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…
Another excellent arrow release.
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…
Walken being his usual badass self.
Part of my:
Ferrara Retrospective - #5
You guys got fat while everybody starved on the street. Now it's my turn.
- Frank White
This city of shadow, revelling in its decadence and thriving criminal activity. In steps Frank White with the confidence of a king, putting into effect Machiavelli's methods he swiftly gets rid of his competition in this modern-day riff on the tale of Robin Hood. And with his brusque techniques leaving a trail of bodies behind him the cops are soon engaged in a furious battle to take Frank and his crew down.
These characters are complex, they're hardly even just people - more of personifications of certain thematics. Frank kills the rich criminals to build his…
Another excellent arrow release.
Back in the day Abel Ferrara really knew how to portray New York City's trashy side.
CHRISTOPHER WALKEN. In this movie he dances and punches Wesley Snipes. Some other stuff happens but really those are the best bits (seriously he takes it to Blade). Seemed like the script couldn't decide to make him people's champion or outright killer by the end, all seemed to drop off after first half an hour really.
BLOCKBUSTER REQUIEM - Film 8 of 19
King of New York hulks around quite a bit of depravity and wickedness, much like Bad Lieutenant, Abel Ferrara's masterpiece. Both feature leads that are unforgivable monsters reaching for redemption. Frank White, one of Christopher Walken's most sinister characters, is cutting the criminal underworld to pieces to generate funding for a "low priority" hospital that's soon to be shut down. It's a black-hearted Robin Hood tale, lackered up with early 90s goodness.
What is done so beautifully here is the juxtaposition of brutality and beauty. A scene of murder is often followed by soft opera music during a soothing, luxurious shower or a slinky woman in lingerie spread across a bed. It all…
It's Christopher Walken at his best. "King of New York" is his showcase, and if you like Walken (if I were a filmmaker, I'd find a part for him in every movie I made), you'll love this film. Plus, the supporting cast is so good that even David Caruso comes off well.
Tiene ideas muy buenas,precursora del "Gangsta-exploitation", con un Cristopher Walken haciendo de un Nicki Barnes o un Frank Lucas iluminado. Anticipa todo el cine de acción de los 90. Lástima que decaiga en su tramo final, por que por lo demás es lo segundo mejor de Ferrara.
It's very difficult to discuss this film on it's own merits. In one way, it epitomises what made The Godfather so epic, so grandiose, watching a man do everything he can to take control of his territory…but on the other hand, it contains almost every crime/gangland cliche arond, ripped straight from the genre handbook. I'm not a fan of the naked women/coke aesthetic that films like this employ, it's a cheap way of setting the scene for your audience and this film takes the cheap way out a lot. However, if you are looking for a great performance from one of the best character actors of his generation, look no further than Christopher Walken as Frank White, the gangland boss…
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.
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- Donnie Darko
- Morvern Callar
- Irma Vep
- Miami Blues
- Babe: Pig in the City
For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
- Once Upon a Time in the West
- Assault on Precinct 13
- The Good, The Bad, The Weird
- Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
- Hard Boiled
I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…