JOHNNY HANDSOME (1989)

A film by Walter Hill.
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Elizabeth McGovern.
Johnny Handsome is a deformed gangster who plans a successful robbery with a friend of his, Mikey Chalmette, and another couple (Sunny Boid and Rafe Garrett). During the heist, Johnny and Mikey are double-crossed by Sunny and Rafe—Mikey is killed and Johnny sent to prison. While in prison, Johnny is invited to a rehabilitation program, where Dr. Steven Fischer rebuilds Johnny’s face and helps Johnny get paroled. Johnny starts working in a shipyard, where he meets Donna McCarty and starts a romance. Lt. A.Z. Drones is a skeptical detective who follows the rehabilitation of Johnny. Johnny’s new life is consumed by the desire of payback.

“Johnny Handsome” comes out of the film noir atmosphere of the 1940s, out of movies with dark streets and bitter laughter. This is a simple film by all mean. A great film noir by long shot. Walter Hill, who directed this film, and Rourke, who seems to seek out difficult projects, would not have been interested in a simple approach. This is dark material, and they head for the shadows. This film has real style. the cinematographer Matt Leonetti has done a great job to make you feel the loneliness of the characters as well of the city, the music between blues and Jazz sob as I call it. The performances of the actors stand out and it look like Rourke likes doing those difficult project at the time. Nice going Hill I love this one.

THIS BOY’S LIFE (1993)

A film by  Michael Caton-Jones.
Cast: Robert De Niro, Ellen Barkin, Leonardo DiCaprio.
In 1957, a son and mother flee the East and an abusive boyfriend to find a new life, and end up in Seattle, where the mother meets a polite garage mechanic. The boy continually gets into trouble by hanging out with the wrong crowd. The mom marries the mechanic, but they soon find out that he’s an abusive and unreasoning alcoholic, and they struggle to maintain hope in an impossible situation as the boy grows up with plans to escape the small town by any means possible. Based on a true story by Tobias Wolff.
Dwight is played by Robert De Niro, in one of his most distinctive performances. He is a verbal bully, a sadist, a liar, an emotional con man. Caroline, played by Ellen Barkin, perhaps sees her husband clearly enough, but has made a decision early in the marriage: She will not get in between Dwight and Toby. She wants the marriage to survive (although it will never “work” in any positive sense). Toby is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a relative newcomer when this film was made. He delivers a great performance. The movie is very involving. We identify with Toby, we understand (but do not excuse) Caroline’s passivity, and in Dwight, as played by De Niro, we see a pathetic but unforgettable villain.

1993thisboys life