Jack's back in Blood and Wine, but I'm not sure the results will have you drunk with joy. The script does call for the great grinner to be a snake in the grass wine dealer who's looking to score some major jewels. Fine. But there's no zing, no pop, no nothing.
Alex Gates (Nicholson) can't make anybody happy anymore. He's cash-poor and his wine business hasn't aged all that well. His had-it-up-to-here wife Suzanne (Judy Davis) ends up doing more whining then her hubby. He's never home, and when he is, he usually goes at it with Suzanne's son Jason (Stephen Dorff).
The point of all this is theft. Alex calls on old friend Victor Spansky (Michael Caine in the best role he's had in years) to help him pull it off. The two aren't exactly Bonnie and Clyde but they do good work before Suzanne gets wise to Alex and his mistress (the hot, hot, hot Jennifer Lopez).
I find it admirable that Nicholson's been taking pay cuts to star in low budget films like this one and Sean Penn's underrated The Crossing Guard, but what happened to the man's taste in scripts.
The silver lining is when Jack goes toe-to-toe with Davis, who matches him scowl for scowl and wields a golf club like a psycho Tiger Woods. Also, Caine's hacking sleazoid is beautiful, but the two old dragons never get enough room to breathe the fire that's in them.
The problem here has to be director Bob Rafelson who, for whatever reason, can't build the suspense. Under the tutelage of Captain Bob, the stakes are never high enough. What we're left with is a second rate thriller with glimmers of brilliance. It's not enough. Remember friends, Blood and Wine don't mix.