Fort Apache, the Bronx Reviews
The film is somewhat of a character study, and it has a very loose, episodic flow, instead of a rigidly structured plot. I think this helps the film. However, there are a few scenes that feel like they've been suddenly cut short, and the transitions between them feel really abrupt and choppy. Aside from that though, I don't have too many other issues. I mean the film is guilty of numerous genre cliches, but what film isn't?
Newman does a pretty good and believable job in the lead. As his love interest, a nurse who also happens to be a junkie, Rachel Ticotin is okay, but not really excellent or anything. Pam Grier (who sadly doesn't have as much screen time as I had hoped) has a small but memorable supporting role as a junkie prostitute/murderer. She does a really good job, and exhibits some fine method acting. Her memoir gives some intersting details about how she prepared for this movie, as well as some good information about it in general. Asner, Wahl, and Aiello are also all likewise decent.
What works best here though, is the location shooting, and the cinematography. It was shot on location throughout The Bronx, and things look quite realistic, run down and grimy. There's some really good long deep focus shots and some nice lighting and framing here as well. As much as I liked this movie, I can't say I'd want to visit that place during that time. I liked the music, but I could have used more of it.
Give this one a shot. The critics seem to miss the point with this one. Yeah, it's not really innovative, but it's pretty decently made, has great atmosphere, look, mood, and tone, the performances are good, and it's pretty watchable and entertaining. What more, really, could you ask for?
Even though it sports a good cast, the film slips on some of its plot points (Pam Grier as a psychotic hooker) and the way it was shot, which reminds the viewer of a '80's TV movie. It does go above and beyond at times, but Fort Apache is a good flick if you want to see more Paul Newman.
Paul Newman stars in this harsh portrait of a police station in a crumbling neighborhood. Newman plays John Murphy, a veteran policeman who's been on the force long enough to be tired, but not so lo...( read more read more... )ng that he's lost his idealism. The plot is loosely tied to the arrival of Connolly, the new precinct captain (Edward Asner). Is he a crusader who's going to finally whip a corrupt, apathetic force into shape, or an interloping by-the-book bureaucrat who can't possibly understand the neighborhood and will do more harm than good? The movie is gratifyingly ambiguous on this point and many others. While Newman's character is almost by default the hero, he is far from perfect--most all the major characters get complex personalities, just like real people. The Bronx itself is given complex, thoughtful treatment as well, full of both overwhelming problems and hope for the future. Fort Apache, the Bronx also has action sequences, but doesn't make the mistake of reveling in violence. Here, black and white are far less defined and, consequently, far more satisfying. --Ali Davis
The city is a jungle and we discover this through several, disconnected scenes that have little correlation with the plot. There's a scene where Newman delivers a baby for a young impoverished Puerto Rican woman that virtually goes nowhere. Pam Grier in a walk on role plays a murdering prostitute whom we follow for several scenes until she is killed off again leading nowhere and contributing little to the exposition. Ed Asner plays the new Captain at Fort Apache. He was affective but seldomly seen on screen.
The most intriguing aspect of the picture is Paul Newman who clearly is the star of the show here. His choice to play this character was exempliary of the roles he took during this time period. Absence of Malice and the Veridct being obvious connectives.
The idea was good but it was executed in a formulaic style which takes away from the picture which ultimately is held up by Newman's performance, the meditative view on New York and clever dialogue.
The story itself is dull and meaningless, quite a bit of murder and drugs but with little purpose in the story. Most of the characters are cocky tough guys, it sends a very dark message about the Bronx.
In the end I was glad it was over, the film had no message, the story was nothing special at all, daft ending. It was almost like it was written purely to put Newman in a police uniform except they hadn't thought of a decent story. Or maybe it was simply trying to showcase what a shit-hole the Bronx was.
[font=Palatino Linotype][color=#9acd32]This is something that I've noticed in going through Paul Newman's filmography. While some of his movies are truly great (The Hustler, Color of Money, Cool Hand Luke, etc.) the rest seem to be duds, with a single stand-out performance, that being his own (Where the Money Is, Absence of Malice, etc.). This is what happens with this early eighties cop drama.[/color][/font]
[font=Palatino Linotype][color=#9acd32]The film is set in the bronx, and the worst of the worst part of the bronx at that. Burned out buildings, burned out cars and burned out lives populate the streets making the neighbourhood look like a nuclear test ground. Newman plays a hardened cop, 18 years on the force, and in a region such as this, somehow with his morals intact. Other cops we learn, have let corruption and callousness slowly eat away at theirs. Although, the standing rule with everyone seems to be, if we don't see it, it's not a crime. Basically telling criminals to keep their business inside or out of plain view and nobody will have a problem.[/color][/font]
[font=Palatino Linotype][color=#9acd32]That rule is fine for most cops most of the time but when a crime that breachs the boudaries of simple misdemeanors is witnessed by Newman and his partner, a moral dilema arises on whether or not the crime should be reported and how that will affect their careers.[/color][/font]
[font=Palatino Linotype][color=#9acd32]Newman's performance is, as usual, very good. He single handedly keeps this movie going for most of it's two hours. Ultimately, it's the plot, and number of different plots that keep this movie from being recommendable. Some of the sub-plots evolving through the movie suddenly come to abrupt ends, not really doing anything for the film expect further the known fact that it's not a nice neighbourhood out there. Some sub-plots are also hinted at but never explored, like how Newman's character and the new police chief don't see eye to eye. Overall, there is no solid problem being resolved in the movie and the ending falls into the very predictable and formulaic, hero saves the day but loses the girl scenario (sorry about that, that spoils it a bit). The only real saving grace for this movie is having Paul Newman at the helm and even at that it's only barely recommendable.[/color][/font]
:fresh: [font=Palatino Linotype][color=#9acd32]6/10[/color][/font]