Cliff Gorman

Cliff Gorman

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An Unmarried Woman Review


Good
Jill Clayburgh delivers her seminal performance in this well-regarded film about the female response to a husband who leaves her (er, so she's a married woman, but that's beside the point). And while Clayburgh soars, the rest of the film is hopelessly dated with its late '70s pop psychology, nutty hairdos, and creepy free love sentiment. And frankly, it's a little bit boring.

Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai Review


Excellent
Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai embodies a variety of genres from Mobster to Urban to Martial Arts. Jarmusch, critically acclaimed for Mystery Train (1989) and Stranger Than Paradise (1984), stays true to his uniquely languid and methodical style in telling the fascinating story of Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker - The Crying Game, Phenomenon), a contract killer who has isolated himself from society by taking refuge in a shack atop an inner city rooftop that he shares with a flock of pigeons.

Ghost Dog studies the early eighteenth century Japanese warrior code from the book, Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai, and the story is told as a sequence of verses from the ancient text. Each morning he bows to the altar he has constructed and practices the ancient disciplines of the samurai training. In the spirit of the ancient warriors, he has pledged his loyalty to a single master, a small-time mobster named Louie (John Tormey - Kiss Me Guido, Jungle 2 Jungle), who saved Ghost Dog's life when he was young. As an assassin, Ghost Dog communicates only via carrier pigeon and moves through the night like a phantom, killing with the skill and speed of a true Samurai.

Continue reading: Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai Review

King Of The Jungle Review


Weak
John Leguizamo attempts to take a serious turn in King of the Jungle and frankly, it's as laughable as any of his comedy work. Such a funny comic actor, Leguizamo has nothing in the way of dramatic chops, here playing -- get this -- a mentally challenged young man whose civil rights activist mother is shot and killed. The plot summary claims the film is about his search for the killer, but really the film consists of an hour of Leguizamo running around and showing off his Gilbert Grape-esque acting skills, followed by 20 minutes of this pathetic search for justice. Just awful, namely due to a horrifically bad script, he is chased through the film by New York movie regulars Rosie Perez, Michael Rapaport, Marisa Tomei, and Annabella Sciorra.

Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai Review


Very Good

Mixing ancient Eastern philosophy with hip-hop street smarts and a Scorsese undercard gangland atmosphere, fiercely independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch paints a strangely serene portrait of a surgical, stealthy and enigmatic hit man in the understated and penetrating "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai."

Deeply immersed in the title role is the stoic Forest Whitaker as an assassin with unshakable focus. A high-tech thief, a loner from a ghetto background, a taciturn savant and a proselyte of 18th Century Japanese warrior code, he performs hits for a mobster (John Tormey, "Safe Men") who once saved his life. But after his most recent job -- killing a mafia turncoat in front of the mob boss' daughter -- he has a price on his head and is forced to eliminate his enemies before they eliminate him.

Jarmusch and Whitaker have conspired to lend a mesmerizing calm to this uncommon story of a violent but internally peaceful life. The simultaneous union and juxtaposition of oil-and-water elements -- the deeply reflective samurai mentality, ghetto life, the mafia honor, a surprisingly light comedic vein and a hardcore rap score by the RZA -- left imagery and axioms tripping around in my head for days after seeing the film.

Continue reading: Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai Review

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Cliff Gorman Movies

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Movie Review

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Movie Review

Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai embodies a...

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Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai Movie Review

Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai Movie Review

Mixing ancient Eastern philosophy with hip-hop street smarts and a Scorsese undercard gangland atmosphere, fiercely...

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