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18 user 16 critic

Illtown (1996)

Dante and his girlifrend Micky run a very profitable drug operation in a seaside town, aided and abetted by a host of teens who sell the smack at discos around town, as well as by Lucas, a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dante
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Micky
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Gabriel
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Francis (Cisco)
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Lilly
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D'Avalon
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George
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Lucas
Saul Stein ...
Gunther
Adam Cartwright ...
The Kid
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Young Flaco
Ian Marioles ...
Will Noney
Melanie Adams ...
Eristina
Mauricio Conpte ...
Pep Lecara
Matt McLane ...
Ghost Machine
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Storyline

Dante and his girlifrend Micky run a very profitable drug operation in a seaside town, aided and abetted by a host of teens who sell the smack at discos around town, as well as by Lucas, a corrupt cop who's on the take. Their downfall comes when they suspect one of the boys, Pep, of ripping them off, and his accidental death causes disloyalty among the teens, who suspect Dante offed them. All of this is perfect for the return of Gabriel, a one-time partner of Dante, who has just been released from jail, and has an almost angelic demeanor and the certainty that he can fix everyone's lives. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong drug use, violence and language, and for brief nudity
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Release Date:

16 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cidade Doente  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,478, 19 January 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$14,478, 23 January 1998
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eddie Kaye Thomas's film debut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretensions abound
16 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

Man, I can't believe I stayed up until 1am watching this mistake on IFC. I really enjoyed Laws of Gravity (granted I saw it almost 10 years ago and my opinion may be quite different if I saw it today), so I figured Illtown would be at worst an engaging if not unique film. The thing is, it's not a extremely bad film, it's just drops the ball in alot of places, is pretentious in many others and is a mess and a failure at the end. I mean, to start with, Gomez seems to equate putting vague segues, low talking and excruciating overused slo-mo with standard crime film cliches as great film making. The talent is there with Rappaport (Wigger #1, my man!), Taylor and Corrigan, the cinematography is creative, and the story, while not unique, is engrossing enough to make you want to spend 90 minutes on. The pacing is tolerable at first and the quiet slow dialog between Rappaport and Taylor is captivating for about 45 minutes, but then cliches, unrealistic criminal behaviour and TONY DANZA derail this into what ultimately is a failure, and an irratating one at that. The characters, Gabriel and D'Avalon in particular, are portrayed as too "cool for words", as if we are suppossed to be impressed with them because the filmatic cues instruct us to. Gabriel is terribley overacted, his motives are legit but his execution of his plan is absurdlly plotted, confusing and devoid of the tension Gomez seems to think we'll allow him without earning it. People are killed left and right in what is suppossed to be shockinging casualness but comes off more comical and absurd (aparently the only cops beside the corrupt one are the ones in flashbacks.) It's like Gomez picked the top 5 most public places to NOT commit a murder and just offs people without consequence. That isn't shocking, it's dopey. "Hey, I'll kill one of my crew out of tough guy spite in my girlfriend's apartment like it was ordering a pizza!" Ooooooooh, how Tarantino. Rappaport is OK (he isn't bad at all, rather likeable, but is kind of trapped in a crummy movie), Taylor is actually quite good (and as a cheap "guy" aside, she's actually kinda cute in this movie. After seeing her in one too many "ugly duckling/manly psycho" roles this was refreshing). It was nice to see her character as business equal, not just "minor drug lord's girlsfriend". I really liked Corrigan who's occasional overblown performance seems more a result of a cliched script than his ability. But really, the absurdity of absurdities is DANZA. Poking holes in a Tony Danza performance is like shooting fish in a barrel then stomping on them in jackboots on the driveway, so I feel pretty cheap doing this. The roles as it appears he was directed and dictated by ridiculous dialog (drug lord dialog 101) would be terrible if it was Pacino, for Godsake, but with Danza it's atrocious. Hey, I'm all for reinventing youself (I still applaud Stallone for Copland and I still foolishly root for the never-materializing Great Jim Carrey dramatic role). The man simply had no clue how to approach this already cliched character, so he did what he thought would come off as "important": he spoke low, added a bit of lame fey (oooh, the drug lord is gay, so I'll play him like a angry dandy), started every scene with a disarming non-sequitor . . . ugh. What a pretentious pile of crap. Questions abound: Why didn't Gabriel just kill Dante? How was the corrupt cop in Florida and Boston? Why do bodies lie undiscovered for days? Where is everyone in this city? Why doesn't Gabriel look anything short of an chiseled underwear model after getting beat with a pool cue and strangled (not a damn mark on him after loosing teeth and turning purple)? What the HELL is the deal with Isaac Hayes? And DOES DANTE DIE? Is the abiguity suppossed to impress me? It just comes off as stupid.


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