From: Etienne Borgers ( freeweb@rocketmail.com)
Date: 29 Jun 2001

I watched PHOENIX (1998), originally a film made for cable TV, that is well above average. With a rather conventional beginning of the plot: cop with gambling addiction, corruption... etc, this film succeeds in keeping the viewer interested and by using a "double twisted" ending of the story showing some fresh approach. Noir, HB, grim, well acted, very good cinematography... IMHO a far better film than the poor reviews it received when released. Director: Danny Cannon Leading actor: Ray Liotta

Speaking of Liotta I recently saw another film : THE RAT PACK (1998) An impeccable cast and a script based on some of the major events that happened to the Sinatra's Rat Pack members. Surprisingly good and interesting, even within the self imposed limits of the film (its length cannot account for every details of this saga, of course, and it had to hold the interest of a general audience). Not too many concessions to the hagiography of the public figures involved, even if it's not a real analysis of Sinatra's ambitions and manipulations
(nicknamed by the US secret services: Napoleon!).

 Ellroy's "foreword" for his 'American Tabloid'(that covers part of the same period of US history), is a good complement to the film and came to my mind after having seen it:

"America was never innocent. .../... The real Trinity of Camelot was Look Good, Kick Ass, Get Laid. Jack Kennedy was the mythological front man for a particularly juicy slice of our history. He talked a slick line and wore a world-class haircut. He was Bill Clinton minus pervasive media scrutiny and a few rolls of flab. Jack got whacked at the optimum moment to assure his sainthood. Lies continue to swirl around his eternal flame. It's time to dislodge his urn and cast light on a few men who attended his ascent and facilitated his fall. They were rogue cops and shakedown artists. They were wire-tappers and soldiers of fortune and faggot lounge entertainers. Had one second of their lives deviated off course, American History would not exist as we know it.

E.Borgers HARD-BOILED MYSTERIES http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6384

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