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Thursday, June 29, 2017

U Turn (1997)

A drifter (Sean Penn) is on his way to Las Vegas to pay off a debt to a gangster (Valery Nikolaev) when his car breaks down in a dusty isolated desert town. That town soon turns into a living Hell where its citizens are all crazy and he soon finds himself being dragged into a morass of murder, lies and revenge. Based on the novel STRAY DOGS by John Ridley (who adapted his book for the screen) and directed by Oliver Stone. This was Stone's last great film. It's an insane black comedy/film noir that has you laughing out loud one moment and on the edge of your seat the next. The closest film of its kind that I kind think of is DUEL IN THE SUN, also an insane movie! Clearly it influenced Ridley as the bloody finale is a homage to the 1946 King Vidor film. Nobody in the entire film is likable, a nastier nest of vipers you'll never meet. The performances are spot on, especially Jennifer Lopez's classic noir femme fatale and Billy Bob Thornton who steals the movie as devious white trash mechanic. The gorgeous underscore is by the great Ennio Morricone. With Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Jon Voight, Claire Danes, Liv Tyler, Laurie Metcalf, Bo Hopkins and Julie Hagerty.  

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