What connected me upon first viewing this, was something so indescribable and intensely personal, that it squarely put me upon the path of understanding cinema better. To such a point that I now consider this my all-time, unquestioned favorite. It struck a balance of everything I consider vital for something to be at least good in a film, and aces at every single aspect of it. So much so, that it's hardly surprising it's influence on the culture can be…
My favorite scene remains the one where they're in Elwood's apartment, and Jake falls asleep on his bed. Elwood protests a little indignation that his brother has taken up room, but relents and pulls a blanket over him. With the sounds of Louis Jordan and the El train passing by. For all it's over-the-top shenanigans, that brief and shining human moment between these two brothers is always touching to watch.
One element I haven't seen much in the praise of this film is actually how funny it is. There is a subtle but direct layer of levity, which is mostly used to ease the very palpable tension. I saw it twice in theaters and both times one particular line got a hearty response from the audience. Nearly all of it surrounds the chemistry of it's two leads, and the individual choices they made regarding their characters.
Tom Cruise (in arguably…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
There's a ruthlessness to James Caan's performance as Frank that cuts through like one of his tools of the safe-cracking trade. It's 100% pure alpha-male bravado, that can be quickly brought down to earth. Whether it's by his best friend or his wife, there is as equally no fear to the emotion he brings. That's one thing (of many) about Michael Mann's work that is so engaging, is how he shows his protagonists (as well as his antagonists, too) balancing…