17 June 2010

"I Never Killed Anybody Who Didn't Deserve It."

Christoper Walken - Thug or philanthropist?

Frank's bodyguards

Larry Fishburne before Laurence - A weakness for root beer and kotex

David Caruso is Dennis Gilley. Beware fire hydrants.

After watching King of New York on home video in the early 90's, the Echo Xray said, "I feel like that movie has covered my living room with a film of filth." Not as good a line as Walken's, "I never killed anybody who didn't deserve it." but close. The hookers, drug dealers, crooked cops, sleazy lawyers and the city of New York are filthy. Even the Plaza's Presidential Suite looks dirty. But every actor here delivers without restraint.

Director Abel Ferrera was born in the Bronx in 1951 and King (1990) is book ended by Cat Chaser (1989), a picture Kelly McGillis said was such a bad experience she quit acting for 10 years and Bad Lieutenant (1992) with Harvey Keitel. Do not rent Bad Lt. yet or you'll get ahead of me.

Looking at the credits, I wondered if having a vowel on the end of your last name was a requirement for King. Certainly the director didn't hold anyone back. I can hear Ferrera now, "Okay, you're character is a cop and a scum bag." "Okay, your character is a lawyer and a scum bag." "Okay, you're character is a politician and a scum bag." Nihilism isn't a strong enough word. In the army we used two. 'Whale shit' because nothing is lower.

But there's a beauty in darkness and King of New York is beautiful to watch. I suggest picking some beautiful bright Saturday afternoon, closing the curtains and turning up the a/c. The Blue Ray version takes away some of the dirt so you shouldn't have to cover your living room furniture.


james at 10engines said...

required viewing. so many good lines. ROOM SERVICE!!!!

wstroby said...

Ferrara's commentary on the DVD is priceless. If you listen closely, you can hear him opening beer bottles throughout. Then, near the end, he starts to strum a guitar and sing.

tintin said...

James- Artie Clay has my favorite line- just before he's shot.

wstroby- You were the one who turned me onto this film. Looks like Ferrara is gettin lots of work. Will check out the commenty. Have you heard Val Kilmer's commenty on Spartan? He makes fun of Mamet and I swear I hear some glasses clinking.

Wallace Stroby said...

Glad to know I helped cover your living room in a film of filth.

I've always thought that long sequence - from the police raid on the party to the bridge chase and shoot-out in the rain - is one of the most intense and sustained action sequences in movies ever.