Thursday, July 5, 2007

July 5th Log

1997, James Mangold, United States
1st Viewing, DVD

Cop Land opens with a voice over looking through the city of New York and taking us across the river to the films setting of Garrison New Jersey, a small town that was basically designed and run by New York cops. The towns sheriff (Freddy Heflin), a overweight cop that was declined a job with the NYPD because of his deaf ear he got from saving a woman from drowning) seems to let things slide by in a town of little crime. Heflin is well liked, but little respected and when he begins to open his eyes towards the underground corruption of his town, he is left with a moral dilemma. Made on a small budget, Cop Land features a well-respected ensemble cast that took a considerable pay cut for the film (Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Peter Berg, Janeane Garofalo, Robert Patrick, Michael Rapaport, Annabella Sciorra, Noah Emmerich, Cathy Moriarty, John Spencer). Writer-Director James Mangold effectively gets the most out of each performance (Stallone is especially surprising as the overweight sheriff). The film works in and out of conventions, ultimately remaining within the psychological aspect of the characters. The ending brings to mind elements of a classic western (such as Rio Bravo), and Mangold paces the film with an involving effectiveness.

James Mangold, United States

1ST Viewing, DVD

I decided to make it a double-feature of James Mangold films by watching his fifth film, 2003’s Identity. With Identity, Mangold against establishes his skill for playing with genre conventions, as he works both in and outside of them. The film is at once a mystery, thriller, horror slasher film, yet at the same time it really is not conventionally so. Sort of in the way Alfred Hitchcock mastered (though this never reaches those heights), Identity is a film that plays not only with clichés, but with the audience. Just when you think you know what to expect or when you can predict an upcoming twist, the film surprises you. The film is far from a masterpiece of any kind, but Identity is certainly effective enough to make the viewing experience an engaging one.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home