All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. 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.
I think some people forget about this gangster picture from the early 90's, and how entertaining it really is. This is back when David Caruso thought he was going to be a big movie star, and Laurence Fishburne went by Larry.
Walken is doing what he does best, broods until it's time to unleash flashes of crazy. He dances, he kills, and gives a couple of great speeches.
The film has a nice big city atmosphere and still makes you feel like Walken is in this thing all alone.
Pusher Robin Hood
Is a great premise. I just
Wish I liked it more.
Walken is mesmerizing as always in his quirky, staccato style, but the real thrill of this pre-Guiliani New York tale might be Abel Ferrara's edgy, erratic direction which juxtaposes gloss and grime over and over, reminding us of what the city used to be.
Abel Ferrara's underworld opera has more moral chaos than psychological complexity, but that perfectly suits Chistopher Walken's enigmatic, almost otherworldly performance -- you half expect to learn he's an alien observer who fell in love with this gritty, glossy, bloody New York. Add to that an amazing supporting cast and a plot that slowly accelerates until it threatens to careen out of control, and you've got yourself a sweet piece of cinema, even if it never quite manages to exceed the sum of its parts.
This was a slow burn at best. Fishburne was great as a member of the Run DMC gangsters. Walken was comatose.
The pale, anaemic skin tone of Walken’s Frank White bleeds through the chiaroscuro urban nightscapes of New York. We first see Frank, a capitalist vampire, in prison which acts as his tomb, and in exile from a kingdom from which he has become disconnected. Frank’s return to a city which he calls home is undermined by a sensibility brought on by institutionalisation, suggesting he is no longer part of the living. ‘Back from the dead’ he remarks to his friends. This is one of the many lies Frank is beholden to, perpetuating an illusion of insanity that terrifies those around him. The gangster figure draped in black, a conventional iconographic idiom clashes with the jaunt paleness of Frank’s face, projecting…
A seriously under rated movie. Great performance from Walken. Instead of watching Boardwalk Empire you should watch this and see how Gangsters can be done right.
This is a film that screams Christopher Walken. I savored every moment of him on screen. It's just a shame Victor Argo is the worst actor on earth. There is no discernible emotion from him. He just bumbles through the film like a potato rolling lopsided down a hill until the end. What a monumental failure of casting he is for this film. Christopher Walken is impeccable as is Laurence Fishburne as his maniac muscle. Caruso even delivers. It's just a shame they made the 'good cop' actor be such a fucking dud. There is literally no emotion out of that bulldog face of his. For shame! It's still worth watching for Walken's perfect monologues and swagger.
More a collection of great scenes than a coherent film - at least at first watch - but boy are the scenes great.
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