Tag Archives: Burt Young

Hal Ashby – Lookin’ to Get Out (1982)

Two gamblers must leave New York City after one loses a lot of money. Doing what all gamblers in trouble would do, they hurry to the gambling capital Las Vegas to turn their luck around.

Unlike his previous film (ugly, awful Second-Hand Hearts), this is an interesting one from Hal Ashby, where he successfully does a Cassavetes-style direction. A number of scenes look more like bloopers that usually get cut out, but that’s where improvisation can take you every now and then, and Ashby was willing to take that road, especially considering the fact that extended version is the one that probably saved all those bloopers. A successful mess that owes most of its charm to Burt Young, who is just amazing and swims in this mess like a fish. Read More »

Uli Edel – Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)

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Hubert Selby’s controversial 1964 cult novel Last Exit To Brooklyn is adapted to the big screen by director Ulrich Edel in this drama. The story is set in the early 1950s in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a blighted waterfront town of boarded-up storefronts and striking factory workers. Harry Black (Stephen Lang), a machinist put in charge of the local union strike office, suddenly finds himself one of the most important men in town. But for all his sudden power, there’s something disturbing Harry. He rejects his wife’s caresses and discovers himself infatuated with a frail young man who calls himself Georgette (Alexis Arquette), who has a crush on well-muscled hood Vinnie (Peter Dobson). But Harry doesn’t confront his problem head-on until he falls head-over-heels in love with Regina (Zette), a local transvestite. As the strike becomes more intense, Harry sinks deeper into an obsessive affair with Regina, using the strike fund to shower him/her with personal gifts. As Harry sinks into obsession, other characters float through the decaying streets. There’s the attractive prostitute Tralala (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who falls in love with a sailor about to be shipped overseas. There is also an agreeable young man named Tommy (John Costelloe) who is beaten by his soon-to-be father-in-law Big Joe (Burt Young) for making his daughter Donna (Ricki Lake) pregnant. Everything comes to a tragic conclusion as the workers’ strike escalates into a violent confrontation. Read More »