William Baldwin is the leader of a group of friends in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen area. Theyare all on the periphery of the crime world, and the local kingpin is Armand Assante (with a mostsinister scar on his cheek). Two of the five become involved in a scheme that has them passingincompetently counterfeited hundred-dollar bills, and Assante demands their lives. Baldwininvestigates the death of one of them, and gradually realizes the depth of the betrayal.
The plot is rathe… complicated, and pretty hard to follow in the early goings. There’s anarrator to help things out (he even gives us a complete history of Hell’s Kitchen over theopening credits), but you’ll probably find yourself going back over the same bits a few times tomake sure you have everything straight. The result is a bit choppy, as if Once Upon a Time InAmerica has been compacted to 90 minutes, and there is very little sense of who the friendsare (or even of their friendship). But the wiseguy atmosphere is plenty fun, and the pace isbrisk.
The 2.0 stereo is serviceable, but has no surround whatsoever. Not too much to commenton, then, but the dialogue is clear and undistorted, and the sound effects and music never drownit out (except in some scenes where they are obviously meant to).
The picture is widescreen (1.78:1) most of the time, but at one point mysteriously switchesinto fullscreen, and then back again. How odd. The blacks aren’t as profound as they should be,either. The colours aren’t bad, but prone to pixelation and grain, especially since the picture isnot anamorphic.
Trailers for Nightmare Boulevard, Dark Heaven and DiamondHunters, and that’s it. The menu is basic.
If you’re in an undemanding mood for a gangster flick, and you’ve already seen all the greatsseveral times, this will pass the time (at 93 minutes, not the 105 indicated on the case).
Special Features List