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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 18 August 2017
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on 10 June 2017
Great Dvd
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on 10 August 2015
Great film.
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on 5 June 2017
Arrived when stated, image and films itself was brilliant! Very happy, thank you
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on 24 March 2015
very good
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on 11 January 2003
This was the best film made in '97 but like Polanski's "Chinatown" it is destined to become one of the finest movies NOT to take the Oscar home. Curtis Hanson took James Ellroy's novel, a book many doubted could be translated to the film medium, and co-wrote one of the finest adapted screenplays ever done. He then brought on board a couple of Aussie unknowns, a gorgeous star who had never lived up to her potential, maybe the finest actor working today, and began filming one of the darkest noir films of all time, in sun drenched daylight!
The end result is a dark and twisted tale of personal redemption told against the backdrop of the bright lights and sunshine of Hollywood in the early '50's. Hanson contrasts the brightly lit exteriors with the dark storyline of police corruption and Hollywood decadence. This is a movie about facade, not just Hollywood's but our own personal facade as well.
Russell Crowe became a star as LA Detective Bud White, a tough cop willing to do whatever is necessary, something the political up and comer Guy Pearce finds archaic about the force and wants to change. What may stop him from doing so is his investigation of the murder of several people at "The Night Owl" cafe, one of which is Crowe's partner, recently "retired" after a well publicized jail brawl christened "Bloody Christmas" by the papers.
Crowe and Pearce come at this from different angles but the road for both leads right to beautiful Kim Basinger and a millionaire in the lush Hollywood hills played by David Strathairn. There is a reason Basinger looks a little like Veronica Lake the first time we see her in this film, she's suppose to. Hollywood legend has it that a string of expensive call girls were cut to look like stars during the forties and fifties and Hanson has made this darker side of Hollywood part of the story. Basinger is one of the lucky ones, close enough to the actual look of Veronica Lake not to have been cut on.
Crowe falls for the real girl inside Basinger, but in spite of her opulent lifestyle, her low self esteem comes to the forefront when she sleeps with Pearce in an attempt to "help" Crowe. We realize as she nearly destroys Crowe by doing so that she perceives herself as a whore on the inside, beneath the facade. Her logic is as twisted and tainted as the corruption Crowe and Pierce are about to uncover as they follow the trail linking Basinger's "boss" Strathairn to the Night Owl killings and the vice surrounding them on every side.
Basinger deserved the Oscar she garnered for this role and Crowe's performance as the tough cop with some soft spots after all is something you'll always remember. But the coolest job done here is by Kevin Spacey. Hanson told him before filming began to think Dean Martin and he'd have it down pat. Yes indeed! Spacey plays the ultra cool cop, the one in the tabloids for his Hollywood connections. He is a consultant on the TV show "Badge of Honor" (think Dragnet) and is hooked up with slimy but likeable Danny DeVito, a "writer" for a Hollywood tabloid. Spacey grabs the spotlight and DeVito gets the headlines as Spacy collars Hollywood stars in compromising situations, DeVito's camera flashing.
Spacey seemingly has it all, but like the rest of this film, it is just a facade. While sitting in a bar listening to Dean Martin in the background he looks up into the mirror behind the counter and doesn't like what he see's. He has all the tools to be a great cop but he knows he has sold his soul for the fifty in front of him. He becomes involved in the case because of a murder in a hotel room he feels responsible for that leads right back to the Night Owl, and hooks up with Pearce to redeem his soul. You will never forget the name "Rollo Tomasi" or what it means for Pearce, and ultimately Spacey in this film.
Adding to the atmosphere more than just a little is the score by Jerry Goldsmith, his finest work since "Chinatown" and just as haunting. It does more than help enhance the atmosphere, it IS the atmosphere of this one of a kind masterpiece. This film has the kind of ending dreams are made of and someone (I won't give it away) holding up their badge to the oncoming rush of cop cars in the Hollywood hills at night is a scene you'll never forget. There is not a bad performance in this film. It is complex and riveting. If you haven't seen this before, don't rent it, buy it. You'll watch it over and over. But don't tell anyone-this is Off the Record, On the QT, and Very Hush Hush.......!
