Archives for posts with tag: Ray Liotta

To say “Article 99” is derivative is to say blood is red. The title evokes “Catch: 22” while the movie itself is a 1992 reboot of “M*A*S*H” at a veterans hospital. It even has Kiefer Sutherland as the new doctor, echoing his dad’s role in the 1970 film. Kiefer’s pornstache is splendid, as is Ray Liotta’s hair (Ray’s the new Hawkeye). Bureaucrats are again the enemy, co-workers again have sex, there’s laughs, there’s pathos, there’s an inspirational climax, there’s even John C. McGinley from “Scrubs” playing – surprise! – a wacky doctor. You see it all coming from a mile away. Yawn.

Organized crime isn’t all spaghetti and pole dancers. “Killing Them Softly” (2012) takes a look at the darker side (addiction, revenge, murder), sometimes in vivid, slow-motion sequences that are either grotesquely tedious or stylishly, um, stylish. Apparently, there’s some kind of metaphor going on, too. It has something to do with the Wall Street meltdown and the 2008 presidential election. Brad Pitt explains it all at the end. The fact that he has to explain it all is not a ringing endorsement of the movie’s first 96 minutes. But if you’re in the mood for a mob flick, it’ll do.

Can a movie be enjoyably confusing? “Identity” (2003) is a cross between a Friday the 13th movie and a whodunit, since we have cops and ex-cops and people with mysterious pasts doing the whole film noir thing right in the middle of them getting killed one by one, which I guess makes it a “who’s doing it” instead of a whodunit. A whodoit? There’s also a subplot with a mass-murderer dude who is facing the electric chair and you’re trying to figure out if the whodoit part is a flashback, or a flash forward, or some other kind of flash.