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L.A. Confidential

Kevin Spacey , Russell Crowe , Curtis Hanson    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 19.95
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In a time when it seems that every other movie makes some claim to being a film noir, L.A. Confidential is the real thing--a gritty, sordid tale of sex, scandal, betrayal, and corruption of all sorts (police, political, press--and, of course, very personal) in 1940s Hollywood. The Oscar-winning screenplay is actually based on several titles in James Ellroy's series of chronological thriller novels (including the title volume, The Big Nowhere, and White Jazz)--a compelling blend of L.A. history and pulp fiction that has earned it comparisons to the greatest of all Technicolor noir films, Chinatown. Kim Basinger richly deserved her Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of a conflicted femme fatale; unfortunately, her male costars are so uniformly fine that they may have canceled each other out with the Academy voters: Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, and James Cromwell play LAPD officers of varying stripes. Pearce's character is a particularly intriguing study in Hollywood amorality and ambition, a strait-laced "hero" (and son of a departmental legend) whose career goals outweigh all other moral, ethical, and legal considerations. If he's a good guy, it's only because he sees it as the quickest route to a promotion. --Jim Emerson

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Don't misunderstand me--this movie IS the tour de force that others have expounded on here already--and I love it as much as anyone, ranking it right up there with Chinatown as an L.A. film noir classic. But you will NOT see the movie Curtis Hanson made if you watch this widescreen DVD edition!!
I have watched this movie countless times on videotape and so I was SHOCKED to find that the DVD noticably detracted from what this film is! Though the back of the DVD case details "WIDESCREEN VERSION Presented in a "letterbox" widescreen format preserving the SCOPE ASPECT RATIO of its original theatrical exhibition", I did NOT find this to be true (and I am no newcomer to widescreen format). Shots that had appeared as medium shots on video have become head shots--people are now out of frame--this is a CHANGED film! --and WEIRD things also occur with the soundtrack! Dialogue is mixed at a noticably lower level relative to background and peripheral noises that are overly augmented.
I have to say, it boggles my mind that watching this movie in the "newest and most improved" format has, for the first time, left me feeling like I watched 2 entirely different movies. There is an artistic freedom being threatened here by what is ultimately a revisionist medium, the implications of which are truly frightening--and oddly parallel to current world events.
In all fairness, I haven't even gotten to the special features, and maybe this DVD is worth having for those rarities themselves, I don't know. But if you have never watched this extraordinary film, I beg you, SEEK IT OUT ON VHS! or you will miss the experience. If you love this film already, be prepared for a letdown with this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Kona TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
"L.A. Confidential" is the story of three Los Angeles police officers who work in a rather corrupt department in 1953. Bud White (Russell Crowe) has a violent temper and is not above beating up a suspect to get answers. Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) loves the spotlight; he's the technical consultant for a TV show and takes bribes from a gossip columnist. Exley (Guy Pearce) is a young, straight-arrow cop who wants to live up to his late father's reputation. Together, they investigate some murders that may involve a high-priced call-girl (Oscar-winner Kim Basinger).

