A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.
Following the theft of a postal-order, a fourteen-year old cadet is expelled from Naval College. To save the honour of the boy and his family, the pre-eminent barrister of the day is engaged to take on the might the Admiralty.
Policeman Bob Gold has to capture a murderer that not even the FBI has been able to find. But before he can even start he is re-assigned to the murder of an old Jewish lady in a black area. The evidence points at a Jewish hate group and he discovers connections between them and his previous case.Written by
The film began as an adaptation of David Mamet's friend William J. Caunitz's 1986 novel "Suspects". However, the more Mamet wrote, the more his story diverged from the source material until, with Caunitz's blessing, Mamet left the source book behind entirely, until ultimately the script became an original screenplay. See more »
Toward the end of the film, when two policemen take Randolph away from Bob Gold, Bob's right arm is hanging. In the next shot, Bob's right arm is stretched. See more »
Hey, you got some... you got some heavy troubles on your mind? Huh, babe? We'll work it out. We'll play some cops and robbers. We'll bust this big criminal. We'll swagger around.
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I found the film as riveting and disturbing as most of the other reviewers, but I'd like to comment here on David Mamet's writing style. As one of the earlier reviews points out, Mamet is much admired by the literati, and as another says, he is studied in film schools. So I may be going out on a limb, but I am a lot less impressed with his writing than most.
David Mamet started as a playwright, and he still writes with the theater in mind, even when he writes for movies or TV. I first noticed this a year or so ago when watching a rerun of Hill Street Blues for which he'd written the script. The show had many first-rate TV writers, and there was nothing incongruous in the idea that a celebrated playwright would write an episode. But his episode, while intense, involving, and philosophical in the approved Mamet style, proved out of place as an episode in a long-running series with established characters. Mamet's Hill Street bunch lost familiar character traits and gained others common to nearly all the dramatis personae of his plays. The cops all talked like Mamet characters, had macho-philosophical Mamet dialogues, faced Mamet moments of truth.
Well, here is Homicide, another cop show in full length movie form, and once again his puppets talk like Mamet characters, rather than like distinguishable individuals. These roles are his own creations, so he isn't confronted with a series-watcher's expectations, but that hasn't made them more believable as people. His dialogue has a sameness about it that suggests he doesn't really listen to the way people talk. (Again, I realize this is a minority view: critics are always writing about the "gritty realism" of his characters' speeches.)
Listen to the dialogue from one of the NYPD Blue episodes written by David Milch. (I choose Milch not only because he's one of Blue's best writers [and co-producer, of course] but also because he wrote many of the best Hill Street Blues episodes around the time Mamet wrote his contribution.) The characters are varied, and their choice of words tells the listener more about them as individuals with every line they speak. Mamet characters tend to tell you, not what they are like as people, but what Mamet wants you to think about them. Again and again during Homicide I found myself thinking: "no, he wouldn't say that", or even "does anybody really talk that way?"
Am I saying David Milch is a better writer than David Mamet? I think I am, for realistic media like TV and film, anyway. The theater, as an inherently artifical medium, can absorb and even thrive upon artificiality in its dialogue. But TV and movies have different demands, and I don't think David Mamet meets them very well.
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