Sunday, September 08, 2002

City by the Sea (IMDB) (Netflix)
There are days when it seems that every bad decision you've made in your life comes back to haunt you. NYPD Detective Vincent LaMarca (Robert de Niro) thought he had finally built a simple cozy life for himself, but then his estranged junkie son is accused of murdering a drug dealer, and the dealer's boss comes looking for revenge. Then it gets worse.

De Niro is mostly his competent self, and the moments between him and girlfriend Frances McDormand are the best parts of the movie. Seeing De Niro cry somehow just doesn't seem right, though, and the rest is stubbornly bleak, with little action or humor to break it up, and the pacing in the first half was slow enough to prompt a fellow audience member to say "I kept looking for a remote control to change the channel." The film takes off in the second half, but not before its undercarriage gets torn up by the trees at the end of the runway.