This is a review of the 2010 Region 2 DVD from Optimum Home Releasing. Sadly there appears to be little choice when purchasing this 1991 crime thriller. This version has apparently been digitally restored, and the sound is excellent, but though the colour Is good, the picture is still a tad grainy. However, this is still a very watchable edition.
Born in Chicago of Polish Jewish heritage, David Mamet is responsible for the screenplays of several big-hitting films, mostly in the Noir/Crime genre, including ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’(1981) and ‘The Untouchables’(1987). But Mamet is a celebrated playwright and author, who is also active in the world of film. If you are familiar with David Mamet’s film of his own Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’(1992), then you will not be surprised by this film, which he made the previous year.
‘Glengarry’ is a cold-eyed drama about the thoroughly unscrupulous individuals working in a Chicago Real Estate office. Though fascinating, it is an irredeemably nasty, unsavoury, disturbing film, quite exhausting to watch. It is also very wordy, and makes no attempt to hide its stage origins. The dialogue is quite mannered, and doesn’t really try for a natural approach. In my view, to a degree, the same is true of ‘Homicide’, although it does not have its origins in a stage play, and there is considerably more location work than in the singularly claustrophobic ‘Glengarry’.
The film was made in Baltimore, and is essentially a ‘police procedural’, centring on the Baltimore Police’s Homicide Department, and one of their more experienced detectives, Bobby Gold. Gold is apparently, a ‘lapsed’ Jew, with little sense of his own cultural, racial or religious identity. He is sensitive to racial slurs, in a department where awareness of race is writ large and racial name-calling is rife, but where white, African-American and Jewish detectives apparently work closely and effectively together. Gold is brilliantly played, with resigned dignity, by Joe Mantegna, a regular in Mamet’s works, and also a Chicagoan, but ironically a Roman Catholic of Italian heritage.
The film follows Gold, as he works on two very different homicide investigations, one of which he sees as important, the other, initially as a minor irritant. But the case begins to sensitise Gold to his own Jewishness, and to make him confront, apparently for the first time, what it really means to be a Jew. Moreover, the cases also highlight a host of issues relating to loyalty and betrayal, involving family, colleagues, one’s heritage, which go far beyond issues of Jewishness. These are fascinating questions, and by no means easy. And the question that hangs over everything is: “What is the greater good?”
This is a hugely powerful, gripping and intelligent film, quite demanding but fascinating. It contains plenty of hard-nosed action, and some nicely Noirish moments, but is certainly different from any routine ‘policier’ you may be familiar with. 4 absorbing Stars.
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Homicide [Francia] [DVD]
|Colaborador||David Mamet, Ricky Jay, Ving Rhames, William H. Macy, Joe Mantegna, Erica Gimpel, Natalia Nogulich|
|Duración||1 hora y 37 minutos|
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Descripción del producto
Homicide, 1 DVD, 97 minutes
Detalles del producto
- Relación de aspecto : 1.85:1
- Descatalogado por el fabricante : No
- Clasificado : Desconocido
- Dimensiones del paquete : 19,2 x 13,2 x 1,4 cm; 100 gramos
- Director : David Mamet
- Formato multimedia : Importación
- Tiempo de ejecución : 1 hora y 37 minutos
- Actores : Joe Mantegna, William H. Macy, Erica Gimpel, Ricky Jay, Ving Rhames
- Subtitulado: : Francés, Inglés
- Subtítulos: : Francés
- Idioma : Inglés (Dolby Digital 2.0), Francés (Dolby Digital 2.0)
- Estudio : Aventi Distribution
- ASIN : B000H0MJ2A
- Número de discos : 1
- Opiniones de los clientes:
Opiniones de clientes
4,3 de 5
51 valoraciones globales
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Though I've no clear idea what it means -- not really, not finally -- this is a powerful film that deserves to be better known. The pace is right, keeping you going and keeping you guessing, and both Macy and Mantegna are great here. No one better at making the Mamet dialogue work: ordinary words that come out like poetry. You will be confused at the end. So is the protagonist. But it's the kind of confusion that knocks you off balance for a reason (I hope). I think about it often having watched it twice in one day. It's that kind of a film. In my opinion, Mamet's best.
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Ich wollte mir am Wochenende den Film ansehen und hatte mich richtig drauf gefreut. Leider lässt sich die DVD nicht abspielen, weder auf einem unserer beiden DVD Player noch auf PC. Allerdings wurde der Kaufpreis nach Rücksendung anstandslos erstattet.