London, 1944. Emily Lloyd thinks she’s a showgirl. She dreams of being a big star, orpossibly a gangster’s moll. Serviceman Kiefer Sutherland claims to be a gangster known asChicago Joe, heading up Al Capone’s outfit in London. Yeah, right. When these two meet, theyfeed each other’s fantasies. In order to live up to Lloyd’s image of a gangster, Sutherland letshimself be talked into ever more violent crimes, culminating in murder. Director Bernard Rosekeeps the movie …isually interesting, but the style feels rather pedestrian in its thematic impulse:the look is old-style Hollywood (at times anticipating Baz Luhrmann’s games in MoulinRouge), relfecting the characters’ obsessions with the movies, but we get the idea veryquickly. This is not a patch on Rose’s best work (Paperhouse and Candyman).
The 2.0 sound is very energetic, especially at the level of sound effects, which come blastingout of the rear speakers. In fact, the rear presence is a bit too enthusiastic, sometimesdrowning out the front speakers. As well, there is at least one moment of very noticeable rearspeaker hiss, accompanied by some unintentional surround dialogue.
Yet another barely passable fullscreen transfer. Though the wildly changing palette of thecolours more or less comes through, the blacks are very variable in quality, and the grain isnoticeable. The contrasts in some of the night scenes could be stronger, and as a result some ofthese shots are murkier than they should be. The edges are prone to breaking up. Finally, there’ssome speckling. Things could be worse, but they could be much better.
The disc just gets by with its transfer, and the film is watchable, but far from the director’sbest work.