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Label:
Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT142-BR

U TURN (1997) (SPECIAL PROMOTION) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Jon Voight, Powers Booth, Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Claire Danes, Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Bob Thornton
Directed By:  Oliver Stone
Composed By:  Ennio Morricone

“An overdue event, a chance for Stone to apply his hypnotic acid-trip-of-the-soul wizardry to something sexy and lowdown…Stone, working in the dense channel-surfing style of JFK and Natural Born Killers, makes every shot a jolt, a sliver of ominous perception.”
—Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

“Penn turns in a crisp, unfussy comic performance, Lopez vamps like a scorpion in heat, Nolte sustains a pretty good John Huston impression, and Thornton is mighty peculiar as the mechanic from hell.”
—Time Out London

“The standard noir trappings are here: the femme fatale, double-crossing, fatalism, broken dreams, innocence betrayed and the rest of it…It’s an exciting ride.”
—Walter Addiego, San Francisco Examiner

Director Oliver Stone’s U Turn (1997), with a script by John Ridley based on his novel, is a sensationally trippy Southwestern neo-noir—and yet another in Stone’s series of cinematic meditations on the American character. Not a pretty, but always a fascinating picture, with standout performances from the phenomenal likes of Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Jennifer Lopez, Bo Hopkins, Joaquin Phoenix, and Claire Danes. Shot, in a dazzling variety of styles, by Robert Richardson (Django Unchained) and highlighted by a score from maestro of maestros Ennio Morricone.

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1997 / Color
124 MINUTES
RATED: R
REGION FREE

Special Features: Isolated Score Track / Oliver Stone Introduces U Turn / Audio Commentary with Director Oliver Stone / Audio Commentary with Producer/Production Executive Mike Medavoy and Film Historian Nick Redman / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

  
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Reviews and Comments: (1)
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Posted by Mark Turner on July 28, 2017 2:21 PM
FOR COLLECTORS ONLY

Director Oliver Stone has been a conundrum to movie fans. His output of film runs from some fantastic movies to movies that are puzzling yet good and on to others that just make you scratch your head wondering what he was thinking. The movie U TURN falls into that last category.

In one of the extras, Stone commenting on this film and what was going on when he did so, he talks about it being a dark time in his life and how it shows in the film. He’s right. It does show. And that’s not in a good way. What began as a tribute of sorts to the classic film noire movies of the past resulted in a movie that was far too drawn out, confusing at times, pointless at others and in the end boring.

Sean Penn stars as Bobby Cooper, a down on his luck gambler transporting money to pay off his debt. His car breaks down in a remote desert town resulting in his taking it to Darrell (Billy Bob Thornton), the local garage owner who is nothing if not eccentric. Bobby walks into town to get something to drink eventually catching the eye of a young woman who asks for his help with something she has purchased.

The young woman is Grace McKenna (Jennifer Lopez) and when she gets his help hanging the blinds he helped carry in she slowly teases him to the point he finally takes her in his arms. About that time in burst Jake McKenna (Nick Nolte), the husband she failed to mention having. He busts Bobby in the face and threatens to kill him only to be convinced Bobby was unaware of his existence. After a quick apology he drives Bobby back to town. Along the way a lengthy discussion ensues ending with his offering Bobby money to kill Grace.

Bobby turns down the offer and then ends up in the middle of a convenience store robbery where the bag of money he is transported gets caught in the crossfire leaving him with nothing except shredded bills strewn about the bloody corpse of the thief. He calls the man waiting for him to show and tries to explain but you know that no help is coming. Contacting Jake he agrees to the offer. Except that he now finds himself so drawn to Grace that he can’t go through with it. Which works out well for Grace because she makes him a counter offer to kill Jake.

There is yet another twist in the plot that I won’t reveal here so don’t accuse me of too many spoilers please. And the items I’ve revealed so far are apparent from the box art to the trailers for the film. The biggest problem though is that it sounds like it could make a good movie. Too bad it doesn’t.

The biggest flaw with the film is that there is absolutely no one to sympathize with, no one to relate to. Bobby is a complete jerk and a loser. Grace is a manipulative woman that was a stereotype for far too long. Jake has little to say or do except be threatening. Thornton’s character is by far the wackiest of the bunch to the point he becomes unbelievable. Toss in Powers Boothe as the town sheriff and you have an A list of stars that have nothing credible to do in the movie.

Watching I remembered seeing this movie for the first time and being disappointed again. That hasn’t changed with time. In truth the movie came out as Stone’s career was going downhill and he was more obsessed with conspiracy theories than in making sound movies. Sure it looks good but I give the credit for that to cinematographer Robert Richardson. He proves that a good cinematographer can make any garbage movie look good.

If you’re a die-hard fan of Stone or want to own a complete collection of all of his works then by all means you’ll want to add this one to your collection. Olive Films has done a fine job of transfer to blu-ray as they always do. But for the average collector I would suggest finding someone to borrow this from or if a rental is available see it that way if you must. I can’t find myself telling friends to rent it but if you feel the need…

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