HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Romeo is Bleeding Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them
Year: 1993
Director: Peter Medak
Stars: Gary Oldman, Lena Olin, Annabella Sciorra, Juliette Lewis, Will Patton, James Cromwell, Roy Scheider, Michael Wincott, Gene Canfield, Larry Joshua, Tony Sirico, Neal Jones, James Murtaugh, Ron Perlman, Dennis Farina, Stephen Tobolowsky, Ron Faber
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jack Grimaldi (Gary Oldman) is a ghost of a man these days, running a diner in the middle of nowhere and setting aside the dates of May the first and December the first for reasons best known to himself. It wasn't always like this, as Jack used to be a cop in New York City, and he had a moneymaking racket going on thanks to a deal he had made with the gangsters he was meant to be protecting the city against. Simply tell them where those arrested associates who were going to spill the beans were kept in hiding, and he could sit back and count the readies. But when the subject of hitwoman Mona Demarkov (Lena Olin) arose...

Let's just say he would have been better off out of it, as once she entered the picture Jack's chickens came home to roost in disastrous fashion. Romeo is Bleeding was part of that nineties movie phenomenon known as neo-noir, which had its roots in the forties movement of bleak, shadowy thrillers, yet coupled that to the eighties preference for violence and sex as flavour to such possibly hackneyed plots. It was scripted by Hilary Henkin, also producer here, and she had made her name in cult movie circles as the writer of Road House, though in this case the results were nowhere near a pop culture touchstone for action movie fans that had been.

Nevertheless, stick with Romeo is Bleeding because after a long stretch where it's well established how sorry for himself Oldman's Jack is feeling, things got far more memorable. So morose was this that when Olin appeared it was as if a ray of devilish sunshine had been shone into the story as she giggles and laughs her way through the role that sparks the film into life. Jack was supposed to be looking after Mona, but when his colleagues enter the room, they find her straddling him and simultaneously trying to shag him and get hold of his gun, chortling all the time - she likes a laugh, does Mona, hinting broadly that this Russian gangster is actually utterly insane.

But she's not the only woman in Jack's life, as he has his wife Natalie (Annabella Sciorra) at home, saddled with the noble person he should have been looking after all along role which is a bit dull but turns infinitely preferable to what Mona has in store. Then there's his mistress Sheri (Juliette Lewis), who fills the purpose of making you wonder if Jack is all right in the head that he would cheat on Natalie at all. But of course, he's not all right, as his mind has been corrupted by the baser elements in life such as greed and lust, and he will suffer mightily for it. When the man offering him a wodge of cash, mob boss Roy Scheider almost stealing the film in one very well written scene, tells him there is more to their deal than Jack realised, he might as well have said "Welcome to Hell".

This is thanks to Jack being the man who is supposed to execute Mona so she doesn't talk, and understandably she's none too keen on the idea, so brings her feminine wiles to bear in such a manner that messes with the hapless cop's mind. It also leads to an incredible scene, previewed in the first five minutes, which states outright that this is a film about how much damage people can do to one another, physical as well as emotional. So with Jack trying to cover up the fact that he's letting Mona go, she wants to cover her own tracks and bump him off, which is why she attempts to strangle him with her legs while handcuffed in the back seat of her car as he drives away at high speed; you can tell Henkin had fun writing business like this, and it just gets kinkier. The drawback is that it may be strong on the violence side of things, but when it comes to nudging the audience in the direction of sadness the sprightliness elsewhere turns to leaden heartstring-tugging. When it's good, it's very good, when it's bad, it... could have been better, with the stars seemingly acting in different movies. Music by Mark Isham.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2074 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Peter Medak  (1937 - )

Variable Hungarian-born director who alternates between the big screen and the small screen. Arthouse hits like Negatives, satire The Ruling Class and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg gave way to comedy - Zorro: The Gay Blade - and classy horror - The Changeling. In the nineties, he went from gangster movie The Krays to morbid thriller Romeo is Bleeding to over-the-top sci-fi sequel Species II.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: