Monday, September 27, 2010
COP LAND (1994)
CAST: Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Kietel, Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick, Annabella Sciorra, Peter Berg, Michael Rappaport, Cathy Moriarty, Noah Ememrich, Janeane Garofolo, Malik Yoba, John Spencer, Frank Vincent, Paul Calderon, Edie Falco, Mel Gorham, Method Man, Vincent LaResca, Robert John Burke, John Ventimiglia
Written & Directed By: James Mangold
Cinematography By: Eric Edwards
Editor: Craig McKay
I think the problem with this movie was that expectations were so high that what audiences were expecting and what they got were two different things. I admire the movie for it’s low keyness instead of being gratuitous and highly charged in each scene that would have been overkill.
This is a all star movie, That while it has many stars most of them have roles but not many scenes or much to do. Robert Deniro is only in the movie as more of a extended cameo. That at times his performance drifts into parody. So it is disappointing in that aspect as you watch the film hoping to see some heavily dramatic scenes with your favorite actors and they never come. Surprisingly or not to surprising to me as he is always a scenes stealer when he is a supporting actor is Ray Liotta as the live wire, the rouge cop whose side you are never really sure he is on.
The film feels more like false advertising you think this is going to be a top notch cop thriller. But it plays more like a drama a slow moving drama. The good thing about this is that during these slow dramatic scenes you get the material to understand the central mystery and all the details. The movie is more like a modern day Western, with a sheriff who wants to be the hero but is under the thumb of someone who turns out to be the major villain and finally gets courage when everyone else either deserts him or tells him to look the other way even the woman he is in love with. It all leads to the movies most exciting and tense scenes the showdown. The third act is where all the buildup finally pays off. It is there that the movie comes alive and feels like the type of film you thought the whole movie was going to be.
This film was supposed to be Sylvester Stallone and he does good here even gaining weight for the role but the material never rises so that he can give a stellar performance or have a really stand-out scenes, Though his unrequited love scenes with Annabella Sciorra are quite touching until it just comes to a abrupt stop. but i give him props for taking a chance and doing a major dramatic role after all of those years of action movies, at least he tried and doesn't embarass himself.
The film is about a town in New Jersey that is inhabited mostly by cops from New York. They elect a local hero who couldn’t become a real cop as sheriff because no one is stupid enough to commit a major crime in the town so he has nothing to do the sheriff also harbors a crush on one cops wife who he saved years ago and caused him to be handicapped. When a cop who is supposed to be dead shows up alive in town and so does internal affairs the sheriff opens his eyes to the corruption around him and must decide whether or not to make a stand.
The film is missing some scenes that were shown in the trailer that made it look more standoffish when it came to outsiders just coming into town that might have added some depth and dimension to a already layered film. In the end the film is ok it is a nice attempt.
This was only James Mangold’s second film he shows talent here but I’m not sure he was ready to handle a story like this at this point in his career and with his limited experience. He showed an ability to understand the material by making this like a 70’s film that emphasized the drama over everythingshows talent here but I’m not sure he was ready to handle a story like this at this point in his career and with his limited experience. He showed an ability to understand the material by making this like a 70’s film that emphasized the drama over everything and lacked a distracting style in favor of long takes and limited camera movements. He sure proved himself when he finally got to make a real western with 3:10 TO YUMA.