art photos and/or paintings, it would be one of the masterpieces of at least the 1990s.
However, as a film, there's a story that writers Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr. want to tell. That story is a complete mess. For some godforsaken reason, Cash and Epps try to include every villain from the Tracy comics that they can remember. They seem to also include half of the plot lines they can remember. But they forget to write in any explanation or motivation for why Tracy is going after whomever he's going after at a given moment. Combined with overly quick, abrupt editing that too often bounces back and forth between unrelated scenes, the plot seems as if Cash and Epps set out bullet points of villains, villain interconnections and schemes, then threw them together almost randomly in a string of non-sequiturs.
Characters played by well-known and capable actors are completely wasted. There's just not enough time to get into them. Others, such as Madonna, seem to have demanded contractual clauses that guaranteed screen time (in this case featuring singing) whether the appearance serviced the story or not. Some of the cast, such as Pacino, crazily overact. Others, such as William Forsythe as Flattop, turn in understated performances. I don't mind either style (and who is more fun to watch chewing scenery than Pacino?) but Beatty, who also directed, appears to have not known what he wanted to shoot for in that capacity. Part of the problem could be confusion due to the script being such a mess. Beatty, by the way, displays a peculiar inability to change his facial expression, which remains cemented in a seemingly new character--I'll name him "Frogface"--throughout the film (maybe that's how Beatty always is and I just didn't notice it so much before). In terms of his vocal phrasing and general emoting, Beatty portrays Tracy as a cross between Bob Newhart, Keanu Reeves and Harrison Ford. I like all of those other actors, and I'm definitely a fan of oddities, but in this context, I'm not sure it works. I was never a big reader of the Tracy comics, though. Maybe it's a perfect fit, but I'm guessing that it makes as much sense as Gilbert Gottfried as Batman (which, come to think of it, I'd like to see, but obviously more as a spoof).
There appear to be fans of this film, so the plot must not be such a mess and the performances must not be so questionable in everyone's opinion. For my part, I suggest that you watch the film like a slide show while you put on a couple CDs for a soundtrack and ignore any pretense of a story.
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