Sunday, July 02, 2006
Sean Connery, Andy Garcia, Kevin Costner and Robert DeNiro - what a cast. Now why didn’t I hear of this movie before?
In the 1930’s, Al Capone ruled Chicago’s underworld. His brutality was well known, as well as his skill at greasing the right palms in order to stay out of jail. He owned the city, and the Feds took notice. Elliot Ness, a federal treasury officer, selects a group of men, including a new police cadet and an old cop, to take down Capone’s men and stop the corruption of Chicago. They never got Capone for the numerous murders and beatings he organized, or for the bribes of city officials. He was nailed on a less glamorous crime - tax evasion. It’s not pretty, but it ended up being enough to put him away for a while.
Kevin Costner takes a lot of crap as an actor. If people watched his performance in this movie, I think they would appreciate his skill. It also helps that Sean Connery is there to give the relationship between Ness and Jim Malone a feeling of depth. Connery is a badass! He fights, he shoots, and he shares his wisdom with Ness. Andy Garcia's character, George Stone, is a cold, loyal, sharpshooter. His slick demeanor worked well with Costner's everyman persona. Robert DeNiro was frighteningly convincing as Capone, and had the same swaggering sneer that the real Capone would have had. The music was well done, the costumes were great. This did not feel like an eighties film. I loved it.
But, there was one problem. The Foley art. Good god it was horrid. I have the special edition of the movie, and I thought perhaps the transfer was bad. The sound of a chain that Malone carries rumbles like thunder every time he handles it. The shoes, echoing like gunfire through the alleyways of Chicago, do nothing for a scene where they should be sneaking. The gunshots sounded realistic-ish, but they were loud, so there wasn’t a whole lot to screw up there. I was very very distracted by the flaws with the sound. If they fixed it, toned down the chains, and clicking guns, and loud shoes, then maybe I could recommend this to everyone.
I think I know why I haven’t heard about this music before. Beyond a stellar cast, an authentic period piece, and moving music- the Foley art kills this movie. So very sad.