This movie is often described as a "film noir," and that kept me from seeing the movie for a long time. But I do like the movie a lot; the actors are all wonderful and there are several twists to the story. It is an ensemble piece; the four stars give exciting, yet understated performances, and James Cromwell, as the police captain, and Danny De Vito, as the tabloid writer, are also outstanding. This is a trip back to days of "Dragnet," with interesting characters, some violence, and lots of suspense. Heartily recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Off The Record, On The QT And Very Hush Hush'. June 29 2004
Format:DVD
If not for a film about a ship hitting an iceberg and going down L.A. Confidential would have been a sure-fire Academy Award Best Picture winner. The best parts of the movie are Kim Basinger in an Oscar winning performance for her role as a Veronica Lake lookalike hooker and Russell Crowe as a fearsome cop who finds a surprising capacity for love.
The genius of the film is the three inter-related stories (hookers cut to resemble movie stars, missing heroin and a murder investigation) in LA of the early 1950's. Cops, prostitution, corrupt politicians and gangsters all touch each others lives and in the tabloid press in surprising ways.
The acting is terrific with James Cromwell, Kevin Spacey, Guy Pierce and Danny DeVito all selling their souls for ambition - and the price to be paid; deserved or not. The costumes and set design are first rate. If you like film noir, or just love well-crafted movies you'll have to look hard to find a better film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars She is Lana Turner June 27 2004
Format:DVD
Curtis Hanson's "L.A.Confidential" was the best movie of the year. It had class, acting, story line and macabre plot that was captivating. Though one might find it close to a comic Godfather and a cop-mafia movie, there is more to it. Right from the beginning when they introduce the city of Los Angeles in the "Hush Hush" magazine with Danny DeVito, it starts beautifully. I bet that they can never put together such a set of actors in one movie - Guy Pierce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger and Russell Crowe, perish the thought.
I could not believe that they gave Titanic the Best Picture over this movie, the academy must have had a case of temporary dementia. I have no words for how bad that movie was in comparison. This movie was a masterpiece. Some people might have had problems with the violence. Guy Pierce was fantastic in the way he changes from the budding junior cop to the ambitious detective. This was Russell Crowe's ideal role, the part where he and Pierce go and challenge the DA is hilarious. Kevin Spacey is his usual witty self - his badge of honor role is outstanding. This had excellent screenplay - I was disappointed that it did not get enough oscars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars L.A. Confidential (1997) June 1 2004
Format:DVD
Director: Curtis Hanson
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, David Strathairn, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito.
Running Time: 156 minutes.
Rated R for violence, language, and some sexuality.
A toast and dedication to the fine film noir classics that evolved in the 1940's and 1950's, "L.A. Confidential" is a cop story told the way it should be--intellectually, right in your face, and with a spice of humor. Based on the bestselling novel by James Ellroy, this crime caper is a masterpiece of suspense, sensuality, and straight-up heroism.
After a holiday mishap at the police station in which several officers brutally beat up inmates and a killer maniacally shoots and kills numerous victims at a local bar, detectives Kevin Spacey and Russell Crowe search for answers. Spacey is a high-profile cop who benefits from raunchy tablod writer Danny Devito's busts of movie stars and political figures, while Crowe is wonderul as the straight-laced detective who finds his life in shambles of corruption as he gets closer and closer to the truth, and also as he gets more involved with one of an enigmatic millionare's erotic hookers (Kim Basinger in a knock-out role). Guy Pearce plays the up-and-coming son of a police station legend who will do whatever it takes to get a promotion, including selling out his colleagues and stealing their girls.
Excellent adaptation of the wonderful novel, using the cast to create a rigorous, enveloping story that will keep audience's guessing until the very last second. Bold, telling performances from the entire cast, especially Crowe (which should have been at least Oscar-nomination worthy) and Pearce (who steals the show from Crowe time to time).
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good price, came in good time
God quality, good price, came in good time.
Published 29 days ago by Ramon
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good movie
First of all, this movie is really good. The way they have improve the quality of the image and the sound on the Blu-ray makes it even more interesting. Buy !!!
Published 7 months ago by redsoxmathieu
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last of the Film Noirs
While I cannot say I like watching this movie I feel compelled to do so every so often, and it never disappoints. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Merci
Vraiment super, la livraison s'est effectuée très rapidement, à peine 2-3 jours. Aussi le DVD était neuf, donc en trés bon état! Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2012 by MauL
5.0 out of 5 stars L.A. Confidential
This movie may be the best of the police detective genre. Brilliantly written and brilliantly acted. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2011 by litgo
5.0 out of 5 stars An unflinching tale of police corruption and scandal in the 1950's
L.A Confidential is a great movie.it is very well written and very well
directed.it is an unflinching tale of police corruption and scandal in
the 1950's. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2007 by falcon
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent
This is magnificent. A top notch cast throughout, Guy Pearce is a revelation, Russell Crowe (not my favourite) is just brilliant, James Cromwell is great. Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by sp
4.0 out of 5 stars Splendid WhoDunIt Hollywood Style!
Murder - Double Cross - Mystery -Double Double Cross - Paradise. Beautiful women. Good cops. Gangsters. Bad cops. Politics. Gun fights. Read more
Published on June 21 2004 by Jeffrey E Ellis
3.0 out of 5 stars Good try but still just an updated B-rated 1950s movie
An updated version of a bad B-movie of the 50s, good sets and makeup, hairdos and acting. It was the story that didn't quite come together and the movie was much much too long. Read more
Published on May 14 2004 by Linda Linguvic
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