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You can feel the gears grinding, trying to turn this attempt at film noir into something sleek and insinuating, instead of the labored near miss it turns out to be. Jack Nicholson is a Florida wine merchant whose business isn't as good as he has his unhappy wife (Judy Davis) believe. He's also consistently at odds with his churlish stepson (Stephen Dorff). Meanwhile, Nicholson is plotting to steal an expensive diamond necklace and dump his wife, aided by his mistress (Jennifer Lopez) and a sleazy safecracker (Michael Caine). It's the kind of thing James M. Cain used to toss off effortlessly, but in director Bob Rafelson's hands the strain shows at every seam as crime and romantic treachery put all of the characters on a violent collision course.--Marshall Fine
been there, done that, seen that ... oh so many times before I assume all the rave reviews are because Bob Rafelson and Jack Nicholson and Michael Caine have such high reputations, but really, this is a very tired old "noir" story that we've all seen 100s of times before. Rafelson says in the commentary that he wanted to update his tale for the 1990s by emphasizing the "greed" aspect. Huh? Every noir film is about greed.
Yeah, there are lots of twists and turns and betrayals, but it's all so very predicatable because all noir films have the same betrayals.
I was mostly bored by this film. I only got it because it had Jennifer Lopez, but her role was disappointingly small. Not a tiny role, but not so big either.
Anyway, if you've only seen 200 or 300 noir films, so that you're still surprised and tense over the same old, same old plot points (the usual betrayals motivated by greed and sex), then I guess you may as well see this one too.
not as detailed.... "Cubist" wrote an exceptional review and this one will not live up to that type of quality but I will put my two meager cents in. This is the first movie that I ever saw with Stephen Dorff. I was in college at the time and immediately identified with his character and intensity as an actor. Jack Nicholson is stupendous in this role (as usual)and he ignites the friction between him and his stepson, Jason (Dorff). He is an on-the-outs wine merchant who is in debt to say the least. So in order to get ahead he, along with a sleezy ex-con played by Michael Caine, steal a valuable necklace from some rich snobs. Dorff unintentially gets caught up in the mess that his stepfather (Nicholson) has created and the plot thickens. This movie is great for drama and has solid performances by Nicholson, Dorff, and Caine. The brilliance in these performances are that they are subtle at times and do not try to cover over the plot itself (which due to a well written script can really drive this movie well). Jennifer Lopez is in this one as well and plays Nicholson's mistress. Her character really just annoyed me for some reason and I don't know why. Perhaps it's because I think at times, the movie itself wanted to portray her as a woman of strength and I just didn't see it. Her character was weak in a lot of ways and annoyed the hell out of me. But ultimately, if you want to see a solid movie that flies low under the radar, I would recommend this to anyone. Thanks.One star off from being a classic This movie did not get any studio hype. I think that's why it didn't do very well. I like Jack Nickleson in anything, he is such an actor. Well, Jack's wife is a boarderline wino, she finds out about his infidelity by her son, Jack's stepson. She gets into a drunken car accident and dies. J.Lo is Jack's lover who works as a maid in rich peoples houses which comes in handy because Jack robs them and she knows where all the good jewelry is. His stepson makes a pass at J.Lo and screws up the whole sweet deal. It's a lot better than what I described, rent it, you'll like it. Enjoy!