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Michael Eric Dyson
A simple self-destructive drifter and tough small-time boxer with a brain injury that could kill him meets and falls for a cute beach carnival owner, Ruby, but also befriends a sleazy friendly criminal, Wesley, who's planing a big score.
Butch "Bullet" Stein is a Jewish junkie from the mean streets of Brooklyn, is paroled after eight years in prison. Butch rips off a runner for local drug dealer, Tank, and is soon right back into his old habits of snorting coke and shooting up heroin with his best friend Lester. Enraged by Butch's affront and already determined to get revenge on him for a past wrong, Tank sets about getting even with his old enemy by hiring a hulking brute, Gates to beat Butch. When the confrontation occurs, however, Gates breaks his hand on the battle-hardened Butch. Besides Lester, the only people in Butch's corner are his two brothers, the mentally-unhinged Vietnam War veteran Louis and aspiring artist Ruby, neither of whom can be counted on to help him in the inevitable showdown. Written by
This is not Mickey Rourke's best work (that title goes to "Barfly"), but it's close. It's a pity that the grittiness of this film made it unacceptable to so many, but for those of us who have known people stuck in the quicksand of inner-city life despite their best instincts (and loved them in spite of their mistakes), "Bullet" rings so sadly true. Rourke, Adrien Brody, and particularly Ted Levine elevate a depressing little gangland story to the level of an epic commentary on the degredation of life at the end of the 20th century. This one is not for the weak stomach, but it IS for the social crusader.
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