Based on stories by Damon Runyon, Bloodhounds of Broadway traces the would-bezany antics of a large group of characters in New York, on New Year’s Eve, 1928. Some of thethreads we follow are: Randy Quaid as the terminal loser who sells his body to a maddoctor, payment due by dawn, only to have his luck change radically and flapper Madonna fallfor him; Rutger Hauer as The Brain, a soft-spoken ganglord who is stabbed, and spends the restof the night being hauled fruitl…ssly from the home of one mistress to the next, always findingthe doors closed to him; Matt Dillon two-timing Jennifer Grey, only to find out where his truelove really lies; and so on.
Annandale’s First Law of Cinema: there is a limit to how bad any movie that features adinosaur can be. Corollary: there is a limit to how good any movie that features Madonnacan be. No dinosaurs here, but there’s Madonna, as the nightclub performer who wants to hearthe patter of little feet. The cast seems to be having fun, but the effect is very flat, as if this werenothing more than a bunch of friends playing 1920’s dress-up. There is some peculiar amusementin seeing William Burroughs as a disapproving butler.
The sound is clean and devoid of hiss, but also seems to be mono (at the very least, there isno surround at all), which is rather surprising for a 1989 production. The dialogue could use aboost in the sound levels as well. In the early scenes especially, some lines are swallowed upcompletely.
The picture, at least, is fine, with deliberately grainy B&W giving way to rich colours. Thecontrasts and blacks are excellent too, and there is no visible edge enhancement. The aspect ratiois 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, and the grain is virtually non-existent. All in all, a handsome-looking film, so there’s plenty to look at as your mind wanders.
Trailers for A League of Their Own, Big Fish, and Mona Lisa Smile.An odd mix; is this just because they’re all period pieces of one sort or another? The menu isbasic.
Passable entertainment (just) at 87 minutes, but I’m sure you can find something better outthere.
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