THE TWO JAKES
1990, Paramount, 137 min, USA, Dir: Jack Nicholson

The follow-up to one of the most acclaimed films of the 1970s, THE TWO JAKES picks up a decade after CHINATOWN ended, with private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) still shadowing unfaithful spouses. At least that’s how the job starts out when Julius “Jake” Berman (Harvey Keitel) hires him. In the sting operation to catch the guy his wife is cheating with, Berman ends up shooting the man – who just happens to be his business partner. Now Gittes must figure out if the shots were fired in rage or if he’s been deliberately set up as an accomplice to murder. From the same producer (Robert Evans) and screenwriter (Robert Towne) as the original, THE TWO JAKES digs into the dirt of Southern California’s oil industry much like CHINATOWN dug into the secrets of Los Angeles’ water table.


HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER
1986, Greycat Films, 83 min, USA, Dir: John McNaughton

This disturbing, low-budget indie, loosely based on the story of real-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, delivers exactly what its title promises. Brilliantly played by Michael Rooker, Henry is an ex-con living in a Chicago apartment with Otis, a gas station attendant he met in prison. In Henry’s day job he’s a part-time exterminator, but killing is also his hobby - one Otis soon comes to share in a series of gruesome slayings. When Otis’ sister Becky comes to live with them, she and Henry share a mutual attraction, but can any human being survive contact with this cold-blooded killer? The film landed on numerous year-end best lists upon its release, with writer-director McNaughton’s matter-of-fact style and sure hand with performers (many of them nonprofessional) drawing deserved comparisons to Cassavetes. “One of the 20 scariest movies of all time.” - Entertainment Weekly.


BLUE THUNDER
1983, Sony Repertory, 109 min, USA, Dir: John Badham

Déjà vu 1983! The government has unleashed its newest weapon: a heavily armed helicopter that can spy on civilians from 1,000 feet and incinerate entire city blocks. The only ones who can stop Big Brother (in the form of Malcolm McDowell’s fascist cop) from using it against us are Vietnam vet-turned-police chopper pilot Roy Scheider and his tech-savvy partner, Daniel Stern. Director John Badham's paranoid actioner flies high with stunning cinematography by John Alonzo and dazzling dogfights over downtown L.A.


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