HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  U Turn Turn Up The Heat
Year: 1997
Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Billy Bob Thornton, Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes, Jon Voight, Julie Hagerty, Brent Briscoe, Bo Hopkins, Valeriy Nikolaev, Laurie Metcalf, Ilia Volok, Aida Linares, Sheri Foster, Annie Tien, Liv Tyler
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Bobby Cooper (Sean Penn) is driving through Arizona, the desert specifically, and enjoying the trip thanks to the drink and drugs he is taking, but then mishap strikes as the sports car suffers engine trouble. It limps into the nearest garage in the small town of Superior where he finds the mechanic (Billy Bob Thornton) and persuades him to take a look at the problem, but the mechanic tells him it will take him all afternoon to get to grips with it, leaving Cooper at a loose end. It's typical, he was on his way to pay off a debt that has already seen him lose two fingers and his tennis career, and he would finally have been free of his issues, but it looks like bad luck cannot leave him alone...

After a run of bombastic nineteen-nineties hits, director Oliver Stone settled on making a smaller film with a no less starry cast, which promptly flopped, thus effectively ending his run of box office success. He would have middling hits subsequently, but thereafter became largely known for his name and his aggressive political stance as he did for his film work, which would include precisely that stance. Yet with U Turn, there was none of the point-scoring that characterised much of the other entries in his filmography, as more or less this was his updating of the classic film noir format to a nineties approach, something that was highly popular in the Hollywood of that decade.

To an extent, the fatalism that film noir depicted was well-suited to Stone, who delivered a "shit happens" mood to the proceedings that was keen to antagonise its protagonist as far as possible, so much so that you could be forgiven for thinking the director believed he was creating a comedy here. It was accurate to observe a certain bleak humour in the twists and turns of that plot, which was determined not to let Cooper off the hook as he became trapped in Superior, its inhabitants finding an endless series of ways to wind him up to snapping point. There was a very fine cast performing in these quasi-caricatured roles, overqualified in some cases, you may suspect.

Not that anyone here begrudged the opportunity to let their hair down in what amounted to pulp fiction of a sort Quentin Tarantino had firmly set in vogue three or four years before, though stories reached the press of Stone and Penn, two talents who had very clear views of how they wished to go about things, clashing daily. You would detect little of this on the screen as they each appeared to be on the same page, and the notion of them arguing till blue in the face over plot points and character choices seemed absurd in light of how closely this hewed to well-mounted trash cinema, but perhaps a little friction behind the scenes was not too bad for a thriller. It was there in Penn's performance, a combination of nervy intensity and world-weary resignation that the fates were conspiring against him.

The main plot strand led Cooper to Jennifer Lopez as Grace, trophy wife of local businessman Nick Nolte, and at two different times they requested Cooper to help them out by murdering the other, with the promise of a hefty bonus in cold, hard cash the carrot dangled before him: when his own stash of cash goes AWOL, it was almost classical in its structure for a hero dragged down into Hell by his flaws and those flaws of the people around him that he was powerless to resist. Also showing up were Powers Boothe as the local lawman who turns up whenever it looks like Cooper will not escape his trouble, until... well, that would be telling; Joaquin Phoenix and Claire Danes as a young couple driven by his pathological jealousy; and Jon Voight in a "why is he here?" role as a blind beggar and Vietnam War veteran (because it was an Oliver Stone flick). Some found this too frustrating to watch, others disliked how it punished Cooper way past the stage of being sensible, but in its overblown manner, U Turn was preferable to many of its maker's message films. Eccentric score by Ennio Morricone.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1541 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Oliver Stone  (1946 - )

Didactic, aggressive and in-your-face American writer-director who, after directing a couple of horrors (Seizure and The Hand) and writing Midnight Express and Scarface, settled into his own brand of political state-of-the-nation films like Salvador, the Oscar-winning Platoon, Wall Street, Talk Radio, JFK, Natural Born Killers and Nixon. Slightly out of character were The Doors and U-Turn: respectively, a celebration of the late sixties and a sweaty thriller. In 2004 he experienced his biggest flop with Alexander, a historical epic, but followed it with the reverent World Trade Center and a biopic of then just-leaving President George W. Bush. A belated sequel to Wall Street and gangster movie Savages were next. Say what you like, he has made his mark and loads of people have an opinion on him.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: