The Two Jakes
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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).Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
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...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I always loved Chinatown, it is a film classic. And this sequel is surprisingly good. You can still appreciate it whether you have seen Chinatown or not, but so much the better if... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Stanton J. Bond
A little hoaky movie to watch. It's still great though. Madeline Stowe is a plus for any movie.Published 9 months ago by william workman
A follow-up to Chinatown (which needs to be seen first), this movie begins slowly, but gains momentum. The plot line is complex, but is ultimately explained. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
The sequel not as good as the first movie. Chinatown was better.Published 11 months ago by R. L. McCullough