Customer Review

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A killer of a movie, 1 Aug. 2005
This review is from: Chinatown [DVD] (DVD)
OK, it's confession time. I can't stand Jack Nicholson. I know the whole world and his wife gets moist and giggly about the man but the fact is that Nicholson gets my back up. On camera, he's limited, charmless, greedy, and self-indulgent. He exhausted his acting range years ago and has long since resorted to sneering, pulling lewd faces and chewing the scenery. As for the idea of Jack Nicholson as a sex symbol, the mere thought should be classed as a paraphilia. I would rather have nails knocked into me than watch him in a movie.
Any movie but this one, that is. Chinatown, quite simply, is exquisite. The script is faultless, so taut it twangs. The plot pushes relentlessly onward, becoming deeper and stranger with a harrowing inevitability - notice Polanski's unnerving cameo as the knife man.
The assembled talent is formidable; presumably the splendour and gravity of Polanski, Dunaway, and John Huston together was enough to keep Nicholson's antics under wraps. Faye Dunaway confronts us with brittle patrician arrogance and slowly allows it to give way to something desperate and dark. Huston radiates malevolence from the first and his presence throbs through the background of the entire film, whether he's on-screen or off. Incidentally, bear in mind that Huston was Jack's real life father-in-law when he looks Nicholson in the eye and demands, "Are you sleeping with my daughter?" The screen crackles.
And what about Nicholson as Jake Gittes? It's the only time you'll see it, but he's excellent. It's a generous, nuanced performance of a man struggling to pursue a truth down through more layers of corruption than he can bear, compelled despite himself to reach the bottom. His easy charm and playfulness at the beginning of the film gradually sour as the bleak horror of his discoveries unfold. The role calls for great subtlety and inner struggle. Nicholson, to his great credit, is equal to it, matching the mastery of his co-stars blow for blow.
Chinatown deserves all the accolades it has accumulated over the years, and more besides. Buy it, watch it, keep it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.4 out of 5 stars (98 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (71)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
£15.99 £6.45
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,967,673