Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.
Gambler. Thief. Junkie. Killer. Cop.
While investigating a young nun's rape, a corrupt New York City police detective, with a serious drug and gambling addiction, tries to change his ways and find forgiveness.
Mr. White as a cop living on the mother fucking edge. Blow. Bo fuckin' Dietl. A smart bet. Baseball. A street pharmacist. Crack is whack. Naked dancing. Flaccid Harvey. A convenience store shakedown. A despicable-horrific-sad-face act of violence. Darryl fuckin' Strawberry. Stealing from the dead. Chicks in penguin suits. A nude nun. Jersey bad girls. A serious question. Extreme-chicken-chokin'. Fuck you cassette player! Holy communion. Yummy wafers! Sad confessions. Not giving a flyin' fuck who you snort coke in front of. Nightclub action. Playing dumb. Uncontrolable laughter. An empty threat. China fuckin' White. Real fuckin' justice. Holy fuckin' hallucinations. Some real good shit. The way Harvey says cocksucker. The bus. Checking out for good. Harvey fuckin' Keitel blows it out…
Less a narrative than an examination of the depths of redemption, Bad Lieutenant takes an unlikable asshole and asks us how much we can take before we want him dead. Harvey Keitel's Lieutenant is a complete monster, a walking pharmacy cabinet, and, besides a strikingly inane suburban side-life, has nothing redeeming about him. We're treated to increasingly detestable episodes that showcase his brutality, hubris, and utter nihilism until there's seemingly no deeper he can sink.
The showcasing of his banal domestic life seems to be director Abel Ferrara's indication that most, if not all, of LT's woes are of his own causing. He mistakes self-destruction for pride. He thinks himself untouchable, even as he becomes more and more erratic. It…
Managed to bring this to a screening at my local (student) film club, on 35mm even, and counting me we were 15 people there. Good times.
Good times were not what Harvey Keitel's cop was going through. Penned by Ferrara himself, together with Zoe Lund, star of Ferrara's earlier Ms. 45, this is a pure, unadulterated downward spiral into the deepest darkest corners of a rotten soul. Keitel pours every inch (yes, literally) of himself into the part, and his cathartic climax is brutal. He's never better than here, in my view.
He's not backed up by much, though, the rest of the cast are more extras than anything else, although the "drug buddy" pretty much nails it.
The pacing isn't all that either, and if it's fun you're looking for, you want Herzog's "remake", not this.
The ending has never sat right with me, and the women tonight really didn't care for it.
Pretty sure I disliked this at the time, probably for the same reason I like it now: Nothing but downward spiral, plus one agonized act of forgiveness. The early, iconic scene in which Lt. Bad staggers around naked, his face a mask of pain, arguably does more harm than good—it's certainly arresting and memorable (so much so that it became the primary marketing image), but it overwhelms what's otherwise a remarkably flat, almost procedural portrait of ingrained vice. I liked Herzog's "remake," too, but try to imagine Nicolas Cage just zipping up his pants and silently walking back to his car after forcing those two girls to perform for him; that there isn't even a sardonic "You ladies drive…
I don't wanna talk about it.
'Where were you? Where the fuck were you? WHERE WERE YOU?'
A very apt movie title. Harvey Keitel is a police Lieutenant, and he is in fact bad. I actually prefer the Werner Herzog remake, but both films are very different. Bad Lieutenant is a more straightforward drama, whereas Port of Call is darkly comic.
This film is a pure story in which you follow a main character that is a huge piece of shit. Harvey Keitel does such a great job in creating a character that you should feel sympathy for on some level, but you revile him because he's such an awful person. Watching him do the awful things, trying to be a good cop, and with an ending that is fitting to the character, it makes you wonder if it's the job, his family, or the damn city of New York that has corrupted him over the time. It's beautifully shot and full of moments where you wonder if it's going a little too far at times. It's a great film.
That's one baaaad Lieutenant. Except near the end - when he becomes one sad Lieutenant.
Keitel is really good here.
No plot. Just some fucked up shit and Harvey Keitel's dick.
Feels very Scorsese-influenced, even down to the Catholic guilt, but without Scorsese's good taste. That's a good thing because sometimes good taste is the enemy of art. This is crazy, powerful trash/exploitation filmmaking.
The explosive man hits us this time with a relentless character study, assisted by a master-class from Harvey Keitel – and its worth remembering. This was a movie of two people – the actor and the director. The actor put in a flawless performance, the director gives him his space; the actor gets stoned, the director designs the camera; it’s like a film created by two people in total synchronization. There are layers to Keitel’s performance that keep you glued to the screen – he plays a 24*7 zapped hot-headed lonely gambler cop – and how he carries that role is for all to see and be amazed. The director took a leap of faith by letting his character occupy…
Drunk, high, crying and a full frontal nude Jesus pose. Just the way I like my Keitel.
"You gotta say something! Something! You fuck, you fucking stand there and you want me to do every fucking thing! Where were you? Where the fuck are you? Where were you? Where the hell were you? I... I... I'm sorry. I'm so sorry! I'm sorry! I did so many bad things. I'm sorry. I tried to do... I try to do the right thing, but I'm weak, I'm too fucking weak. I need you to help me"
After watching the terrible remake with actual cokehead Nicholas Cage then watching the original, I think I know which one is better. The original.
Harvey Keitel is a better bad lieutenant, because he is actually bad and not fucking insane like Cage is. Keitel does his best performance ever, a fantastic example of this is the scene when he hallucinates and talks to Jesus Christ. Such a powerful scene, both physically and metaphorically.
Anybody that shoots his car radio can't be all bad.
Despite everything this movie contains, I find myself fixating on that sequence where Harvey Keitel shoots his car radio, notices someone watching, and then flips on his siren & drives off, as if that would explain to the bystander why he shot his radio. I think my mind's treating that moment like a safe haven where it doesn't have to dwell on Keitel's sad naked Jesus Christ pose or Keitel assaulting those two women (& wordlessly zipping up when finished) or Keitel desperately trying to justify his double-or-nothing bets or Keitel nodding off in the corner as Zoe Lund drops some serious junkie knowledge or Keitel leering at the raped nun's naked body or even Keitel in the wake of his spiritual epiphany as he shuffles down the sidewalk, resigned to his fate.
- About Last Night...
- The Accidental Tourist
- Across the Universe
- Boogie Nights
- The Last King of Scotland
- Eastern Promises
- The Dreamers
- The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes
- Cannibal Holocaust
- Men Behind the Sun
- Goodbye Uncle Tom
The most uncomfortable films I have ever seen. They are listed by how much discomfort I think they might cause.…