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The Two Jakes R CC

Jack Nicholson returns as private eye Jake Gittes in this atmospheric Chinatown follow-up that's hit upon "the elusive sequel formula for somehow enhancing a great original" (Mike Clark, USA Today). Much has changed since we last saw Jake. The war has come and gone; 1948 Los Angeles teems with optimism and fast bucks. But there's one thing Jake knows hasn't changed: "Nine times out of ten, if you follow the money you will get to the truth." And that's the trail he follows when a routine case of marital hanky panky explodes into a murder that's tied to a grab for oil--and to Jake's own past.

Starring:
Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel
Runtime:
2 hours, 17 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Mystery
Director Jack Nicholson
Starring Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel
Supporting actors Meg Tilly, Madeleine Stowe, Eli Wallach, Rubén Blades, Frederic Forrest, David Keith, Richard Farnsworth, Tracey Walter, Joe Mantell, James Hong, Perry Lopez, Jeff Morris, Rebecca Broussard, Paul A. DiCocco Jr., John Hackett, Rosie Vela, Allan Warnick, Susan Forristal
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 20, 2007
Format: DVD
It's about time that "The Two Jakes" gets a little love. Yes, it's a lesser film than "Chinatown" but it's still a GOOD film that was slammed in the press for not being the first film which, of course, it couldn't be simply because all the characters have tried to move on and time has taken its toll on all these people.

The new edition of the film is a marked improvement with more accurate colors and improved definition.

We have an excellent interview with Jack Nicholson that runs about 18 minutes discussing how he ended up in the director's chair ("it was the only way to not have it be this ongoing drama") how "The Two Jakes" was supposed to be the second part of a trilogy (with "Gittes vs. Gittes" originally about privacy as the third film). The original plan was that Towne (who appears in an interview for "Chinatown" but curiously NOT for "The Two Jakes") was going to write and direct the two sequels using the natural passage of time and each succeeding decade (30's, 40's and 50's) to document the change of Los Angeles which was a major character in the film as well.

Nicholson manages to discuss the film without making a nasty comment about anybody. He discusses the casting (Madeline Stowe, Meg Tilly, Eli Wallach, Harvey Keitel), particularly about the challenges working with the actors who often had very different training. We see some behind-the-scenes footage that was drawn from a vintage featurette. Sadly, we don't get a commentary track by Nicholson or any of the cast members. Nevertheless, this is great upgrade over the barebones original release.

Unfortunately Towne is MIA for the interview (given the difficulty he had in getting it made, his dismissal as director and his mixed feelings about the final result, it's understandable).
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Format: DVD
Any sequel to something as good as "Chinatown" is going to disappoint some people, but "The Two Jakes" is just the sequel that that movie needed. "The Two Jakes" has a different look, and a different feel to it; one that is akin to the time that it represents- like "Kiss Me Deadly" or "Sudden Fear" has a different look than "Casablanca" or "The Big Sleep".
Yes, it does have a convoluted plot, but one that makes perfect sense if you pay attention, and you cannot fault the performers- they are flawless to the extras. It is also the most flawless (yep, I know that I have been using that adjective a lot, but it fits, and you can look at my other reviews to see just how mean I can be!) look of postwar Los Angeles that I have ever seen- and as a resident, I know how hard that that can be to pull off. So, okay, it's not "Chinatown" so what? Not to denigate it, but that movie's impact was mainly because it re-introduced a generation to the whole film noir genre, brilliantly. This movie attempted to do the same thing for a time that also should be remembered- the 50's film noir, before "Psycho" and "Bonnie and Clyde", but the movies that paved the way for those classics.
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Format: DVD
The warm LA nights are suffocatingly thick with the perfume of hibiscus and carbon monoxide. The city is in the beginning of the post war boom and the rush is now for oil and expanding real-estate over water squeeze of the 30's. Along the cracked sidewalks where primordial tar oozes between the cracks a ghost still walks beside Private Eye, Jake Gittes.
In this well made sequel to "Chinatown" we are presented with the final chapter in the tragedy of Jake Gittes and Evelyn Mulwray. The film is meticulous in its attention to the post World War II Southern California setting. Stunning in the recreation of the period just as "Chinatown" was to the 1930's Los Angeles.
The convoluted Chandleresque story is intriguing and pulls one quickly back into the web of the old story. Jack Nicholson re-creates an older and somewhat wiser Jake Gittes with all the skill and ease of the master of his generation. To top it off he directs with ease and assuredness. It is a real treat to see him working here at the top of his form as he moves into middle age and mellows as an artist without losing his sting.
Harvey Keitel is the strong compelling center of the film in his appearance as the second Jake in the story. He is brilliant as a man hiding the truth on many levels. His eyes, as he listens to Gittes, glitter with pain and despair even as he tries to hid it from everyone including himself. His mix of toughness with heartbreaking vulnerability is fascinating to watch. He has never been better.
Meg Tilly is properly cool and distantly mysterious as Keitel's wife who holds the ultimate key to the mystery that haunts both the Jakes. Madeleine Stowe in a comic turn delivers a sharply funny performance as she bounces across the screen like a hopped up Rosalind Russell.
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Format: DVD
"...there's always plenty more where that came from."

This movie was a critical and commercial bust, which was a terrible shame. It was lovingly made, carefully written, and beautifully shot.

I guess people are less interested in reality. Here, Jake Gittes has become, arguably, a victim of his own success. His detective business is thriving, he's quite comfortable, drives a great step-down Hudson, and is surfing right over post-World War II malaise. And then the past reaches out to him...

One thing: it was intended as the SECOND installment in a trilogy of films about southern California. "Chinatown" was about water, and this one was about oil. The third one was to have been about air...I hope that continued interest in these characters and frameworks will encourage the people behind these two fine movies to go forward with the last part before everybody becomes unavailable...
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