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…
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.
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…
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.
Walken being his usual badass self.
Lots of familiar faces and their all so youthful and angry in Abel Ferrara's grimy crime thriller set to the bad lands of New York. Frank, ferociously played by Walken, is a former drug lord recently released from the slammer who hopes to contribute to society rather than corrupt it.
Plenty of grit, drug snorting, gun violence and police corruption with committed turns from Larry before he was Lawrence, Wesley Pipes and even Ginger Caruso.
While stylishly filmed, the characters are shallow, the story is basic and lacking suspense and the limited budget is apparent for the action set pieces. Nevertheless, strong performances and some fine dialogue ensure King of New York stays reasonably enjoyable.
R.I.P The nuanced Christopher Walken performance.
Shame too what a talent.
The entire New York criminal underground is turned upside down when kingpin Frank White (Walken) is released from prison. Frank considers himself to be cut from a different cloth than the Asian, Colombian, and Italian gangs he tries to mow down. After all, he only kills people who deserve it, and he re-distributes much of his earnings to things like hospitals. A veritable Robin Hood, is he.
Though Frank is the central figure of the movie, he is an enigma, a 40-year old white man leading a gang of young blacks against all the other gangs (including the "Irish gang," i.e., the cops). Frank wants to use his money to do great things, and he just needs One More Year…
It tries to show Walken's character as some kind of troubled hero, a good criminal. It never works, it might as well be the film that young drug dealers love to see, wishing to be Frank White. The ending flirts with a conclution that would've work in a morality tale, wish this flm crearly isn't. Then again, Ferrara fails at every aspect, even in terms of verisimilitude. The plot goes nowhere, Walken's is trying to build a dream, to be back in top again and help his people, but as the movie progresses, that thing start to be less and less important, to the point that the films seems more interested in showing naked women and bloody killings (so the…
Interesting reimagining of a Robin Hood-esque tale, but slightly ruined by a ten minute scene in a eye-blinding blue.
I did not like this movie. All the minorities are stereotyped to the point where it can be seen as a parody. Hip Hop was just becoming popular (in the mainstream) and the film thought it would take full advantage of it even if it was not for the betterment of the film. The music choices are horrible and the story jumps around to where its confusing and you end up not caring what its about. Christopher Walken is fun to watch as an evil kingpin but it is not nearly enough to save it.
“Justice? -- You get justice in the next world. In this one you have the law.”
Interesting seeing a cast this wide in variety (Walken, Fishburne, Snipes, Buscemi) so young. Worth a view.
Better than Scarface.
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- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- Donnie Darko
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- Irma Vep
- Miami Blues
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For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
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I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…