I too, like many of the other reviewers, am tired of viewing my old and worn VHS version of this movie. This is one of a very few movies I absolutely MUST have in DVD.
A 1991 film, "Homicide" opened the careers of two very important stars: William H. Macy, and Ving Rhames. A very under-rated and seldom-seen Joe Mantegna stars as Detective Bobby Gold, who works for an unstated northeastern police department that looks every bit like Baltimore PD.
The department is after the killer of two cops. The FBI attempts to arrest the suspected killer (in a wonderfully understated, quiet but efficient initial scene) but manages to let him vanish. The heat is on the mayor's office and politics rage. Det. Gold is called a "kike" by one of the mayor's black handlers. In the process of tracking down the cops' killer, Gold manages to get himself involved in the homicide of an older Jewish woman killed in her store. Was she the target of everyday thugs, or the mark of someone continuing the Jewish pogrom?
"We'll bust this big criminal; we'll swagger around." And William H. Macy gives an award winning smile.
From there, all is not as it seems. When Det. Gold begins to investigate all that he believes, he discovers, at the end, that all is, in fact, nothing but irony.
And because I am in law enforcement I know, emphatically, that that which you thought was one thing may, in fact, be clearly another. Something that you never anticipated -- but your mind must be open to receive -- has come to fruition.
This movie is ALL about irony. I'll not be the spoiler. But it is also about dialogue (any Mamet movie is not unlike any Howard Hawks movie -- THAT distinctive a discernation about dialogue!).
And the realization that all is not what it seems.
Because I have seen so many, the death scene of William H. Macy particularly strikes home with me. It is clear, it is abrupt, it is disjointed. "Remember the time?"
I bought this VHS tape in 1992 from Tower, as it was marked $92.95. A wonderful movie then and now.