Fritz Brown is an ex-LAPD, recovering alcoholic who now splits his time repossessing cars for a used car lot and staffing his one-man private detective agency. When a filthy caddie named ... See full summary »
Her goldfish dead, her lover exposed as a rat, Shawn Holloway leaves her bank post and goes to the roof intent on suicide. Before she can leap, she's taken hostage by Charlie Anders, a ... See full summary »
Fritz Brown is an ex-LAPD, recovering alcoholic who now splits his time repossessing cars for a used car lot and staffing his one-man private detective agency. When a filthy caddie named Freddy "Fat Dog" Baker wanders into Fritz's office one day, flashing a wad of cash, Fritz is hired to follow Fat Dog's kid sister Jane, who is holed up with a Beverly Hills sugar daddy named Sol Kupferman. Kupferman is a 70 year-old bag man for the mob, and Fat Dog claims that "Solly K" is up to something evil that may harm Jane. The trail leads Fritz to an encounter with his dark past in the person of Haywood Cathcart, current head of LAPD internal affairs and the person who kicked Fritz off the police force. But what is Cathcart doing in business with a mobster? And why is Jane shacked up with a man old enough to be her grandfather? Fritz starts asking some questions, and the answers are all bad news. Fritz finds himself back on Haywood Cathcart's short list, and as the bodies start to pile up ... Written by
I am amazed that, given the reviews of the film (all apart from two rate the film highly), how this film managed to score so poorly. Indeed, I think it's a huge shame that it didn't get a better cinema release in this country. I only saw it on video.
I thought it was excellent thriller in the noir tradition. There are three standout elements. First, the plot and feel of the film. These are faithful to James Ellroy's book, more so than in the case of LA Confidential. I was amazed how much of the detailed plot was included (and believe me Ellroy plots are detailed!) Secondly, Cynthia Millar's haunting piano score was probably largely responsible for my second viewing of the film. Thirdly, Michael Rooker's performance. I had only ever remembered him as the villain in Sea of Love, a part he played well but not outstandingly. Here, though, his hangdog expression served him excellently. He is a modern Robert Mitchum, born to play noir leads. Actually he's better, Mitchum was too smooth.
Highly recommended. Go see it and give it more deserving marks on the board than it has at the moment. I haven't mentioned Jason Freedland's contribution, but I hope to see more from this talented director, given his superb first attempt.
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