THE TWO JAKES
1990, Paramount, 137 min, USA, Dir: Jack Nicholson

The follow-up to one of the most acclaimed films of the 1970s, THE TWO JAKES picks up a decade after CHINATOWN ended, with private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) still shadowing unfaithful spouses. At least that’s how the job starts out when Julius “Jake” Berman (Harvey Keitel) hires him. In the sting operation to catch the guy his wife is cheating with, Berman ends up shooting the man – who just happens to be his business partner. Now Gittes must figure out if the shots were fired in rage or if he’s been deliberately set up as an accomplice to murder. From the same producer (Robert Evans) and screenwriter (Robert Towne) as the original, THE TWO JAKES digs into the dirt of Southern California’s oil industry much like CHINATOWN dug into the secrets of Los Angeles’ water table.


RESERVOIR DOGS
1992, Lionsgate, 99 min, Dir: Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino’s self-assured feature debut pits five criminals of different temperament - strangers brought together by an elderly mastermind (perfectly cast Lawrence Tierney) - against an undercover cop who sabotages their jewelry store heist. A riveting saga told in disjointed time with bravura characterizations, spotlighted in the fraternal bonding of Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) and Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), the sadistic antics of psychotic Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), the foul-mouthed comments of Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) and, last but not least, the versatile Chris Penn as Nice Guy Eddie Cabot, Tierney’s faithful son.


MEAN STREETS
1973, Warner Brothers, 110 min, Dir: Martin Scorsese

Director Martin Scorsese’s shattering, insider’s look at small-time hoods in Little Italy stars Harvey Keitel as a guilt-obsessed Catholic trying to make good, and Robert De Niro as Keitel’s terminal screw-up of a cousin, Johnny Boy. Most of MEAN STREETS was shot - believe it or not - in Los Angeles (only exteriors were filmed in New York). It quickly became Scorsese’s calling card as a director, and a stunning prequel to the awesome TAXI DRIVER.


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