Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gorky Park

Michael Apted, 1983 (8.1*)
A homicidal puzzle turns into a Cold War mystery in this entertaining spy thriller. William Hurt plays a Russian detective, who is baffled by three bodies discovered in Moscow's public Gorky Park, which have had their faces removed to prevent identification.

In the course of his investigation he discovers that the upper levels of government are stonewalling his efforts - it seems that he may have uncovered an uncomfortable conspiracy. He crosses paths with mysterious American businessman Lee Marvin, who has a few skeletons in his closet, even if he's not responsible for these murders. Joanna Pacula provides the proper eye candy and romantic interest, while Brian Dennehy provides his particular brand of homicidal bravado (he was a real assassin in Vietnam, often killing targets with a knife).

Maybe not a bona fide classic, but still a better mystery than most that are filmed nowdays, and one with some unique and unforgettable images, especially toward the film's climax. If you enjoy all these new forensic investigative police drama, here's one that takes place in Russia, and in a large-budget film with a couple of previous Oscar® winners in Hurt and Marvin.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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