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on 18 March 2010
This was easily the best Hollywood movie of 1997, but got sunk by Titanic at the box office and the Oscars. Which was a bit ironic. But not one to hold a 13-year-old grudge, this Blu-Ray disc is the third - and by far the best - format I have this film in (Laserdisc and DVD being the others). It's generally agreed that the DVD version looked a bit dark and dowdy, but in Blu-Ray all that period detail and the sublime photography is allowed to bloom - you're there, with an A-Grade cast firing on all cylinders in a story that's blindingly well told. A great one for your new Blu-Ray collection.
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on 2 January 2002
Like other reviewers here, I was equally dumbfounded to see the vastly overrated 'Titanic' beat LA at the Oscars. LA is like an updated version of those 50's film noir detective thrillers such as the 'Maltese Falcon' and Raymond Chandler adaptations but far better.There's enough violence here to make the point but its never overdone for the sake of it. I wasn't surprised to see Guy Pearce pull it off as he'd already put his 'Neighbours' nightmare to rest with 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert'. His character is no wimpy 'good guy' but a by-the-book type yet with an underlying menace. For me, this is Russell Crowe's best performance rather than 'Gladiator' balancing hot-headed violence with conscience. Kevin Spacey equals his 'Verbal Klint'performance (Usual Suspects) as the dodgy-but-not-wholly-corrupt cop. I'm not quite sure why Kim Basinger got an Oscar though. Her performance is fine but her actual screen time isnt that much. Like the best thrillers, this film has plenty of twists which keep you guessing till the cracker finale. For me this is the classiest cop film ever in terms of direction, acting, set, wardrobe, the lot. Outstanding!
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on 13 March 2012
Seen on DVD. Sumptuous costume drama? Searing police procedural? Underbelly of Hollywood expose'? All this and more. Whatever' fit to print and... this definitely warrants its Certificate. Both LA Confidential' are superb 10.5 out of 5 for book and 5 out of 5 film.
As faithful an adaptation as the time constraints of cinema allow. The Sunset Boulevard / noir credentials are impeccable.
I'll not attempt to outline the plot (Hush-Hush will get you hooked far quicker than I could).
K Spacey, G Pearce, Kim Basinger and Russell Crowe head a very accomplished ensemble. The stories and plotting are wonderfully labyrnthine. The setpieces (the interrogation "techniques", the ebb and flow of the two main protaginists and their girl with less than holy alliances, to me hark back to a fifties possibly that Glenn Ford, Rita Hayworth and Richard Widmark wanted to portray (although I dont believe they were all in one film together).
However because of the nineties "enlightenment", where in the original noirs suggestion was necessary to get the censors on side - here violence is very grapically portrayed, and motivations (mainly power corrupting) are defined.
Whilst more brutal, Brian de Palma's flawed, but engrossing "Black Dahlia" tries something less "heroic" on another of Ellroy's brilliant novels which riff on these times.9.5 out of 5 for book and 4 out of 5 for film
If you enjoy the period and / or the atmosphere, I recommend "Chinatown", Altman "the Long Goodbye",Kathleen Turner and William Hurt "Body Heat", G Ford Rita H' "Gilda", Bogart' "Big Sleep" and the bird, numerous Bob Mitchum (and Night of the Hunter isnt even the best), Burt Lancaster' "Killers",and Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh in "Touch of Evil". I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
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on 11 December 2000
Where do I start? This is one of those 'they don't make them like that anymore' movies - but, thankfully, sometimes they do. LA Confidential boasts a cast to die for - Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger, Danny Devito and the surprise hit of the movie, Guy Pearce - better known in the UK for his term in the execrable TV soap Neighbours. Set in film noir-era Los Angeles, it tells the dark and winding tale of corruption in the LAPD. Pearce is the high-flying young idealogical cop who insists on taking on the powers-that-be to expose the corruption at the heart of the LAPD - and isn't afraid of incurring the wrath of his colleagues. As the film goes on, some unlikely alliances are formed. This is a wonderful engaging drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. All the performances are absolutely outstanding - from the flamboyant Spacey and officious Pearce to the volcanic Crowe and the Oscar-winning Basinger. The DVD has the usual good picture and sound quality. The extras are nothing to write home about but worth a look - trailers, an interactive map of LA, a 'making of' feature and various bios. Good DVD - absolutely outstanding movie.
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