STREET KINGS: DVD
Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) is a rule-breaking LAPD vice squad cop who finds life difficult to navigate after the sudden and troubling nature of his wife's death. When evidence implicates him in the execution of his ex-partner Detective Washington (Terry Crews), - who is causing Tom serious trouble with internal affairs' Capt James Biggs (Hugh Laurie) - Tom has to find a way to stay out of Biggs' clutches, with help from his commanding offer Captain Jack Wander (Forest Whitaker), while tracking down Washington's murderers. As he ropes in smart young Detective Paul Diskant (Chris Evans) to help with his pursuit of the killers, he finds he is forced to go up against the cop culture he's been a part of his entire career, ultimately leading him to question the loyalties of everyone around him.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
James Ellroy's satisfyingly solid and complex story makes a powerful structure for David Ayer's film of corrupt cops and their milieu, with the violence balanced by characterisation. The film probes the moral divide between the consciences of men who are empowered by the law to guard society from harm. But it poses some hard questions about the rules that should apply, in a provocative (it's James Ellroy, after all) way.
Keanu Reeves is in his natural element as the almost deadpan, rogue cop who bends the rules to clean the streets. When he does things by the book, it's the A-K phone book, which makes a perfect interrogation tool. Forest Whitaker shines as his superior, Wander, whose high regard for Tom's renegade ways gives Tom some form of protection from the upper echelons of police management.
Hugh Laurie, unaccustomed as he is to working in crime thrillers of this kind, brings a steely intelligence to his character as the internal affairs officer with hidden agendas. There is effective support from Chris Evans as the dedicated and capable young detective Paul 'Disco' Diskant, and a sweet, small but crucial cameo by Martha Higareda as the nurse who bandages Tom's physical as well emotional wounds.
Gabriel Beristain's lighting and cinematography is almost always exemplary - almost, because the gun and fist fight scenes are shot in what is today's fashionable whirly-gig hand held style, avoiding establishing wide shots that would give us physical context. But Graeme Revell's punchy score is as throaty as the subject matter. It's not a chick flick, nor a date movie: take your hard hat and safety goggles.
Special features include a commentary by director David Ayer, 15 deleted scenes, 10 alternate scenes, 4 vignettes, 4 behind the scenes clips, two featurettes and trailer.
Published September 4, 2008
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STREET KINGS: DVD (MA)
(aka The Night Watchman)
CAST: Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans,Cedric the Entertainer, Jay Mohr, Terry Crews, Naomie Harris, Common, The Game, Martha Higerada
PRODUCER: Lucas Foster, Alexandra Milchan, Erwin SToff
DIRECTOR: David Ayer
SCRIPT: James, Ellroy,Kurt Wimmer, Jamie Moss (story by James Ellroy)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gabriel Beristain
EDITOR: Jeffrey Ford
MUSIC: Graeme Revell
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Alec Hammond
RUNNING TIME: 107 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 17, 2008
SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary by director David Ayer, 15 deleted scenes, 10 alternate scenes, 4 vignettes, 4 behind the scenes clips, two featurettes, trailer
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: September 3, 2008
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.