All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
King of New York
Not everyone who runs a city is elected.
A former drug lord returns from prison determined to wipe out all his competition and distribute the profits of his operations to New York's poor and lower classes in this stylish and ultra violent modern twist on Robin Hood.
You could imagine during production that Abel Ferrara must have felt that his stylized neon saturated gangster film, complete with his biggest budget thus far, may prove to be his most mainstream and accessible feature, harking back as it did to the similar celluloid criminal mayhem that James Cagney would feature in in earlier days.
But upon its release in 1990, critics and audiences alike didn't see it that way at all. They gave it a resounding thumbs down, whilst some even booed the cast at screenings and demanded the profit went to drug rehab programmes in the titular city. Such reactions only further served the notoriety of Ferrara as an enfant terrible of American indie cinema scene. And so…
Abel Ferrara's best looking film. It's a film of dualities.
The photography captures the contrasts of the decadence of elite Manhattanite dwellings to the filth of the streets. Ferrara's direction teases out the similarities between the two vastly different settings. Then he paints both worlds with a thick coat of sleaze and corruption.
Scenes are filled with well dressed men who suddenly explode into violence, their blood a fresh color on the grim tapestry of the city. The cops who are willing to bend and break the law. The crooks who clean up the streets by force. By the time it ends the moral lines have blurred.
Walken looks skeletal, ghostly. His face is gaunt and plastered with subtle expression.…
Dark and gritty and sleazy in that way Abel Ferrara has perfected up to this point, KING OF NEW YORK features Christopher Walken at the peak of his acting powers, calling the shots and taking out his rivals. Ferrara flips the tables though, as a lot of Walken's violence seems strangely justified, like a robin hood gangster with a heart of gold. That doesn't prevent cop David Caruso (in a possibly Boston accent) from hating his ever-loving guts though. Despite a great performance from Laurence Fishburne, including some great toe-to-toe scenes with Wesley Snipes, I feel like his performance was the one thing holding the movie back. In most of the early and middle portions of the movie, he lays…
Ferrara gets a budget and makes a meandering B-grade gangster flick with A-grade style. An irresponsible portrait of irresponsibility. Or so it seems: is this really just a coked-up cliché rolling in a pile of cash, indulging in its genre with sneering crassness, or is it exploiting these tropes in an effort to say something meaningful? It's tough to say, and the real pleasure of this film lies in its coarse complexity and the way it withholds easy identification with any of its characters. The final act does veer away from the decadence and corruption to go out on a more operatic note, but Ferrara would be thoroughly shown up by De Palma with Carlito's Way just a few years later. Still, it's just "off" enough to make for a compelling watch.
Christopher Walken kicks arse in a nice looking mafia thriller, that when not busy being unbusy and sluggishly paced, is occupied with niftily playing with the audience through cinematography or plain and simply being awesome.
Gotta miss old school blood. That splatter. CGI blood is an atrocity to action films. It just looks so awesome, and there's so much blood spilt here in 1990's New York. Lawrence Fishburne helps, he also gets a handful of pussy, but no chicken, (makes sense if you've seen it). Steve Buscemi makes an appearance and promptly leaves. Wesley Snipes is usual badass. Victor Argo is full of pathos.
The whole cast really makes this film. The story was rather stale and the characters not…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
(King Tito opens a suitcase, expecting money for his dope but faced with a multitude of tampons)
King Tito: What the fuck is this?
Jimmy Jump: They're for the bullet holes, puta.
(Jimmy and his crew unleash with various calibers, decimating their rivals)
Uncouth, brash and possessing an almost soft porn aesthetic, King of New York is not for everyone, but it certainly makes an impression whatever the result. Christopher Walken excels as Frank White, playing calm and calculated with a hint of lizard. Many familiar faces support, most notably Laurence Fishburne sporting a bowler hat and a ludicrous walk. Also features death by fire hydrant, a Nosferatu loving Chinese gangster and lots of nipples.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Most interesting to me as an exploration of violence and its ends. Both parties (Walken and his gang; Caruso and Snipes) use violence as a means to what they perceive as good ends (the betterment of the neighborhood & the eradication of "how they do business"; the eradication of Walken's violence). Ferrara, of all directors, knows that this will not end well but shows us how these characters perceive violence - as a liberating act (shown when the lieutenant shoots off his cuffs in close-up) and as an act of moral good - and how the implementation of that violence changes. He shows us how a path of violence warps the original intentions, from betterment of a community to plain…
The real King of New York is Kendrick Lamar.
I need him and Christopher Walken to have a rap battle to determine who the real King of New York is.
Hardest movie. Hardest cast. Except David Caruso.
Everyone can find employment at the Plaza, if they can stomach it. The film has no illusions about what kind of person Frank is, but he's still the only one who is concerned about the future. Not his legacy but THE legacy, of humankind. Frank is the only one willing to fund the hospital. It's a telling detail that would be the event to push the vengeful cops over the edge when they see the donation on TV. "Vengeful" might not even be the right word. Frank hasn't done anything specifically to warrant this level of aggression. He's being made into a symbol - sometimes even by himself: "I'm not your problem. I'm just a businessman."
That tendency leads to…
Vor ein paar Jahren hätte KING OF NEW YORK sicher noch fünf Sterne von mir bekommen.Inzwischen gehen mir aber das manierierte Gezappel von Larry Fischburne (Jimmy Jump), die zu langen Musik- und Tanznummern und die stilisierte Hochglanzästhetik (a la Cinema du Look) etwas auf die Nerven.
Dreamy movie where Frank White dreams of a better world.
All style no substance.
Stylist and almost meditative through the violence of organized crime v. law enforcement battles.
This is a fascinating Christopher Walken-starring vehicle that reveals what it's up to slowly.
El personaje interpretado por Walken en esta película me recuerda un poco al Kingpin de la serie de Daredevil interpretado por D'Onofrio.
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This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
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