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January Man [VHS]

3.4 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Kline, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Susan Sarandon, Harvey Keitel, Danny Aiello
  • Directors: Pat O'Connor
  • Writers: John Patrick Shanley
  • Producers: Christopher Cook, Ezra Swerdlow, Norman Jewison
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: February 6, 1996
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000693Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,808 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It's New Year's Eve and a serial killer stalks the streets of New York, looking for his next victim. Under pressure from the public and the press, Police Commissioner Frank Starkey (Harvey Keitel) and the mayor (Rod Steiger) reinstate Starkey's brother Nick (Kevin Kline) in the force to track down the murderer. Nick was pressured to resign some years back and bad blood remains between him and his brother; almost immediately he rubs his superior (Danny Aiello) the wrong way when he turns his office into a sort of beatnik den. Flanked by his eccentric buddy (Alan Rickman) and the mayor's daughter (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), Starkey goes about running the killer down his own way. This film is a confused muddle--not funny enough to be a comedy, not suspenseful enough to be a taut cop thriller, and without enough chemistry to be a romantic drama. The excellent cast is adrift in a screenplay that throws in everything but the kitchen sink; Keitel, Steiger, and Aiello go completely apoplectic every time they're onscreen together (which should please fans of over-the-top acting). The first screenplay by John Patrick Shanley after his Oscar win for Moonstruck is hardly cut of the same cloth. --Jerry Renshaw

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This movie is not a typical "mystery thriller," at least not in the usual sense of the genre. The characters unravel intriguingly but very fluidly, and it is easy to relate to almost all of them (I bet we can all think of parallels in our own lives.)
Theme-wise it is ostensibly presented as a suspense movie where an ex-cop (Kevin Kline) is re-instated into a homicide detective role to solve a brutal murder spree by a NY psychopath. There is an interesting subplot of unrequited romance between Kline's character and his brother's (who is commissioner of police) wife. Kline's artist friend, his new girl friend (the Mayor's daughter), and in fact the Mayor himself -- are all amusing characters. But Kline is clearly the pivot of the movie, he turned what many might consider a very below standard screenplay and turned it into a very keepable film.
The cinematography is neat, the dialog entertainingly scattershot and the movie flows with a very good pace. Most people who revile this under-rated but actually very watchable movie do so because it doesn't fit any Hollywoodesqe molds. It is not a suspense movie alone (clearly, to me, it didn't make any overt attempts to be) -- it is also a very adult and somewhat intellectual but credible study of multiple intertwined characters.
The ending surprised me a bit, but I don't think it was chinsy or overdone. It was probably supposed to try and imitate real life and I'd say it did so.
And with that kind of a price tag, this is definitely a steal. Recommended!
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I ordered this, because I don't remember seeing it in Finland and because of the great actors. I mean: Kevin Kline, Harvey Keitel AND Alan Rickman! What more could a grown woman want?
The movie uses clichés with a twist: a heroic but difficult cop (Kline) who has been unjustly sacked and is now a fireman, but - being a genius in his work - gets called back to solve mysterious killings. Of course, the police department is against the idea. But there is no choice and he starts to work in his own terms, for instance bringing along an assistant, a moody artist (Rickman in a part where he speaks very little, which is always a shame). Brother (Keitel) isn't too thrilled either, because they still love the same woman (Sarandon). Mayor's daughter (Mastrantonio) gets sucked in, because her friend is murdered.
The movie has all the elements of comedy, humour, suspense and good actors and actresses - and still it misses something. Kline is fine as always and even in this small part Rickman makes an impression and it's hard to point out any flaws - but still it doesn't work as well as it could have.
Anyway, the movie is entertaining, not bad at all. Harmless fun with a couple of original jokes. Kline's cooking is very odd and Rickman's use of models even more personal.
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Format: DVD
This movie got savaged (and continues to be) when it first came out. I think that with all the talent involved, people were expecting something a lot more... mainstream. This is one of those oddball detective/crime thrillers a la The Long Goodbye or Trixie that just doesn't fit in anywhere. It blends genres together and this bugged a lot of people who just wanted a by-the-numbers story.
Everyone in the cast is fantastic but the real standout, for me, is Alan Rickman cast totally against type as the slightly effeminate artiste (and computer genius), Ed. Rickman gets most of the best lines and steals every scene he's in. He and Kline play well off each other and it's a shame this film tanked because I'd have loved to see more adventures with these two.
The DVD is a real disappointment. No extras. Nothing! Just dumped unceremoniously on DVD. Oh well. At least it's letterboxed!
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Format: DVD
I became reacquainted with "January Man" recently and forgot what a good film it is. With Oscar winners, Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon and an excellent supporting cast including Rod Steiger, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Danny Aiello and Harvey Keitel and a great script, director Pat Connor had an easy task of producing a great film. With a touch of comic relief between the suspense and the strong rivalry between brothers (Kline and Keitel), Keitel is forced by the Mayor (Steiger) to rehired his brother (Kline) as the lead investigator to find and stop a serial killer. Time is running out and the suspense builds. Like the Bone Collector, the January Man will challenge the viewer until the end. You'll find the January Man more challenging to solve than most mysteries, but keep in mind the clues are in front of you, including its title. If you enjoy a good mystery, January Man is worth the time. Rated R for a sex scene, brief nudity and violence.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
One of my favorite movies. While it's a mystery with murder, the dark comedy is great. Kevin Klein is funny & witty in this role. So charming & luscious playing both a fireman & police officer. You have classic Danny Aiello, Harvey Keitel makes the hairs on your arms stand on end & and always volatile Rod Steiger. Susan Sarandon vamps up the screen & Mary Mastrantonio is both fun & vulnerable. And Alan RIckman's dead pan artist just makes it all worth while! An entertaining movie for pizza & wine on the couch.
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