|Index||6 reviews in total|
I really liked this film. Joe Mantegna's character goes through a bit of a metamorphesis before it's over, and Kelly Maroney does a terrific job in her part as Merre. There's an awful lot of nudity and sex, but the film really wouldn't have been as good without it. By that I mean that it was important to the story line, and without it, there would have been some obvious gaps in the plot for the viewer. All of it is pretty matter of fact, and I don't think it went too far. The characters really get to you, and by the end of the flick, you're cheering for the good guys and warning them to "don't open that door!" This is a nice film to watch after the kids are asleep, and doesn't stretch your sense of incredulity. The characters are very three-dimensional and the plot never slows down. I give it a strong thumbs-up.
A night of steamy passion snowballs into a marathon of madness and murder in this gritty, provocative thriller. When blonde bombshell Meredith Lake breezes into his office, New York private eye, Bob Signorelli can't resist giving her "personal" attention. But their one-night stand becomes a deadly liaison when they are linked to a murder. Just as shocking secrets come to light about Meredith and her tie to a mysterious art gallery owner, the killer strikes again, framing Signorelli. With his long-time enemy police detective Cooper hot on his trail, Signorelli will have to catch the real killer-before the police catch him.
Joe Mantegna fans will not be disappointed, as he delivers a gritty performance. Peter Riegert is totally acceptable as well. The storyline is complicated, sometimes difficult to follow, and padded with several unnecessary sex scenes which do little to advance the plot. The movie seems overlong, with too many coincidences. The noir crime aspects are glorified and not always believable. The final scene in the subway, while exciting, is a real "rubber band job" (stretch). Finally, after all the twists and turns the ultimate outcome is disappointing, because if there was a motive for all the murder and manipulation, it is murky and non-obvious. "Face Down" is never boring, but has plenty of flaws. - MERK
I'm stunned by how good this so-called TV flick is.
The cast is top-notch: Joe Mantegna, always a favorite, mostly -- though not exclusively -- because of his Mamet work, as a disgraced NYPD detective working as a private dick; Kelli Maroney, one of the two sisters from the wacky zombie classic Night of the Comet, grown up and sexy as hell as the schizoid blonde bombshell, but still with the same crazy energy; Peter Riegert as the NYPD detective with a longstanding grudge for the Mantegna character, a former partner; rocker Adam Ant as the smarmy behind-the-scenes puppet master -- they all come together in a beautifully paced, complex noir that never takes a predictable turn.
Thom Eberhardt's direction is solid throughout: the camera work is shockingly good for a TV film (considering the profanity and nudity, that description seems odd) and the actors deliver admirably. There are no false notes, no ridiculous plot holes -- just confused, conniving, ambitious people trying to either stay afloat or get ahead.
The locations is where this movie scrimps. They're mostly backlot sets pretending to be NYC, and they look cheap and fake, but that's no one's fault. It's a low budget film. This same script, even with this fairly no-name cast, could easily be in the same league as Body Heat or Basic Instinct -- the only difference is the budget.
All-in-all a good story that held my interest from start to finish. (better than most so called Blockbusters). Made for TV movies are off to great start if this is an example. The performance given to a very complex character by a Ms Kelli Maroney was unparalleled. Hope she does more roles in the future. One warning, Face Down is definitely late night viewing only, a little heavy in the sex and nudity, but the plot is still enjoyable.
This TV movie appears in John Grant's noir annex. It's a lively and
distinctive neo-noir, told in a style that reminds me of the tone of "A
Touch of Evil" (1958), although this film is miles away from that work
of genius. We are seeing a movie reality, but the tone is somewhat
unreal or surreal, as if people were living out a dream, but not a
soporific dream, more of a puzzling conjunction of events and
characters. The screen images are sometimes enough out-of-kilter or out
of the ordinary that they almost become bizarre, and yet the movie
doesn't cross the line into being weird. A few of the characters are
off-center by enough to add to the atmosphere. This is surely the case
with the schizoid woman (Kelli Maroney) who is near the heart of the
story and who has had her medication altered by an inimical force.
The jazz score by Gunther Schuller and Joe Luvano adds also to the tone. It's not any straight-out jazz style. Rather, it uses the jazz vocabulary freely to accent the story, in the same way that classical bits and pieces have traditionally been used in Hollywood films; and it does this in a creative way that really works.
Thom Eberhardt wrote and directed the film. Of his other work, I've seen and reviewed "Without A Clue", which is a very good movie comedy indeed. His work here is sound, creative and engaging, and probably limited by the TV origin and budget.
Joe Mantegna stars as a New York private eye who was once a cop. His character's in the Sam Spade tradition, serious but seemingly a touch bemused and possessing a sense of mordant humor. He too is not above going for a client who appeals to him. Mantegna, however, has a boss to satisfy, and he is not hard-boiled. Mantegna is a highly-skilled and hard-working actor who can carry a movie. There's typically something hard to define but interesting in his screen presence that holds our attention. It might be a sense of mystery in his characters, perhaps a sense of vulnerability or sympathy toward others even when a character might be neither. In this film, he transitions from being seducer to protector. Peter Riegert is a police detective with a strong animus toward Mantegna arising from a past incident in which a young child lost her life, this leading to Mantegna's leaving the police force. Riegert is a more straight out kind of actor, his role here calling for an incisive delivery with more than a touch of bitterness and hostility. Kelli Maroney meets the challenge of playing her character in both stable and unstable modes and a good deal in between.
I liked this movie, finding it good, solid, escapist and noir entertainment.
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