Fading Gigolo

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

In New York’s Jewish Quarter, Murray, a failing bookshop owner (Allen), needs money. When his dermatologist (Stone) mentions she and her friend (Vergara) have always wanted a ménage a trois, Murray sees an opportunity; he recruits his florist and general odd-job-man friend Fioravante (Turturro) to become a gigolo, and soon the money comes pouring in.

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Casino

This post was originally written for French Toast Sunday as part of my Road Trip series.

Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein (Robert De Niro) was handed it all on a silver platter. Put in charge of a new casino on the Las Vegas strip and living the life of luxury with his smokin’ girlfriend Ginger (Sharon Stone), Ace was at the top of his game. Alas, when his old friend from back home Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) shows up, Ace’s life becomes a little more complicated. Continue reading

Total Recall

I‘m not really a fan of Dick (prolific 60’s science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, of course). I’ve never made it through Blade Runner without falling asleep, admired A Scanner Darkly purely for its innovative visual style and, though I’ve read several of his novels, I find his spontaneous approach to plotting unsatisfying, but I appreciate his visionary concepts and radical yet plausible predictions of the progression of then-modern culture.
Total Recall is based on one of his short stories, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale. In the year 2048, technology has advanced to allow people to be implanted with memories of lives and vacations they otherwise could never experience. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s frustrated Doug Quaid undergoes such a treatment, only for something to go wrong. He awakes to discover the memory he requested may well be of a life that’s already his, but pleasingly this is left slightly open-ended come the conclusion of the film. There are some memorable touches, including robotic taxis, a confrontation behind a giant x-ray, the infamous triple-breasted hooker and a mutant creature growing on a man’s chest, but the overcomplicated plotting, featuring too many twists, betrayals and switched allegiances, leaves the movie far too close to one of Dick’s own novels for my liking, and the cars look as though they were rendered on a PlayStation. That being said, Michael Ironside is gloriously unhinged as bad guy Rictor.
Choose life 6/10