Scudder is a detective with the Sheriff's Department who is forced to shoot a violent suspect during a narcotics raid. The ensuing psychological aftermath of this shooting worsens his ...
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At the age of twenty-nine, Elgar Enders "runs away" from home. This running away consists of buying a building in a black ghetto in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Initially his ... See full summary »
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Scudder is a detective with the Sheriff's Department who is forced to shoot a violent suspect during a narcotics raid. The ensuing psychological aftermath of this shooting worsens his drinking problem and this alcoholism causes him to lose his job, as well as his marriage. During his recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous, he meets a mysterious stranger who draws him back into a world of vice. In trying to help this beautiful woman, he must enter a crime-world of prostitution and drugs to solve a murder, while resisting the temptation to return to his alcohol abuse.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Producer John W. Hyde is now also producing another book-to-film version of a Matt Scudder thriller. This time he is involved in bringing author Lawrence Block's "A Walk Among the Tombstones" to the big screen. Liam Neeson will be starring as Scudder. See more »
(at 33:00m) When Sunny, the hooker, is thrown from bridge into the river, she is initially shown lying dead in one position along the water's edge, face-down on riverbank. In the subsequent shot, she's in an alternate position and location, more blood-soaked, and face now submerged. See more »
You think I'm a fool? That's rude, man. You're being disrespectful and rude.
Matthew 'Matt' Scudder:
Rude? Come on, you were rude all over the fucking street with Sunny, weren't you? Rude?
Let me explain something to you, what happend to Sunny, man. What happened to her, is people think that if you have to kill somebody in the course of... doing business, sometimes it pays to advertise. You know, make it messy. Remind people they bleed when they die. It might even prevent more killings.
Matthew 'Matt' Scudder:
You're a real humanitarian.
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Jeff Bridges portrays author Lawrence Blocks' character Matt Scudder in this picture, and his able performance is one of its few virtues. Matt is a detective for the L.A. Sheriffs' Department who is also an alcoholic. Ultimately, his drinking costs him his marriage and his job. However, he is soon approached by a hooker named Sunny (Alexandra Paul) to remove her from her unhappy life, and when he gets involved, he incurs the wrath of a smug drug kingpin (Andy Garcia) and a powerful pimp (Randy Brooks).
Sadly, this was the final theatrical credit for editor turned director Hal Ashby. A recovering substance abuser himself, he had little to no creative control over the final product. He wanted something grittier and closer to the novel (which this movie barely resembles), the producers wanted a feature film version of 'Miami Vice'. But what really hurts it is the poor script (credited to Oliver Stone and R. Lance Hill (a.k.a. "David Lee Henry"), which moves at a snails' pace and doesn't encourage us to really care about the characters.
The lack of success is not for lack of effort on Bridges' part. He, the intense Brooks, and the amusingly slimy Garcia entertain the viewer sufficiently. But Paul is miscast, and Rosanna Arquette, as one of Sunny's co-workers, looks like she couldn't care less. Familiar faces in supporting roles and bits include Vyto Ruginis, James Avery, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, Rosalind Allen, and Loyd Catlett.
Absolutely gorgeous photography, good use of locations, an atmospheric score by James Newton Howard (one of his earliest), stunning helicopter shots, and some jarring violence work in the films' favor. But it goes on too long (especially that climactic confrontation in the warehouse, which becomes unbearable rather than tense), and has too much inane dialogue.
The man who made "Harold and Maude", "Coming Home", and "Being There" deserved a better theatrical swan song than this.
Five out of 10.
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