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Let the Devil Wear Black

DVD

3.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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(Jun 27, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Product description

There's something rotten in the City of Angels, claims the video box. Sure enough, under the dysfunctional dealings of a family business is the story of "Hamlet" retooled for the twilight world of nocturnal L.A. Jack (Jonathan Penner, who cowrote the screenplay with director Stacy Title) is spending a joyless break from graduate school to deal with his father's sudden death. He's disconnected from his unstable lover (Mary-Louise Parker), the daughter of family lawyer Philip Baker Hall, and his mom (Jacqueline Bisset), a withdrawn alcoholic who has let his "2-watt" Uncle Carl (Jamey Sheridan) manage the family fortune. When a mysterious figure tells him that Carl murdered his father, Jack's unsettled feelings are thrown into a restless rage. This official Slamdance 1999 selection is never as moving or insightful as Michael Almereyda's Wall Street "Hamlet" with Ethan Hawke, but Title makes the most of this free adaptation, and drives the film with the simmering energy of a frantic, wound-up hero. It's surprising how well the story lends itself to the double-crossing and devious betrayal of modern neo-noir, only periodically stopping for a Shakespearean rumination (the "Alas, poor Yorick" speech becomes a meditation on a skull fragment, the remains of a brutal execution-style murder). Title makes the fatal architecture of Shakespeare work beautifully and unpretentiously in a modern context, creating a modest but satisfying gritty little thriller. "--Sean Axmaker"

Amazon.com

"There's something rotten in the City of Angels," claims the video box. Sure enough, under the dysfunctional dealings of a family business is the story of Hamlet retooled for the twilight world of nocturnal L.A. Jack (Jonathan Penner, who cowrote the screenplay with director Stacy Title) is spending a joyless break from graduate school to deal with his father's sudden death. He's disconnected from his unstable lover (Mary-Louise Parker), the daughter of family lawyer Philip Baker Hall, and his mom (Jacqueline Bisset), a withdrawn alcoholic who has let his "2-watt" Uncle Carl (Jamey Sheridan) manage the family fortune. When a mysterious figure tells him that Carl murdered his father, Jack's unsettled feelings are thrown into a restless rage. This official Slamdance 1999 selection is never as moving or insightful as Michael Almereyda's Wall Street Hamlet with Ethan Hawke, but Title makes the most of this free adaptation, and drives the film with the simmering energy of a frantic, wound-up hero. It's surprising how well the story lends itself to the double-crossing and devious betrayal of modern neo-noir, only periodically stopping for a Shakespearean rumination (the "Alas, poor Yorick" speech becomes a meditation on a skull fragment, the remains of a brutal execution-style murder). Title makes the fatal architecture of Shakespeare work beautifully and unpretentiously in a modern context, creating a modest but satisfying gritty little thriller. --Sean Axmaker


Special features

None.

Product details

  • Actors: Jonathan Penner, Randall Batinkoff, Norman Reedus, Jamey Sheridan, Brooke Taylor
  • Directors: Stacy Title
  • Writers: Jonathan Penner, Stacy Title
  • Producers: Jonathan Penner, Cynthia H. Margulis, James D. Stern, Mark Amin, Matt Salinger
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Unapix / a-Pix Ent.
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2000
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 1578482917
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,451 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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