Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, "From the Inside", upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.
New York gangster Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel takes a brief business trip to Los Angeles. A sharp-dressing womaniser with a foul temper, Siegel doesn't hesitate to kill or maim anyone crossing him. In L.A. the life, the movies, and most of all strong-willed Virginia Hill detain him while his family wait back home. Then a trip to a run-down gambling joint at a spot in the desert known as Las Vegas gives him his big idea. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
The film takes several key historical liberties, especially with the Flamingo and Bugsy's dealings with his fellow mobsters. See more »
Joey, listen. I think you owe both of us an apology for the name that you called Virginia.
Yeah? Well, you can suck that apology right out of my dick.
Joey, what words to say. Put it out, then. All right, you know what? I'll pull mine out first. Watch. Here we go...
[unzips pants, then punches Joey in the face and beats him severely, then stops]
Joey, can ya hear me? You're lucky I didn't have a lot to drink tonight. Your apology is accepted.
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Big, stylish period gangster film has great performance by Beatty...
Just when I thought James Cagney's "top of the world, ma!" performance in WHITE HEAT was the definitive portrait of a psychopathic hood, along comes BUGSY with Warren Beatty as an even more insane, over-the-top hoodlum just as cold blooded (possibly more so) than Cagney's Cody Jarrett.
Beatty is just as menacing and handy with a gun as Cagney ever was, and what's more he's got a great script to back him up. I'm not and never have been a Beatty fan, but if the man had to win an Oscar for anything, I'd say give it to him for BUGSY, the nickname Benjamin Siegel hated anyone to use.
How true all the details are I don't know. I'll have to do a background check on Bugsy when I finish this review, but the movie is filled with what appears to be accurate period detail throughout with some great sets and art direction. Ironically, it only received a couple of honors in the technical categories although honored with many nominations.
ANNETTE BENING matches Beatty every step of the way with a mesmerizing performance as Virginia Hill, the woman he has a huge obsession for. The jealousy angle is played up with some vivid scenes between Beatty and Bening that director Barry Levinson controls with just the right amount of passion.
BEN KINGSLEY, ELLIOT GOULD (quite effective in an overlooked role as an ill-fated dumb gangster) and HARVEY KEITEL all stand out in solid supporting roles. So does JOE MANTEGNA (as George Raft), playing his role with smooth style reminiscent of Raft--and in one of the film's more interesting moments seen doing a scene from "Manpower" with an actress impersonating Marlene Dietrich.
The use of '40s background music ("Accentuate the Positive" and many others) is especially well handled and sets the mood for a number of montages and glimpses of the Las Vegas scene during that period. Whether or not Beatty got his inspiration for building a gambling casino in the middle of the desert is accurate or not, the story is a gripping one, taking unexpected twists and turns as it moves toward its grim conclusion.
Summing up: Overtaken at the Oscars by "Silence of the Lambs," it's a film well worth seeking out if you missed it the first time, as I did.
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